Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Old Ones

No, not that ancient race that's coming back to take vengeance on us someday (or something like that), and I'm not referring to the elderly either (though they have taken their revenge by bleeding the rest of us dry with their Social Security and Medicare trough-feeding); no, I'm talking about your old posts.

When I first starting reading blogs a few years ago and before I started blogging myself (if you can call what I do blogging) I came across a blog by a young woman who had just started making posts, and in the comments on one of them she expressed her regret that she had not started sooner. It seems she noticed that other blogs had a large number of archived posts and her blog looked terribly empty in comparison. Someone then left an encouraging comment about how it would take awhile, but she would build those archives with time. The thing is though, most new readers of a blog don't seem to bother much with investigating the older posts. If anybody at all reads them, it's people who find them through a search engine. Some of those will then look at the main page of the blog and maybe become a regular reader, but of those who find your blog through other means, very few care to read what you wrote even just last week, and if that's the case (and it seems to be) there shouldn't be any worries among new bloggers about the newness of their blogs, cause no one gives a you know what about the time and effort you put into those grand old posts anyway.

Of course, if you're looking to build traffic, you'll need a lot of old posts, because that's how many, if not most people will find your blog, through Google searches that take them to one of your older insightful articles or essays.

There are, however, methods to increase viewership of your archives, and some good ideas in the video below.

So, do you ever bother looking through the archives of a blog you've just discovered or one you really, really like? Or do you just read the new stuff? If the latter, I have to asked, why are you so prejudiced against the old ones?

How to Get People to Read Your Old Posts


  1. I like to read old posts.

    It gives me more a sense of who is posting, what they may think, as a rule.

    I mean, we all might post something off the wall from time to time. Reading back posts gives me an idea whether I'm reading a normal post of the blogger or an anomaly.

    my stuff has no patterns, other than my nonsensical ramblings ;-)

  2. Some blogs have back posts that combine to be book length. I imagine sometimes people go back, but when I discover a blog, I tend to pick it up where I found it, otherwise I would get very little else done in my life (though I would know a hell of a lot about the ideas and lives of people I never met).

    If anything, newer blogs or blogs with few posts spaced out over long periods of time are the ones I go back and read old posts from. The several hundred post archives of some of our blogs is daunting. Labels help.


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