Why You Should Not Delete Your Old Blogs
This post is going to give you all the reasons why you should not be deleting your old blogs and how there is actually a lot of value in keeping your old sites around. Keeping your old blog is a great way to boost any new blogs you make. We'll look at the SEO benefits of having an old blog, the benefits of reviewing your old content and also what else you can do with an old blog if you don't want it anymore.
I've probably started around 10 different blog sites in my life. I now focus mainly on one of them. But I wish I hadn't deleted the rest of my blogs after learning about the value they bring.
I definitely made the right choice in abandoning them and focusing on my new blog; my first attempts at creating a blog where very bad- I wasn't a very good producer of content, the design and theme of the blogs were usually using free versions that were slow and sluggish and I didn't target my audience very well.
I also wasn't patient enough- I wanted hundreds of views right away and after a couple of months the motivation to continue my blog was lost. They would then fall by the wayside and I would probably remember about it a year later and delete it. Let's look at what value old blogs can have.
Old Content Matures
I've written about about starting a new blog many times on this blog and what you have to look out for. One of the teething problems with starting a new blog is that your content doesn't get ranked in Google SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages). That means even if you're making the best content ever, you won't see any organic traffic for a long while. This is due to the Google Sandbox.
Search Engine Watch gives a good explanation on why you have to wait for the Google Sandbox effect to lift. Whilst Google says the sandbox effect is more of a myth than a true explanation of why content doesn't get ranked, my own personal experience has found that it takes a lot of time for content to mature on new blogs.
I created a blog with over 30,000 words of content in 3 months. It got perhaps less than 50 hits a month from Google search. After a year of leaving that content alone (no reformatting, no link building and no SEO) that content grew to over 1,000 hits a month. I've seen this same process happen on this blog; posts I created months ago only start getting traffic after they have been left alone for months.
So one of the best reasons to keep your old blogs is that your old content may still rank. You may suddenly start getting a lot of traffic to particular posts without doing anything but just leaving the content alone. Posts that get a lot of traffic are very valuable because you can then add links to your new blogs, rewrite the content and 301 redirect the link (to gain the link juice) and more.
It'll also give you confirmation that the content you write can rank. If you're starting a blog for the first time, waiting to see whether you get any traffic from a post can be very frustrating. For older blogs, results tend to be more immediate and you get that motivation to continue.
Link Building With Your Old Blogs
One of the best ways for boosting a blog's power in search engine results is by having many links pointing to it. You can get natural links from lots of sources, such as people sharing your articles on social media sites like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter etc. You can also get less useful links from places like blog comments and forums.
But some of the most valuable links are links from within old content and old sites.
One metric to look at is Domain Authority from Moz. It's not a metric that Google take into account, but it is a good indication of how powerful certain domains are. DA can be easily looked up on Moz by typing in your blog URL.
Getting a link from a DA site of 60 is usually better than getting a link from a DA site of 4. There are exceptions to this rule; such as spammy sites with high DA won't be as powerful as getting a good link from a low DA site that is relevant to your site.
For example, Facebook have a DA of 99/100. Links from this site are not actually that powerful (still useful!) because they share millions and millions of links, diluting the quality. Whereas if you got a link from a DA 14 site and they only link to one or two sites, you're going to get much more value for that.
Link building is a one of the skillsets of SEO professionals. They know the value in how it can affect sites and how it can boost your rankings in Google. Link building isn't about gaining traffic from those links- it's about getting your site pushed up the rankings in Google.
Old blogs are a great resource for link building. Old blogs have had time to mature; they have plenty of content published on them that might be getting some traffic and are legitimately made (I.e. they are not created for the sake of links). And if these old blogs are related to any new blogs you published, the links are going to be relevant too. These are some good links to help boost your new blog and worth getting.
Obviously creating tons of blogs to create links to your new blog isn't a good idea. Google can manually review any site that is trying to abuse their rankings by creating artificial links, but old blogs aren't artificial. They have good content on them still and they still provide value.
If I had kept around my old ten year blogs now, those links would be very valuable for my site.
Reviewing Old Blogs / Content For New Ideas
Another reason why keeping your old blogs around is that the content can be reused later.
There is a lot of value in reading your old content and comparing it to your new blog posts to see how far along you have come. If you have never blogged before, the first piece of content you write is usually going to have a lot of flaws in it compared to the 100th blog post you write. The more you do it, the more you get comfortable with your writing style and the content flows better. It's like starting a book; you always look back on those first few pages and see how much better they could have been after you've been writing for months on end.
Whilst you may cringe at your old posts, you can still find value in them. If you can analyse your highest traffic pages using something like Google Analytics, you can take a look at what content is actually worth revisiting.
One of the problems bloggers have is "What content should I produce next? What content is actually going to get views?".
Well an old blog is a gold mine for this. The content has had time to mature and Google has picked it up; you now know what content ranks- and even if it's not very well written, you can then go ahead and rewrite it on your new blog. What's more, you can add a link to the old blog post to your new post, so that those who are interested in the content can have an up-to-date resource.
Cost Of Old Blogs
If you have started a blog on a webhost such as Bluehost (get a free domain for a year- woo!) then you may have monthly costs on going with your old blogs. Cutting these costs is obviously very sensible because a lot of the time it can mean throwing money done the drain every month, especially if these old blogs are getting zero traffic and making zero money.
One way you can mitigate costs is by combining multiple sites onto one webhost. Bluehost does offer a very cheap package that allows you to have multiple domains and sites on one single package; this means you can move your old domains and blogs onto your new blog's hosting without having to delete your old blogs.
Domain names do cost around $10/year to maintain. Personally, I would still continue paying the $10 a year because an aged domain is actually worth a lot more than the $10 you pay for it. If you let them expire, a lot of the time these domains get picked up by SEO professionals where they either build a new site on top of it and redirect the link juice to their main site, or they simply try to recreate your old site by using tools like the WayBackWhenMachine.
If you can, keep your old blogs. I wish I had kept mine and I definitely think there is a lot of value in them, even if the content isn't as good as it can be. You may think your old blogs are worthless, but the longer you keep these old blogs, the more value they get.
Selling Your Old Blogs
If you're simply looking to get away from blogging, one way you can still benefit from your old blogs is by selling them. There are many people looking to buy old blogs because they do offer a lot of value to their other sites (as mentioned, they have great link quality). SEO professionals will look to pick up old blogs all the time and so if you really don't think you will be blogging any time soon, selling them is one way to pick up some value from them.
A blog/site can sell for anywhere to 20-30x it's monthly revenue on sites like Flippa.com. If your site isn't making anything, it'll be harder to sell, but not impossible. As long as your site has value in it's content, you can still sell it to someone who might make use of it in the future. You can also pick up some gems on this site, but it's hard sifting through all the rubbish and spammy sites.
As mentioned, Flippa is one way to sell your site. Other places are Facebook Groups, Reddit and if your old blog is actually making a decent income, you can try sites like EmpireFlipper. Check these places out to see what kind of prices sites similar to yours are going for to try and discern the price you should ask for it.
Got any tips for keeping your old blogs around? Do you regret deleting any of your old blogs? Let us know in the comments below!