It’s tempting to think that the internet is all about the now. We set up RSS readers so that we can keep up with the latest posts from our favourite blogs. If we get a few days behind then we mark them as read and forget about what we’ve missed as if it never existed. It’s just an extension of the throwaway society. There’s always the pressure to be setting the trends or ahead of the game – and yet …
Perhaps we’re doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring the information that’s been around for a while, particularly on our own blogs. I don’t know about you, but some of the issues that come up on my blog today are the same ones that came up a couple of years ago, and the answers I gave then are just as true now.
What Are You Hiding?
The trouble is that no one’s going to look around to see what you have hiding in the archives – or they won’t unless you make it easy for them to do so. So what do you do to release the hidden gold that’s in your archives? One suggestion from Darren Rowse is to create a sneeze page which encourages readers to find your old posts. He suggests that you do this by collecting posts around a theme, a time (like posts of the month, quarter or year), a series (I’ve used the In Series plugin to do this) or comments.
Highlight The Good Stuff
Another way to tackle this is provide a list of the most popular posts in a particular category, or to place a weighted tag cloud that people can use to find other posts on the same issue. Sometimes, just choosing the right theme for your blog can make a difference. I’ve changed one of my blogs to the Structure WordPress theme by Justin Tadlock. On the home page I’ve now got links to popular posts, recent posts and the two latest posts in five categories.
Promote Your Content
You can also get some juice out of your archives by joining sites like BloggingZoom and submitting some of your old gold to it. I’ve submitted a couple of the posts that got a good response from readers, and I’ve found a few more readers and subscribers because of it.
The point I’m making is that you shouldn’t assume that a blog post is worthless just because it was published before last week. There are some true gems in your archive and it’s up to you to unearth them for your readers.
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