Updating old blog posts and keeping content relevant

The world of online business is always changing. Your blogging business is ever growing and evolving. Companies, programs, and people that you work with can come and go. That is the nature of being an online entrepreneur. And it’s why you need to make a habit of updating old blog posts.
Unfortunately that means that your content can quickly become outdated and can lose its effectiveness without some occasional TLC. Not to mention that inaccurate info and dead links can tick off your visitors and make you look unprofessional. That’s not the way to make long-term, loyal customers.
That’s why today’s blog topic is about editing and updating your posts. I’m going to show you the easiest way to do it—with the WordPress post search feature.
In the beginning when your blog is young, making some updates isn’t such a huge challenge. You’ve only been blogging a few months and your content is fresh in your mind and everything you’ve done is new.

However, over time this happens. You:

  • Develop more and more articles on more and more topics.
  • Create new courses and opt-ins.
  • Design new graphics.
  • Join more affiliate programs.
  • Discover changes in algorithms, procedures, products and programs.

Over time and with all that content under the bridge, it becomes easy to forget about topics you’ve discussed. You can overlook opportunities to maximize your impact, improve your conversions, and increase your engagement. And sometimes, the older info on your blog becomes inaccurate with time.
It’s important to set aside some time to go back and tweak those old posts and give them  fresh life. Increase their effectiveness with some changes and updates. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to take all that long. If you get organized by making a list of updates you need to tackle, it goes very quickly. I can usually do mine in under two hours per quarter.
I recommend doing quarterly updates if you post once a week. If you add a LOT of content to your blog—like daily posts—you may benefit from doing these updates more often. They’ll improve your engagement scores, increase your affiliate sales, attract more subscribers, and keep your content fresh and accurate.

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The WordPress Post Search Feature

Just to be really clear and show you exactly what I’m talking about here, I’m going to share a couple screen shots with you. WordPress provides you with a very handy search feature right inside the “post” area of the platform. Log into your WordPress dashboard and click on “Posts” in the column on the left.
This will take you to a current listing of your posts—drafts, scheduled, and published posts are all included.
On the right side of the screen above the list of posts, you’ll see a search area. It sits there quietly, and I confess that I didn’t even notice it for months when I first started using WordPress. Now that I know it’s there, I use it all the time!
How to use the Post Search feature in WordPress
Once you have 20 or more posts on your blog, it can be cumbersome wading through them to find the specific post or group of posts containing the information you’re looking for. Bloggers who’ve been at it a while may have hundreds. By entering a keyword in the search bar you can narrow down the number of posts you have to sort through.

Search Box + Keyword = Easy Updates 🙂

Type in your key word and WordPress will search titles, blog content, and tags and return a list of every article that mentions that keyword in any way. If you know you need to update information on your Pinterest articles because Pinterest just did another major update (which we all know is a VERY regular occurrence) just type Pinterest into that search bar and you’ll find all the posts that mention Pinterest.
You can quickly scan them and see what needs to be updated to reflect Pinterest’s changes.
Get more specific with your search term if you need to, narrowing down to very specific topics. Once you’ve got a list of posts to work from, you can start making updates.
Here are the five areas of my posts that I revisit when I do an update:

Cross Linking to Encourage Users to Stay On Your Site

One popular technique used by the pros to help encourage you to indulge in their content is to link to related articles within their blog posts. Maybe the blogger has done a series of blog posts on a topic. Any visitor who lands on their site and takes time to read the information in one of those articles is going to benefit from the others.
The best way to make that reader aware of other content is to cross-link to those other posts. You can cross link right within the body of a paragraph, offer a note to the reader in parentheses like this (you can read more about this topic in my post Cross-Linking Like A Boss), or you can simply put a very obvious link like this one:

Related: Cross-Linking Like A Boss

Sorry, that’s not a real article or link, but I really like the title and now I’m thinking I will write this blog post just so I can cross-link to it … LIKE A BOSS! Hahaha
It’s easy to find the articles that mention a specific topic by using the WordPress “post” search feature. Highlight the text in the article you want to use as a link, click on the link icon in your toolbar, then on the little “gear” icon next to the link window.
How to link to existing content in WordPress
Next, this window opens up. Just type your keyword in the search and then use the WordPress “link to existing content” feature to find your previous articles that you want to link to. You can even use the search field in that feature to narrow down your options by subject! So easy!
Link To Existing Content Feature in WordPress

Making Edits to Content

From time to time you need to go back and find references that are outdated or make updates to old content so it’s still relevant. For example Boardbooster recently closed its doors. I was a user of this service and referred to it often in my posts. I even had several posts dedicated to BB features and reviews. After they closed down, I needed to revisit my posts and remove references and links to this Pinterest scheduling service.
I quickly located all the reference to that service on my blog and in my posts by using the WordPress search feature. I either removed them or added an ***Update addendum to my posts to update visitors on the closing of this service. This way, my content is not irritating people with inaccurate information and links that go nowhere.
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Updating Graphics

I am a visual person who loves a pretty picture or gorgeous graphic! For that reason I try to add some nice looking images to my blog posts to advertise products and affiliate programs that I’m promoting. The easiest way to find places to insert a pretty new graphic is to go to my WordPress search feature and use a keyword to find the articles and posts where I’ve discussed that product or service.
I can quickly find the relevant posts, open them up and determine if there’s a good place to insert that gorgeous graphic so it has more opportunities to work for me. 🙂 I figure I should get as much mileage from a graphic as possible. This is the easiest way I know to find places to insert and update images.

Promoting a new opt-in or course on old posts

I’m always working at creating new content and that includes opt-ins, freebies, and courses to help my readers and visitors grow in their online business skills. Sometimes a new opt-in is the perfect offer to jazz up an old post and give it fresh life.
So if I create a new Pinterest training freebie, I might go to my WordPress search feature and type in “Pinterest” to locate all the articles where I’ve mentioned or discussed Pinterest. In a very short amount of time, I can add that offer to my older posts and give my mailing list an extra boost!

Adding new affiliate links

If affiliate marketing is part of your blogging income strategy, you’ll want to keep your affiliate links updated, add links to any new programs that you have joined, and eliminate old affiliate links. From time to time it pays to go back and revisit your old blog posts to make those changes to your affiliate program information.
The easiest way to do this is to use the WordPress post search feature to find articles that mention old affiliate programs you are no longer a part of so you can delete them. You can find articles with topics that relate to new affiliate programs you’ve just joined and add some money making links. In a very short space of time, you can update affiliate information and increase your monetization strategy.

Sounds doable, right?

Those are the five areas that I update and tweak quarterly. Like I said, it usually takes me under two hours to add new graphics, update affiliate links, address outdated content, and add my opt-ins to a few older posts.
By taking time to do this, I make the most of my content, new and old, and keep my visitors happy and engaged with current information and accurate links. My posts stay optimized and monetized, and that brings me more traffic, subscribers, and sales—the stuff that makes a blogger happy! 🙂

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