Tag Archives: Update

How to Update Your Blog: Beginning Steps

Update Your BlogTips on How to Update Your Blog

If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you have a back catalogue of posts. They’re still getting a bit of traffic and there’s a lot of good information hidden in those posts. Here are some beginning tips on how to update your blog.

Some of the material may be outdated, some links may be broken and your writing, formatting and image creation skills have come a long way since those early days. In other words, there’s a lot you can do to make these older posts better. I started blogging in 2006, so over all of these years my writing has improved, as well as my ability to choose topics of greater interest to my readers. My focus has shifted from that of just attempting to get a post written and published to being able to craft a post that will make a difference to those who look to me for guidance in growing their online business.

You put a lot of time and effort into your blog post. Why not make sure you get the most from them by going back from time to time reviving them? Instead of writing new content, schedule some time each week to revive an old post or two.

Of course I’m not suggestion you should stop writing new content. That’s always a good idea. All I’m saying is that you should also set aside a little time to revive old blog posts and turn them into traffic, subscriber and money generating machines. There are two different ways you can tackle this. You can work in batches, doing step one for a couple of blog posts, then move on to step two, etc. Or you can start with one old post and work on it from start to finish. Pick whichever method works best for you. Either way it won’t take you long to revive old blog posts.

This is the perfect thing to do when you know you have a busy day ahead of you, but blogging is on your schedule and you’re readers are expecting a post.

Look at Your Stats

Choose some posts that are getting a decent amount of traffic and work on those first. They will have the biggest impact the quickest.

To do that you want to look at your website stats. Do you have a tracking program installed? Chances are that your web host is running some default tracking for you, and while that’s better than nothing, you want to make sure you get good data.

If you haven’t already done so, install Google Analytics on your blog. It’s free, very powerful and super easy to add. Once you have Analytics up and running, wait a few days to collect some useful data and then come back to this. Now look at your stats and figure out what your most popular posts are. You can do this in Google Analytics by going to “Behavior => Site Content => All Pages”. That will give you a list of pages (or posts if it’s a blog) on your website ranked by how often they were visited.

Browse through these pages and make a list of five to ten older blog posts to use in the next step.

Pick Your Blog Posts

Grab that list of popular blog posts from step 1 and take a look at them. Does one of them stand out to you?

Maybe it’s a post that doesn’t need a lot of work. Maybe you are looking at a post and you’re already getting ideas for things you can do to improve it. Or maybe you have the perfect product to promote in one of the posts. How you choose the first post to work through is entirely up to you. Pick something that sounds interesting, fun or profitable. Got it? Great.

If you are feeling ambitious, go ahead and make a list of the posts you want to work on over the coming days and weeks. I find it helpful to have a list with the post title, the URL, and notes about what changes I need to make.

A spreadsheet works really well for this. If you’re not a spreadsheet person, then make a numbered and dated list of what and when certain things will happen. This is crucial when you decide to update your blog and will keep you from getting confused and overwhelmed in the process.

Over these first few steps we’ll update the content, work on formatting to make the posts easier to scan and read, pretty it up with some images, make sure it is easy to share via social media and of course, monetize it. These are the types of things you want to make notes on in your spreadsheet or notebook.

That’s about all the planning we need to do. Just make sure you can log into your website interface – most likely that will be your WordPress dashboard – and edit those posts.

Update The Content

We’ve done the planning and figured out what blog posts need updating. Now it’s time to get to work to actually update your blog. The first thing we’ll focus on is the content. Start by reading through your blog post. Is the content still valid? Have some things changed?

Make note of any major changes you need to make to what you’ve written in the past. I find it helpful to grab a notebook and pen or open a word document and jot down what changes I need to make.

Sometimes the content is pretty evergreen and not much needs to be fixed. Other times, there’s a lot of rewriting to do to update your blog posts. The key is to have a plan and then just sit down and rework the post.

Something else worth thinking about is if you have learned something new to share since you first wrote the post. If so, you can either just rewrite the post, or write an update section to the post. Depending on what makes the most sense, you can add it to the top or the bottom of the post.

Last but not least, take a look at the comments the post has gotten since you first published it. Are there any great tips or questions your readers have shared? If so, you may want to highlight them within the updated post.

Make your changes, do your re-writing and save your work. Go get something to drink, go for a walk, or work on something else for a little while. Then come back and read over your rewritten post. It’s time to do a little editing to make sure no spelling errors made their way in in and that everything makes sense and flows well. These are the beginning steps to take when you are ready to update your blog.



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Social Media Marketing – Your 2016 Update

Social Media MarketingSocial Media Marketing for 2016

A reader contacted me recently to discuss using social media to build her business. She says that she is an introvert and that she doesn’t feel comfortable spending so much time on the various social media sites in order to build her business quickly. Being an introvert myself, I feel like this is a topic that deserves further discussion.

Being an early adopter of social media, my motto from day one was to “get in, get out, and get back to work”. When Facebook opened its doors to the general public in 2008 (prior to this it was intended only for college students who had an email address issued by the institution they were attending) we were all faced with the dilemma of deciding how much information was enough and how to best connect with other people so as to promote our businesses.

Twitter came to life soon after, and this further complicated the issue in that we only had one hundred and forty characters in which to grab someone’s attention. In some ways this was a relief, as we could quickly announce where we were or what we were having for lunch and at least feel like we were a part of the conversation. Over time this gave way to being able to post pictures via a third part application such as Instagram, so that our followers could at least have a visual of what we were sharing through our carefully chosen words.

Fast forward to 2016, and social media has now gone through an even more sophisticated incarnation. Think of it as a way to syndicate your content in cyberspace. For example, the post you are reading here will already have made its way from an offline publication I write for monthly, to a half dozen social media sites before it ever hits the electronic format you are reading here on my blog.

Thinking of it in this way allows you the time to carefully put together your message in a way that will tell the story of who you are, what you have to offer, what’s new in your industry, and how it will benefit your target audience long before you hit “send” or “reply” on your computer. Add to this the ability for you to start and continue a dialog with your market and you have the perfect storm for no cost advertising and reputation building. When you think of social media in this way it changes your perspective quite a bit, I would imagine.

Get started by reviewing your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other sites you wish to get involved with to promote and grow your business. Start slowly, making sure to have a picture that adequately represents you (actually looks like you!), and that your information is clear, concise, and up to date. Assume that people who connect with you will want to reach out and do so through your website, the telephone, and even in person.

Now spend some time lurking on each site to get an idea of what people are posting. Attempt to be an objective as possible when deciding if what you are observing is beneficial to business connection and growth or just downright silly. Make some notes about posts that make you want to know more about someone and their business. Ask questions like:

  • Would an image or a video be helpful here?
  • How can I best share my business values?
  • What do I want people to do after they connect with me?

Now jump in and make some posts and updates to your main profiles. Start slowly, giving some detailed information about something directly related to your business or your personal values. For example, you may wish to mention that you are at your Rotary Club meeting and listening to a speaker on a specific topic. Over time this will become more fun, as the people you are with are most likely also on social media and will like it when you include them in your posts and updates. This is an example of how we all help each other using social media marketing.

As you can see, spending time on social media can be a worthwhile venture. Set up your profiles, observe what others are doing, and then get started right away to share your message and your business with prospects near and far. What other questions do you have about social media marketing?

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