Because of the way they work, blogs are ideally suited for news type sites, where yesterday’s news is old hat and no longer interesting.
But if you’re operating an information site, then a blog, while it has many, many advantages, also has a major disadvantage:
It’s not long before your older posts are buried deep in the archives, never to be seen again.
No problem if it’s a news site, but big problem if it’s an information site and one of those information articles is an evergreen.
I spend a lot of time on this site puzzling over ways to make sure that my older articles, some of which resonated quite strongly at the time, are not lost to newer readers.
Here are some of the steps I’ve taken:
- I’ve installed Google Custom search, because it’s by far the best search option I’ve come across and a gazillion times better than the default WordPress search.
- I’ve put a lot of thought into the titles I’ve given my categories (under the See Articles On section), so that readers can immediately see what types of articles they’ll find there.
- I make sure tags are displaid at the bottom of each article – they reference related articles however old they are.
- I use my categories and tags as a proper filing system, making sure related articles are filed in the same files and folders (tags and categories)
- I use the Yet Another Related Post Plugin – again it references related articles, irrespective of their age
- I use the recently popular posts plugin. Quite a few of the articles that find their way into that are older articles that are getting a lot of current readers.
- I use the Killer Recent Entries widget to display product review articles – the most recent 10.
- I pay a lot of attention to the on-page SEO features of every article I write. This ensures that however old an article is, it will always figure in the search results. Some of my most-read articles are buried deep in the archives and get all their readers from search results – often enough to jump them into the Currently Hot category (recently popular posts).
Just recently I decided to trawl through my site and look for articles, however old, that generated lots of comments and feedback.
I then grouped these articles into subject areas and, as a result, developed a new static page that covers the subject in general and then offers links back to the pick of the articles.
My first effort at this is the Success Tips page. This covers different aspects of developing a successful Internet Marketing business, with some of those articles going back more than 2 years.
I’m interested to see what sort of traffic I’ll get to the articles linked to on that page and, if it’s good, I’ll develop other pages addressing different subjects.
How do you make sure your older articles (gems) are not lost deep in the archives? Let us know in a comment!