Writing New Content vs. Updating Old Content

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u/properlanding

Writing new content vs updating old content?

How much of your effort goes towards writing new articles vs updating old ones?

Would love to get a community discussion going on this topic. I am sure there is a lot we can learn from each other. 😃

Please share your personal approaches below!

My approach

For me, personally, it mostly depends on how old is the blog.

If the blog is less than 6 months old, pretty much 100% of my effort goes towards writing new content. I am using this time to "shotgun" different topics (all within my niche of choice), to test which topics have a decent traffic potential. Generally speaking, I am looking for a potential of at least 1k monthly traffic / article, but it can depend on the niche and how the website is monetised.

If the blog is 6 – 18 months old, about 50% of my effort is shifted to updating old content that has good traffic potential. This time is spent on beefing up these posts, doing my best to turn them into very good answers for those queries and get them to rank in the top positions. The other 50% of my time is spent on writing new articles around topics that have proven traffic potential.

If the blog is older than 18 months and there is a good amount of traffic-generating articles (100+), I spend 90% of my effort on updating old content. At this point, it is mostly about upkeep. Most of the time is spent on making sure articles stay ranking in the top positions.

Would love to hear what your process looks like! 😃 I am sure that myself and everyone else in the community will find a lot of value in what you have to share ✌️
38 💬🗨

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LeapingFish
I get a lot of my traffic from Google news / discover. So I spend a lot of my time writing new content because discover seems to prefer new articles.

I am not sure if I can get an updated article onto discover.

properlanding ✍️
I have actually not even considered Google News / Discover as an option! Have no experience with this myself 🤔

Is your website mainly a news website?

LeapingFish
No, it is not. I started by writing fishing articles and eventually I started to get a ton of traffic on new articles. That was when I realized my articles were appearing on discover.

Since then, I mostly write articles what I think people will find interesting to read rather than targeting keywords and some have done extremely well (50k views in first month)
properlanding ✍️
That is incredible! 😃 Well done for spotting it and making proper use of it 💪 (also, your username makes perfect sense now 😉)

Any insights that you are able to share about targeting News/Discover?

Personally, I'd be very interested in learning more about your process of choosing what articles to write. Traditionally, keyword research would be the answer. But it sounds like you're using very different criteria for this 😃
LeapingFish
I just write topics that I think fishermen will be interested in reading over their morning coffee.

There is a lot of overlap with keyword research but I will write something if it is interesting despite no one searching it.

I recently did a series of articles on very rare breeds of fish most people have not heard of.

Or lists like 10 weird habits, 10 items fishermen lose. Just casual reading make people curious to read. Some of them do not appear on discover, many only get a few thousand views. But every so often one explodes in popularity .

T
properlanding ✍️
This is great! Thank you so much for sharing 😃

Scholes
In general I focus on new content and then occasionally go back and update things as and when.

At the moment, I'm in a weird one of technically creating new content, but mainly by editing and repurposing old content I've had stuck on my Gdrive for half a century. Most of the content is fairly generic so I'm tweaking it for different niches and building new blogs around them.

properlanding ✍️
It is really awesome that you're repurposing old content that you've had on your Gdrive!

occasionally go back and update things as and when

How do you usually decide when it is time to update old articles? Is there a process or criteria you follow? 😃

Scholes
It's not an exact process, but usually when I'm creating a new post I jot down notes about things I could add at a later time.

For example, I wrote a post about creating a business plan for a private therapy practice and that triggered a bunch of ideas for other posts I could create and then link back to from the business plan post.

So I'll note stuff like "create post on XYZ and then link to it from biz plan."

Once I've created that post I'll go through my notes and see if I made any notes about internal linking it from other posts.

I always know that if I'm going to go through stuff adding new internal links anyway, I might as well take a little extra time to review the content and make any changes/updates.

That said, sometimes it's just that I'll be looking up a particular post of mine to grab some info or check it's the right post to link to and I'll notice stuff that's glaringly obvious so I take care of it there and then.

I've been a professional writer for years and had a hobby blog that makes a little beer money since < year > but it's only in the last six months that I'm starting to take blogging seriously so I'm still figuring out the best way to do stuff 🙂
properlanding ✍️
Noting down future articles to create internal links to is a very solid tip! 🙌

I really appreciate you taking the time to share this! Lots of insightful things in here. Thank you!

Good luck on this new journey! 😃
Scholes
Thanks! Wishing you every success friend

GuyDanger
Thanks, for sharing, as a new blogger, this is way past my experience. But it is good to be aware of these things as I mature in my blogging journey.

properlanding ✍️
Everyone was once a beginner! I still consider myself very much a beginner.

I am hoping we can foster even more helpful discussion in the community, for people of all experience levels.

Would you mind sharing more about your journey so far? 😃 How far along are you? What are some of the challenges you're currently facing?

GuyDanger
I am a full-time developer but have only worked on corporate sites. At least until I took a side project to pull in a Blogger site to WordPress. Through the process, I began toying with the idea of making my own blog. I am a toy collector in my spare time. So I got to work, created a theme, bought a domain, and started blogging like crazy on this hobby of mine. Posted to a bunch of different social sites and created a subreddit as well. I have had moderate success so far, starting week 4, and hit about 1800 views and 500 visitors. The biggest challenge, which I think we can all relate to is attracting traffic.
properlanding ✍️
That is a beautiful hobby! 🤩 Would love to check out your website! But please don't feel pressured to share your link here if you'd rather not! That's absolutely ok 👍

My personal outlook is that it is a skill like any other skill. It takes time and continuous practice to get good at it. And audiences by their nature take time to build. As long as you keep at it and you continuously look for ways to learn and get better, you're gonna get there. The goal is not the outcome, but the practice itself. The monetary payoff is just a really nice bonus 😉

You're doing great! And I know a lot of people just starting out or thinking of starting would find your progress inspiring 💪 I know I am!

Thank you so much for sharing!
GuyDanger
Thanks for the kind words. I don't mind sharing the site. I'm proud at how it's turning out. ToyBeast.ca. Feel free to provide constructive criticism. I know my writing style is pretty rough, but I am working on it 😀
properlanding ✍️
Apologies for taking this long to reply! I checked your reply and website on my phone and I completely forgot to get back to you once I got to my desk. 🤦‍♀️

I really like what you've done with it! I especially love the branding I like that although you are covering multiple topics (3D printing, drawing, unboxing, photography), they are all about toys. This will help with Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT). I also really like what you're doing with your YouTube channel Great character too!

One thing I'd say it is worth paying attention to is what devices readers consume your content on.

e.g. If you get 80% of your traffic form mobile, make sure that your content is readable and well formatted on mobile.

Ryan
I try to keep things as simple as possible by writing and publishing one new post daily in addition to updating and re-publishing one post daily. This keeps my blog fresh with new content but timely as far as old content. The strategy also prevents me from being overwhelmed with my decision-making process, since I just write 1 and update 1 daily.

Ryan

properlanding ✍️
Your approach is so cleverly simple! I love it. There is so much value there.

Personally, I definitely overthink things too much for my own good 😅 You've inspired me to simplify some of my ways of doing things too. Thank you for that!

Would you mind sharing more about your process of updating and re-publishing? I myself would love to know what your decision making process looks like. What articles make good candidates to be updated? What kind of updates do you make to your posts? (For me it is almost always titles, meta, better content structure, filling content gaps, and better photos). How do you monitor if your changes have had a positive/negative impact?

Ryan
Intuitively, I just pick a post and add 200-400 words or more. I have 100's of old ones so I just grab an oldie and update it. I do tend to update posts that are only 600 words or so. Long form old content is usually evergreen on my blog so I let it be.
properlanding ✍️
Incredible! Thank you for sharing it with us, Ryan!

walker
I'm assuming this is all for posts that have buyers intent.

My first site has 140 articles ranking for almost 3,800 keywords.

I spent a lot of time optimizing them but if your articles aren't ranking for keywords with buyers intent, it's irrelevant.

I think most people are spending more time optimizing articles that use buyers intent than doing anything else (writing wise)

I know people that make millions in this industry and they don't even write their own articles (outsourced)

If you want to make money, you need to put the things people want in front of them.

It's so simple, instead of optimizing articles that (in some cases) even if they're ranked top 3 aren't going to make much money at all,

people should be taking that time, doing more keyword research for keywords with buyers intent and then using Pay Per Click (PPC) to put this in front of people.

Most likely, most of you will make much more money doing this, while doing even less work.

When you do this with the right keywords and right products, you're going to make so much money.

I tell you that from personal experience

properlanding ✍️
Just incredible! Your post is a wealth of information!

What factors do you consider when determining buyer intent?

Would love to understand more about using Pay Per Click (PPC) and how to make it work. I've always struggled to get positive Return of Investment (RoI)s, to make the financial equation work. Any advice?

walker
Thank you.

Gotta use keyword research to get the right keywords with low cost per click &/or flip the market (if you cant find one)

I make money (sometimes) with Cost Per Action (CPA) offers that pay me $2.50-5.00, granted it's easier to convert when people don't actually have to spend money.

Look at it like it's a getting hotter-going cold game, you want to match the right offer with the right keywords.

The closer the keyword w/ intent is to the offer, the more you'll convert. I don't mean like brand names or product names either.

I figure you've purchased things on the internet in the past?? Just think when you were ready to buy, what keywords did you type in

Think of a product and make-believe you want to buy, what would you type in??

Another thing you can do is type in keywords like" how to, increase, change, cheap, build, beginner, lose, order, price, questions & answers

This is usually help to get into a niche along with many, many, more. So you don't enter with the masses, decreasing your chances for success

It can work with keywords too.

In most cases, the keyword research takes a lot more time than the actual building of the site.

Maybe use an Return of Investment (RoI) calculator or make one, so you have an idea of if something is good to go with

You want to find one with how much you spend on ads, find what your conversion rate needs to be to turn a profit

Cost per click and the average revenue per sale.

For instance, if I spend $300 on a campaign and I have a 6% conversion rate, I'm spending .33 cents per click and the product I'm selling earns me $18

That's 909 clicks, 54 total sales, $672.00 profit 324% ROAS & 224% ROI

The better the keyword is with intent & even more so, with intent in regards to the product, the more you will convert.

I'm having trouble giving you an answer because I don't know if it's your research, your product or the copy you're writing.

If you know how to do research properly, it's always the product, site, or copy.

Site is simple, don't give people options, they will CHOOSE to leave your site

When you have your offer on the static page or you use a landing page, you can't have anything else there.

You will kill your conversions, if you have things like unneeded images or text.

Don't give the prospects options, there only option should be to buy (opt-in), don't offer any warranties or anything like this until after they have purchased (if it's that kind of product, do it as an upsell)

Don't tell the prospects what you personally like about the product, don't tell them about any features

Your copy needs to explain how this product will benefit them, make life easier (or an aspect of it) etc

Example-This is why you need this product or it will do this for you

DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER PRODUCT ON THAT PAGE EITHER

I could literally go on for about 20 hours explaining these things and more in depth.

I hope this helps somewhat

Good luck
properlanding ✍️
This has been incredibly insightful! It has given me enough reassurance to give PPC another try.

Thank you for writing such an in-depth response and sharing so much of your knowledge with us!
walker
Your welcome, doing Pay Per Click (PPC) the right way mathematically is vital.

Your copy has to be on point too. There are a number of things you can't do that could prevent you from converting.

If you know these things, then you just need to focus on the research.

That's where the bread is buttered

Sleepy_Sami
My blogs have always been new content. Then again my blogs have always been personal. Aside from basic editing on spelling or grammar I don't mess with past entries. I don't know? I guess because my blog is more a journal? Memoir? Diary? It's pretty much all about me and the point of writing it down is to look back and see how I've changed or whatever 😉 To revise or rewrite the posts would defeat the purpose in my opinion.

Well until recently. My last blog was created for what was going to be my famous awesome podcast! Sadly I failed miserably. (FYI podcasts are a lot of work) I didn't want all that work with names and social media profiles to go to waste so I just decided to start another blog. As my content changed and became more personal, I decided to start over completely. New name, new start and all. There were a couple of good posts on the first blog that I felt needed to be remembered though. So I have slowly revised and reposted them in a special series on the new blog. But even with the reposted versions, not much is changed and most any additions are notated.

I guess depending on the blog and the topic you're posting about has a lot to do with the question of whether it should be revised and updated.

properlanding ✍️
You're so right! I did not even consider this point of view. My mind tunnel-visioned on SEO-driven blogs. Thank you for reminding me that there are other beautiful ways of blogging out there!

Really sorry to hear about the podcast 😔 I am sure it has taught you a lot of new skills though!

What are your main sources of traffic for the blog? Is traffic even a concern for you? I assume a lot of your motivation for writing a personal blog / memoir is intrinsic by its nature 😃

Sleepy_Sami
Reading the comments I realized why I have never made money blogging! I write for myself, if people read, awesome! If not? Oh Well. But I don't rely upon my writing for income so I'm not sure how useful my advice is…

I have promoted on social media over the years. I have found the best way to gain followers is to interact with your audience. Start posting in chats about your blog topic. Lately I have been posting in Love, Divorce, Separation ~ areas that are relevant to my life and blog posts and have found friends and new followers! I've had the best luck in places like here where you can post in a forum style. Though I credit a lot of my popularity on Reddit to horny guys clicking the link to my blog for pics lol
properlanding ✍️
That is great advice! I think your approach to audience building is useful for anyone trying to build a following.

Thank you for sharing it with us! 😃
Sleepy_Sami
I did learn a whole bunch of stuff about podcasts that is for sure! Much props to the successful ones out there, making podcast episodes is a lot of work! Despite my sexy voice I just was not good at hosting.
properlanding ✍️
I believe it is just a skill. I have no doubt you could get great at it!



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