Keeping Your Content Fresh

Keep a backlog of posts to be published

If your blog is ever to survive, you need to be sure to provide high quality content at regular intervals. Can you imagine a magazine running new issues whenever it felt like it? The readers need to know how often to expect to look for new content and also don’t want to be overwhelmed with new content in quick succession.

Plan ahead

The most important thing to do is to consider what sort of a publishing schedule you want to adhere to and whether it is possible. You may aim to post several times a day or you may be aiming for once or twice a week.

Creating a schedule

Whatever you choose, you might want to consider drawing up a weekly or monthly schedule, outlining what type of post to write and when to write it. For example, you may want to write a tutorial on a Monday and a review on a Thursday. What you write will be dependent on your subject matter, which you should decide well in advance.

Write in advance and schedule publishing

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to ensure that you keep a backlog of posts in your repository ready to be published on a schedule or at a moment’s notice.

There are numerous reasons for this. There will be weeks that you just don’t feel like writing and other weeks when life has other plans for you.

Again, the volume of content you keep ready for future deployment will depend on your subject and post frequency. If your blog discusses current affairs often, it will be difficult to keep more than a day or two in hand otherwise you’ll be writing about old news. However if you post once or twice a week, a backlog of a few weeks (4-6 posts) might be much more attainable. I try to aim for a few weeks’ worth. While I’m writing this post in early September, it probably won’t publish until mid-October.

Of course, if a current issue comes up that you want to write about immediately, just push your publishing schedule back accordingly.

Revive old posts

Your WordPress site should act more like a library than a bookstore with just the latest topsellers. What I mean by that is that your newest posts shouldn’t be all that you, or your readers are relying.

You should frequently visit all your old posts, make updates to outdated information and link to old stories from new posts. For example, in several (appropriate) places in this post, you will see links to older posts, describing more about something I have spoken about. Updating old content is looked upon favourably by search engines and the more internal links you have the better – for extra punch you should use keywords for that post in the link.

Another method you should also consider is looking for your top posts using Google Analytics and periodically publicise your best content using your social media accounts. New readers may not have taken the time to go through your backlog (especially if you’ve been writing for a few years), so it’s a good way of keeping your best content alive. However, if you do this, make sure the content is still relevant and up-to-date.

What tactics do you use to keep your content fresh, even your old content?

10 thoughts on “Keeping Your Content Fresh”

  1. WOW !! These are the good and healthy ways to improve the creativity of our blog. We must do some creative things with our blog so that it can be viewed more. I will follow these tips.

  2. Agreed with your second point. I think that the WordPress ‘publish later’ option is the best thing to ever happen in the world of blogging.

    1. Dave says:

      Absolutely. It really helps to be able to plan in advance. Excellent for people who like to plan, like me

  3. Tristan says:

    I really liked this part: “Your WordPress site should act more like a library than a bookstore with just the latest topsellers.” Great point!

    I think one way to keep content fresh is just be aware of what others in your niche are posting (and have posted) so you’re not boring your readers. Obviously there will be overlap, but don’t just regurgitate what you saw on another blog.

    In fact… Maybe it would be better to not even look at other blogs in your niche so that you don’t get influenced by what they’re writing? Either way, the point is, don’t write about what others are writing!

    1. Dave says:

      Thanks Tristan. I have a look around at similar blogs to get an idea of what content people are interested in and what they don’t care for, but that’s only part of my research strategy. It’s really quite interesting to see how within your niche, similar posts will be published across many different sites within a short time, as if they are all looking at one another, trying to ensure that they jump on the popularity bandwagon.

  4. I have a daily nature picture blog with pictures taken at one place where natures pace dictates a schedule of sorts. Yet, I still find several take away points in this article that I plan to incorporate. This is a well written article that I’ve found quite helpful. Thanks!

    1. Dave says:

      Well yeah, even if your schedule is somewhat dictated by outside sources, you can certainly still use some of the other points such as linking to your older posts where applicable.

  5. Walter says:

    Fresh content comes by doing no matter what. At first I had a hard time keeping a fresh content on my site, but then I realize that it will always be my decision. :-)

    1. Dave says:

      Well I have to disagree. Fresh content doesn’t just come. You have to actively be looking over what you’ve already written and looking for new and current topics to discuss so that you’re not regurgitating the same old chaff

  6. AstroGremlin says:

    Thanks, Dave. I have an old article called Blog Grader, written when I had just started. Blog Grader critiques you blog and gives you a score. Fun. I have continued to add other, much more serious blog evaluators to the article, as much to store a library for myself. Well, the article seems to get more and more views, too. Freshening up an older article can give it new relevance as a resource (and a view magnet).

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