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3-Step Process for Extending the Shelf Life of Your Blog Posts

Extend blog post shelf life

First, the bad news. A recent study by Boost the News shows the shelf life of a typical blog post is a week, a month at best. That’s right, all those posts you slave over for hours upon hours are as good as dead within a month.

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Ok, ok, step back from the ledge. There IS good news: It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, Pole Position Marketing has a number of blog posts published several years ago that are still driving significant traffic to our website. One is even inching up on 9 years!

Not every article will stand the test of time, and many (particularly those making an announcement or providing industry news) don’t need to. But considering all the work you put into them, you do want most of your blog posts to have some staying power. You can give them that longevity with this three-step process:

1. Create evergreen content

Your blog post should contain a number of “evergreen” blog posts. These are blog posts that provide highly valuable information that won’t change in the near future. These can include how-tos, list posts and in-depth analysis.

Some of the best evergreen content comes from questions customers and prospects ask. Talk to your front-line customer service representatives and sales people. They should be able to tell you the common questions. These are the types of questions that are also searched on the internet. Moreover, the answers typically don’t change rapidly, so posts addressing those questions can remain valuable and popular in the search engines for years to come.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide industry news on your blog or address current events, but the majority of your blog content should be evergreen.

2. Practice good SEO

Good SEO starts with quality content, which you address in Step 1, but just writing great, valuable posts isn’t enough. You have to make them findable in search engines. You should conduct at least basic keyword research on each blog post. This is easily done by putting words and phrases you think apply into Google’s Keyword Planner, which will provide you with other ideas and show you the search volume and competition for each potential keyword phrase.

Once you have selected a keyword, you want to be sure your post is optimized for that keyword. That doesn’t mean using it as many times as humanly possible. It means including it in the title tag, meta description, your main image’s alt tag and anywhere in the post’s body where it feels natural to include it. Note the word natural. Don’t put it in there just to put it in there. Don’t force it. If you’ve done your research right, you won’t have to. The keyword should reflect the way your audience refers to the subject you are writing on, so it should be easy to incorporate it into the post.

3. Apply a good social media promotion strategy

The final step is to promote your content on social media. But before you write a single blog post, you need to think out your social media strategy. You need to figure out which networks your audience is on and build a presence there. You then need to engage with your audience and build relationships. That way, when you post a link to an evergreen post, you will have an audience ready and willing to read and share it.

Remember, social media moves super fast. You will want to promote your post more than once, especially on Twitter. We typically recommend that you promote a post on Twitter several times in the first couple weeks and then continue to repost it occasionally in the weeks and months that follow. If it’s still relevant, you can even promote it years after it was initially published, although you will want to carefully review older posts to make sure they don’t need an update. You should use a variety of messages when you repost. Instead of always posting the title, consider tweeting different variations and quotes from the article.

Other networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, don’t require such frequent posting since posts tend to last longer in their news feeds. Still, you may want to consider reposting evergreen content every few months.

Don’t let your blog posts disappear into the internet black hole. Use this process to create content that will continue to drive traffic for months, even years to come.

 

Julie Graff

As PPM’s Social Content Liaison, Julie Graff is in charge of content and social media strategy for PPM and our clients. A self-proclaimed social media junkie, Julie also enjoys time with family, music, shopping, and mochas. She lives in Canton, Ohio, with her two children and husband.

4 Responses to 3-Step Process for Extending the Shelf Life of Your Blog Posts

  1. Tim says:

    Here’s an important question: Why should small businesses write blog posts at all? Why not put all that effort into writing more and more solid content for the pages on the “main site”, adding information that can easily be found via the nav menus. Let’s face it, no one is going to go to a small business’ blog to read it. But a visitor to the main site, one who – hopefully! – may be a prospective customer, is going to be better served by information that is in the site itself, not in blog articles/posts.

    • The main reason – your web pages serve to highlight what you do. Your blog posts serve to provide the answers sought by customers. More search is likely done now for this purpose than actually locating a business.

      As for no one going to a blog and reading it – it’s where I derive most of my business. It’s what gets me found, establishes my credibility and authority. That gets them looking at the services I offer and wanting to hire me.

      Blog posts also allow your site to stay more relevant by addressing new or trending issues in your industry, not just what services you provide.

      From an SEO side, consider that more articles over time increase overall site wide keyword density – an authority ranking factor.

      Your site content needs to be updated regularly but for me, the majority of my pages will never change – my philosophy, my contact information, etc.

  2. Julie Graff
    Julie Graff says:

    That’s a great question. There are so many reasons swimming through my head, I could write a whole blog post just on this (and maybe I will). The main reason, in my mind, though, is that your blog serves a different purpose. Your main website should be about showcasing your products and services and using strong copywriting to pursuade your customer to buy. Your blog should rarely, if ever, even mention your products and services. The blog exists to establish your authority, build a community and provide useful information. Yes, the main information about your product or service should be on a main site, but what other information can you provide to a customer that they would find useful or that relates to the interests that brought them to your site. For example, if your product is a camera, wouldn’t your customers be interested in a blog that provides tips and tricks for taking the perfect pictures? And if they are interested in that type of information, wouldn’t they be interested in signing for email updates about those types of things? Heck, they may find you when they aren’t even in the market for a camera if they are photography enthusiast, but when they do find themselves in need of a camera, who do you think they are likely to go to, some random vendor on the internet or one that has been providing them with awesome tips and clearly knows what they are talking about. Anyway, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and I could go on and on. Thanks for giving me a blog article idea!