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Use Your Archives as Inspiration

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of November 2005 Writing Content 0 Comments

Blog Tip 15. Read your Archives

After you’ve been writing on a topic for a year or more it’s normal to get to a point where you feel like you’ve said everything that needs to be said on a topic.

While you might have covered your topic fairly comprehensively it’s worth remembering that most of your readers will not have read everything that you’ve previously written – and if they have they are unlikely to remember it all. I’m constantly being asked by readers about topics that I’ve already covered which proves this point.

There’s no rules against having two or more posts on your blog on the same general topic.

Go back over some older posts and tackle some of the topics you’ve written about previously again.

One way of doing this is simply to write a new post on the same topic – another way that some bloggers use is to update an old post and then to change the post day to be the most recent one on your blog. The good thing about this is that it means your archives don’t become quite as dated as they could otherwise – especially useful if you are giving tips on an industry that is changing quickly.

Of course you can only write on the same topic so many times so be a little careful about using this technique too much or you run the risk of disillusioning your readership.

Bounce off Yourself – Another technique that I notice some bloggers use is to write posts that bounce off previous posts like you might bounce off another blogger’s posts. To do this pick an old post that you’ve written and write something that extends what you previously wrote. For example:

  • take a list of tips you’ve previously written and add a second post with some new points
  • take an old opinion piece and tell readers why you don’t agree with what you once wrote (bloggers are allowed to change you mind)
  • look back on a post you wrote ‘this date last year’ and reflect upon how things have changed
  • look at a ‘prediction’ post you wrote earlier in the year and see how much of it came to be

Looking back on what you’ve previously written is a fascinating exercise on so many levels – do it regularly and you might be surprised with what you find.

Read the rest of the Bloggers Blog Series

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. This can be very helpful. It will also show you all your mistakes in the past. :)

  2. Wonderful tip Darren, defintely my favourite so far


  3. Just wanted to jump in here and thank you for your great tips.

    I started reading your feed about a week ago, and have implemented some of your ideas (and ideas from Performancing.com) on my blog.

    My adsense earnings in the last 24 hours are three times higher than I had earned for the entire month of November prior to Saturday.

    I went from $0.07 for the month, to a whopping $0.34, almost overnight!

    (and no, my decimal places are not off, and no, I’m not joking) :(

    But seriously, the tips are great, if I weren’t doing such a niche blog and weren’t so new, I’m sure it’d be better. And just re-organizing the ad layout and doing some keyword tuning did help, it actually netted me some clicks.

    And if nothing else, you helped me make a better looking site and kept me from falling into some newb traps. That’s worth something, right there.

  4. Hang in there Croak – it takes time to build up a blog. Thanks for commenting friends.

  5. Thanks for all the tips Darren – I have been reading you for a few weeks now. Trying to come up with content is hard sometimes. What I do is check my server logs and see the search queries and build out a page or 20 that way based on those newly found topics.

  6. Use Your Archives as Inspiration: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

    Darren has been posting various tips ProBlogger on Battling Bloggers Block. As usual, he has some solid, specific, very do-able tips. Here’s #14: Use Your Archives as InspirationAfter you’ve been writing on a topic for a year or more it’s

  7. That’s a great tip Darren! I just did search through all my blogs for the word “prediction” .. well, didn’t find anything – but I plan to start being a bit more conscious about adding it in my posts… then, in FUTURE times of bloggers block – I can do a search later and it will give me something to chat about ..

    As for the renaming of dates … in Bloglines (at least) it’s quite apparent when a new post is updated. The posting date remains the same so, you can’t tell what was updated. I like the entries that say “updated” or “added” or “PS” or something let us know that a change was made, even if cosmetic. But if you change the posting date .. I think regular readers are going to know if it was a previous post – if not from the content.. then from the comments that are still present, won’t they? or – would you delete them?

  8. …or you could start taking a picture a day and write about why you took it.

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