This is one of those blogging topics where there is no right wrong, there’s just what works for your blog. In this post I’ll cover a few things to consider when making a decision. And to clarify, when I say repost, I don’t mean doing an update to an existing post, but rather changing the status of a post to publish again at a certain date and time.
Let’s start off with the benefits. If you’re not blogging super frequently, reposting is a good way to get back up near the top of the WordPress reader so that more people are likely to see your post. If you posted a few days ago and some of your regular readers missed it, they’re probably not going to be looking that far back in the Reader, so by reposting it you give them another chance to see it.
You can also repost older content that many of your newer readers wouldn’t have seen before. Most of us get better at blogging with practice, so if you go back and spruce up one of your early posts, it may get a very good response if you repost it now. Just because some of your content is older doesn’t mean it’s no good anymore, so why not bring some of it out to play?
Reposting can also save a lot of time if you’re posting the same thing on a regular basis, like a call-out for a series that you run. Another way to do it is to take advantage of the copy post feature – I find this convenient as I’ll create a template for a weekly series, and then each week I can make a copy of that template draft to write up the current week’s post. It saves a lot of time.
One of the downsides of reposting is that it changes the permalink associated with your post. WordPress.com blog permalinks take the form of:
I believe that when you’re self-hosted you can set up your permalinks so the date is not involved. I haven’t come across a way to do that in WordPress.com, though.
So, let’s say I had created a few internal links on other posts to point to that compassion-focused therapy post. (Note: internal links are links on a blog post/page that connect to another post/page on your site.) Or perhaps I had shared the post on social media. If I republish that post today, the new permalink will change to reflect today’s date. Anything that linked back to the original Sept 20 post will generate a 404 error (page not found). That’s not a good thing for people trying to view your post. Broken internal links also look bad to search engines.
For some people, this isn’t going to be an issue at all. For others it will. It all depends on how you run your blog.
There’s another potential downside that can come with reposting to stay current in the WordPress Reader. You’ll need to figure out the right frequency so that you’re visible but not overzealous and overly visible. If you’re doing it too often it can be a bit much for readers. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen anyone not strike the right balance, but there’s been the odd time in the pas that I’ve seen bloggers do a good job of finding the right balance, but there’s been the odd time I’ve thought the blogger needed to ease off a bit.
Personally, I don’t do much reposting. The biggest reason is that I do a lot of internal linking on my blog, and I don’t want to inadvertently mess up my links. One thing I do repost, though, is promo posts for emerging blogger and any other series I have going. I always create my links to the static series page and than promo posts, so I know it won’t disrupt my linking. It’s also easier for me because I don’t have to take the time to do a new post each time around.
Is reposting a strategy that you use on your own blog?
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