The Power of Recycling Posts

by Alex

The idea of moving older posts to the top of your blog is something that is more powerful than many bloggers think. While implementing this idea on your blog comes with many great benefits – it also may start some negative things within you as well.

So some of the benefits of republishing blog posts to the top seem pretty obvious. You can get more hits on a post, and more comments for sure. But looking deeper into this process (my favorite part of blogging), there are really more benefits to doing this than some may think there to be.

It’s Good Self Reflection

I have recycled two posts on Blogussion. The first post, my favorite post, entitled “5 Funny Things Bloggers Do To Make Their Blog Look More Official” and the second and more recent republish, “6 Lessons I Learned From Walking On Crutches That Tie Into Blogging.”

Both of those posts were posts that were written months ago. Since those posts were written, my perspective on blogging has changed completely and my tone and style of writing has had some changes to it as well.

I thought it was cool looking back at my old posts and seeing where they have brought me today as a writer. If you do decide to recycle a blog post, read it and see how you wrote in the past.

That topic may be more relevant now

Some of us write about things that may not be very important or highly thought of at the time of publishing. But as time goes on, something may have happened that made that topic talked about more and more.

You should always want your posts to excel, and I believe that if you get a chance to make any of your blog posts popular, go for it. Look through your blog and see if you have some older posts that got little attention, and may be talked about more today. It might be hard to find, but if you have been blogging consistently for over a year, your chances are better than most.

You show new audiences older posts

Most people who just visited your blog won’t go back to look through all of your archives (well, we have a reader who did), so you will have an opportunity to show these people new content by recycling. Obviously they won’t know it’s older, but you will still be giving them a taste of the past.

How to Properly Recycle

There is more than just resetting the date on a post to recycle. If you take the time to follow these steps below, you may see a better result in your posts.

  1. Find a special post
  2. Find a post that you think is really great and you like it a lot. Even look for posts that you think could have done better on your blog (get more views or comments) and use those.

  3. Update if necessary
  4. Some information may have lost its credibility over time. It does not make you look good if you have a post with information that pertained only to a certain time period.

  5. Add something new
  6. You still have to keep in mind that you will have readers on your blog who have seen that post before. Add a new opening paragraph to it, or just keep adding additional information wherever you see it necessary. Now, you will have old readers who will still learn something new.

  7. Use previous feedback to expand
  8. If the post has comments in them, search through the comments and see what your readers thought of it. If they said something like “You forgot to mention…” or “My opinion is…,” use them. Make sure to keep any feedback in mind, and absolutely make some changes.

Recycling is powerful, but do so sparingly

This method is really great for your blog. It can bring life back to old posts and create plenty of great conversations in your blog. Just remember to do this sparingly and don’t get crazy about the method.

I would recommend if you do choose to recycle, do it one in a period of 11/2 to 2 months. You still have to remember about the older readers of your blog, and there will be some people who have already seen this content.

One last tip for you – if you do recycle, do it only on days where you absolutely cannot get around to writing an article yourself. Recycling takes less time and effort to do than editing a guest post, so you can knock out a successful recycle in no time.

Are blogs the right place for recycling?

This idea may be new to some people, and absurd to others. I would love to hear your opinions on this, and would be even more interested in seeing if anyone has done this technique yet. Share your experiences here, I’d like to know I’m not the only one in the blogosphere who recycles!

Photo by Jamie Leto

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Nick Tart | JuniorBiz September 6, 2009 at 2:45 am

Thanks, Alex! I’m glad you wrote about this topic. Personally, I didn’t like the recycled posts. I love to see new content when I come here and I feel tricked. It’s like your brother re-wrapping a birthday present to give to you two years in a row.

But from the perspective of someone who hasn’t been around your site for awhile, I think it’s brilliant. I agree, you have to be choosy when it comes to re-posting. It’s essential that you chose a great article that can benefit your newer readers.

I’m more open to it after reading this post. I haven’t tried it but definitely will. As usual, well-written. I did miss the bolded list effect though…
.-= Nick Tart | JuniorBiz´s last blog ..10 Trusty Twitter Tips =-.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I figured you wouldn’t like it as I knew you probably would have read most of these posts anyways. But, as they say – you can’t make everyone happy. But I know you understand Nick. :P

I’m glad you paid attention to detail there Nick, point taken and fixed. :)

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MoneyEnergy September 7, 2009 at 4:24 am

I’ve thought and read about this, too. Would be good to hear what you think about how it affects SEO (duplicate content problems?), and how one should best go about “re-dating” the post. Does one delete the old post in order to publish it anew again? (I don’t mean how does one “re-date” it, I understand that). But it would already have been cached by Google, so there would be duplicate content. And if other blogs have linked to the old permalink structure, then, there’s duplicate content there too unless you really delete the old post, in which case you’re leaving readers with dead links… what am I missing here?
.-= MoneyEnergy´s last blog ..With The Gold Price Nearing $1000/oz., Is It A Good Time To Buy Gold? =-.

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Nick Tart | JuniorBiz September 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Hey Money! Using WordPress, I believe you just edit an existing post and change the date that it’s published (upper right of the ‘edit post’ screen). So you’re not creating a new post or changing the permalink. This simply changes the order of that post and makes it the most recent post. Thus, it shows up at the top of the homepage.

Alex, correct me if I’m wrong. And of course I understand!
.-= Nick Tart | JuniorBiz´s last blog ..10 Trusty Twitter Tips =-.

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Alex September 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I believe Nick is right. All it is is moving a post back to the top of the blog rather than creating a whole new post.

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Shadow@Compute Live September 6, 2009 at 6:02 am

I think recycling posts is a brilliant idea..some of the regular readers may not like it, but I think the new visitors will surely look to read them…
.-= Shadow@Compute Live´s last blog ..Download Microsoft Office 2010 Build 14.0.4417.1000 =-.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Exactly, and as I said above – you can’t make everyone happy and it’s not worth trying.

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Andi | Web Marketer Depot September 6, 2009 at 7:15 am

Hey, Alex. I don’t think you’re the only one who do post-recycling in the blogosphere. John Chow had recycled some of his posts before and I believe he is proud of it, as many people are able to read his older (but definitely relevant) post. My blog is not old enough to do any recycling but if I do it, I’m gonna follow your advice regarding this recycling thingie. Thanks, dude.
.-= Andi | Web Marketer Depot´s last blog ..How I Write SEO Optimize Article in 45 Minutes or Less =-.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Ah, I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking like this. Thanks for pointing it out bro, and good luck when you do get around to doing it for yourself!

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Nicholas Z. Cardot September 6, 2009 at 9:08 am

Good thoughts here. I’ve never recycled any articles before but I think that I am going to start doing it once or twice a month. I like the idea of adding new thoughts to the old article and also I like the idea of integrating some ideas from the comments into it. I found that the readers at my blog often have amazing insight into some of the topics that I discuss.
.-= Nicholas Z. Cardot´s last blog ..Blog Mixer: Hand-Picked Blogging Tips =-.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm

I agree Nicholas, usually when you repost these things you have a totally different community on your blog and some more great insight will be provided on the topic.

PS: Blog Mixer is an awesome idea. I’m curious, do you update it manually, is it a plugin doing that, or is it custom?

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Nicholas Z. Cardot September 6, 2009 at 11:05 pm

The form to submit articles on the submit page is a plugin but I do update it manually. There is a submission page that I created on there where people can submit articles about blogging. Then I can approve or deny them based on if I feel they are high quality or not. When I find great articles, I just stop by there and submit it myself. If you want, you are welcome to submit your articles or any other great articles that you find.
.-= Nicholas Z. Cardot´s last blog ..Blog Mixer: Hand-Picked Blogging Tips =-.

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Bilal September 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Very good article Alex. I never thought of recycling blog posts, I’ve always re-linked them in relevant blog posts, but never what you explained. This could help me bring some of my older non popular posts back to the buzz
.-= Bilal´s last blog ..Five more affiliate marketing tips to help you become a better affiliate marketer =-.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Here’s a crazy idea: Recycle a post and relink other posts in it. :o

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Bilal September 7, 2009 at 10:07 am

WOAH that’s even deeper. That would be a great way to bring numerous amounts of posts back to life at once.
.-= Bilal´s last blog ..Five more affiliate marketing tips to help you become a better affiliate marketer =-.

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Tycoon Blogger September 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I have not recycled yet but I am not against it. I do see the value in it.
.-= Tycoon Blogger´s last blog ..Sunday’s Best – week of September 6, 2009 =-.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Try it at least once, you never know!

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Eric B. September 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Sounds like a great idea. I’ve never recycled a blog post before, but I think I might do it when I can’t think of anything to write about.

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Alex September 6, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Do try it, but do it sparingly! While you should always think of your new readers, never forget your older ones!

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Annabel Candy September 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Will definitely try it in the future but my blog’s only four months old now so it might be a bit soon for me to start recycling. I’m looking forward to it though.

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Alex September 7, 2009 at 9:26 am

Yeah, you probably don’t want to start too early in your blog since most of your content has already been seen by a lot of people. But, congrats on the 4 months of blogging! That’s longer than most bloggers. :)

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Liane YoungBlogger September 7, 2009 at 5:28 am

This is my fave thing to do back then. However, I have troubles in recycling now because I seem to never run out of new ideas to post. Then again, that might not be a problem. lol :D
.-= Liane YoungBlogger´s last blog ..In The World Full of Scam Products, Who Do You Trust? Don’t Get Mugged Online =-.

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Alex September 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Haha, you don’t know how many people would be envious of that skill Liane. ;)

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Ricky September 7, 2009 at 7:31 am

Wow! This is a great tip. It will also help us to come out of ‘bloggers block’
I really liked your idea. I’ll definitely republish my older posts.

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Alex September 7, 2009 at 9:27 am

Definitely, but bloggers block comes along a lot for some people so don’t use this technique too much now.

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Colleen September 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

Additionally, many feed aggregators show the last 5-10 posts, so if a post needs a little link love, then move it to a position where the feed is being indexed.
.-= Colleen´s last blog ..Kennewick Real Estate Listings =-.

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Alex September 7, 2009 at 9:28 am

That is pretty smart, never came across my mind to include in this article!

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John September 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm

When I sort-of recycle, I like to write a basically new article with a lot of updates and links back to related articles I’ve written before. Its pretty easy to expand on a topic you’ve written before, and this gives a URL with unique content that also highlights older blog posts. A bunch of new links to an old post could be a great thing though, so I might have to try this one out once or twice.
.-= John´s last blog ..Chegg gets a bump on CNBC – Textbook rental with affiliate program makes some buzz =-.

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Alex September 7, 2009 at 8:25 pm

That’s a great idea too John! Wow, there is a lot of thinking going on in the comments section of this post, and I love it.

I think there are a ton of posts I can go back to and expand on. I think I will have to go scouting for new article ideas next time I’m in the post rotation here.

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Online shop hosting September 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Great idea, recycling a post is great as there is room for improvement, you will be able to update with better idea, currnt techniques and more links flows in.
.-= Online shop hosting´s last blog ..F.A.Q =-.

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Alex September 8, 2009 at 7:41 pm

It’s pretty cool when you see more than one surge of traffic from one post. That is the power of recycling for you, if you do it right.

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1800 SaiGon September 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Recycling variations from this snag as many other forms – I think the bloggers do it for a long time ago
.-= 1800 SaiGon´s last blog ..Take the survery then participate for get $100 =-.

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Alex September 8, 2009 at 7:41 pm

What other forms of recycling do you think there are?

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Reza Winandar September 8, 2009 at 7:35 am

Choose your old but popular posts and recycle them. This will attract new visitors to become your new readers.
.-= Reza Winandar´s last blog ..The Make Money Online Program System =-.

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Alex September 8, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I wouldn’t pick my most popular posts, but posts that I feel should have done better. Just think about it – popular posts have been seen by many people already, so it will be very boring for many more people. But what do you think?

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James Murdoch@Canberra Computer Repairs September 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

Thats an awesome idea! But it only implies to you when you are a consistent blogger from few years.Sometimes it happens that you think you have come up with an extremely novel idea but i may have got less attention so you can re- publish it when your blog has become really popular.But i agree as you said it should be done sparingly, not very often perhaps when you are facing some writers block.

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Alex September 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I agree, you might have to be in the game for a little while longer before you can recycle. It seems like you did read the post James, as our insights are exactly the same!

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David September 8, 2009 at 9:20 am

Recycling posts is like packaging your product a different way. Everyone who has a product will at some point revamp it, spice it up a little or add another product to it.

It’s great way to generate some fresh content and in some cases what you previously wrote about may have improved or bombed.

Everyone should be recycling posts, just not too often.
.-= David´s last blog ..4 Ways To Achieve Results Like Tony Robbins =-.

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Alex September 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm

That’s a cool look on things David, comparing a blog post to a product.

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used tires September 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm

It’s great though with the latest version of wordpress you don’t even have to reset your post date anymore, just hit that Sticky Note… As far as how I recycle my posts on my personal blog, I always try my best to link to older articles from time to time on new posts, whenever it is relevant, it keeps the old posts alive, and gains some new freshness and attention that the older articles definitely deserve.

Till then,

Jean

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The Bad Blogger September 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I had never recycle any of my post, but after reading what you write, I feel like going back and read those sexual stuff I wrote when I started out blogging, well, it’s kind of putting back a few memories where I started out.

I will see if there is any special post that I wrote that really inspire me and re-post it again, thanks for the information.
.-= The Bad Blogger´s last blog ..The Bad Blogger Sunday Sexy Surprises # 4 =-.

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John Sullivan September 14, 2009 at 7:33 am

Wow first off Excellent work on the site :)
Two another aspect of this is when I started I didn’t use the awesome zemanta plugin so as you open it up to EDIT ;) you can one click automatic style a whole bunch of tags and links
Tags are hot and getting me a lot of traffic.
Sadly when we first start off most of our post are NOT worth reviving LOL
Stumbled thanks
.-= John Sullivan´s last blog ..Kayne West straight up douchebag =-.

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Igor Kheifets-IgorHelpsYouSucceed September 18, 2009 at 3:27 pm

It’s actually the first time I see this kind of strategy and I believe it is something worth looking into if you’re having trouble coming up with fresh content now and then.

However, as you’ve mentioned, it’s better to avoid using it too often and provide your readers with unique content instead.

Igor
.-= Igor Kheifets-IgorHelpsYouSucceed´s last blog ..Free Internet Marketing Sales Training… No Catch?! =-.

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Grampa Ken: Social Fix September 28, 2009 at 10:35 am

Hi Alex – I’ve been looking around for info on this topic as I prepared an article on reposting, so I’m pleased to read this. I reposted 3 times in 90 weekly posts.

A solid reposting procedure can produce an all-round better blog.
Takes some pressure off producing a stream of complete articles satisfying to writer and reader.
Posts can improve with new increased content and more current information and ideas.
General improvement in wording, style, and images the second time around.
Good important articles need not sink into the basement.
Over-all the blog just gets better with more content and without excessive posts.
Fends off writers block.
Posts could conceivably become the chapters of a book.

I have just posted about REPOSTING and think it’s a great idea for article writers.
.-= Grampa Ken: Social Fix´s last blog ..Article Blogs and Reposting =-.

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Lorenzo Husak December 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hello! You some kind of expert? Great message. Are you able to inform me how to subscribe your weblog?

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