The Why, When, and How of Republishing Blog Posts


How many electronic mail newsletters, weblog alerts, RSS feeds, and different content material streams do you subscribe to? How many do you learn day by day? One? Two? None?

Chances are you don’t learn all 5 weblog posts CMI publishes each week. Our analytics present that almost all of our subscribers don’t. We’re not mad – we get it.

Maybe you had been additional busy in the future. Maybe the subject or headline didn’t line up together with your data wants the second the e-mail landed. Maybe you by no means noticed the article in any respect. It’s straightforward to overlook even nice articles when a lot comes at you from so many sources.

That’s why the CMI editorial workforce experimented with republishing a pair years in the past. Michele Linn wrote a submit to elucidate the republishing technique in 2017 that also lives and nonetheless will get site visitors, although lower than it as soon as did.

True to the unique experiment, I’m constructing on her piece so as to add a couple of nuances we’ve realized since then and add some recent examples to the dialogue.

Why we republish weblog posts

We republish articles to remind our viewers of good recommendation that’s nonetheless legitimate and related. We get extra mileage out of the items with much less effort than writing a submit from scratch. It’s a win-win for our workforce and our viewers.

Republish articles when the #content material remains to be legitimate and related, says @KMoutsos. Click To Tweet

Republishing additionally:

  • Refreshes the content material catalog. CMI content material goes again to 2008. Some items that also get search site visitors have to be up to date to stay helpful. Republishing additionally permits us to refresh the content material and get it in entrance of readers who’re new to the CMI viewers or who missed it the primary time round.
  • Maintains or improves search rating/outcomes. Sometimes an previous submit ranks in search and, due to this fact, drives quite a bit of site visitors. Before it experiences declining CTRs, excessive bounce charges, and different issues that jeopardize our rating place for a key phrase phrase, we create a brand new model – updating textual content as wanted and utilizing the present date within the URL. When it is sensible, we redirect the previous submit to the brand new submit (extra on this in a bit).
  • Fills the editorial calendar upfront of busy occasions. In April, most of CMI’s editorial workforce was busy with the ContentTECH Summit. During that point, we maintained the weblog publishing schedule by republishing a number of posts. We do the identical in September once we attend Content Marketing World.

Again, republishing older articles (even with including updates) is quicker than writing (and enhancing) posts from scratch. Three articles in our April republished content material shortly made their solution to the “current hits” widget, which reveals the most well-liked articles printed prior to now three months.

  • Highlights one thing new. When Chief Content Officer advanced right into a solely digital expertise in April, we needed to present our weblog viewers members – who won’t be CCO subscribers – an opportunity to expertise the journal content material.

We took this text on robot-assisted writing from the April concern …

and republished it on the CMI weblog …

and created a CTA inviting readers to discover the brand new CCO.

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Why we republish as an alternative of updating the unique URL

CMI’s weblog URLs embody the 12 months and month of publication. Ouch. Even if we add essentially the most sensible new recommendation, on-point examples, and “10x”-ed content material, the URL on the SERP nonetheless reveals the unique publication date.

If your URL contains the publication date, you might need to republish so it’s present, says @KMoutsos. Click To Tweet

Would you click on to learn the article with a 2019 date or a 2016 date? (If you mentioned each, persist with me, I’ll get to that – and reply the questions this raises about duplicate content material and redirecting posts.)

It makes essentially the most sense to present the articles a brand new URL to replicate the present date.

How we choose posts to republish

CMI’s course of for republishing stays much like the best way it labored when it began two years in the past.

We establish which posts drive extra conversions to our electronic mail lists. We verify site visitors and social-share efficiency (I usually look again a full 12 months). Content audits are helpful for locating republishing candidates.

Recently, I expanded the efficiency evaluation timeframe from the previous 12 months to the previous few years. Looking at which posts had been fashionable throughout 2015 and 2016 surfaced a couple of new gems. (To do that, I set the date vary within the related Google Analytics reviews to concentrate on 2015 or 2016.)

Michele suggests conserving a operating record of posts to republish in your editorial calendar. The system includes monitoring the next data:

  • Name: Headline from the unique submit.
  • Author: Permission from creator to republish the submit (and whether or not they need to replace it).
  • Publication date: We usually wait at the least a 12 months between the unique and republished submit.
  • Notes: Detail how in depth the adjustments could must be.

Now, to some questions I do know you have got.

Should you republish posts with out updating them?

We have performed this, however provided that the data and recommendation are nonetheless correct and related. We verify (and replace) hyperlinks, titles, and different particulars to make sure the republished piece is at present correct. An editor’s word is added on the high to elucidate it’s a republished submit wherein the content material is similar.

How do you resolve when to redirect?

To redirect or not is a mix of artwork and science. Here’s a recap of the CMI course of that Michele shared:

  1. Redirect the unique URL to the brand new URL when the unique submit will get little site visitors from search (science) or the data is not related or correct (artwork).

Redirect previous URL if authentic submit will get little site visitors or is inaccurate, says @Kmoutsos. Click To Tweet

  1. Keep the unique URL and publish an up to date submit with a brand new URL when the unique submit will get substantial site visitors from natural search and the data is fairly present. Add an editor’s word on the high of the unique URL to direct individuals to a more moderen model of the submit if they need it.

Keep previous URL if authentic submit will get quite a bit of natural site visitors and data is present, says @Kmoutsos. Click To Tweet

Here’s our decision-making grid adopted by some situations:

Click to enlarge

Scenario: Original submit will get little search site visitors

Redirect the previous submit to the brand new submit and comply with this guidelines:

      • Create a brand new title: No.
      • 301 redirect of the unique submit: Yes.
      • What to do with the unique submit: Redirect this URL to the brand new submit.
      • What to do with the brand new submit: Add an editor’s word to say this submit has been republished. (An instance is within the picture under.)
      • Include “By Popular Demand” within the cowl picture: Yes.

We republished this piece by Ann Gynn despite the fact that it didn’t appeal to a lot search site visitors and didn’t carry out in addition to anticipated when it ran in 2017. The recommendation was nonetheless stable and well timed for the CMI viewers.

In 2018, we ran it the primary weekday after Content Marketing World 2018 and redirected the unique submit. The new model, which included an editor’s word and “By Popular Demand” within the picture, outperformed the unique. (Note: We deviated barely from our documented course of by updating the title.)

Scenario: Original submit will get quite a bit of search site visitors

With posts that appeal to quite a bit of search site visitors, we tread frivolously to keep away from unfavourable results. We usually create a brand new submit with minimal updates (or none in any respect).

Here is the guidelines for this sort of submit:

      • Create a brand new title: Yes.
      • 301 redirect of authentic submit: No.
      • What to do with the unique submit: Add an editor’s word to say this submit has been republished and embody a hyperlink to the up to date (new) submit.
      • Include “By Popular Demand” within the new cowl picture: Yes.

In our authentic piece about republishing, Michele shared this text, Editorial Calendar Tips, Tools, and Templates, for instance for authentic posts with quite a bit of search site visitors.

We republished an up to date model of Jodi’s piece in 2016. In 2017, we republished one other up to date model, incorporating “Back by Popular Demand” within the cowl picture, a brand new title, and an editor’s word mentioning that earlier variations ran in earlier years.

Scenario: New submit with redirect from authentic however outmoded submit that also will get search site visitors

We deal with our pointers as simply that – a solution to information our pondering. We sometimes fluctuate from the documented path once we assume it helps our readers.

For instance, we discovered a 2012 article that ranked for the time period “content calendar” and attracted quite a bit of guests however didn’t replicate our present requirements for depth, sensible recommendation, and so forth.

I wrote a brand new content material calendar article and redirected the unique, outmoded submit. We might have left the previous submit reside, hoping the brand new one would overtake it. But we felt it simply didn’t serve readers to maintain it.

As we discover older posts that appeal to search site visitors however not meet our viewers’s wants right now, we’ll proceed to switch them.

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Scenario: New submit on theme of fashionable authentic submit

Though this state of affairs isn’t republishing, I embody it as a result of it’s an possibility to contemplate when evaluating which articles to republish. I put it within the class of concepts to steal from your self. It reminds us to construct on content material concepts our viewers beloved prior to now.

Build on #content material concepts your viewers loves, says @Kmoutsos. Click To Tweet

When we write new posts utilizing the central conceit of a well-liked older submit, we don’t label it as an up to date model (i.e., Back by Popular Demand). But we give a nod to the unique piece within the new textual content.

Here is the guidelines for this sort of submit:

      • Create a brand new title: Yes (however persist with the identical assemble).
      • 301 redirect of authentic submit: No.
      • What to do with the unique submit: Add an editor’s word on the high or add textual content within the submit to level to the most recent model or add a Handpicked Related Content field to level to the brand new article.
      • What to do with the brand new submit: Incorporate into the textual content (not an editor’s word) that that is an replace on a theme and level to the earlier model(s).
      • Include “Back by Popular Demand” within the cowl picture: No.

We ran this Stephanie Stahl article stuffed with nice storytelling examples in 2018.

Its reputation led me to put in writing a brand new submit with extra examples. I used the format of Stephanie’s headline as a result of it labored:

What about duplicate content material?

We generally maintain an older submit reside even once we republish an up to date model. That raises the inevitable query: Don’t you are concerned about duplicate content material penalties?

Our search engine optimisation marketing consultant feels that ContentMarketingInstitute.com is such a giant web site that the quantity of really duplicate content material is sufficiently small that it gained’t matter. And some search engine optimisation consultants say all the priority about duplicate content material is basically misplaced anyway.

What’s your take?

I’d love to listen to from you. Do you discover once we republish content material? How do you deal with republishing and updating weblog posts?

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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