Fresh and shiny is good when it comes to blog posts (not to mention fruit) so it’s worth a little effort to freshen up older posts that can seem dated. I run into this all the time with WordPress updates, such as the recent media page changes with WordPress 3.5. The same thing can happen to any business blog post, whether it’s a product review, an advice post or just you being your normal engaging self.
Here are some things to watch for that can date your post:
- The publishing date (obviously)
- References to events (that were recent at the time of publishing)
- References to people (who were notable at the time of publishing but are not in the news currently)
- References to services or products that have changed since the post was written
- Photos of things that no longer exist (like the mustache you shaved off five years ago)
- Links to websites that are no longer there
- Lacking a reference to something that is now a vital part of the post topic (an article written prior to Pinterest’s launch that deals with online photo galleries)
Save the monkey!
About a year ago, I wrote a review of an online photo editing app called PicMonkey. Oddly, I received quite a few blog comments from readers who used PicMonkey but were unable to save their images, and I suggested they contact the good folks at PicMonkey.com. At the time, PicMonkey.com was just getting started and they hadn’t rolled out their premium offerings. Eventually, I decided to update the post with some information about the new premium service, and that’s when it struck me that those comments hadn’t been about saving final images at all; my readers had most likely wanted to save their in-progress projects, something PicMonkey didn’t support. So I addressed that in my refreshed post along with the information about the premium service. After the update, the number of comments regarding saving files dropped significantly.
What was old is new again
Once you’ve updated an older post, be sure to distribute it again to your social communities. Automatic posting plugins generally work only when a post is published for the first time. I use HootSuite.com to set up new links back to the updated article. It’s free and easy–two things I love.
I hope this business blogging tip has been useful to you, and be sure to look back through your older posts to see if any of them need a fresh coat of paint.