Rebuilding a Dying Blog: Is It Ever Too Late to Revive?

Rebuilding a Dying Blog: Is It Ever Too Late to Revive?

In this experiment, I’m going to work to rebuild a blog that is essentially on life support with a short in the plug. The idea is to get it back to where it was prior to the YMYL/Medic updates Google rolled out. So, let’s answer the question if it’s ever too late to revive a dying blog.

The site in question is Crossing Colorado’s blog. At one point, it was getting more than 200 visits per day. After the algorithm changes a few years ago, it dropped to less than 20 within six hours.

Yes, Google can kill your site that fast.

Needless to say, it sucked the life out of me and I took it pretty hard. Mostly because it was my “flagship” website and I put so much effort into building it into what it once was.

Now, I think it’s time to see if I can revive the blog and at least get the traffic going in the right direction.

How to Revive a Dying Blog

Now, this post is going to be a work in progress. So, it’s probably not going to be ultimately useful to you until the process is complete. This should take around six months to see any meaningful changes.

As I am starting this process on July 5th, It’ll be at the beginning of January of 2023 before we see significant changes.

How Does the Traffic Look Right Now?

Consistently Losing Traffic

For the first half of 2022, Crossing Colorado received an average of 51.6 pageviews per day. Unfortunately, this is going to be difficult to overcome since the site has been steadily losing monthly traffic since January.

Any improvements I do now may not look all that impressive.

For instance, the site only received 33 views per day all of June. In other words, I have my work cut out for me.

It Takes 4 to 6 Months for Content to Affect Traffic

According to the performance of my other blogs and those of my clients, it takes four to six months before content cycles properly through Google. What this means is that it could take that long before any meaningful traffic starts to register.

So, a blog post I write today may not have an impact until after 2023.

This also means that I need to plan for a long-term case study and plan continuous fixes for several months down the road. I already planned on doing this anyway, so, it’s no big deal for me.

Scheduling a 12-month Analysis

Because of how long it can take content to cycle through Google, I am planning a 12-month analysis. This means that on July 1st of 2023, I am going to take a deeper look at the numbers to see if anything I did had a real impact.

If I’m lucky, I could stumble across a topic that explodes with traffic in a short amount of time. However, it’s never good to assume that something will instantly go viral.

In order to compare progress, Crossing Colorado received an average of 61 views per day since July of 2021. Let’s see if I can surpass that number.

Step 1: Building Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness

I use scientifically-backed information in everything I claim or cover. So, I can assume that my content has Trustworthiness down. This means I don’t spout things that I don’t know as facts.

Unfortunately, I haven’t hit my goal weight yet and have issues maintaining a good health and fitness routine. I can assume that my Expertise and Authority aren’t exactly spot on.

I don’t know for sure if this is why the site took a major hit a couple of years ago or perhaps why it’s constantly slipping in traffic. But it’s a good place to start.

Besides, I would really like to hit my weight goals sometime soon.

I also need to add a contact form as I read that it can help with authority. That way, people know how to contact me should they have questions, comments, or concerns.

Step 2: Planning for High-Search-Volume Content

Here is where things get a bit sticky. I often blog about my personal experiences and struggles, but don’t often cover keyphrases and words that have a high search volume, according to Google’s Keyword Planner.

Although I do have a few articles that were working exceptionally well in the past, it’s been a long time since they were updated. And Google loves fresh and current information.

I’ll cover rewrites here in a minute.

Statistically speaking, I would need to rank very well for at least 9 new articles that have a minimum search volume of 100. If I can hit the top spot, I should easily surpass the views per day number by January.

But that’s the trick…beating out the competition in a very popular niche. Still, I’ve been able to do it before with my client’s content. If only I had their numbers!

The Plan for New Content

Last month, I had about 34 visits per day to the site. The goal is to hit over 10,000 for the month. That means I’ll need 334 visits per day, which is 10x more traffic. Yeah, that sounds like an awful lot to accomplish in a six-month period.

Since I already have 34 per day, I’ll need another 300 to hit my goal.

For this experiment, I am going to focus on keyphrases that have a minimum of 100 in search volume according to Google’s Keyword Planner. And I’m going to assume each piece will hit the number one spot for maximum visibility.

Now, I know that I won’t hit the number one spot. But by directly competing against the top positions, I’m sure to engage and attract a lot more visitors.

What I’ll Need to Write

To hit the 10,000-visitor threshold, this means I’ll need at least 90 articles that are geared toward SEO.

I’ve written 90 blog posts in 30 days before. However, I had to sacrifice a lot of the other things I wanted to do in order to write that much. So, I’ll have to spread this out a bit.

If I can write 4 well-researched pieces per week and set them to publish ahead of time, it should only take about five and a half months to complete all of the articles.

Granted, I’m not including rewrites in this equation. I find it better not to assume that revamps of older articles will impact overall traffic, even though I know they will.

If all goes well, I should see a vast improvement to the site before November.

On the other hand, this would take a considerable amount of time from the other projects. So, perhaps it’s better if I stick to 3 posts per week of SEO-centered content. This means it’ll be 7.5 months before completing this portion of the experiment.

Though, it’ll still take four months at the minimum to tell if the content is really making an impact.

The bottom line is that I’ll need some amazing content to revive this blog. So, I’ll have my work cut out for me.

Why Focus on a Monthy Search Volume of 100?

Searches with lower volume are usually far easier to rank for in Google. This doesn’t mean that I’m purely focused on 100 monthly searches, though.

I’m also going to aim for much higher traffic keyphrases. However, eliminating the competition with more niched content makes it easier to grab the top positions.

What I’m Doing for Content

  • Dedicate a block of time each week for keyword research.
  • Publish 3 blog posts per week with a 100-search-volume minimum.
  • Re-evaluate content needs in 3 months.
  • The option to write personal experience posts to keep subscribers engaged.

Step 3: Sticking with a Reliable Schedule

I’ve had a great deal of success for WriterSanctuary by maintaining a reliable schedule to drive visits from followers and push notification subscribers. If I can find the same groove, I can easily get an instant 7 to 10 views per article as soon as they’re published.

Well, as soon as I collect as many subscribers to Crossing Colorado as I have for WriterSanctuary.

For this, I’ll browse Google Analytics to see when most visitors view my pages. This will give me a good window to aim for in order to engage that specific audience.

Since I don’t have a lot of concurrent visitors to the blog, though, I’m not seeing a pattern emerge. So, I suppose I’ll aim for an 8:00 am publishing schedule.

Because I also have a lot of work on my plate, I’m going to go on a twice-per-week schedule. This should give me ample time to write new posts while rewriting older ones.

Not to mention making sure clients are taken care of while getting content out for my other brands.

Step 4: Rewriting Older Blog Posts

Next comes the fun part to revive a dying blog…the rewrites. I’ve already demonstrated a multitude of times how effective rewriting old blog posts is for driving new traffic.

In one case, my client saw a boost of 8,000% over a six-month period. So, I know that rewrites are exceptionally worth the time.

The hard part is knowing which posts to rewrite first.

In this case, I’ll go through the library of posts and see if I can find a few that have a high search volume. Then, I’ll polish them up and use the Skyscraper technique against the top 10 articles in a Google search.

Even though some of them will take a great deal of time to spruce up, the potential for traffic is worth the time. Not to mention that I’ll push out the revamps to those who are subscribed.

Besides, new subscribers probably don’t know about the older posts. To them, it may read like a new piece of content.

Step 5: Fixing the Homepage and Theme

It’s been a while since I’ve changed the theme and layout of the blog. Mostly because something is broken and WordPress goes to a white screen anytime I try to change to a new theme.

Needless to say, I need to work on fixing the site in more ways than one.

I’m currently looking for a new “fitness” theme to go along with Crossing Colorado. I would like to get some before and after photos of myself as part of the “Authority” aspect, but I need to lose the last 30 pounds still.

In any case, a new look might help inspire people to trust the content and browse the pages. In reality, I do have a lot of actionable data and informative posts on the site.

The Breakdown to Revive the Blog

So, here are the steps I’m taking to see if I can get Crossing Colorado back to bringing in its previous traffic.

To revive the blog, I’m going to:

  • Prioritize new articles to have a monthly search volume of 100 or better.
  • Publish 3 posts per week of SEO-centered content starting at 8:00 am.
  • Write “personal experience” articles as needed when time permits.
  • Install a new theme that is more “fitness” related.
  • Rewrite at least one article per week, possibly more.

In three months, I’ll take a look at the content versus traffic and also check to see if people visit at a better time. At which point, I’ll adjust the publishing schedule according to when people are the most active on the site.

Did This Plan Help to Revive the Blog?

As this is the initial stage of setting up the blog, I haven’t been able to collect data as of yet. However, I’ll update this post as time permits to determine whether the changes above have been successful.

I’m sure there will be some kind of positive movement in terms of traffic. I just don’t know how much as I’ve never tried to revive a severely damaged blog before. This will be interesting, to say the least.

Published by Michael