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Could Your Blog Use a Bit of a Trim?

Could your blog use a bit of a trim? Weeding out old blog posts – floral background

Recently I was doing some housekeeping on my blog and I decided to delete a number of old blog posts, maybe 100-150.  I haven’t the slightest idea as to whether or not that’s something that you “should” do or not, but I thought I’d share the things I considered when I did it.

Is it evergreen?

A nice thing about the WordPress My Sites dashboard is that when you’re scrolling through your list of published posts, you can easily see how many recent views there have been.  A fair number of my older posts are “evergreen,” and continue to get some traffic.  Those posts all stayed put.

I don’t have a lot of diary-style posts, so keeping those for my own personal record wasn’t much of an issue.  My weekend wrap-up posts are the closest equivalent to that, and those stayed put.  The older weekend wrap-ups don’t continue to get views, but I would never delete any of those.

There are some posts that have a very short lifespan.  Question posts, tags, and blog awards don’t draw visitors for very long after they’ve been published, at least in my experience.  I to hang onto a few of the blog award posts, but deleted a lot of them.  I decided to get rid of quite a few question posts, prompts, and tags because they’re not really doing anything for my blog anymore.

Reblogs

I also got rid of posts I’d reblogged.  I never did a lot of reblogs to begin with, but I pruned out those that I did.  They’re good at the time when they show up in people’s Reader feed, but beyond that, they’re just a one-paragraph excerpt that’s not going to draw anyone in on an ongoing basis.

Considerations before deleting

Another consideration was internal linking.  I’ve created a lot of links among my posts, and I didn’t want to delete posts and then have to track down the newly broken links I’d created.  Nobody likes broken links and that 404 error – page not found.  With assorted tags, question posts, or holiday posts, I know that I never create links to posts like that, so I could be pretty sure anything I was deleting was its own little island.

This was the first time I ever deleted anything more than the occasional post here and there, although I think I did weed out a number of reblogs a while back.  I don’t think I would consider deleting posts that have anything substantial to say, but the tags and Q&As from a couple of years back just didn’t seem to be adding any benefit to the blog.

Less is more

Mostly this was something I decided to do because in my world, less is better.  From an SEO perspective, it might be a slightly good thing, in the sense that the kinds of posts I deleted would be of little interest to search engines, for the same reason they don’t continue to get views.  I doubt it would have much influence, but I really have no idea.  And, more importantly, I don’t really care.

So, I’m not saying this is something that you should do or something that’s necessarily a good thing.  It’s simply a thing, and I thought about, so I wrote about it.

Have you ever gone back and weeded through old posts?  Why or why not?

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49 thoughts on “Could Your Blog Use a Bit of a Trim?”

  1. I’ve gone back and deleted a couple of mine after allowing them to stew for a bit. Mostly, offbeat rants that I shouldn’t have posted initially. Once they served a purpose beyond the shallow satisfaction of tap publish, they outlived their purpose.

  2. Interesting thoughts! I never bother to remove posts unless I regret writing one at the time, and then I’ll remove it shortly after.

  3. Good idea! I’m reopening one of my blogs and that is something that I am in the process of doing. I also go through them to see if I can take something from 2016 and make it valuable to today’s readers since it seems that my readership has drastically since then.

  4. Did you preserve or delete any posts specifically because of comments? Did Comment content or volume play any role? Just curious.

    Like Meg, we sometimes immediately delete a post: too vulnerable usually.

    If our free WP plan says someday, “You used too much space. We are coming to eat you,” then we would start pruning.

    1. There was only ever one post I deleted because of comments, and It was just because the comments made it clear that the post hadn’t come off the way I intended it to, and I couldn’t be bothered rewritng it. There have also been times when I’ve deleted specific comments that were spammy or otherwise obnoxious. Aside from that, though, comments haven’t factored in.

  5. I have gone back and deleted some of my older posts. Especially ones that are no longer relevant or didn’t have much thought put into them. I have also gone back and improved some of my older posts and reshared them. I think it helps to weed things out a bit.

  6. Like you, I’ve deleted the occasional blog post. Something I really like about you and your approach to blogging, is that you have just the right amount of apathy going for you… you don’t give a damn about the things that don’t matter. I love that! 🙂

  7. I’m still relatively new to blogging so I’m not quite ready to delete any posts. Of course I will as my posts increase, but it all sounds a bit scary – I’m such a klutz and technophobe, I’d be terrified I mess my blog up lol.

    1. I just noticed today that I accidentally trashed a post (which I also managed to permanently delete from the trash) that I wanted to keep. Oh well, I guess shit happens!

  8. Yep. Have deleted lots… political rants, humor that didn’t quite work, dating whines, etc. Some years have huge gaps in posts. I think it’s a great idea!

  9. On my first blog, I deleted the odd post which was either not relevant anymore or just didn’t add anything to the blog. I will most likely do the same with my new blog 🙂

  10. I think I will weed out my posts in the future, when I have some more. My goal would be to make a coherent blog with the occasional odd thing for funzies. On the other hand I have a personal blog where I document my journey, so that would be important too for myself, to keep some ‘highlights’ in for me, to have a grasp at my process.
    Overall I think it is a good idea to delete things that don’t matter anymore or don’t serve you. Nice post!

    1. Thanks! Yeah it’s nice to have funzies thrown in, and then those are easy to weed out down the road when they’ve made their contribution and they’re ready to retire.

    1. Thanks! I’d like to go back at some point and give some of the posts from blog’s early days a bit of a facelift and then bring them out to the world again.

  11. I don’t always delete old posts but revert to draft instead. I’m thinking of refreshing some old posts to see if I can gain some views on them. Before my blog got properly established I had quite a few posts nobody ever saw 😂
    ~ Marie ~

  12. Hmm, I would if I hit the WordPress free blog storage cap. I don’t tend to delete though, but prefer to priviatise them. Or if I want to share it with only some people, password protect.

  13. I’ve never thought of it… a lot of my picture posts or songs probably don’t get views so I could delete them. It’s a thought…
    Love, light and glitter

  14. A clear out is always good for the soul. I also think as the years pass and you look at old posts, sometimes you don’t recognize yourself in them anymore.

  15. I did late last year, mainly the award posts because like you say, they just don’t get views months after being published. Definitely felt less cluttered for it! 💚

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