Give me an honest answer to this question: Once you publish a post and promote it for a week or two, do you ever go back to it?
For most brands, the answer is no.
As soon as a post is published, it can often be out of sight and out of mind. That means it's never seen or heard from again with any active promotion. Occasionally, someone might stumble upon it during a Google search, but that's it.
Taking your approach with your content is a big mistake. In this post, I want to highlight an approach you should be taking instead.
Improving and Updating
First, the obvious, if you don't share old content you're missing out on promotion potential. Smart brands share their content all the time. They don't only focus the new stuff.
There's no doubt you have content from a few months (or even years) ago that still appeals to your current target audience.
The good news is there's a simple fix for that: share it more often. Make a practice of going through your old posts and scheduling them to be shared via social media. Tools like Buffer and Edgar can both help you recycle this content consistently.
Another big reason why you should look at this old content is to improve it.
Most of this is simple. You can come up with a better headline, make sure the posts are optimized for SEO, add images, and double check any links. These are easy fixes that can make your content more interesting and easier to be found online.
Some of your older content might be, let's just say, not that great. It happens. You might have found a better writer, or tightened up the topics, over the years.
That doesn't mean your old content is useless. You'd be surprised how many great posts you can create out of a few mediocre ones. If you think it sounds complicated to do that, it's not.
Content Audit Exercise
Here's is a great exercise to do when you want to revisit your old content.
Step 1: Make a list (spreadsheet, doc, whichever you prefer) that has three columns: awesome, ok, bad.
Step 2: Go through your posts one by one. Read them, and put them in one of the columns. Be honest here; the great ones should be obvious.
If you're struggling to see what's ok and what's bad check your stats, if one has been shared or commented on more than the other, it's likely salvageable.
Step 3: Go through the posts on the bad list and see if there is anything you might want to salvage from them.
There's a good chance you'll find a handful of great ideas, or an awesome infographic, or a good case study to save. Copy and paste anything you want to keep in a new document. You can likely use this information in one of your ok posts or create new content out of it.
Once you're done with that, unpublish the posts.
Step 4: Go through your ok posts. More likely than not, you can combine the thoughts from two or three of them and create another amazing post.
You might also find that you can take an ok post from a few years ago, add a few updates, images, and case studies and turn it into an awesome post.
When you approach your old content this way, you're updating but not spending tons of time creating new posts. More often than not, you can create or improve what you've already got and make it much more impactful.
Sure you might lose ten or twenty posts. But having every single one of your blog posts be high quality is far better than quantity.