5 Tips On How To Recycle Your Archives


Raise your hand if you recycle. We all know it’s good for the environment and by now many of us can separate paper from plastic in our sleep. The greening of our culture means that we are über-conscious about reusing materials and making sure that nothing goes to waste. With that in my mind, how many of you actively look to your archives to find new content for your blog and increase traffic?


Whether you’re a veteran when it comes to blogging or completely wet behind the ears, we can all use any extra boost to keep churning out fresh content. Sometimes, the answer is as easy as revisiting your own archives. However, be careful because recycling doesn’t mean just re-posting an old article or constantly writing the same type of posts. It’s sort of the equivalent of using that same plastic water bottle over and over again. At some point, you need to put it in that blue bin so that it can be reused for something better. So, let’s step outside of the box shall we?


Look at your stats.


The very first thing to do is get up close and personal with your analytics and figure out exactly what published posts are already attracting visitors. It’s easy to get caught up in our new content because it is typically what gets the most recent attention. Take it from me; your published posts don’t have to languish in an archival wasteland. The majority of us are pros when it comes to shopping within our own closets to remix items and create new looks. Use that same attitude to create new content.



So without any further ado, let’s implement a recycling program.


1) This one is pretty basic. Look at an old post, use it as a source of inspiration and make a new one based off of it. Or maybe there’s a popular post that continues to garner some serious incoming traffic. Perhaps there’s a series waiting to be created. Also, you can definitely use (helpful) comments as a base for creating new content. Sometimes, readers make it very easy by telling us exactly what they would like to see next.


2) Maybe you’ve been blessed to get a recent surge in readers but at the same time you have some brilliant posts that are chilling in published purgatory. Revive them! By all means, do not be afraid to promote old posts. We do an amazing job of promoting new material but why stop there? If you have some great images from a post that you feel were overlooked, pin it on Pinterest, send it to Instagram, and then tweet a link to the original article. Use your social media to direct traffic to exactly where you want it.


3) Add more internal links. You can easily achieve this within new posts, or by installing a related post plug-in. Better yet, why not take it the next level and discover an underlying theme from similar posts that you can combine into a visual slideshow? If you are already an image heavy site then chances are slideshows will do well as they play up on visual content. If you’re not, you most likely will see a surge in page views because we all love pretty pictures. Look at that, you’ve just created new content while directing traffic and links to old content.


4) Do a Retrospective. If you are a personal style blogger, how much fun would it be to see what your style was like this time exactly a year ago? If your OOTD posts garner a lot of attention, use that as a jumping off point for you to think of more ideas. Sandra of NiotillFem has mastered the art of the retrospective. It gives you and your readers the opportunity to see your life and style evolution. However, don’t limit yourself to just outfits. You can pretty much have a retrospective on any consistent topic that you find in your archive.


5) Finally, think beyond the written word. Scour your archives for material that you can use for video, audio or both. If you have a strong and/or dedicated following, you can use old material to create a podcast or a series of podcasts. Perhaps you can host a webinar based off some popular topics. Or maybe an old post will translate well to video. You never know maybe you might have the next viral video on your hands. Brainstorm because the possibilities are endless.


Don’t forget about your posts once you’ve hit publish. What do you guys think about digging into your archives? Do you think there’s inspiration to be found there? Share your recycling tips in the comments!

[image via Bullett Media]

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9 Responses

  1. Sharon

    As a lifestyle blogger (who loves high heels), I write about women’s issues so, I like to link to older posts within my new post if it pertains to what I am writing about. Or even if it is about an designer to past posts about their heels or news.
    I use 2 plugins that pull posts to tweet. One is set up for posts written that day with the words NEW POSTS (what appears at the beginning of a tweet) the other pulls old posts (I have it set to pull posts up to 30 days old) for QUEENLY PAST POST.
    I also use a 3rd party like LinkShare. . .actually I use NRelate (it pays) that will share similar posts to the one people are reading.
    However, I this posts has my mind actively planning a few new ways to implement them esp since I am about to enter into vlogging.

  2. alicatstrut

    I’ve been reading a lot of Darren Rowse and, therefore, thinking about this a lot. He does an amazing job of getting me into a never ending cycle of clicking link after link buried in each of his blog posts. I think this approach is great. Old content doesn’t have to be a holy, untouchable thing. I have an old post that gets hits pretty regularly and I’ve been thinking about how to best use that post to drive people deeper into my site and my newer content. Thanks for the ideas!

  3. Anna

    This post comes just in time that I’m going through my archives and edit them, fix broken links, delete etc.
    I’ve even thought of deleting posts and re-writing them (especially those with few or no comments).
    Another idea I thought of is to make some of them “sticky” to the top of my blog since the theme I’m using now on wordpress.com has this feature.
    Will see how it works…

  4. [email protected]

    I think recycling from the archives is a wonderful idea. For my street style blog, I have enough content now that I can create theme posts using my archives. It’s enjoyable to revisit favorite images and, as Anna said, it’s a good way to clean house too.

    Thanks for a great post.

  5. Aquí

    What was I doing a year ago in blogging? Well, I went trolling through my archives after reading this article and was blown away! “It gives you and your readers the opportunity to see your life and style evolution.” I guess I didn’t realize how much my blogging has evolved. Not only has my writing tightened up, but my photography, style and overall composition has changed dramatically as well. So uplifting to see that progress! Thanks 🙂

  6. chermelle

    These are wonderful tips, looking back at your own posts for inspiration – novel idea. I love it! – chermelle

  7. Christy Lorio

    I promote old posts fairly often, especially if the post isn’t time sensitive. Since I feature a lot of regional designers, I’ll go back and put them back out there via Facebook and Twitter. We put so much time and effort into each blog post, might as well!

  8. Style Hybrid

    Thanks for these tips, Matra! This is a really important topic because we all put so much effort into each of our posts, and we try to post so often, that it’s a shame not to maximize each one’s exposure and impact.

    I’m still new to blogging so I’m trying to figure this out for myself, but I find that I’m really drawn to blogs that have created attractive headers representing the different topics on they focus on – so for example down the sidebar they may have a DIY header, personal outfit header, etc. And then you click through to a nicely laid-out page showing related posts.

    I know tags and categories essentially do the same thing, but actually putting the effort into creating those headers and making the pages they click through to well-organized makes a huge difference. It shows that the blogger wants you to go through their content as if it were a book or magazine, and they’ve made it as easy for you as possible.

  9. TheStyleKaleidoscope

    My blog is street style so I do a Top 3 of the Month feature, which enables me to showcase my favourite looks since the blog began on one page, almost like a best-of feature.