Old Post Promoter
New readers miss old content!
That’s really the truth of it. Regardless of how much your readers love you, very few will read through your archives.
This is particularly true once you’ve been blogging at a high volume for several months. You will start finding yourself saying to a reader… but did you see my post on that topic? Or… why did you ask that, I have a post on it!
Fortunately, there’s a plugin to help with this!
If you’ve been a long time reader of mine, you might have last noticed Friday’s post looked rather familiar! In fact, if you looked closely you would have noted that a lot of of the comments were dated from several months ago. (There is also a little tiny line at the bottom of the post that says “Originally posted 2010-01-10 00:05:32.” which is not the date stamp at the top of the post.
So, what sneaky trick is this? This is a nice simple little wordpress plugin named Old Post Promoter.
Old Post Promoter will, at an interval you specify, randomly choose posts you have published previously and change their published dates to make them appear on your front page and in your RSS feed. This does not duplicate the post and should pose no SEO issues as it does not create duplicate content.
Technical note: Old Post Promoter does not work if your permalink structure includes dates.
Usage note: This plugin is not for someone just getting started. Anyone with under 3-6 months on their blog likely should skip this for now. This also is not idea for a blog that is not high volume. If you do not update your blog regularly, your readers are rapidly going to get annoyed at seeing only recycled content.
You will find Old Post Promoter in the Plugins -> Add New -> Search in your Dashboard. It installed without conflicts and its setup configuration is easy.
Old Post Promoter Settings
There are a couple settings here worth noting:
1. The first two fields are your twitter username and password so it can send an auto tweet when it loads a post. (I did not personally test that this is working, but figured why not!)
2. Minimum Interval: This is essentially how often the plugin will promote a post. I currently am experimenting with every 7 days, however I’m not convinced that that will not be too high even for my high volume blog. On a blog that is updated twice a week, this is likely too often. Use your common sense and experiment.
3. Post Age Before Eligible for Promotion: This prevents the plugin from recycling newer posts that readers most likely still have in their active memory. This is one of the reasons this plugin is not suitable for new bloggers.
4. Position to Promote: You can chose first or second position. I currently set it to first as I knew that the change to the RSS stream in first position would be picked up by Facebook’s NetworkedBlogs application. However, it displaced a rather important post, and I look forward to seeing if I can use it in 2nd position with NetworkedBlogs.
5. I have the original post date showing only at the end of the post. I wasn’t thrilled with it at the top of the post since my layout is already a little tricky due to the number of social widgets up there.
6. Near the bottom you see a category that I have excluded from being affected by Old Post Promoter named “Time Sensitive”. I found this was an important addition. This lets me flag any post that was time sensitive and should not be promoted back to current. If I make a post that is about an event next week, I will put it in its appropriate category but ALSO in “time sensitive” so it will not re-publish again in 3 months! (Can you imagine the confusion this would cause your readers?) I still have to track down all of my time sensitive posts yet …
Summary of Old Post Promoter
Rating: (4 stars of 5 possible due being dangerous for lightweight & low frequency blogs)
That’s a lot of words for what really is a very simple wordpress plugin! This is definitely a case of “use responsibly”. Used right this will benefit your readers and yourself – overused and you will lose readers. Setup is simple and straight forward. This is definitely a new must-have for this particular blog (but is not appropriate on my two low volume blogs).
Hopefully this helps you have one more way to maximize the results of the effort that goes into writing good content. Like it? Love it? Thoughts or questions? I look forward to hearing your comments! If you enjoyed this post I hope you will share it with others!
PS: Looking for a way to increase the visibility of old tweets on twitter as well? After you leave a comment, be sure to check out this other nifty plugin called Tweet Old Posts!