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I don’t know about you, but when I land on a blog, I often like to read more than the current post.

I will take time to look for links, recent posts, archives, and/or a list of favorites. If the current blog post intrigues me, but the blog doesn’t provide a source for previous posts, I’ll subscribe to the blog in my reader and let Google produce a list what is in the archives.  It’s a little time consuming, but it works.

When Chris Edgar of Purpose Power Coaching commented on the So, What’s the Attraction post, he shared what he does with articles that get buried in his archives.

In part, this is what Chris said,

…Another great side benefit it’s had for me is that I’ve been able to adapt material from the blog into my books and audio series. This has been a particularly good use for my old posts that nobody read. 🙂

I think that’s a great way to revive old posts. Chris gets to include them in his books and/or audios series and for the first time reader, it’s fresh content.

So, what else can we do to get our older articles in front of our readers?

Today’s Lesson

Here’s what I’ve tried:

I often link to older posts in my current post. This a a great way of showcasing an article from our archives, however, once the post loses it popularity, the link to the older post is also forgotten about. Plus, there’s no guarantee our readers will click on the link.

I’ve written a self promotion post listing some of my own favorites, including “Funniest picture in a post”, Although it was a hit at the time, the post quickly got buried in the archives.

I list all of my posts on an Articles page (in the header). For this I use the SRG Clean Archives plugin. This works good if we have catchy or obvious titles, but if the title doesn’t capture a readers attention, chances are, they won’t click on it.

We also end up with a problem when our archives are so large, it becomes too time consuming for someone to dig through them.

I’ve added a Sitemap (in the header-not to be confused with a Google sitemap – xml). It lists the pages on this blog as well as the posts in each category. This was an easy install via the Dagon Design Sitemap Generator plugin. Again, the size of our archives can be a detriment.

I also use the Random posts plugin to showcase older posts. Whenever the page reloads, the plugin automatically changes the “random” posts, giving your reader a fresh list. See mine in action under “Past Lessons”.

We can hand pick our favorite posts and create a section in our sidebar. These can either be hand coded into the sidebar php file, or can be displayed by using a text widget.

This is something I did with the interviews I conducted with high profile bloggers. I knew the posts had gotten buried and with the amount of valuable information these seasoned bloggers shared, I didn’t want them to be missed.

The way I see it is, the more we offer to our readers, the more they’re apt to stick around, read more of our work, subscribe to our blog, click on an ad, use our services, or even make a purchase through an affiliate link.

If we don’t give our readers more than one choice, then we’re only as good as our current post.

Today’s Assignment

What do you do to give your older posts new life?

If you’re visiting a blog, do you like to dig around and find more of the author’s work, or do you only read the current post?

If you can’t find other posts, do you dig or do you leave?

Knowing our readers may want to read more of our work, how do you solve the problem?

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Photo Credit: HeideHo

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  1. Barbara, thanks for info on those plugins you use. I like the “Articles” page, the SRG Clean plugin looks quite different than the standard Archive layout.

    I also like how you have a Related Lessons list at the bottom of each post. Love that you brand your entries here as “Lessons” rather than the generic term “Posts”.

    Sterling Okura´s last blog post..Recent Projects Built With Free Tools

  2. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

    Like you i also dig around blog for older and interesting articles before subscribing. i hardly look at Navigation bar, instead i relay on links provided in post (contextual Links) and i trust it more then Blogger made list of best post.

    Sunil Pathak´s last blog post..15 Blog Usability Tips For Batter Reader Experience

  3. Hello Barbara – Good work! This post caused me to dig around in your site to see your site map and archives pages. I’d noted your upgrades when you unveiled your beautiful new design, but hadn’t taken the time to actually dive in to your interior pages. Very impressive!

    One of my to-do’s has been to reorganize our site and pull out some of our earliest posts (especially our Alaska series) that haven’t seen too many readers. I’ve often thought that series needs to be an e-book, which would be a great way to archive the entire thing, in a way. Perhaps now that my business has sold – YAY! – I’ll be able to teach myself a new e-skill! Thanks for affirming the need for a little spring cleaning and redecorating at PassingThru.

    Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post..SELLING ISN’T SELLING ANYMORE

  4. Barbara,
    I constantly surprise myself how much stuff is buried on my blog. What I have done is downloaded a plugin for WP that lists all the posts and groups it by months (go to my archives page and scroll all the way down for the link that leads to the download).
    When I write new post I usually scan the older posts in archives page and it usually inspires me for more ides. I also keep adding relevant posts to the bottom of each new post – that way I hope old goodies get second chance.
    Regarding the blogs that hard to consume – I usually leave those unless the content is extremely great. I think the blogger should not make his readers work hard to consume his/her content. There so much I can do with my time. Digging the blog for RSS link seems to me wasteful. There is no reason blogger should hide RSS links, or archives, unless he is not interested in making readers read his stuff. In that case – why blogging in first place?

    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com´s last blog post..Want To Win? – Argue, Do Not Fight!

  5. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s see, I’m currently using the same sitemap plug-in you are, I also link to older posts when writing something that it pertains to, and I have a Lijit search bar on my sidebar, which I think helps if someone wants to quickly look up a place I’ve been. It doesn’t get too many hits yet, but I think as my archives grow, it will.

    Also, as my archive gets bigger, I’ll have to think about the random posts idea.

    I love what you did with the interviews. These you definitely don’t want to get buried in the archives.

    LisaNewton´s last blog post..Sun and Fun at the Santa Monica Pier

  6. Funny you should write about this – I recently took a gander at the 300+ odd posts I’ve made over the past few months at my various blogs and am astounded at what I’ve shared for free. But when nobody sees them, they’re useless to everyone! So I’m now taking the time to bring them back to the forefront….it just plain makes sense.

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog post..Soup up your business profits with free quality stock photos

  7. DotNo Gravatar says:

    I also like to dig into a blog’s archives and get a sense of the blogger’s personality and what they like to write about I’m currently using a simple archive widget that I’m not too happy with and a coded “best posts” that I’m also not happy with. So many tweaks, so little time!

    Dot´s last blog post..All About Chocolate

  8. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I have just added another item to the to do list. I really do dig on a site to see what they have written about. I have found some really interesting ones doing this.

    I have not figured out a better way for the archives to be shown. Lijit really is a good tool to assist.

    Linda´s last blog post..Hydroponics Enlightenment

  9. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    Gosh, I actually don’t give much thought to my older posts… I have a list on my sidebar that titles the latest 10, so it’s easy for folks to read if they want.

    As for me, I like to dig around, but mostly on the first page, I’ll scroll down and see what’s there. Unless something really jumps out, I rarely go back and check out older post. But I do like when bloggers post a “my favorite old posts” kind of thing. I probably miss a lot of good things…but I am a woman of the moment…lol!

    Caroline´s last blog post..Favorite “Foto” Friday and random things about me…

  10. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, Barbara, you have done a great job.
    I am really not as good with a lot of this – I need to pay more attention.
    One day I will take some time to catch up 🙂

    Maya´s last blog post..The Calm Fire : A journal entry

  11. Thanks for this Barbara. I’ve found the recommendations here really helpful. One thing I’d add is that I also reference archived posts occasionally in my newsletter if they happen to relate to something I’m talking about. Best, Chris

  12. Hi Barbara – I really like the popular posts plugin I use for my blog. I list 7 of them in the sidebar and they change somewhat frequently due to the traffic I’m getting so I think they give readers a good taste of what people like. Recently, I have also been thinking about re-writing some of my older posts (just because I’ve refined my ideas some). That way I can revisit some topics I wrote about when my blog was pretty new. Thanks for this post!

    Amanda Linehan´s last blog post..When Your Emotions Are Running Away With You

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sterling – You’re welcome. With regard to the “related posts” at the bottom of my articles, I need to dig into that plugin as it doesn’t appear to be working right.

    I changed the name to “lessons” when I began marketing this blog as a classroom. I felt it was more fitting. Thank you for noticing.

    Hi Sunil – Isn’t it fun to explore other blogs? We often find hidden treasures.

    Hi Betsy – Congratulations on selling your business. I agree, your Alaska series would make a fabulous e-book. I’ll keep my eye open for that one as I enjoyed your tales of a favorite state of mine.

    Hi Alik – I hear you. Blogs that have their RSS feed button “hidden” is frustrating. I’ve missed out on subscribing on what are probably great blogs for that reason.

    I’ll come by and check out what you did with your archives. Sounds like they’re easy to navigate.

    Hi Lisa – Those are great plugins, aren’t they? When I was writing my post to showcase your blog, the sitemap made it SO easy to find stuff on your blog.

    Hi Barbara – Isn’t it amazing how fast the posts stack up? When they get into the hundreds, it’s time to either turn them into an ebook or find another way of reviving them.

    Hi Dot – That’s a great point. By digging through a blog we do get a sense of the author and their personality. I hear you about the time issue — it all takes time, something we all don’t have a lot of.

    Hi Linda – That’s the second vote for Ligit. I’ll have to check into it.

    You’re right. We can find some very interesting blogs if we take time to dig. Often the best stuff is buried.

    Hi Caroline – *smiles* “woman of the moment”. Good point. Not everyone will take the time to dig through our blog as it can be time consuming.

    Hi Maya – Thank you. Time. I hear you. Anytime we work on blog navigation, it does take us away from other aspects of our life.

    Hi Chris – You’re welcome. Good idea. Including those old posts in a newsletter is a superb way to showcase them.

    Hi Amanda – You’re welcome. The popular posts plugin does a great job. Thank you for the reminder. I use one in my footer that shows the most commented posts and like you said, the post titles do change as people visit/comment.

    With regard to rewriting old posts, I wonder what happens since they are already dated, in our old archives and indexed by the search engines. What I’ve done is take an old topic, put a new spin on it and published it as a new post.

  14. Deep down I feel a little “show-off-ish” linking my previous posts. But I guess I better get over that. And now! It might be just what people want to read.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Trio

  15. Well lets see.
    A series of ebooks
    A Podcast
    A regular book
    A book on CD with me reading:)
    Could give coaching clients homework-handouts
    I think the list is endless don’t you? This is where Mare on the abundance blog could help us all!

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..A Bold but Modest Millionaire

  16. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I like what you said “If we don’t give our readers more than one choice, then we’re only as good as our current post.”

    I have just taken three of my old recent posts and compiled them into a report. I have also got a request from a big newsletter site to reprint an old post that I wrote. I may just do something more with the post, since it seems to be well liked.

    Just yesterday, due to new blog comments to old posts, I went back to read my archives. I was already thinking of repackaging them. Your ideas here are awesome and timely. Most certainly, I will be looking into them. Thanks!!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Transform Your Money Beliefs Free Report

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jannie – I know what you mean about feeling a little “show-off-ish”, but I know for me, I love to see a blogger showcasing their work. It gives me a better look into who they are and with some of our best work getting buried, it’s a great way to keep it at the surface.

    Hi Tess – Wow. I’d say you have this lesson aced. 🙂 You’re readers and clients are definitely receiving your best. I love your idea of podcasts and a book CD.

    Hi Evelyn – Congratulations on being featured in the newsletter. That’s a wonderful accomplishment.

    I also like your idea of compiling posts into report form. That’s a great repackaging solution.

  18. Hi Barbara. This is one of the more difficult things to do, isn’t it.

    For my archives and categories, I basically have done the same thing you did but without a plugin. I hard coded this function into my archives.php file (which ultimately applied these settings to my Categories page). I think that’s a great way to display those. Here’s where I learned it from.

    I’ve done a few of the other things you do, but what I have found really works well are a few static links I placed in a text widget in my sidebar. I’ve noticed people have been clicking on those.

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..The 1st SEO Decision You Should Make To Rank Well In Google

  19. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. First, great photo you’ve used for this post! And, I appreciate the effort you make to welcome your readers. You’re a great hostess.

    Ok, so the first place I head is the About page. If there isn’t one I scan through the archives for some catchy titles. I’ll read through the comments section too. If there are no other options than the current post, or I have to work too hard to find them, I don’t stick around.

    On my blog I will occasionally link back to a previous post, and I have a page where I list my favourites. After I collect more posts, I plan on using the random post plugin. I did some blog maintenance recently and eliminated some categories ( I had too many, according to Men With Pens), plus I moved the categories and archives to the top of the home page.

    Davina´s last blog post..What Have You Done for Your Blog Lately?

  20. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You have some excellent advice here. I will look into Lijit. I also, have a plugin that shows my best related posts, that I find to be helpful.

    Barbara´s last blog post..Relax with Barbara On Wednesday 32

  21. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    I forget to link some of my older post with my newer posts, i need to do that once in a while, just as reference though, not for it to be commented on. when i find a new blog, i not only read the first post, but i scroll down to look for something i genuinely want to comment on – it may not always be the first one. i don’t dig too much around in the archives, it depends on how much time i have.

    i don’t know how to solve the problem of readers wanting more other than having an archives tab. sometimes life gets in the way and it’s hard to post as much as people would like. i hope they would be understanding and read the archives if that’s what they want or wait until the next post. 🙂

    Natural´s last blog post..My Two Left Feet

  22. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    I love the SRG plugin, but you definitely gave me another good idea.

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..Blog Readers or Twitter Followers – What’s YOUR Preferance?

  23. Hey Barbara. I always dig around and I always wondered if other people dug around too. I look at everything. Titles, post frequency, feedback, the about page, what they write about. You’ve done a wonderful job of incorporating your past posts. I still have some work to do with it and your ideas have got me really thinking about it. Thanks!

    Broderick Allen´s last blog post..The Different Areas of Life Support Each Other

  24. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the great ideas Barbara. I’d already planned on doing a sitemap, but was a little afraid of doing an articles page because I didn’t know there was a plug in. I’ll check it out.

    I do like to dig around a little. If there is a related or random posts at the bottom, I’ll hit that first. I also click on most links in posts, too. Hey, am I the only blogger surprised at how few people click on the links? Heh, I think like commenting it’s something that bloggers do more than civilians.

    If there isn’t a related posts plug-in, I’ll look in the sidebar for top posts or similar (I should put on on my blog) or sometimes if the blog is fantastic, just start reading in reverse chronological order as far back as I have time.

    Tracy´s last blog post..My First Life Coaching Session

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John – Thank you for the link to the lesson and the suggestion to use a few static links on our sites. It sounds like they are a great way to keep our readers on our blog longer.

    HI Davina – Thank you. Like you, when I land on a new blog, the about page is my first stop.

    That’s a good idea about controlling the amount of categories we have. Your comment reminded me to add that to my list, too.

    Hi Barbara – Thank you, and thank you for stopping by. Lijit is something I’m looking into, also.

    Hi Natural – That’s true. Often the current post is not something we’re interested in which adds to the idea of showcasing our prior work.

    Hi Dennis – Thank you. I’m happy to hear this post inspired you.

    Hi Broderick – You’re welcome. It’s fun digging around other blogs, isn’t it? It gives us the opportunity to learn more about the blogger and what we can expect in future posts.

    Hi Tracy – You’re welcome. Hmmmm. You make me question how often others click on the links we add to our posts. I agree, bloggers do more than civilians, but then I wonder how many civilians realize they are to other posts of ours or to other sites.

  26. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I hate to say it, but I rarely review previous posts on a blog that is new for me. I might scan post tiles if they are in a side bar, but unless I’m really enamored, I’m most likely to comment on the landing post, and a lot of times I’ll then subscribe.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..The art of being nice

  27. Liara CovertNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, your insights offer uplifting energy to your readers. Great to discover your blog. The image you choose encourages readers to recognize energy beings exist within layers of coinciding realities. We learn from them all.

    Liara Covert´s last blog post..What if you made a radical shift?

  28. Hey Barbara – I’ve toyed (off and on) with a blog archive page. I think it may be time to implement one. Thanks for the notion re: using a plugin. The main thing that keeps me from moving ahead is the formatting, etc.

    As always, thanks for keeping us up to speed! 🙂

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Florida USDA Rural Development Home Loan Map and Information

  29. What a useful post! I definitely love the value of pointing people to older posts (I just get so caught up in the “brilliance” of what I’ve written before…for some reason, a lot of my posts seem much better after they’ve “aged” a bit). I try to backlink to older posts (when I remember that they exist), and I do get a lot of value from the Yet Another Related Posts plugin for WordPress (in fact, I often times find myself surfing through my own blog just to amuse myself by what the plugin considers “related”).

    One of my favorite bloggers does “flashback” posts, where once a week he highlights a post from over a year ago. I love that idea, but always forget about it when I’m looking for something to write about.

  30. You know Barbara, now that you mention it, this is one area where I could be doing much better. Sure I have a section in my sidebar that says “Favorites” and hi-lights some of the older posts I’ve written and that others seem to particularly like, but when I visit my own site, I’ve noticed that they can be pretty tough to spot.

    Maybe what I could do is add an archive link or a “Best Of” link to my navigation bar…

    I mean, when I visit other blogs, I know that I like to dig through the archives so I could imagine other folks feel the same about my own blog.

    Ricardo Bueno´s last blog post..My Social Media System

  31. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi George – Thank you for sharing how you approach a blog you land on for the first time. If the current post is well written and valuable, that usually will entice a reader to subscribe.

    Hi Liara – Thank you for your kind words and for visiting. I hope to see you here again soon.

    Hi Kevin – You’re welcome. I agree, creating archive pages on our blogs is much easier when we can using a plugin. Like you, the formatting part of blogging often discourages me from proceeding.

    Hi Matt – Thank you. Isn’t it funny how we can be inspired by our own work? I like the idea of the “flashback” posts. That is a great way to bring an old topic back to the surface.

    Hi Ricardo – Exactly. When we pay attention to what we do when we visit other blogs, gives us an insight into how others might be viewing ours.