In addition to ProductiveWriters.com, I also write the Writing College Textbook Supplements blog, which is devoted to my specific freelance writing specialty. I started the blog back in April of 2009, right after I released the first edition my e-book Writing College Textbook Supplements: The Definitive Guide to Winning High-Paying Assignments in the College Textbook Publishing Market. (And it does pay quite well. I typically make $50-$100 per hour. See my recent post about the new second edition.)
But I was a total newbie at WordPress then, and I was still early in my blogger learning curve. So I recently took a couple of hours and went through all my old posts, rewriting many. Here’s what I did.
Edited the Blog Posts for Appearance
My first theme had lots of problems, so I had to half-ass a lot of things. Plus I didn’t really know what I was doing with WordPress and some of the posts were on the ugly side.
So I cleaned things up and made all the posts consistent in appearance.
Edited the Blog Posts for Style
I actually didn’t do too much with this, but I lightly edited some passages.
Edited the Blog Posts for Search Engine Optimization with Thesis
I bought the Thesis premium WordPress theme developer’s license and applied it to the Writing College Textbook Supplements blog. (I really like Thesis. My web guy also used it for this blog and my Northern California Hiking Trails blog.)
One of the many advantages of Thesis is its strong ability to optimize blog posts for search engines. So, for the posts that I thought had a significant chance of being search-engine worthy, I…
1. Reduced the number of post tags/meta keywords for each post to between 3 and 5 of the terms I think are a combination of the most relevant and most likely to put me on page 1 of Google.
2. Added a custom meta description.
3. Added a custom title tag.
4. Add H2 and H3 heads with keywords, where appropriate.
5. Cross-linked posts. This was a biggie. It’s not too hard to remember relevant old posts when I’m writing a new post, but a lot of those old posts should have links to the newer posts. And that I did.
My traffic at the site has doubled, and that includes a doubling of visitors who found me through search engines. I’m also selling a lot more e-books, in part because of recent improvements to the sales page, but also just because of the increased traffic. And, importantly, I’m getting more clients who find me through searches.
What do you think of my process? Anything else I should do with old posts? Do you need to polish your old posts?