Deciding whether or not to delete old blog posts makes even seasoned bloggers hesitate.
Putting in hard work to publish helpful content makes any blogger think twice about trashing old blog content.
Scanning the URL slug for this post reveals the original content I published in 2014. I explained how deleting 3400 blog posts, a blog and brand formed the basis of Blogging From Paradise. Trashing 3000 plus posts was the best blogging decision for me because doing so led to me create this blog.
However, I agonized over making this choice because releasing over 6 year’s worth of blogging work scared me. I faced similar fears over the past few days because even though my intuition told me that it was time for another blog overhaul I still feared letting go. Eventually, I decided to let go 1000 plus posts on Blogging From Paradise based on a strong intuitive pull over the past few days.
I want to help you decide whether or not to delete old blog posts based on my experience to give you confidence in making your decision. The ego tries to terrify you with the fear of loss versus opening your eyes to what sweet success you can and will gain by improving the overall quality of your blog.
Frame your blog as a full body of work. Never think in terms of one blog post to the next blog post to gauge your blog. Consider the:
- detailed nature
of every single blog post on your blog to consider the collective nature of your blogging campaign.
Seeing your blog as a full body of work can help you easily delete any old blog post that does not meet your quality and/or relevance parameters.
Before deciding whether or not you should delete old blog posts consider these pros and cons.
Prune Your Blogging Tree to Build Credibility
I deleted over 1000 blog posts this past week because:
- no one read most of the posts
- most of the posts were thin
- none of the posts ranked on Google
- 100’s of the posts were link-only posts pointing to videos I published to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Perhaps I have built solid credibility through my in-depth blog posts but I still have not reached the next-level credibility of the top bloggers in the world solely because many posts I recently deleted were good but not great. Pros like Neil Patel, Brian Dean and Adam Connell publish great content every time out. None of these pros ever publishes good, average or mediocre content.
My 600 word posts seemed helpful but none of these posts did anything to build an eye-popping, high-level blog and brand. Trashing these posts pruned my blogging tree to largely leave a collection of 1000-3000 word in-depth, detailed blog posts. Note; I am still deleting thin posts or updating these posts with a few hundred extra words to beef up these offerings.
Delete old blog posts if the posts do not bolster your:
- brand awareness
- blogging reputation
Let go what does not genuinely build your blogging business with detailed content. Prune your blogging tree to develop even stronger credibility in your blogging niche.
Feel Good about Your Content
I felt really good about my blog after deleting old blog posts this week. Trashing thin content influenced me to feel better about my blog, brand and business.
Deleting thin content also gave me greater confidence in knowing that my updated posts will rank more quickly as Google weighs the full body of blogging work.
True to form, a post I just updated and re-published yesterday ranks #1 on Google for the phrase “blogging for fun and profit”:
Amazing things happen when you feel really good, clear and confident about your blog. Trash old posts that cause you not to feel good and clear on your blog. Release bad-feeling posts not up to your current quality standards. Feel better about the quality of all posts published to your blog. See where these good-feeling vibes take you.
Delete Topical Content to Be Relevant to Google and Readers
I trashed a few old blog posts celebrating upcoming trips – at those times – because said posts no longer seem relevant for you or Google.
- took those trips
- published posts about those trips
Perhaps digging in to the travel time capsule seems neat but I intend to be fully relevant for each piece of content I publish on Blogging From Paradise.
Delete any post not evergreen in nature to send a clear signal to Google and readers: all content on your blog is relevant, timely and useful today. Google loves evergreen content. People love knowing that content is up-to-date.
Let go outdated posts. Be relevant to increase your blogging success.
Exercise Quality Control
One of my Twitter followers recently remarked how I had not proof read a guest post on my blog. On clicking through I realized how the guest post seemed littered with grammatical errors. I immediately deleted the post that had somehow evaded my attention to that point.
Reading the post shocked me. I had been mindless enough at that point to publish content without proof-reading the work. I chalked it up to being in a different frame of mind during this stretch but knew that I had to trash this post and other guest posts not up to my writing standards.
Delete low quality posts dripping with grammatical errors and typos to attract a high quality readership. Allow your blogging success to expand based on the high quality of every blog post and guest post appearing on your blog.
Maintain Brand Consistency
I deleted almost all guest posts on Blogging From Paradise this past week because most posts offered good value but did not remain consistent with my blogging brand story.
I write how I write. A few guest posts seemed similar to my writing style but most did not match the Blogging From Paradise experience. At the end of the day, bloggers need to delete what does not fit their brand message and overall blogging experience.
Let go what you published when you lacked brand clarity. Keep what remains aligned with your blogging brand.
I created many dead links the week prior while deleting 1000 plus posts on my blog.
Readers clicking through to a dead link can lessen your blogging credibility in their eyes.
Dead links may also be an inconvenience for fellow bloggers on whose blog you guest posted. However, any seasoned veteran knows that this is part of the blogging business. 1000’s of guest posts I published on various blogs disappeared overnight the moment blogs changed ownership. Professional bloggers know that dead links, guest posts disappearing as blogs change hands and similar events are all part of the pro blogging game.
Be prepared to clean up all of the links on your blog pointing to your deleted posts. Fixing these links can consume a significant chunk of your attention and energy if you delete a high volume of blog posts.
Possible Google Penalty
As always, some bloggers claim that Google heavily penalizes your blog based on deleting a decent chunk of old posts while other bloggers offer more cryptic explanations regarding Google and deleted old blog posts.
At the end of the day, Google algorithms may penalize websites if users click through to a link that does not deliver an accurate solution to the user intent. My handful of posts ranking on Google prior to my recent mass post purge rank fine as of now but I will scan their performance over the next week to see if Blogging From Paradise suffers from Google penalties.
Should you delete old blog posts?
Weigh the pros and cons based on your specific situation.
Assess your full body of work. I published 50-100 in-depth, detailed blog posts building a granite-like foundation for a thriving blogging campaign. But then I watered down this seemingly fabulous foundation with 1000 plus thin posts perhaps good but certainly not great. Why would I make readers sift through thin, mediocre content to access my highly-detailed, rich content?
Deleting these old posts was a smart decision for me because the downside of dead links pales in comparison to building rock solid credibility with a collection of highly-detailed, in-depth, 1,500 to 3,000 word blog posts.
Do what makes sense for you. If you blogged with great clarity for a while maybe you only need to delete 5-10 blog posts. However, if you have only published high-quality, relevant content you do not need to delete any old blog posts.
Beware of Making This Mistake
Be far more afraid of holding back your long term success than fearing a high volume of dead links.
Beware of making the common but damaging blogging mistake of being afraid to lose:
- low quality links
- low quality content
- irrelevant content
to the tune of struggling for months or years with your blogging campaign. Bloggers fear deleting the very low quality content forming all of their blogging struggles.
Do not fear letting go what needs to go in order for you to succeed. Develop a deeper fear of holding on to what causes your blogging failure.
Do you routinely delete old blog posts?
Or do you fear deleting old blog posts?
What pros and cons can you add to this list?