I wanted better clarity and control over my long list of blog content. With a recent re-brand, an evolved voice, and the ability to cross promote content right on the blog, many of our blog posts were in need of a makeover. With over 200 posts, getting a grip on what needed to be done on which post made me dizzy! So allow me to show you how to keep it simple.
We store our newer blog posts in organized categories in Dropbox, but the first 2 years of content isn’t in there. My team started an Master Blog List in Excel, complete with all the data I wanted to know about each post, but it’s a headache scrolling for what feels like for infinity over multiple tabs. I wanted something simpler and more tangible. I wanted to see just one post at a time, because it makes the whole blog content makeover feel doable. So, I hopped on Amazon and two days later (thanks, Prime!), I tried something different.
Comfy on the couch with a favorite chick flick (It’s Complicated) in the background, my colorful new pens, and blank index cards (sexy words to a gal like me), I got started.
Pin this image to come back to these quick and easy tips on organizing your blog content!
- Beautiful Tin Recipe Box – there are many patterns and colors (More options here, here, and here)
- Le Pens – for a long time, I’ve used Papermate’s colored pens, but these Le Pens have stolen my heart
- 4×6 index cards (amount depending on how many blog posts you have published)
- Your narrowed down selection of blog categories (I have 5 blog categories)
- Your WordPress Dashboard Post area – opened up to start at your first blog post
The What and the How of Organizing + Maintaining Your Blog Content
Some may tell you that spending time on old posts that DON’T bring you traffic is a waste of time. This is true to an extent. However, you may skip over potential diamonds if you only maintain your most popular content without considering your growth as a writer + an evolved business and audience.
At the time of starting this project, I was about 2 years into writing blog posts on this site. I knew a lot less about blogging back in 2014 than I do today. My posts had some flaws, such as many were:
- totally keyword stuffed
- not written in mind and honed in for my ideal customers and clients (painting a clear picture that makes sense for THEM). Having re-share worthy, evergreen content has been one of F&F’s biggest assets (so much so that I teach documentary family photographers who to establish their evergreen content inside Mastery Moment-Seekers)
- not quite written with the vibe it is today (meaning, I’m much more conversational and have a better ability to write in a way people pay attention to)
- not optimized to bring people who land on my posts further into our community (i.e. onto my email list, into our Facebook group, etc….. << see what I did there?).
- not even being distributed on my platforms (like Pinterest, for example, which is our biggest traffic source currently)
I knew I had some oldies with potential for REVIVAL! Doing this actually saves you time in comparison to creating fresh, new content.
Here’s what to do step-by-step:
- Decide on your blog category types and chose 5 Le Pen colors (one to represent each category). I wanted 5 core categories for visitor navigation ease. Each category can have sub-categories, but starting off with like 24 categories is just confusing to your web traffic. At the time of writing this, I still haven’t quite implemented this into our blog, but it is the plan!
- Starting with your oldest post, look over each one for a quick content audit + start your index card. This is not the time to read through the posts thoroughly. Usually, I can recall what a post is about just from looking at the blog title, so a quick glance was all that’s needed. If I felt the post was work keeping, I added the post to a blank index card with the title of the post in the header area (color coded to match the blog category). If not, I didn’t delete it (it could be on Pinterest or somewhere leading traffic back).
- Once the title is on the index card, start a checklist of what needed to be done. Things like: update blog title, update content, update blog title images (new branding), update the category, fix the format, make SEO friendly, add a content update (sometimes one I already have, sometimes an idea for one to create), add to Sendible Library, add to Buffer pin queue, add to Dropbox.
Seriously, that’s it! The biggest part, depending on how many blog posts you have, is the audit. You can make that part fun too!
At this point, your recipe box (which I call my Content Library) is filled with blog posts organized by category and mini to-do lists that can be pulled out whenever (or pass off to a VA).
To be clear, updating my old content isn’t something I’m going to interrupt my schedule to do for days on end. I don’t have time for that and am sure you probably don’t either! As I’m writing this, I’m working on the next Mastery Moment-Seekers launch, our Save a Story Initiative, and developing a podcast. THOSE are my priorities.
That said, pulling out an “oldie but a goodie” blog post to optimize once a week or once a month is truly a quick and simple task that can be worked into the mix (again with some of the tasks able to hand off to a VA – I like to keep the content update part for myself). It’s been about 6 months since beginning this project and we’re already seeing a traffic incline (especially from Pinterest) and my social platforms feel like I’m sharing fresh content. Even though it’s old content I’ve circled back to (using Sendible and creating a queue called Old Blog Posts).