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Déjà vu: Should You Recycle Old Posts?

When does it make sense to recycle posts from your archives?

You might have noticed that we here at The Daily Post have been reposting from our archives on Saturdays. And if you have, what are you doing? Go outside and play already, it’s Saturday!

Just kidding. But it brings up an interesting question: have you ever reposted older content? Should you?

If you’re considering reusing an old post, there are five questions it might help to ask yourself:

  1. Has enough time passed? Ideally, before reposting from your archives, you’ll want to, well, have some archives. If your blog is less than a year old, you might want to hold off on repeats until your initial posts have aged a bit. Also, make sure your intended repost was originally published long enough ago that it’s receded somewhat from your regular readers’ memories.
  2. Was the post popular the first time around? Why repost a dud? If you highlight the same post more than once, make sure it’s a gem! If it started a lot of discussion the previous time, posting again might encourage fresh debate.
  3. Should it have been popular the first time around? On the other hand, sometimes you post something great, and everybody’s just too busy to read it that month. If you have a post buried somewhere in your archives that you thought was genius but was largely ignored, it’s possible your audience just missed it. Give it one more try!
  4. Do you have new readers? Call it Murphy’s law, but it’s a fact that whenever you receive an unexpected traffic spike, you will have nothing you are proud of on your front page, and no good ideas for anything new. This is the perfect time to revisit your greatest hits. You can introduce a repost with a friendly welcome to your new readers, and you can end it with some links to other popular posts they should check out. This way, you don’t waste the fleeting attention of new eyes on meh material.
  5. Is the post particularly relevant now? Another good reason to rerun an old post is if it suddenly becomes topical again. Perhaps the post is concerning some person or issue that is suddenly in the news. Or perhaps it’s a holiday-themed post, or one originally written on some momentous anniversary — some sites make a tradition of reposting such posts each year.

If a post you’ve published in the past fits one of the above criteria, or otherwise seems like it might be worth a revisit, don’t be afraid to post it again! (Pro-tip: for easy reposting, try the handy Copy a Post feature.)

Of course, you’ll want to acknowledge at the beginning of the repost that this is a previously published post, link back to the original, and include a sentence or two explaining why you are revisiting it now. And don’t abuse reposting — if your faithful readers see the same material over and over again, they’ll eventually move on if you don’t.

Have you ever recycled old content? Is there a particular post you’d like to feature again, and if so, why?

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  1. Yes, even though my blog is less than a year old. I reposted at Christmas. I wanted to take time off. This Christmas I’ll probably repost from my blog and those I follow.

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  2. It’s like reading a great book multiple times, some people will never do it and others can’t get enough. I think great ideas are worth sharing over and over again.

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  3. I don’t have many posts yet, and practically no comments. So, how do I get people to read my blog?

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  4. I wrote some posts in Chinese. With the time going, I become more and more confident in English writing. I may convert those Chinese writings into English and re-post them in order to share with a much larger audience.

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  5. This is a really interesting question/conundrum which is probably easier for more seasoned bloggers to address than a newbie like me. I think I would be more prone to using old posts to inspire new pieces which might include extracts from or links to my old post. In saying that though I can’t say I will never do it… like I said… early days 🙂

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  6. Do you suggest ‘copy the post’ or reblog and comment on it? How wonder which will generate more traffic for a past post which I thought could have more readers but not, so is reblogging a good idea? Appreciate some thoughts on this please. Thank you.

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  7. I think if you have already written a really good blog post and later it comes up as a topic for Daily Post or someone else brings up the topic, there is nothing wrong with revisiting or reposting your original post.

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  8. Thank you for a great topic! I just did a repost a couple of weeks ago and am glad to see I had a purpose behind it–my regular readers hadn’t seen it and it was a restatement of my original mission. Thank you for the additional tips and hints. WP/DP rocks 🙂

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  9. I don’t recycle posts, but now and then I will put a ‘past post’ link into a widget, usually with the photo that accompanied the post.

    When I put up a new post, I usually link to an older post that has similar content.

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  10. i never thought of reposting. great idea. will have to wait to i have enough history and track record on popular post. thanks for the tip.

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  11. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now. Two posts ago, I took an excerpt from my second-ever post b/c it tied into the season (and b/c it kept floating around in my head, lol).

    Just this week, I celebrated my 19thbwedding anniversary. Rather than write another post on commitment and/or romance, I simply linked to previous posts I wrote in past years.

    I believe there is a place for repeat-posting. It can be a huge time saver, or provide an opportunity to air one’s previous thoughts and even update them. Plus, one might have new readers who haven’t delved into the archives. (300+ posts or more can be a tad overwhelming to sort through. 🙂 )

    Always great food for thought. Thanks!

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  12. Very good advice. I have reposted before based on some of the guidelines listed here. But, your article filled in a lot of blank spaces for me. Thanks!

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  13. I haven’t recycled posts on WordPress but I do re-share older posts via Twitter and Facebook in order to pull more traffic to my blog. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But I do appreciate the fact that I can check my stats to see if traffic has come via those posts or not.

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  14. Personally, I only re-post when I absolutely cannot afford to let any time pass before getting that “old, but new” content out there. Whenever possible, I will write a new post with a lot of the same content from the last post, but it’s almost never exactly the same. I include new thoughts or ideas and, depending on the nature of the post, a new perspective on the issue. I will certainly link to the old post within the new one to provide context between the postings.

    Re-posting old content as-is? For me, it’s rare.

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  15. Occasionally, I re-post an older blog being at it for a long time. Sometimes, I don’t have to, readers go back in my archives and discover an old post and re-post then I will re-tweet them. Sometimes getting more responses than when I first posted it. A.G. Moye

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  16. I think its okay to recycle old posts as long as you also add something new to say about it, maybe something that wasn’t so obvious the first time. Big Ups!

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  17. I do often repost, when I’ve had a dip and haven’t had the time to write new material. I must admit I have reposted a did…and guess what…still a dud!

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