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Your Blog’s Year in Review

Tips for making the most of a year-end roundup!

Image via Dafne Cholet

Every major media outlet spends December writing “year’s best” posts, and you can, too! The end of the year lends itself to reflection (plus, well, most of us are far too busy running around like mad to come up with new ideas).

If you’re planning on repurposing content for a 2015 roundup on your blog, here are a few things to think about.

How much is too much?

Tip:  For accurate stat measuring and SEO purposes, it’s better to post an excerpt and link back to an older post than to copy and re-post the entire thing.

How long do you intend to spend strolling down memory lane? The amount of time you spend recalling the year’s posts should be roughly analogous to your posting frequency. If you post daily, a full week of “remember when” posts might make sense, but if you only post once a month, you probably only have enough content for a single “year in review” post.

Give them something fresh.

Year-end roundups can be a great way for new or sporadic readers to catch the great stuff they might have missed.

But for your most treasured regular readers, reruns can get boring. Make sure to add some small bit of new material every time you repurpose old content: a new perspective on an old anecdote, some updated research, a followup.

For example, are you re-sharing your post about bringing home your new puppy last April? Include a new snap of that puppy today, for comparison. They grow up so fast!

Pick your winners.

Tip:  To quickly determine your most popular posts from 2015, switch your stats graph to the “Years” view, then click on “Posts & Pages.”

Be careful when reposting stuff you only recently published. If you had a very popular post from November, now might be too soon to draw attention to it again.

Which posts have earned their spot in your end-of-year review? Obviously you’ll want to include your most popular posts. If a post got a lot of comments and tweets when you first posted it, now’s an excellent time to shamelessly wring even more traffic out of it.

This is also a good chance to call attention to any posts that you think were unfairly overlooked the first time around. We all have those posts that we’re positive will go viral, that will get us a book deal or our own HBO special…and yet they garner barely a like. Who can say why? Maybe the internet was just on vacation that week.

Use this opportunity to give that criminally unappreciated post one more shot! If it still falls flat, well, all geniuses are misunderstood in their own time.

It’s never too late!

Some of you might be reading along and thinking, “Well, this is great advice for people with active blogs, but it’s not applicable to me. I only posted twice this year.”

I hear you! I also have a formerly active blog that is now mostly a storage shed full of tumbleweeds and echoes. But those of us who didn’t post this year can still write a year-end wrap-up about whatever we did instead of blogging!

If you were a truant blogger this year, what kept you busy offline? A new career? A new baby? Travels? Personal drama? A Netflix subscription? Think of the year-end blog post as a modern version of the Christmas letter. Catch your readers up with whatever you did in 2015.

Even a particularly slow year can look surprisingly full when summed up in a single blog post. You might find you have more to share than you would have thought.

Put out the suggestion box.

When you’ve finished your roundup, prompt your readers for their thoughts. What did they particularly enjoy on your blog over the past year? What would they like to see more of in 2016?

Soliciting your readers’ opinions will let them know that you value their attention and participation, and will encourage them to stick around for 2016 and many years to come.

Once you’ve said goodbye to the year that was, it’s time to make plans for the future! Next Thursday, Ben will share some tips on setting resolutions you can actually meet. For your blog, that is — sticking to your diet is up to you. 😉

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  1. I’ve been out of the loop so to speak because I’ve been sick too many times to count and I’m a middle school teacher, so this post is helping me restart for the coming year–bittersweet hope.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nice to know I did it right last week (to coincide with the anniversary of my first post). There’s even a poll, but that’s more out of circumstance and necessity than anything. Great tips here.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for these great tips. I look forward to putting together a year in review post. I usually aim to post a minimum of once a week, but some blogging months in 2015 have been quieter than others — mostly due to my graduation and starting my career. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Instead of a year in review post I did a Thank You post to some of my fellow bloggers for all the comments, likes and feedback we both give to one another throughout the year. I could have kept going too but had to stop at some point!

    Liked by 8 people

  5. I have already written a “thank you to 2015” for all the amazing travel experiences I enjoyed during this year but now I want to review it following some of your suggestions! Thank you!
    Ciao
    Marica

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve thought about it but might do something to highlight certain posts ..over the last 5 years of my blog next year. I think I’ll focus on reader response and their views. Some rather interesting surprises.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Is there an easy way to embed an excerpt from a post into a new one? I see that Relando used the embed feature, but I can’t seem to get it to work for me.

    I love the idea of a YiR type post as a means to not only tie the year off with a bow, but to get me going strong into the New Year.

    Liked by 1 person