How We Got 53,682 Unique Visitors to a Dead, Two-Year Old Blog Post

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July 13,2016 by
Russ Henneberry

The typical blog post has the lifespan of a fruit fly.

You work your fingers to the bone putting together a great article and, if you’re lucky, you get 36 hours of engagement out of it. After that, it’s back to the salt mines to create a new article to feed the insatiable web.

That’s the life we used to live at DigitalMarketer.

In 2015, we realized there is another way to create blog content that is not only easier, but also exactly what your audience, customers, and Google want.

By doing this we revived a dead, two-year-old blog post – to the point where it’s still thriving 9 months later. See what I mean…

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Today we’ll share exactly how you can replace your content graveyard with lifetime longevity, but first…

What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach You About Blogging

In 2001, Wikipedia.org (a site that gets north of 2.5 Billion visits a month mostly from search engines) published the very first Wikipedia entry about Abraham Lincoln.

This first Abraham Lincoln entry was 136 words with no images:

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As the years have gone by, the Abraham Lincoln page on Wikipedia has grown.

By 2008, the entry contained…

  • 10,000+ words
  • 7 photographs
  • 2 paintings
  • 2 cartoons

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Today, the Lincoln entry has been further improved to:

  • 15,881 words
  • 13 photographs
  • 4 paintings
  • 3 cartoons
  • 3 charts

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When new information is added, a new entry is not created on Wikipedia — it is, instead, added to the existing entry. That’s important — so read it again. Wikipedia has created a single page on their site that contains everything from Lincoln’s childhood to his assassination.

This method by Wikipedia.org caused us to start testing a number of blog tactics that leverage the idea of periodic improvement and promotion of foundational content on our blogs.

The easiest (and one of the most effective) of these blog tactics to put into practice is called…

The “Now with More” Blog Post

In early 2014, we published a blog post entitled: The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas on the DigitalMarketer blog. The first edition of that blog post was 2,633 words with 18 images.

Not too shabby.

The blog post was popular with our audience, but, as is the fate of most articles, it was soon forgotten. Traffic dwindled to nearly nothing and a post we spent about 10 hours putting together had no long-term benefit to the company.

2 years later we updated the blog post to include:

  • 3,396 words
  • 28 images
  • one infographic
  • 5 short videos

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We called it a “Now with More” post because it contained much of the information from the first edition but was now new and improved.

The results were immediate — we shot to #1 in Google for an often-searched term (blog post ideas) and our audience, once again, showed great interest in the article.

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The second edition of this post also saw better results from the promotional email and received more social sharing (on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) than the first edition. Here’s the growth that we saw:

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The resulting traffic to the new and improved blog post was immediate and long lasting.

We couldn’t believe the results. As of this writing, we have generated over 50,000 visits to a blog post that was all but dead, simply by improving and promoting it a second time.

What we’ve come to realize, after testing multiple “Now with More” articles with similar results, is that both our audience and search engines (such as Google) like when you revive content by improving upon it.

Now let’s talk about how it’s done.

(NOTE: Want to create viral blog posts fast, without ever having to “write” a single line of text? Use the “Content Aggregator” template and create content your audience loves in any industry or vertical — including the FREE tool we use to crank these posts out FAST. Learn more about the “Content Aggregator” here.)

PerfectBlogTemplateCTA

3 Steps to a “Now with More” Post

The real beauty behind this blog post type is that you don’t need a new piece of content. Instead, you’ll be iterating on a piece you’ve already created.

Step 1. Choose the Post

Your best bet is to choose a blog post that is (or was) popular with your audience or search engines. Choose articles with:

  • High Applause Rate – The applause rate is the sum total of all social shares (Tweets, Facebook Likes, etc.). Choose a post that has significantly more social shares than a typical article.

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  • “Close but no Cigar” Rankings – If Google is currently displaying your blog post on page one or two of their search results for an often-searched keyword, this updated version could pop you to the top of the rankings.

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This was another post we published as a “Now with More” after seeing “Close but no Cigar” rankings on Google for heavily searched keywords about split testing.

Step 2. Update the Blog Post

The key here is to make the article better. Here are a few ways to improve your article:

  • Add Multimedia – This is important, particularly if you are doing this partly for the search engine benefit. Add video, audio, infographics, etc. to your article.

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  • Add Text – Improve your article by adding new topics to your post or fleshing out existing ones.
  • Fix Inaccuracies – Articles become old because the information becomes outdated. Fix that.

Step 3. Promote the Content

We use the same formula to promote every “Now with More” post.

The first promotional method is our email newsletter. The subject line for the email follows this formula:

Blog Post Topic [2nd Edition]

In our example above, we used the email subject line: Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas [2nd Edition].

The body copy of the email opens with social proof (“this was our most popular post of 2016”) and then simply lists all of the improvements made to the article.

Below is the email we sent to promote volume two of the “Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas”:

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Secondly, we’ll share the new and improved article on our social channels including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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We also aren’t afraid to put a few bucks behind the blog post to “prime the social pump” with some paid traffic.

And that’s it. The “Now with More” post is not only easier to produce than a brand spanking new article — it also gets better results.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

(NOTE: Want to create viral blog posts fast, without ever having to “write” a single line of text? Use the “Content Aggregator” template and create content your audience loves in any industry or vertical — including the FREE tool we use to crank these posts out FAST. Learn more about the “Content Aggregator” here.)

PerfectBlogTemplateCTA_v3

 


About Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, Salesforce.com and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

View all Posts by Russ Henneberry