AskPat 348 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 348 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Alright, here's today's question from Bethany.
Bethany: Hi Pat, my name is Bethany. I was wondering how often you go back and edit all of your blog posts. I know if you have a new video that would fit in a post that you shared a few years ago, how do you go back and organize all that? Or how do you find the old posts and where the new information might fit in to the old information? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Bethany, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. Honestly, I mean to tell you straight up, I don't do as good of a job as I could with going back and editing old posts. I do, sometimes, but oftentimes they are because people have either prompted me or emailed me or messaged me or tweeted at me to do so, or were asking questions about older posts that then I go back to, and I'm like, “Wow, this could actually be updated.” Then I do it right then and there. Not as good as I could be.
Now what would be ideal? Ideal is, I would come out with a new post, and as I'm publishing it or before I hit the publish button, or perhaps even right after, doesn't matter, just as long as you're thinking about it. You hit publish. You check out what other blog posts that you've had in the past that can potentially relate to it. There's a lot of things you can do. It's not just going back into older posts and updating them. It's going up to older posts and adding new resources, adding new links, maybe changing the information. Sometimes, and I've done this in the past again, prompted by my audience, which is great, I love my audience for this, but again I could be more proactive: Going back to older posts, saying at the top of the post that there is a new, updated version, and linking directly to that new post. Or if, for example, maybe the post talks about one particular part of a much bigger topic. And if it's a new post, you go back into older ones that are related to the same topic and say, “Hey, here's the next part, or here's another look at this very same topic,” or going back into the past and cross-linking actually. Saying in the past post that you have or podcast episode or video or whatever it is, using text to say, “Oh, we actually have an updated version that talks about another part of this particular topic, go ahead and check it out here.”
Again, it just becomes a great resource overall. Your site becomes a great resource when you can interlink and share things and also have things be as updated as possible. One of the cool things to do instead of actually going back to an older post and updating it, at which point you would know that people who are brand new to your site might never see it, people who are subscribed to your RSS feed don't see it because that's already been published. So instead of actually just focusing on going back into time and updating an old post, which I think you should still do, but let me talk more about that in a sec . . . Instead of only thinking about that older post, you actually take that topic and bring it back to life. You talk about it again. That's okay, and you can use that opportunity to talk about it in a different light. You can talk about it at a different ankle, you can . . . “angle” is what I meant to say, not “ankle.” You can update people on your progress on that particular thing. You can maybe bring it back and say, “You know what? This doesn't work anymore,” or, “You know what? This actually works in this way this time.”
And then that's cool because everybody who is brand new to your site will see. It'll be fresh in your archives. People who are subscribed to your RSS will see it. There'll be more opportunities for people to share that article. There'll be more opportunities for people to subscribe to your list because of that article. But then you can go back in time because a lot of things that happened in the past in your blog are probably getting found in Google as well, and so you want to make sure that people that come to your older posts are seeing fresh, new content, whether you change that as well. Even if you kind of bring it back into a new post . . . I mean it's okay to write about the same thing twice. That was a big realization for me because a lot of people don't see both posts. A lot of people do see both posts but appreciate the different spin or angle, and a lot of people are happy to be reminded of something that you've written about a long time ago that they might have to read again because they missed or they didn't have an opportunity to put that into practice.
Now, if I could create a schedule in terms of how often I should go back and edit and update old posts, I would say at least once a month. Spending an hour or two going back into the past and seeing what old posts that I could update and spending a little bit of time updating those as well, whether that's linking to a new resource or post or just completely changing that copy, so that it is updated. That's how I would approach it. I would literally put it in a calendar, and I should do this and you'll see a lot of new things come out on Smart Passive Income, where I'll be putting better things into practice. You'll see a lot of the different components of Smart Passive Income start to talk to each other in a cohesive manner. This is what I'm talking about is a brand, or rebranding, kind of happening that's happening later this year, so that'll be kind of cool. I will be putting a lot of very regimented practices into place to keep the content going and keep the content fresh.
One of those things is actually going back into the past and, you know, there are people out there that could potentially do that for you on your team, for example. Or you could hire somebody to go back into the past and give you a list of the blog posts that you need to potentially go back to, so that you don't have to go into each and every one of your own. One thing that could actually help, which can really help those that are just starting out especially, is actually keeping a spreadsheet of all the posts that you've written including keywords and maybe general summaries of each of those topics so that you can go back in the future. “Back to the future.” See what I did there? So in the future, you could go back and see, in a really quick bird's eye point of view, everything that you have going on. You'll be able to sort them, see potentially what topics could be written about more, or see which ones seem to be most popular, and go back into the past and see which ones could potentially need to be updated.
Having a spreadsheet, even just a Google sheet for that is something that I think would be really helpful and something that I could probably have one of my VAs do for me, so I can have that list which would be really helpful. I have that for AskPat because I needed it to create the show and put all the pieces together. I didn't do that for my blog and 600 posts in, now I'm finally realizing that it would have been nice to spend just a few seconds to put those into a spreadsheet before hitting publish. It's something I might do in the future to stay organized which is really important as you move forward.
So Bethany, thank you so much for the question today. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. You'll hear from my assistant within the next couple of weeks so that we can collect your information for that. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com, you can ask right there on that page.
And finally, I'd love to end with a quote from Maya Angelou. She says, “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.”
Thank you so much for listening in today. I really appreciate it and as always, I am really excited to serve you in whatever episode of AskPat you listen to next. Thank you so much, I appreciate you, take care.