How To Safely Republish Blog Content (& Update It)

Republish blog content
Table of Contents

Do you want to republish blog content, but you’re not sure how to do it safely? Sometimes, a really good piece of content can be updated, or republished on another site.

We’ve been running this blog since 2010, and we’ve republished a lot of blogs in that time. This article will explain our usual process, including:

  • how to republish content
  • how to avoid 404 errors when you republish blog posts
  • how to republish blog content on Medium
  • how to make sure you always get credit when you republish blogs on other sites.

Can You Repost Blog Content Without Penalties?

Yes, you can repost blog content on your own site or someone else’s without getting a penalty. Doing this can actually help you to rank for new keywords, and you can also squeeze a lot of value out of old posts that you’ve already invested time and money producing.

In this article, we’re going to focus on republishing blog posts that you wrote yourself. We’re not going to talk about republishing other people’s content on your blog – that’s a lot more complicated.

How To Safely Republish Blog Content

Let’s dive in and look at some ways to republish content. We’ll start out with blog post updates, and then we’ll move on to republishing blog content on other sites.

Why should I republish blog content?

Content is a big investment for small businesses. Over time, you’ll find that your old blog posts can go stale.

But content marketing isn’t a one-shot opportunity. You can update old content in the same way you update your website.

Republish blog content by writing a new version of an old post

In fact, it’s good practice to republish, repurpose, combine, and optimise old posts to get more value from them. You might notice opportunities to improve your posts when looking at your competitors’ content. Or you might find new opportunities to add keywords or content when you run them through an optimiser tool like Frase.

Republishing old content is a good idea because:

  • It’s cheaper than writing new content (although you should be doing that as well)
  • You can build on the success of your articles by adding value
  • Your newly refreshed article can be reshared on your Twitter, company LinkedIn page, and so on
  • Fresh content with a recent date has a better chance of getting links.

If you have a fairly small marketing budget, republishing content should definitely be part of your strategy. 

How do I decide which blog posts to republish?

We recommend that you review and update important blog posts every 6 months at a minimum.

We usually do this when we carry out a content audit for a customer.

Look for posts that have a low conversion rate, or a high bounce rate, but still have some valuable information. Also, seek out opportunities to roll up several small posts into one larger one.

We don’t recommend spending a lot of time rewriting thin content. If a post isn’t getting much traffic, there usually isn’t a lot of benefit in adding to it, and you might be better off starting again from scratch.

Can I delete old blog posts safely?

Yep. Deleting old posts is actually a good idea.

When we relaunched our website, we deleted about 75% of our old blog posts. As a result of this, our rankings went up.

Updating old blog posts and deleting them in WordPress

When you’re deleting posts, avoid leaving a ‘dead end’ that will result in a 404 error for your customers. You’ll want to add a redirect so that search engines like Google know where to find the new version of the post.

We recommend the Redirection WordPress plugin for this, although some SEO plugins also have a redirection feature.

How do I improve an old blog post to republish it?

When you review the older blogs on your site, look for every opportunity to improve the piece of content. The strategy will be different for each article. But you could try:

Aim to bring the post up to the standard of your competitors’ posts on the same subject.

Take a look at the search engine ranking for the post as well. If you have a decent article that is old and not ranking particularly well, you can run it through a number of tools to decide if it’s worth improving or changing the keyword focus.

Blog posts in search results

We recommend the following tools (many are free):

  • Ubersuggest lets you easily find related keywords for blog posts. Run your main keyword through the Keyword Ideas tool and look at questions or related searches. You might find a better fit, or a new keyword that’s easier to rank for. Ubersuggest gives you 3 searches a day on the free plan, which is enough to optimise a few posts each week.
  • Frase checks your existing piece of content against top search results. You can also import posts from WordPress and see focus keywords that you could include by comparing it with the best ranked posts on the same topic. Be sure to remove sources that don’t match your article to avoid keyword stuffing. 
  • Keyword Sheeter is a free tool that spits out related keywords. It won’t tell you which ones to try and rank for, but it’s a good way to brainstorm new topics to expand your article. Keyword Sheeter struggles with very niche topics, but it’s great for posts that have broad appeal.
  • SearchVolume.io is another free tool that gives you a rough idea of search volume. Use this as a guide if you have tons of keywords you’re considering and you’re not sure which ones to focus on. Although it can only give you a rough idea of volume, it’s better than guessing which terms are most popular.
  • MonsterInsights Headline Analyzer helps you to formulate better blog post titles. This can help you to find better ways to use your keywords and make better use of the available character count in the headline.
  • And don’t forget: any free WordPress SEO plugin will give you some basic guidance on your content and keyword usage. 

As always, you should use your judgment with any content analysis tool to make sure that its recommendations are relevant:

  • Don’t go through adding every word that the platform recommends just to bump up the score. No AI tool is perfect when it comes to content marketing. You’ll need to hire a good SEO copywriter to get all of the topics into the article naturally.
  • You should still be aiming for quality content above all else. Don’t be steered into stuffing keywords at the expense of readability.

How do I republish content in WordPress?

First, you’ll want to rewrite your content in a new draft post so that you don’t disturb the original content until you’re ready to publish. 

When the content is ready to go, you have 2 options:

  • Republish the post as a brand new article. Remove the old article and add a redirect to the new one using the Redirection plugin.
  • Keep the old post as a ‘shell’. Remove all of the content and images and replace them with the new blog post, then change the date.

Either of these is a valid way to publish recycled content. If you’re not confident with using a redirection plugin, the second option will be easier. Just remember that you need to work on the post in one shot. Don’t click Update until your new post is 100% finished.

Can I republish a blog post as an ebook?

Yes! And turning a blog post into a book is a great way to recycle content and get more value from it. There’s no harm in using the same content in different formats to see what works, so you could have the same content in a blog post and an ebook and measure the results.

There are plugins to convert posts to PDFs, which are awesome if you’re short of time. But for the best results, we recommend you pick your best quality content and design it nicely with its own cover.

Blog post on an ebook

It’s very easy to republish a blog post as an ebook with Designrr. The tool automatically imports your post content and sets up the basic formatting. You will have to edit it manually, to some degree, and the text positioning can be a little frustrating. But aside from that, we found it surprisingly quick and easy to use. You can download our free ebook to see what the end result looks like.

If you need someone to edit and format your ebook, our ebook writers can help. We all have experience with Designrr and can help you with the formatting as well.

Can you repost blog content on other sites?

Yes! If you want to repost blog content on other sites, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, content syndication is a great way to reach a wider audience.

Yahoo! and MSN are well known syndication partners for many large brands . It’s also fairly common for news websites to republish content from agencies or other partners. 

We’ve written a lot about republishing business blogs as Medium posts, which is probably one of the easiest ways to get your content out to a wider audience. You can use a similar process to republish your content on LinkedIn, but this will obviously only really be worth it if you’re B2B or you’re looking to build a personal profile.

What are the benefits of content syndication?

You might think that content syndication means you’re just giving away your best content. But as long as there’s a link back to your site, you have the chance to benefit from that. So it’s a real win-win for both sites.

There are 2 main ways to use a link in a syndicated post:

  • In the author bio
  • (Sensibly) within the post content.

The second option is a powerful way of getting traffic to flow back to your site without any effort. We’ve successfully used this tactic by posting a blog in 2 parts; the first part was syndicated on a big site with a link to the second part on our site.

Website with links

Remember: internal links should always be positioned where the reader would expect to find them, and should be contextually relevant. If you try to link to a double glazing site from a blog about yoga, there’s a good chance that search engines will see that as unnatural.

If I republish a post on another site, will it be considered duplicate content?

Duplicate content penalties strike fear into the hearts of small businesses. The short answer is that republishing blog content on other sites is fine if you do it right.

Don’t just copy the entire post into a new one and publish it. If you repost a blog on another site, you should add a rel=canonical link so that Google knows where the original is. 

What is rel=canonical?

Rel=Canonical is a tag you can add to your content if it’s copied from another site.

The tag goes into the page header, before the closing </head> tag. It helps search engines to find the original so they don’t accidentally pick it up as a duplicate.

And it looks like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/original-blog-post">

Using canonical links, you could publish a post on your own website first, and then easily publish the same blog on Medium. That’s because Medium has a field for the original source URL, so it’s very easy to safely republish posts on there.

You can also easily use canonical links to republish posts on someone else’s blog:

  • Place the rel=canonical tag in the header when republishing blog content, not after it’s been indexed. Check with the other site that they know how to do this before they go live.
  • Only use one rel=canonical tag per page.
  • Know that rel=canonical doesn’t necessarily mean that Google will rank the original copy of the blog highest in search results. But it will signal to Google where the content originally came from.

If you’re unsure about canonical links or how to add them to your content, a good SEO plugin for WordPress will give you the option to easily add a canonical link to a post.

How can I get more social shares after republishing content?

When you republish blog content, don’t forget to post it with a new date. This will bump it up to the top of your RSS feed, and that gives you a better chance of getting more shares.

You can also hook up your RSS feed to social sharing tools that will do a lot of the legwork for you.

Share and like on social media

We partially automate social sharing to help our blog posts get more exposure. Here are a few tools we’d recommend for that:

  • Missinglettr Postbox: Add your content to a pool so that other users can find and share it. In return, you can add your social media accounts and pick out content and blog posts from other users to easily share. This really does work: you’ll see a good uplift in traffic from Postbox providing your post sits one of the popular categories (business, productivity, social media, and so on).
  • Publer: Drip feed your new post to increase the potential traffic. Just add your RSS feed and your posts will be automatically scheduled when you republish them. You can also set posts to be automatically reposted on a schedule.
  • Dlvr.it: Schedule posts from your own feeds and others. Dlvr.it is starting to show its age but still has some useful features if you’re prepared to pay for one of its higher plans.

Ready to Republish Your Content?

Republishing blog posts and updating content is a really easy way to improve your rankings. It can also help your customers by answering their questions more effectively. If you need help updating your old content, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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