When does it make sense to recycle posts from your archives?
You might have noticed that we here at The Daily Post have been reposting from our archives on Saturdays. And if you have, what are you doing? Go outside and play already, it’s Saturday!
Just kidding. But it brings up an interesting question: have you ever reposted older content? Should you?
If you’re considering reusing an old post, there are five questions it might help to ask yourself:
- Has enough time passed? Ideally, before reposting from your archives, you’ll want to, well, have some archives. If your blog is less than a year old, you might want to hold off on repeats until your initial posts have aged a bit. Also, make sure your intended repost was originally published long enough ago that it’s receded somewhat from your regular readers’ memories.
- Was the post popular the first time around? Why repost a dud? If you highlight the same post more than once, make sure it’s a gem! If it started a lot of discussion the previous time, posting again might encourage fresh debate.
- Should it have been popular the first time around? On the other hand, sometimes you post something great, and everybody’s just too busy to read it that month. If you have a post buried somewhere in your archives that you thought was genius but was largely ignored, it’s possible your audience just missed it. Give it one more try!
- Do you have new readers? Call it Murphy’s law, but it’s a fact that whenever you receive an unexpected traffic spike, you will have nothing you are proud of on your front page, and no good ideas for anything new. This is the perfect time to revisit your greatest hits. You can introduce a repost with a friendly welcome to your new readers, and you can end it with some links to other popular posts they should check out. This way, you don’t waste the fleeting attention of new eyes on meh material.
- Is the post particularly relevant now? Another good reason to rerun an old post is if it suddenly becomes topical again. Perhaps the post is concerning some person or issue that is suddenly in the news. Or perhaps it’s a holiday-themed post, or one originally written on some momentous anniversary — some sites make a tradition of reposting such posts each year.
If a post you’ve published in the past fits one of the above criteria, or otherwise seems like it might be worth a revisit, don’t be afraid to post it again! (Pro-tip: for easy reposting, try the handy Copy a Post feature.)
Of course, you’ll want to acknowledge at the beginning of the repost that this is a previously published post, link back to the original, and include a sentence or two explaining why you are revisiting it now. And don’t abuse reposting — if your faithful readers see the same material over and over again, they’ll eventually move on if you don’t.
Have you ever recycled old content? Is there a particular post you’d like to feature again, and if so, why?