This may seem like a strange question for a writer to ask, but I’ve indeed asked myself: can you have too many blog posts? You can have too much of anything, right? But, how can you ever have too much of your writing out there? The more blog posts you have online, then the more chances for someone to find your work. On the other hand, you want your blog posts to all be working for you. It’s actually OK to let some blog posts go from time to time, especially if they no longer draw any sort of traffic to your website.
When Do Blog Posts Outlive Their Usefulness?
Blog posts being useful doesn’t always mean what you might think. You may think that a blog post that’s outlived its usefulness is one on a trending topic that isn’t trending anymore. Still, even blog posts that you don’t think are evergreen actually can help you. As long as your information is still accurate, and it’s a post that did well for you before, it’s a smart idea to keep it around, especially if it’s a topic that trends in search every so often.
The types of blog posts that aren’t useful are those that are hopelessly outdated or never have done much at all in terms of views and interactions. Posts that still get many views or have received a lot of likes and/or comments are worth keeping because even if they’re out of date, they still bring people to your site thanks to the social proof.
Of course, we’ve all had posts that went nowhere, which perhaps got a handful of views and not much else. If they’re not adding value, feel free to take these under-performing posts off your site and have the URL direct elsewhere. I’d keep the content of the post backed up, though, because you never know if you can re-purpose it. (Often you can.)
Blog posts that add no value to your site are fine to let go. Just be sure they’re not helping your site’s search rankings or gaining traction on social media. But, if they’re doing neither after months or years of just sitting there, it’s fine to weed them out.
When There Are Blog Posts That Don’t Add Value
One type of blog post that tend to not age well are rants. Sometimes, it’s productive for writers to rant, but often these aren’t going to help you long term. If there’s a piece that you feel badly reflects on you or brought a lot of negative attention, it’s likely OK to let it go. Just like any traditional business, blogs have a brand they need to manage and protect. If you have a post that you feel hurts your blog’s well-being or no longer reflects who you are as a person, let it go. You’ll just know if you should.
That doesn’t mean you should never be controversial or delete something that got a lot if negative comments from “haters” or trolls. Those posts happen and often become our best work. But if you really misspoke or were just spouting off without much thought, and the post doesn’t add value to a discussion anymore, if it ever did in the first place, just let it go.
When You DON’T Want to Remove Blog Posts
I’ve removed posts over the years that simply were made just to make a post. Some of my early stuff were weird short musings that didn’t really go anywhere. Honestly, some of them read fine and while they’ve never gotten tons of views, they show my growth as a writer over the years. I’ve gone back and tweaked them from time to time, and that’s OK! Don’t remove posts just because they haven’t gotten views in a long time. They may just need to be shared! That is, as long as they provide some value.
So, what do I mean by adding value? Ask yourself if this is something you can see being helpful to you. Does the piece tell a story that is enjoyable to read? Does it offer advice to someone dealing with a similar experience? Is it informational or educational, and if it’s out of date, is it relatively easy to update? Some of the best online content has been tweaked and altered over the years to keep up with current search trends. That’s not to say it has to be a trending topic to keep, but if it doesn’t tell a story or provide some answers to a search query, it either needs to be reworked, repurposed, or removed all together.
Over the years, I have found many posts that needed to be “revived” in some way, while others were simply half-baked ideas that probably should have never been made public. Whenever I find I had the kernel of a good idea, I might take it down and rework it into something completely different. There’s value in being retrospective, looking back at what you wrote at one point to see how your thinking has changed. Actually, some people have told me some of my best work are pieces that have clearly evolved over time, not only in my overall writing skill, but in how I develop my arguments better and how my life experience colors my future updates.
Blog Posts Are Not as Permanent As People Might Think
The beautiful thing about blogging is that unlike traditional media which exists in a permanent form, what you post on your own blog or website can be altered pretty much at will. I’m not afraid to go back and fix things I simply had wrong, but oftentimes, I’ll still note my impressions that led me to write what I did at the time. I’ve always believed that a blog should evolve along with its creator, not be a static piece or time capsule that can’t ever grow. Some pieces are fine to keep around for a historical record, and some points age far better than you might think. It’s actually OK to be wrong sometimes, especially if you later admit where you went wrong and how you learned from that experience – if you actually did learn from that experience, that is.
Anyhow, to wrap this up and answer our initial question, I do believe that you can’t have too many blog posts if you manage them correctly. Many folks have argued that I can be too all over the place with my topical choices, but whenever I have tried to narrow my focus, it usually leads to me being burned out. Just as with any art form, you need to find your own comfort zone, and while it’s OK to step out of your comforts here and there, developing your site’s own personality and flavor is far more important than simply worrying about what’s being found on Google.
At one point, I truly believed I had too many blog posts and gutted my blogs. That turned out to be a huge mistake. When I slowly added back pieces after cleaning them up, updating them, and trying to make them valuable again, my traffic steadily climbed, then spiked. You may only get a view or two a day on a piece, but that adds up quickly. I feel we have become much too niche focused in this day and age, and while being dedicated to a niche is perfectly fine, it’s just not what’s ever worked for me.
Once you find what works for you, and you make it a point to keep your blog or website a living, breathing entity, then you can’t ever have too many blog posts. But, you can certainly have too few. So, get writing!