One of the best reasons to start blogging is the ability to generate residual income, income you earn into perpetuity from work you preformed once, a long time ago. Authors and song writers earn residual income. They write their books or songs once, and then every time another copy is sold they earn money – forever. Every blog post you’ve ever written is a potential source of residual income, even the posts that lay buried deep within your archives.
If you check your blog’s stats on a regular basis then you’ll probably notice that the content that’s currently getting the most page views is the most recent content you posted. If you look further down the list, though, you’ll see that even your older content gets some traffic every week.
Your most recent content gets more traffic because your blog has more followers now than it did when you wrote that older content. More people automatically come to your new posts now, which also means more sharing and incoming links. Your blog is probably ranking higher now than it was a year ago which means you’re also getting more search engine traffic.
That higher ranking is also helping your archive articles appear better in the search engines which explains why those articles are still getting some traffic.
Chances are, though, you’ve completely forgotten about some of that older content and you may not even notice them on your stats because they’re so far down on the list. But those older posts could be doing more than just lying there collecting dust. They could be earning you more money.
Expand Your Analytics Research
Instead of looking at just the last week or the last month, expand your analytics data to include figures for the past 6 months or even a year and look at the older posts that pop up. You might be surprised to see how many of your older posts are still getting search engine traffic. I have content I wrote three years ago that still gets a few hundreds page views a month.
How Are They Finding That Page?
Once you’ve found those popular older posts break down your analytics to see what longtail keywords people are using to find that content. Then you have two options:
Spruce Up Older Content: Keywords can change overtimes. For example, this month people might be searching for zip drives, next month they’re looking for thumb drives and six months later they’re looking for USB drives. They’re all looking for the same information, just using different keywords.
Spruce up your older content to reflect changes in keywords trends. While you’re at it, take a look at your calls to action. Obviously, people are still looking for this information and they’d probably like even more. It’s also a good idea to look at your writing and formatting. If that’s one of your earliest posts, you’ve learned a lot since you wrote it. Don’t change the title, but do clean up the content.
Create new relevant content: Publish new content using the longtails people are using to find that older content and use internal linking to tie everything together. You’ll be attracting new traffic with the new keywords, you’ll be keeping them on your blog longer and providing additional value with your internal links, and you’ll be strengthening your SEO, all at the same time.
Even if you have posts that are 10 years old in your archives they could still be making you money, and they should be. Pull those older articles out into the daylight and give them a good dusting off.