How to revive old blog posts & boost traffic πŸ“ˆ

Publishing new blog posts isn’t the only way to drive traffic to your blog.

Actually, constantly churning out new posts when you’re not feeling it contributes to burnout, which leads to not doing anything.

Almost every blog post could use an update every 12-18 months, whether it’s exchanging broken links for new links that work or adding a note to the original post to say that you’ve changed your mind.

Even if you’re a lifestyle blogger like me. πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

"Revive old blog posts to boost traffic" overlaying photo of plant sprouting in sunlight

18 ways to refresh your old posts

There’s bound to be a new-to-you way up in this list. πŸ‘€

1. Audit post performance via Google Search Console

In Google Search Console (GSC), navigate to Performance β†’ Search Results. Scroll down and select Pages.

Click ↓ Clicks. These are the pages that show up in search (look at the impressions), but don’t receive clicks.

If you use a table of contents plugin, this table includes those quick jump links. Ignore those and pay more attention to the individual blog post links without the quick jumps.

Make a list of the top 5 posts with the lowest amount of clicks. Start with updating these posts or determining what to do with them.

Then, make a list of the top 5 posts with the highest amount of clicks and update them to ensure the high visibility in search results is paying off.

Not every blog post of mine exists to be clicked on from search; sometimes those posts exist for my current audience. These instances are valid, too. πŸ’˜

2. Audit sites linking to you

Auditing sites linking to your posts helps you understand how other people are experiencing your blog and site.

Top linked pages

Again, in GSC, examine your links by navigating to Links. Examine your “Top linked pages”. These are pages where other sites are sending their audience.

The pages that are blog posts need to be updated so you are encouraging people to sign up for your newsletter.

Is there a small, useful freebie you can create or offer to incentivize them to subscribe? If not, add your subscription form anyways.

My subscription forms are all over my blog without incentives attached.

Top linking sites

Click “More” to see the “Top linking sites”. These are the sites that link TO you.

You can click on the rows to see which pages in particular those sites link to.

I always investigate the directory links (like from, Reddit and any site that looks spammy.

If you click the rows, you can see exactly what page your site is linked on.

Table showing target URL is, linking URL is, the top linking pages, and the total links being 4

From my own data, I can deduce that much of my traffic from is coming from, my former domain name. It’s also going to another previous domain name, as my blog is currently in a site move in GSC from

This data is still useful, however! I love seeing how people link to me.

  • My DID posts are linked on a DID podcast that has been accessed by non-English speakers (specifically episodes 5, 6 and 10…probably more)
  • People link to my autism and DID posts on their link-in-bio pages (Linktree, Carrd, etc.)
  • My autism and DID posts get linked in Reddit comments quite frequently πŸ˜…
  • An app developer used my CSS color palette to create a remote control app for smart lights (I can’t find the link currently πŸ˜…)

Knowing how, when and why other sites link to pages on your own helps you understand how people are interacting with your site — which helps you create better content or update existing content to be even more helpful (if at all possible).

If you notice certain posts are being linked to most from specific topics, figure out a way you can keep those people on your site much longer and encourage them to subscribe to your blog so you can turn them into repeat visitors.

3. Mend your broken links

If you blog on self-hosted WordPress, install Broken Link Checker and let it run. Then, go through and fix your broken links.

Some tips:

  • Unlink flat-out broken links, like those from comments
  • Find replacements for product links and update that post so the replacement link makes sense, especially if you had to update the link altogether
  • For article links, click “Edit URL” and use the if available.

If you need to fix several broken links in one blog post, open that post up and consider whether

  1. it’s worth keeping or
  2. you need to rewrite it.

Also: Sometimes, the links are NOT broken at all! I always check to ensure a link isn’t faux-broken, i.e. switched from www to NO www.

Beyond the broken links, I also clear out my warnings and, eventually, redirects. This way, the links on my site remain clean.

4. Add links to existing posts

A suuuper simple way to update old blog posts is by adding links to existing posts! Seriously!

Many people have success with the Link Whisper WordPress plugin. While the plugin cut the time I took to add links in half, it also messed with my site cache and caused strange issues that only resolved when I deactivated it.

5. Update graphics & photos

Maybe you used stock photos, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’ve changed your domain name and still display Pinterest graphics with the old domain on it.~

Either way, give the photos in your gallery a cursory glance to determine what could be retaken or replaced.

This step to reviving your old posts is cosmetic, but one factor in the Helpful Content Update is original, unique photos. πŸ‘€ Where do your photos fall on that scale?

6. Target new keywords

Look at what keywords the current post is ranking for and research what new search intentions you could target to attract a slightly different side of your audience.

Sometimes, even one mention of that new search term does your blog some good. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ This is thanks to semantic keywords. Semantic words are related on a conceptual basis, meaning they support the targeted search intent.

When I do this, I search for relevant terms and look at the “People also ask” section. If you open one question, more questions appear.

Sometimes, I answer these questions via a sentence in relevant context; other times, I will answer them in an accordion.

I have one post that consistently receives more page views than any other post on my blog, so I’m focusing on other posts and topics instead to create balance.

Considering this is crucial if you sell digital offers or want to apply for display advertising networks, because just one post might not amount to much.

This is also why encouraging people to subscribe is important, as you will have the opportunity to expose them to your other content. ✨

7. Add video

Adding video to posts engages readers while decreasing your bounce rate. Video, or even audio that goes along with the text, helps increase your connection to the audience and credibility.

Embed YouTube or Vimeo videos, or videos hosted elsewhere.

While embedding your own videos into your blog posts is the most ideal, creating those videos takes a lot of time. Right now, we’re not creating new content — we’re updating our old content.

Compromise by embedding at least one relevant YouTube video in the post. If it’s longer than 10 minutes, many people will click through to YouTube instead — especially when on their phones.

Make a note to replace these videos with your own as soon as possible, if you think video might be for you.

Do not upload videos directly to WordPress.

Videos use up a lot of storage space and tax your web hosting servers from the increased storage and bandwidth usage.

If you don’t want to upload to YouTube or Vimeo, ScreenPal offers super cheap video hosting.

8. Correct typos and grammar mistakes

As careful as you may be, typos and grammar mistakes might slip through regardless.

Alternatively, the language used when you first published an older post could be outdated or since deemed problematic.

Either way, look your posts over. If you cringe at what you wrote in the past — or how you wrote it — it’s okay to rewrite it from your perspective now. πŸ’“

9. Rename your images

File names affect search engine optimization (SEO), which means no vague or default file image names such as image01 or ghjHkjkllXgjkds_02023.png.

Phoenix Media Rename is the best WP plugin I’ve found. I used this when I was mobile-bound and blogging from my phone. I still use it to rename photos uploaded from my phone, just because that upload method is so convenient. πŸ˜…

My images are often named YYYY-MM-DD-brief-description.jpg or exclude the exact day if it’s unique enough there won’t be another. This image naming method was ingrained in me by my egg donor, who has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

10. Add a table of contents

Your readers want to jump to their answers — not read 300 words about how you’re going to answer their question/solve their problem/etc.

You could implement a table of contents manually, but I prefer the plugin method because it’s more user-friendly and works better long-term.

I use Easy Table of Contents.

11. Create Pin graphics and promote on Pinterest

I have recently dipped my posts into Pinterest. Mixed information says Pins take about three months minimum to take off, but I’m manually scheduling and scheduling via Tailwind.

Whatever the future looks like, I don’t want to regret not starting on Pinterest three months from now when I could have really benefited. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

If you already utilize Pinterest to promote your blog, try something new. List what’s working versus what’s not.

Can you create a new template or style for your Pins that will have people looking twice? I know branding is important, but sometimes every single Pin starts to look the same. exact. way.

My eyes are fatigued and used to seeing that style, so they start tuning it out. Or that style of Pin isn’t for me, and I seek out another style.

Try mixing up your Pinterest strategy if things are stagnant. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

12. Expand on existing points

I love and prefer to create list-related posts because

  1. They’re faster for me to complete
  2. I can scan the post for shorter sections I might be able to expand on better after some time has passed
  3. Larger sections might deserve to be broken up after I’ve had time away from the post

13. Automate your blog marketing

Jetpack Social is useless to me beyond sharing to Facebook now that Elon Musk has screwed with the Twitter API. πŸ™„ Still, the free version allows for thoughtless, automatic sharing to Facebook whenever new posts are published. πŸ‘€

I manually schedule a lot of Pinterest, but I also max out the free 20 Pins Tailwind allots me.

I schedule my email out as far in advance as I can. I know there is the chance of a disaster happening that could make an email in the future come off as “bad practice” or whatever; I also know I can’t hold onto what bad might happen because this is the way I’m able to maintain having a newsletter.

14. Merge similar posts

WordPress plugins for merging posts and pages exist, but they don’t work well — and I prefer to do it manually, anyway. Similar plugins work for comments; I chose not to risk this.

Whichever post has the most comments gets merged into or onto. Comments from the other post are deleted with the empty posts.

Instead of creating 5-20 different posts about the same topic, I find creating longer, fewer posts about the same topic much more effective for traffic — just make sure you redirect those old page links to the merged post.

Redirect 301 /old-link/ /new-link/

I leave the redirect up for a minimum of six months.

15. Delete old, irrelevant posts

Delete old, irrelevant posts. If you can redirect them to similar or better posts, amazing!

However, this isn’t always the case. It would be better to accept whatever blow πŸ’₯ your site receives as a result of all those 404 errors than to redirect deleted post links to irrelevant other posts.

I deleted nearly 600 old blog posts and didn’t redirect them, but I used a “Search Exclude” plugin so they still existed on my blog for a time, but weren’t indexed by search engines.

You can also de-index pages from Google, so you avoid dealing with 404 errors waiting to be resolved.

16. Add calls-to-action

A call-to-action (CTA) is when you prompt your audience to do something in particular.

In blogging, it could be:

The list goes on and varies, depending on your own blog, goals and needs.

At the bare minimum, email opt-in forms are possibly the best route to go.

You can include multiple CTAs, but find a balance that works for you, your blog and your audience.

17. Change the formatting

Changing the formatting of old posts is one of the quickest ways to update them.

It can also be the hardest, though, because it means looking at your old content and finding a new way to present it — without completely revamping the post. πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

Start looking for lists separated by commas that you can turn into ordered or unordered lists, then sections you can split up by headings.

Any long paragraphs you could split to new lines for easier readability by neurodivergent peeps?

That kind of thing.

18. Republish the old posts if heavily updated

Republishing old posts doesn’t affect SEO that much. It’s a MYTH…mostly.

Search engines know when you backdate, thus they also know when you republish a post that was previously published.

The only thing this method does is add the post to the front of your blog, where current visitors have a higher chance of seeing it. πŸ‘€

So republishing old posts isn’t a bad idea; it’s just redundant unless you want it to be at the forefront.

Another, possibly better, way to bring attention to an old post on your blog’s index page is by pinning or sticking the post. WordPress users can “sticky” their blog posts. Some themes emphasize sticky posts; other themes display sticky posts the same as regular posts.

I only republish posts under a new date if they’ve been heavily updated.

Frequently asked questions about refreshing old blog posts

That people have asked in various corners of the internet. ✨

Does updating old blog posts help SEO?

Yes, definitely! I’ve published posts with 800 words and returned 6-12 months later to expand the posts when I had more energy to do so.

Linking older posts to newer posts and vice versa notifies search engines that those posts are relevant to each other. It provides a better topical map and helps people find your posts better.

Why should you update old blog posts?

Relevancy in search includes update times, too.

The myth of evergreen content is that it never needs updating. The truth is that even evergreen content needs updating every once in a while.

Updating old posts lets search engines know you are maintaining your content and ensuring it’s up-to-date with the latest and best information you can include.

Do longer blog posts rank better?

Yes and no.

Longer blog posts show up higher in search when they

  • answer questions people are searching for about the topic
  • are written for humans, not to rank higher in search
  • are relevant to the user’s previous searches (e.g. the site or the content)

Google ranking does not exist the way it used to. If you publish content that answers questions succinctly, for humans, that content has a higher chance of being found via search engines.

Because Google is an answer engine. People use Google to search and find answers, not just to search for things. They want the answers, and they want them now.

In other words:

  • Don’t be verbose on purpose.
  • Publish the best quality you can deliver.
  • Don’t create another post that exists on someone’s site unless you can truly offer a better post.

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Comments on this post

That is so cool that you were able to help someone with their smart lights

[and more generally the Internet of Things and the smart/future homes of tomorrow].

I also appreciated learning a lot about how longer posts work.

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