How To Update "Impossible" Website Content

Last Update: April 22, 2019

As your website grows, "updating" things becomes a larger and larger task. For example, with new niche site that has 20 blog posts, you can overhaul your entire site in a relatively short amount of time. It might take a week to get every single article edited and expanded.

Done and done.

What happens when you have a 10 year old website and 2,000 blog posts? Well, things get more complicated. Getting your content up to date can seem like an impossible task.

Looking back on my work througout the years, I have seriously improved my writing and general blog post making. There are hundreds of blog posts on my website that I'd like to go back and improve, but how can I undertake such a gigantic project without dedicated ALL of my time to it?

I have a couple of options.

1. Don't Update

I have the option of just leaving everything as is. Honestly, that's what I did for many years, and it worked pretty well. Sure, my website wasn't "the best" out there. There was a lot of shoddy work. But it made money.

In other words, not all of your articles have to be utterly amazing to make money.

Pros:

  • Less tedious work
  • Get to sweep problems under the rug
  • Can work on more interesting projects

Cons

  • Demoralizing to have a website full of garbage
  • Lots of keyword cannibalizing (rewriting for the same keywords)
  • Feels like writing endless content with no purpose

2. Hire Help

Outsourcing is a great way to leverage money to create more time. When you don't have enough time in the day to do something, you can pay for other people's time. You can find inexpensive VAs that can do anything from spiff up your current content, to rewriting the entire content, to doing a full blog post with custom images and videos.

Pros

  • Get a lot done in less time
  • You can focus on "bigger picture" projects
  • Just do the tasks you enjoy

Cons

  • Requires training the VAs
  • Content style my not reflect your brand
  • Costs money

3. Do It Yourself

Surprisingly, there's a pretty simple way to just do it yourself. I like to create a "doable" amount of work each day and set a long term timeline. For example, if I have to update 200 blog posts, I'll do just ONE per day for 200 days.

Sure, it takes a long time to get everything updated, but it's less stressful this way, and you still make time for other work that needs to be done. It's less overwhelming this way.

At the end of that (almost) year long updating process, you'll have 200, incredible, amazing, fresh blog posts that will improve rank in search engines and convert traffic to clicks and sales more efficiently.

Pros

  • You have full control over the content
  • Cheap and effective
  • Google loves updated/fresh content
  • Signals to visitors you are active and engaged
  • Great fodder for email lists and social media

Cons

  • Takes a long time
  • Can interfere with current projects and goals
  • Very tedious at times
  • Can be easy to slip into "rush" mode and just replaces low-quality content with medium-quality content

Which Articles Should You Update?

You don't have to update every single article on your website constantly. Some articles do fine as they are for quite a while!

Other articles simply don't rank, and don't deserve to be updated. How do you know the difference?

There are two main sets of articles I update:

1. Articles that get traffic. These are the top choice for updating. They are already ranking and already getting traffic. Double down on what's working instead of trying to fix what's not working.

2. Pillar Articles. These are core concept articles within your website that you link back to frequently. Even if they don't rank, they are still a great resource on your webiste which you can leverage to promote affiliate links, collect emails, or just engage with your audience.

Final Thoughts

Updating your website content is good for both search engines and your human audience. It can be a challenge to do it regularly, especially if you have a large amount of content. With clear goals in mind and a consistent strategy, it's not an impossible problem.

The folks who update will benefit in the long term!

Join the Discussion
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Swangirl Premium
Thanks for these ideas. I tend to feel like I should fix my worst posts so thanks for explaining we should actually fix up our good posts. I don't have thousands of posts (or even hundreds) yet so I should be able to update all of mine. I have worked on some of them but there is still more to do.

Updating existing posts is a great thing to do if you just don't feel inspired to write anything new! That is where I am right now so I will start updating.

Jessica
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nathaniell Premium
I see more and more of the 80/20 principle at work with my websites every day.
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RosanaHart Premium
I update some and just leave some! Writing my memoirs as a series of books is much more fun and may turn out to pay better. Can't wait to get to "I Fell in Love with a Hippie"
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Crazyhaggis Premium
A good reminder to perhaps start updating articles sooner rather than later, or at least before the number of articles becomes too large.
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nathaniell Premium
Definitely. I tend to let things get out of hand, and I'm really trying to NOT do that starting in 2019 :)
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MarionBlack Premium
Funny you should write about this today. I spent yesterday working on updating an article because the main plugin mentioned is now broken 👀😒 I've still got lots to do. It's a long pillar article which gets traffic.
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nathaniell Premium
Sounds like a lot of WORK. Enjoy LOL!
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SondraM Premium
Great post Nathaniell. As I was reading, I was asking myself how you prioritize which ones to work on. Thanks for providing that answer also.

Best wishes with your updating process. May it be well spent time.
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nathaniell Premium
Glad I was able to answer your question within the article Sondra!
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