Learn how to update previous posts to get more traffic and make more money than ever before! Make them more findable in search and get them re-indexed by the search crawlers for more visitors!

Whether you use WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, PostNuke, or even Blogger to manage your site – we all have “previous posts”. The longer you have your blog and the more posts you write – the farther down that old content gets buried. Yesterday’s post on how to earn more money with adsense talked about how to attract the highest paying adsense ads by using good keywords. You will need to have good keywords on hand before you rework your previous posts. You might want to visit my new Keyword Research Cheat Sheet before proceeding any further.

If you’re ready to go I’m going to rework one of my posts for you right now as an example so you can see how to make your previous posts more profitable. I’m going to use a post that I wrote at the beginning of December: 30 Days of the Highest Pay Per Click of the Year. In most blogging software the title you write becomes the permalink or “pretty url” path. The title “30 days of the highest pay per click per year” becomes “/2007/12/05/30-days-of-the-highest-pay-per-click-of-the-year”. In that adsense article I told you about how important titles were. I pasted the URL of that page into google so you could see the result:

30 days of the highest pay per click per year post

See my post title became the linked title in the google result? This was the original first paragraph of that page:

If you have a blog, web site, online storefront, e-commerce site, forum, or any type of online affiliation that has to do with advertising – there is not a day to waste! This is already the 5th day of December, which only leaves 26 more days left in this month!

See how in the google search result the description for that page is only the first 32 words (or the first sentence)? I did a pretty poor job naming this page, and the description isn’t very good. But in just a minute or two I can change all that and give this page new life!

The two most important things about any page, post, or article are what becomes the title and the description, because for most sites the greater percentage of visitors will come from search. Your search result is an advertisement. Do you understand what I just said? Think about it…your search result is to your web site what a yellow pages ad is to any brick and mortar business. If you need a new dentist you go to the phonebook (or online phonebook if you’re like me!). What makes you call one dentist over another? Usually the one with the most information up front gets your call – don’t they? A plain old name and number would probably get less calls than a nice ad that says “free x-rays and first consultation” wouldn’t it?

You need to view your post title and first paragraph (especially the first 30-odd words) as an advertisement! The thing that’s tricky is that not only is the search result an ad enticing someone to click – but it serves a dual purpose. You must pepper your title and first 30-odd word description with important keywords. This helps google decide how relevant you are to incoming searches. If you do a poor job of using relevant keywords in your title and introduction sentence YOU WILL COME UP POORLY IN SEARCH RESULTS!

*Update* – after I wrote this post I read an article by Carrie Hill entitled “HTML title tag defines your SEO strategy that completely illustrates everything I just taught you. You should read it.

Now that you understand how important the title and first sentence are – let’s go about changing them on my example page! I use WordPress – but you can do this in whatever blogging software you use too. In WordPress the Title you enter for a post or page becomes the URL in the permalink and this is called the slug.

example of a post slug The slug is created automatically in WordPress from the title you enter when the post is published (like in Drupal, Blogger, etc.). You certainly don’t want to change this at all – because your page is already indexed by search engines, people have bookmarked it, etc. Changing the “slug” would change the actual URL of the page and visitor’s that didn’t know the new URL would start getting 404 errors. The URL stays the same – but there’s no reason you can’t go back and edit your post and change the title. Won’t changing the title change the slug or the URL? No, that’s created from the title the first time you publish the article. If you go back and edit the post and update the title the URL will remain the same.

So what does this mean? It means that you can essentially “edit your own search engine listing” by changing your title. Once your page is re-indexed by the search engine it will have your new title. You can modify the description too by changing the first sentence or first 30-odd words on your page.

editing your wordpress post title

My previous title “30 days of the highest Pay Per Click of the year” doesn’t have good keywords and it has 11 words in all. Over time (especially with this blog) I’ve learned that the best post titles are about 6 words or less – and they get the point across quickly. That post was about the fact that in December people pay more for keywords (in google AdWords) than any other time of the year. So in turn, the Adsense ads that are on your site are worth more money and you’re going to get paid more per click than any other month of the year. Now that you know that the title makes sense, but before I explained it you were probably wondering. I’m going to rename this page “December Adsense Pays More”. It’s got good keywords and it says it all in just four words.

Now we’re going to work on the description.

The first sentence of the page used to be:

If you have a blog, web site, online storefront, e-commerce forum, or any type of affiliation that has to do with advertising – there is not day waste!

I’m going to change it to:

December Adsense pays more per click, learn how to PREPARE TO MAKE MORE MONEY during this time of year than all the other months combined!

In two easy steps I have:

  • Modified my search result title
  • Modified my search result description
  • Gotten my page re-indexed in search
  • Re-pinged the blog engines with my upated page
  • Attracted better adsense ads with better keywords
  • Position my page for better search placement

Now doing this only took a few minutes, but sometimes while you’re in there (looking at an old post) you might also want to think about giving the page a quick once-over to determine if there isn’t something you couldn’t quickly change to make it better.

Quick Post Updates to Consider

Monetize better: Do you have something that you could add to better monetize this page? An affiliate product to recommend? Link to your hosting company? An amazon book? A new product from a Commission Junction vendor or eBay?

Link to other posts: All the best blogs I read recommend others posts throughout. Just like this post, in the beginning I told you that you would need some good keywords, and I linked to a page that shows you how to get them. You are your best advocate – don’t be throwing opportunities to keep people on your site away!

Add an Update paragraph: How many times have you read a post about something and wondered “how are they doing with that now?” Especially posts that tell how much money someone has made or how much they like a certain product or feature. Updates can make all the difference in the world making old content new again!

Now that I’ve taught you how to make your previous posts more profitable what are you going to do about it? Depending on the amount of content you have – this is probably something that you should work at every day. Organize yourself by setting both an amount of posts to edit and an exact time to get it done every day. Put it on your calendar or set an alarm everyday! My biggest blogging mistake was not working on this earlier – because I have a lot of web sites and (now) a ton of content!!

If you have a question or comments please comment now! Also – if this method works for you, I expect you to come back to this page and comment about it so everyone can benefit!