In episode 090, Megan chats with Elizabeth Falcigno about how to update old content in order to build organic traffic and become a valuable resource to your audience.
We cover information about how to it can help make you more money, is applicable to any content that’s older than a year or more and how you continue to make your blog a valuable resource for your readers.
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Liz, a food photographer is the blogger behind the site TheCleanEatingCouple.com. She creates simple, easy to follow, healthy recipes – most of which are paleo/Whole30. Elizabeth has grown her site from a hobby to a 6 figure business, and in addition to running her blog – she coaches other bloggers to grow their sites into a business!
Recipes at least a year old and older, can be improved. But the older, the better.
We should strive to make our blogs be the best resource that they can be for our readers.
You want to have your best content out there, your A+ work , for people to see when they click around on your site.
Don’t let excuses stop you from improving your older content.
If you have recipes on your site that no one is looking at, that are not quality, then it’s bogging your site down. You can “no index” them or redirect them to a great recipe if there’s one that is similar and does do well.
Look at Google Analytics to help you look at your top 50 recipes and see where you should begin updating content.
You can use a spreadsheet, Air Table or Trello as tools to track your progress.
Track what you’ve worked on in a spreadsheet.
Think about adding in helpful tips to posts that need sprucing up.
Once your post is updated, treat your post like it’s new content so Google will check it out.
Google Search Console info:
On the left column, click Search Results
Click Total Clicks, Total Impressions, Average Position so that all are highlighted
Scroll to the bottom and under ‘Rows per page’ adjust to 500.
Export to excel. In the top left (above the word Position) click the arrow. You can export to a CSV or to google sheets.
Click for full text.
090 Liz Falcigno
Intro: Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. We’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.
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Megan Porta: What’s up food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. The podcasts made for you, food bloggers seeking value for your businesses and your lives. Today, I will be talking to Liz Falcigno from the cleaneatingcouple.com and we will talk about updating old content. Liz is the food photographer and blogger behind the site, the cleaneatingcouple.com. She creates simple, easy to follow healthy recipes, most of which are paleo or Shole30. Liz has grown her site from a hobby blog to a six-figure business and in addition to running the blog, she coaches other bloggers on how to grow their blogs into a business as well. Liz, I’m really excited to chat with you today, but before we start, give us a fun fact about yourself.
Liz Falcigno: Hi, Megan, I’m excited to be here too and to chat. I guess a fun fact about me is that I’m a huge John Mayer fan. I’ve seen him over 35 times in concert. Anytime he comes around, I basically follow him all over the northeast.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s fun. So when did you start this love for John Mayer?
Liz Falcigno: Pretty much since I was a kid, my mom used to always play his music at home, and then we started going to concerts together and now we still go together and I recruit pretty much anyone else that will go with me to go to a concert.
Megan Porta: I love that it started with your mom and that was a thing for you to enjoy together. So that makes it even more special.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, agreed.
Megan Porta: That’s really cool. And music, music is inspiring and I think it inspires creativity. If you can find that one band or that one person who really speaks to you through their music, I think that’s really important. I have my band of choice too, and I am just like, uh, feeling down or feeling like I need inspiration. It always helps me
Liz Falcigno: Couldn’t agree more.
Megan Porta: Oh, love it. Let’s dig into this Liz and I’m actually really excited about this chat because I am currently in the throes of updating my old content and I have a lot of content to comb through. I’ve been doing this for about, like really hardcore for about six months. So I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the topic. So I would love it if you just started out by telling us why you think updating old content is important.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah. So updating old content is important for so many reasons, but if you boil it down to really one thing, you’re gonna save time. Ultimately, if you have affiliate links and ads and things like that on your site, you’re going to make more money. I think that’s what we’re all after, saving time and making more money. But when you look at all the smaller pieces of it, I think that when you’re updating old content, first, you’re saving your mental time and energy. I wouldn’t call it wasting time, but you’re not wasting time on going to the store and getting the ingredients and testing the recipe multiple times to make sure that it’s perfect and writing things and tweaking things. You already have that great recipe and it’s delicious, and nothing has to even be tested on it. It’s perfect. But the photos are terrible and the content around it is terrible and it’s not SEO optimized. So you can make those tweaks and it’s going to take you less time than it would to start from scratch.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I totally agree. Because I think we all have, especially if you have a blog that’s older than three years or so, there’s always content that you look at, even if it’s just a handful of years old that you’re like, oh man, that photo, those photos are terrible. Or the writing could be updated. There’s always something to be updated. I do think that it saves us time and obviously making more money is something that we all want to do. So I think all of our ears are perked. Okay. Yes. We want to save time and we want to make more money. So first of all, I want to ask you how old is too old? Can I update something a year old or should I go back even further? Or where do I start with that?
Liz Falcigno: Yeah. So I think that a year is probably a good place to start. You don’t want to look at something that you did a month ago. That’s going to be relatively up-to-date and probably some of your better work. So I think a year you’d be surprised. Even though I’m working on it, when we’re recording this right now, we’re in the middle of this coronavirus, quarantine crisis sort of thing. So I’m obviously spending more time at home and shopping less. So rather than trying to develop new recipes, I’m focusing on more backend computer stuff. So I’m looking at recipes that I put out last year. Last year when I put them out, I was really proud of them and thought they were really great. I’m still seeing things that I could add to them or ways that they could be just a better piece of content. So I think that a year is probably a good place to start, but the older, the better. Sometimes I think that, if you’ve been blogging for a really long time, you might have recipes that you posted five years ago and it is not a good recipe. There’s not much that you can update to make it good. You kinda know in your heart of hearts, you published it with blinders on and we’re just like, ah, I have to get something out and you just threw it out there. Those recipes are probably not the ones that you want to update. But that chocolate cake that you know is so delicious, but only five people have ever seen it because the photos look terrible. That’s the one that you might want to go after and see, what can I do to really make this a great post to bring people in.
Megan Porta: There are so many on my blog that I just can’t salvage, like you said. It really wasn’t a great recipe. I think this was a kind of a mindset a while ago where having more content up meant more than just having quality content up. Now it’s so different. All of the content needs to be quality because I feel like that old stuff that’s really not great is almost bogging down the rest of our content. But before it was like, yes, I’m just going to publish five times a week and get stuff up just to have it in my archives. I like your one year timeframe because one year gives Google plenty of time and Pinterest plenty of time also to gain momentum with the posts, if it’s good and quality. And if it hasn’t, then you can reevaluate.
But what do you think about when to start updating? Because I know a few bloggers who’ve been blogging for about three years and they’re just like, I’m not quite ready to go back and look at my old stuff. Do you think this is something for only really established bloggers who have been in the game for five or more years? Or do you think that bloggers who are maybe younger bloggers can do this too?
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, I absolutely think that this is pretty much applicable to anyone. I think that if you’ve had your blog for at least a year, think of all the things you’ve probably learned in a year. Maybe you have better photography. Maybe you learn more about SEO. Maybe now you’re a part of an affiliate program that you can link, maybe you’ve just become a better writer. Your recipes are better written. Always room for improvement. So I think that as long as you’ve been blogging for about a year, you can for sure go back to the very first post you ever published and find something to add to them.
Maybe if it’s just a couple paragraphs of helpful tips or linking the ingredients on Amazon in your recipe card, just even small tweaks can add up as a whole to make your content just better for your readers. So I think that anyone can do this. Especially, if you are a blogger that’s been around for three to five years, chances are, you’re going to have probably hundreds of recipes to play with. Once you get in the rhythm of this, I don’t know. I personally, while I love being creative in the kitchen and trying new things, there is something so satisfying about taking an old recipe on my site and completely revamping it to the point where it’s almost like a new post and then sharing it and seeing people come in and seeing people make the recipe and enjoy it and share it with their friends and family. A couple of weeks ago and no one was looking at this and now it’s doing really well on Pinterest or it’s ranked number one in Google. That’s super satisfying. You always knew it was a good recipe, but now it’s just kinda you’re peeling back the curtain and really letting it shine.
Megan Porta: It doesn’t take much, does it. Even giving a few paragraphs a spruce up or redoing just a couple of photos can totally transform the way that your post looks. Just tweaking a little bit in the recipe, even the recipe card. But yeah, a little bit of effort can really go a long way. I agree. I think it’s so gratifying somehow to take something that’s old, that’s just been sitting on your blogging shelves, getting dusty and just giving it a little bit of love.
Liz Falcigno: I agree. I know that a lot of people have excuses. They think, oh my audience is going to know that I shared that already. Or if I don’t post three new recipes then Google’s not going to rank me. Or I have too many ideas, or this is boring. There’s a million excuses out there. But at the end of the day, and this kind of goes back to what you had asked me earlier about why updating old content is important, I think that we all should be striving to have our logs be like the absolute best resource for our readers that they can be. If half the content on your site, you haven’t looked at in a year, how can you be confident that someone is going to come to your site, completely random, not know who you are and land on something that is your best work. You wouldn’t want to be putting your C+ and D work there for someone new. You want to have that A+ work that you know is really great and really helpful and just an awesome recipe to present with those people when they start clicking around on your site.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so true. I have a handful, probably more than a handful, but I have some recipes that I just pray nobody ever clicks on and that’s not good. If I am praying that nobody sees those, I should probably get rid of those. So yeah, that’s something to definitely think about. I liked what you just said. Our blogs should be the absolute best resource possible. If they’re not, you need to probably reevaluate. I also wanted to comment quickly. I like that you recommended this process, updating all their content for newer bloggers as well, because I think a lot of the time newer bloggers see a podcast episode or information on this topic and they’re like that’s not relevant to me because I’ve only been blogging for a year or two. So I liked that. You said that. So this is actually really relevant for everybody who’s been blogging for a year or more. So I just wanted to point that out. Do you know, is there data behind why we should update old content?
Liz Falcigno: Yeah. So I have this little graph and I can actually share it with you if you want to include it with the show notes. It’s just from my Google analytics. If I’m saying this, it might get jumbled in your head, but I’m going to read the stats for you and then just take a second to sit with it. If you’re listening, try to pop over to the show notes, look at the graph because it’s pretty interesting to see.
This is just for my own personal blog. So in 2018, I put out 123 blog posts. 33% of them were updated content. My traffic went up a little bit from the year before, but didn’t double or anything like that. In 2019, I only published 98 blog posts and 50% of them were updated content that I republished and my traffic more than three X’d.
Megan Porta: Whoa.
Liz Falcigno: Just in January of 2020, I haven’t pulled the stats for February and we’re at the end of March now, but in January of 2020, I did 15 blog posts. 10 of them were updated posts, which is around 66%. Again, my traffic doubled from 2019 to 2020. January is also a really big month for me. I’m a health food blogger. So the data could be a little bit skewed because we obviously aren’t looking at the whole picture of the year, but you can see that, I think a lot of people are so fearful that if they start to do. They’re going to lose traffic because the posts aren’t new and you can’t see that I’m doing air quotes around the words “new”, but I treat these posts like they’re new.
I talk about them as if they were a new post. I promote them on Instagram and promote them on on stories. I send them to my email list. I post up on Facebook. I make new pins. So in my eyes, when I’m updating on all of these of old content, I am treating it like it is brand new and no one has ever seen it before, because the reality of it is, is that our audiences do not know all the content on our site. I don’t even know all the recipes on my site. No one knows all the recipes on our site. I think we have to get out of our heads a little bit and be like things that they’re going to know that this is old and we updated it. Even if they were to notice, they’re not going to care. They’re probably going to go back to that recipe and be like, oh look, the photos are even prettier now. Or, oh, she puts some information on how to store this or how to freeze it that I didn’t know. Or substitution that I may be thought of. So your audiences is not going to care.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I agree. Even if they do, like you said, even if they remember those chicken, lettuce wraps from 10 years ago, they’re probably going to thank you for delivering better quality photos and information about it. So who cares even if they do remember. That data is really impressive. So 50% in 2019, that’s a lot of old content that you revitalized. That’s inspiring. That makes me want to do even more. I don’t know my numbers. I should go back and track exactly what I have updated and what I haven’t or what I did new.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, I was kind of wanting to go back and count all of them. But it was just really interesting for me to see. Because back in 2018, I was really focused on the new, always turning out new content. Then peppering in some of the updates. But once I realized, I can update what’s already on my site, make it even better and push people to that rather than trying to develop new recipes, it was just like a switch was flipped and there was really no going back for me.
Megan Porta: Absolutely. Wow. That’s really inspiring. So let’s talk about how to go through this because it can be a daunting thing. Especially if you’ve got more than a couple hundred recipes, which I have almost a thousand. I’ve actually paired down quite a bit, but say six months ago I had almost a thousand recipes. Now I’m down to almost 850, I think, but I’m just trying to delete the ones like we were referring to earlier that are absolute garbage and that nobody’s ever going to make. Getting rid of those, making sure that they don’t have backlinks. They’re not generating any traffic from Pinterest or Google. Then if all of those boxes are checked, then I just get rid of it. But how do you go through this? Talk us through your steps.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, for sure. I will also give you a link. I have a free checklist that outlines all of this. So if you’re listening and this is, yeah, and this is interesting to you. I have a checklist on exactly how to do it and all the steps to do. I have a spreadsheet tracker. I love Google spreadsheet. So you can have the info in there and it’s super easy to keep track of everything. But I think that what you mentioned is probably a really good first step to take. If you are a blogger that’s been blogging for years and you have a ton of content on your site, before you do anything, like Megan was mentioning before you probably have a lot of stuff on there that’s almost bogging your site down. So if you have that content on there that no one is looking at and it’s not a good recipe, just get it off your site. So you can either no-index it or if you have four different chocolate cake recipes and three out of the four get zero traffic, you can redirect them to your great chocolate cake recipe and just delete them.
I’ve done a mix of those things. I know that some people are worried about 404’s and errors on your site, but no indexing can be a better route for that. But if you have a very similar recipe, on the off chance that someone’s going to land on that old post and you just want to bring them to the newer better posts, that’s another route that you can take too. So I think that if you have a ton of content, that’s a good place to start. There’s a couple of different ways that you can approach how to update your old content. So in the PDF that I will share with your listeners, what I suggest doing is looking in your Google analytics, looking at your most popular pages and starting with the top 50, and then exporting that and looking at each post individually.
I think that you have to be very careful because if you have a popular post and it’s ranking super high for a really big key word, you don’t want to go crazy with updating it. Because once you start updating things, Google is going to look at it differently. It’s going to be a different piece of content in Google’s eyes, and you don’t want to lose that ranking. So I always caution people with the popularity route, because if you have 10 posts that rank for super high keywords, and those are your most popular posts and you start tweaking things, you might mess things up. So I always caution people with that. But with that being said, you might have a popular post and it might be popular because it’s on Pinterest, but it might not rank at all on Google because it’s terribly SEO optimized.
So with that, you can look at that number one post and think, okay, what can I add? Can I add helpful tips? Could I add affiliate links? Can I give information on how to store the posts. Can I show substitutions, things like that and go one by one and update from your most popular content. So that’s one route that you could take. The other route that you can take, is you can look in Google search console, if you want to put this in the show notes, there’s a way that you can pull your data from Google search console to see basically where you are at the top of page two. Then you can work on updating those posts in hopes of bumping you over to page one and hopefully climbing to the top of page one. So there’s two kinds of approaches that you can take to it.
Megan Porta: Your Pinterest, Google approach, I really like that because I have a ton of content that’s really popular on Pinterest and it always has been, but it’s not anywhere on Google. It is, but it’s really buried deep. So I like that. Just finding those popular Pinterest posts and then tweaking those that Google can now see them. Then I liked that you mentioned not to touch the really popular stuff, because it’s just scary. I think it’s like positions one through five on Google or something like that. Just be careful about how much you change in those posts, because for whatever reason, Google is really liking them. Yeah, maybe steer clear. But I’ve done the console one as well. Just figuring out what is on page two. Did you say that you had a screenshot or something to walk people through that? How to find page two?
Liz Falcigno: I have like just typed out instructions, like click here, do this. So I’ll send those to you, so you could include them in the show notes as well.
Megan Porta: Yeah, and it’s really easy to do. And then you can just give your posts a little boost and hope that it makes its way on over to the first page.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah. What I was gonna say before listening to that, your eyes totally glazed over and you’re like, ah, Google analytics, Google search console. I don’t want to hear it. I promise, all you have to do is get the information and then you can paste it into a spreadsheet and you don’t have to look it up again. You just need to use those tools as a starting point. Know that they seem scary and overwhelming, but it’s really not that hard to export into a spreadsheet from those. Don’t be overwhelmed. Once you have the info, you can take it and run with it and you don’t have to be constantly in Google analytics or playing around in Google search console. You just need that initial info to get you started.
Megan Porta: It is scary, right? It’s a scary place to go. Especially for us creative brained people who are just not, I don’t know. It’s a technical place to be. So I avoided analytics for years because of that. I was like, oh my gosh. All those numbers and the drop-downs and I just didn’t understand it. But then I just got to the point where I was like, okay, I need to at least get in there. Like you said, Liz, and just get the numbers and run. It is important though, that you just get past that little fear. But like Liz said, we get it. It is a scary place to go, but once you get the numbers, what do you do with them? So you take them into your spreadsheet and then how do you sort through that?
Liz Falcigno: So these are the questions that I ask. My overarching question is what can I add to this to make it a better piece of content? So is the recipe okay? Do I need to retest this recipe to make sure that it even works because I made it only one time and threw it up on the blog and hoped for the best. So do I need to retest the recipe? Does it need new photos? Maybe it needs process shots because there’s a confusing step in there that would be helpful for people to see, or just to show how simple the ingredients are. Or just maybe overall, the photos just need to be updated because you took them on your iPhone under a kitchen light at 10 o’clock at night. We’ve all been there. Can you create new pinnable images and multiple ones of them? Because we know that Pinterest is looking for fresh content. This is probably going to strike a bit of a chord with some food bloggers, but can you shorten your stories and talk about your life and instead, add more helpful information.
I know that as we bloggers, a lot of our recipes are inspired by family stories. Pretty much everything that I cook is inspired by something that either I grew up eating or has some tie to my family, but people don’t want to read paragraphs upon paragraphs of what you did over the weekend and how this was a recipe and all that. Just think of it from a personal user standpoint. So can you shorten those stories, still add those personal elements in, but instead of bulking that end up, bulk up the information. Cooking tips, time-saving tips. How to store it, how to freeze it. Pretty much any question that you think that someone could ask and the more that I do this, the more I’m realizing people really want basic info that, we as cooks, it comes second nature to me to know how to check if olive oil is hot in a pan. But someone that’s never sauteed chicken has no idea if their olive oil is hot or not. So explaining things like that.
Megan Porta: Adding value. How can this post add value to someone, like you said. Just little cooking tips that we take for granted because we’re in the kitchen all the time. But if someone lands on your recipe post for the first time and they have no idea how to do this, just thinking on their wavelength and relating to them.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah. Then the last thing that I make sure to do is, are there links in this post to other blog posts and do other posts link to this post? So if I’m doing a healthy banana muffin recipe, let’s make sure that I include a link to my healthy carrot muffins and in the carrot muffin recipe, I link back to the banana ones because chances are, if they’re baking one muffin recipe, they might like the other one. So things like that. Again, that just goes back to being a great resource and being helpful to your audience.
Megan Porta: Do you think you could do this in stages? Or do you like to do it in one fell swoop? I can see, I have a few things here that I wrote down from your list. Creating new Pinterest pins would be a really easy thing to tackle and so it is interlinking. So could you do those two things and then come back and redo photos, or do you suggest doing everything at once?
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, so it’s honestly a personal preference. I went in at the beginning of this year and really focused on internal linking and went through every single post and made sure I could pepper in links wherever I had the ability to, and that I had no orphaned content. If you had the premium version of Yoast, it allows you to see which posts don’t have links to them. So for sure I can do it in stages. When I have an old recipe though, I wouldn’t want to create new Pinterest images because I don’t even know if it’s really a good recipe. So if it’s one of those recipes that’s really old and no one has looked at, I would probably scrap it and just completely do the whole thing over before I would pepper in those little updates. But it’s up to you if you happen to be making a recipe and you notice, oh, I didn’t put whatever in the recipe or, oh, I could add this tip about how I saved time and I make this. For sure just pop in there, hit edit, type a couple sentences and update it. Then when you have more time, go back and do your full audit.
Megan Porta: How do you log all of this in a spreadsheet? Do you do color coding? How do you organize it?
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, so my spreadsheet is, it’s quite a spreadsheet. Basically, the way that I have it set up is that I have different columns for all different things. I just put Xs next to it when it’s done. So I have a column for creating all pins. I have a column for, did I add it to tribes on tailwind? I have a column for, did I send an email about it? Is there a video for it? So I just put an X and that shows me like, okay, it’s updated. I did this step. That’s how I keep track of it.
Megan Porta: So I’m excited to see your spreadsheet because I have one too, and it’s very nerdy, but I’m in there all the time just keeping track of all that, because we do have all of that older content. You lose track of it. So I also have color-coding for like where I’m at in the process. If I have deleted something, I keep it in the spreadsheet, but I color it like a dark gray. If something needs to be refreshed with a copy and photos, I color it a different color. So I can just visually scroll through and see how many I’ve deleted and what is good. Green is everything’s good. So yeah, color is really big for me, but I also do columns. So does this have a video? So it sounds like it’s very similar. I just can’t imagine getting by without it, because it would just be like this big pile of clutter in my mind. I need something to look at. It’s almost like I refer to it daily just to get a grasp on where I’m at. Okay, this is doable. I can do this.
Liz Falcigno: I totally agree with you. I would say to anyone, that’s listening to this and who wants to update their old content? You have to have some way of tracking this. It might not be my spreadsheet. It might not be Megan’s spreadsheet, but you have to find a way to keep track of what you’re doing, because you will a hundred percent lose where you are and then you’ll be frustrated. You’re going to be inefficient. I mean with mine, it’s literally just, I type an X when I’ve done something. So it’s very simple, but if you don’t have it, you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to think what the heck did I do and what didn’t I do.
Megan Porta: So true. So I’m just sitting here trying to think if somebody doesn’t like spreadsheets, because I know there are people who don’t like spreadsheets, what are some other ways to keep track? Do you have any other ideas?
Liz Falcigno: I personally don’t use them, but I know a lot of people like Air Table. Or maybe Trello. I just think that the spreadsheet is the easiest way to do it because I have my columns filtered so I can sort by the date published or I can sort by popularity or sort by Whole 30 is really big on my site so I can start by just whole 30 recipes. When January comes in, probably November, December, I’ll sort by my Whole30 recipes and just go in and look at all that and make sure everything is in tip-top shape in preparation for my January work. I get a lot of Whole30 people coming to my site. So things like that. Spreadsheets are built to be intuitive and allow you to work like that. So I’m a strong spreadsheet advocate. I think Google sheets are easier to use than excel personally.
Megan Porta: They are somehow. I agree.
Liz Falcigno: They’re nice because if you have team members or if you have a VA or something like that, you can share it with them and it can be a collaborative effort.
Megan Porta: Totally agree. So going back a little bit, talking about those little boosts you can do, if you have a set of posts that you just want to go in and maybe not redo the entire thing, but give a little boost to like creating new Pinterest pins or interlinking. Can you think of any other little things people can add to that list? I thought of adding alt tags to images. What else could people do just to give just a tiny little boost of SEO juice?
Liz Falcigno: I think it’s going to be different for each post, but I think that what you can do as a way to see how you can add to it is Google your recipe. So I’m just thinking one of mine is lemon chicken soup. So when I Google lemon chicken soup, if you have keywords everywhere, which I personally love and recommend, you can see on the side, what other people are searching with related to it. But even if you don’t have that, you can scroll to the bottom of Google and just see what it comes up with. It says searches related to lemon chicken soup. Someone wrote with rice or creamy lemon chicken soup or keto lemon chicken soup. So I probably wouldn’t have thought of how to call out that this is keto, but my recipe technically is. So maybe adding in a paragraph, I’m like why this is keto or how you can make it lower carb or whatever it is for that recipe that you have. So answering those questions that people are Googling can be helpful. But otherwise I think that for all the recipes, a good kind of place to start would be adding in helpful tips for those little cooking tips that we take for granted as cooks, but that’s someone who doesn’t know how to cook might really need help with, so those are good substitutions. You would be shocked how many questions I get about substitution. So, and simple ones. Again, as a cook, it’s second nature to me. If I don’t have olive oil, I can use vegetable oil or coconut oil or avocado oil, but people don’t know that. So including that really basic information that seems silly to you, but it could be really helpful to someone reading it. And when you’re doing that and you’re adding that information, I know the ad revenue isn’t everything but you’re inherently gonna make your post longer, which is going to be better for your ad revenue.
Megan Porta: I liked that. You mentioned that I wouldn’t have thought to recommend that, but just adding a few little paragraphs and that doesn’t take a lot of time. Also just how revealing it is to type a key phrase into Google and oh, I didn’t even know this was keto. Okay. I can touch on this being keto. I am not in the loop with all of the diets. I know Whole30 pretty well because I’ve done it, but I wouldn’t know if my recipes were keto, but it would be good to know that because maybe someone else wants to know that. So that’s a really great suggestion.
Liz Falcigno: And it’s free.
Megan Porta: Do you have any other little tips like that, that you think people would find helpful?
Liz Falcigno: I think that if you have someone in your life that is not necessarily a cook, like I have one of my very best friends is just getting into cooking now that she’s spending more time at home and having her read and cook through my recipes has been really eye-opening for me. Because again, like these are recipes that I just posted a couple of weeks ago. I thought they were really well-written, but for someone who doesn’t necessarily cook, some of the sets were a little confusing to her. So if you have someone in your life that wouldn’t mind taking a few minutes to read through your recipes, they could probably offer some really great advice for you on how to make your recipes easier to navigate that you might necessarily not have thought of otherwise.
Megan Porta: Isn’t that funny? You just think, yes, this is solid. I’ve written everything really well. Then it just takes one person to go in and say yeah, this doesn’t make sense. Or this little part doesn’t make sense. Then it becomes so obvious to us, but yeah, we are just so in it that we forget to go back to those basics. Like you mentioned, olive oil. It’s so obvious to us that you could replace it with anything. But it might not be obvious to everybody. So I think that if you have an avatar, if you’ve created someone like your ideal user, thinking what they would need from you, and I don’t always do that, but when I do, I find that my posts are way more filled with value. So just make that part of your process.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, can be so helpful for your audience.
Megan Porta: So as far as tracking and organizing, do you have any other tips that you think food bloggers need to know? Or have we covered everything, Liz?
Liz Falcigno: I think we’ve covered most of it, but I would just say, this can be a very overwhelming thing. Especially if you’re someone that’s had a blog for a long time and you have a lot of content to work through. So I would just say pick a schedule that works for you. Do not think that tomorrow you’re going to wake up and just update everything and that’s going to be it. This process is truly never ending because once you’ve updated everything, you’re going to go back to what you updated a year ago. It’s going to need to be updated again. Our worlds are always changing. We learn things and we are going to need to share that info. Know that this is a living breathing process and try not to get overwhelmed with it and pick a schedule for you that’s going to work. So maybe right now, if you’re doing two recipes a week, two new recipes, maybe instead of doing two new recipes, you do one new recipe and you fully gut and completely update an old post. That’s what you do. I would urge you, maybe try to not create new recipes and go all in. I know that’s very scary for people, but I think that you’d be really surprised once you get in the rhythm of this, how awesome it can really be. Pick a schedule that’s going to work for you.
Megan Porta: Because we all created those older recipes, most of them, I think we created because they were good and we really loved them and we believed in them and they’re just sitting in our archives looking like crap. Dust them off and give them a redo. Okay. This idea is really scary to me, but I love it at the same time, just like taking three months and doing nothing but refurbishing old posts. I don’t know why that’s so scary. I think that if we’re not putting out new content that we almost feel like we’re not relevant or something, but that’s silly. So I love that idea and maybe I’ll be brave enough to actually try that one of these months, but it just seems so daunting for some reason.
Liz Falcigno: I think that something that I’ve heard, from a lot of successful entrepreneurs, is to never look at something as like a success or a failure, but just as an experiment. Maybe you do this and it’s hard to look at this as an experiment because when you’re updating content, it usually takes two to three months before your updates will go up and Google and what not. So it’s not like you’re going to update it and then the next day it’s going to be at number one. That’s not how it works. So it is a longer-term process. But just looking at it and saying, okay, I did this for a month. How did I feel? What was my stress? Was I able to manage this better? Was it easier than creating two new recipes a week? How did I personally feel and then looking at your topic and thinking, how was my traffic? Did my traffic absolutely tank? I don’t think that it will. But just looking at it from an experimental eye. The worst case scenario is that you just go back to what you were doing before and you shock it up as a loss and you move on. That’s the great thing about blogging is that you can always be changing and trying new things and seeing how it works for you.
Megan Porta: See everything as an experiment. I love that and it’s so true. You can’t look at things and say, yep, that was successful. Because how do you even define that? So I like just doing it, experimenting with it, sitting with it over a period of three to four to six months and seeing what happens and then go from there. Like you said, Liz, you can always go back to what you were doing before, but most likely you’re not going to need to do that. This was a really great chat. I think this conversation will be really valuable for not just older bloggers, but newer bloggers too, because you touched on this a little bit, this is an ongoing process. It is never going to end. I think we can get caught up in that and be like, oh, I just did this last year, how frustrating. But just knowing that it’s part of blogging, that you are going to have to do this ongoing. Just put that in your mind, that makes it so much easier to tackle, I think.
So it is never going to end. You are always going to have to go back and redo things. We just went through this with Pinterest recently, where they were like, we want fresh, new everything. We’re like, oh my gosh. I have so many pins to make, but there’s always going to be things changing. Platforms are always going to be requesting new and different things. So it’s just part of the game. I think get used to it and keep adapting.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, I totally agree.
Megan Porta: Yeah, this was so great. So is there anything that you think we’ve missed discussing that we should touch on quickly before we say goodbye?
Liz Falcigno: I do think that one thing that’s important is, once you’ve updated your content, what to do with it because clicking that update button isn’t enough. Like I said earlier, you really have to treat it like it’s a new post. So pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook, Instagram, email it to your list. Maybe make it on Instagram stories and submit it to Google search console.
So I know that again, it might seem scary, but it takes two seconds. You just paste your link in at the top of Google search console, and then you click request indexing. What that basically does is nudge Google to be like, Hey, Google, I updated this. Check it out when you get a chance. Then hopefully they’re going to raise you up to the top because they’re going to realize, wow, this chocolate cake recipe is way better than it used to be. We think it deserves to be at the top of the ranks for everyone to see.
Megan Porta: One last question I just thought of, okay. So if you’re taking a super old post, what do you do as far as letting people know that it’s been updated? So do you do like the original post on October 20 2010, updated on and then give the current date, or how do you treat that?
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, I just wrote a little sentence in the post, right near my affiliate disclosure that says this post was originally shared in 2019, but has since been updated with helpful information. Just leave it at that.
Megan Porta: Google sees that. They recognize that.
Liz Falcigno: I hope they do. I think that they do.
Megan Porta: I’ve heard that they do too. I haven’t actually verified that, but I do the same just in case. Maybe they saw that it was garbage back then and oh, it’s been redone. It looks amazing on this fresh new date. Yes. Oh, such great stuff, Liz, thank you so much for being here and for sharing all of this awesome stuff with food bloggers. We really appreciate your insights. So thank you.
Liz Falcigno: Thank you for having me here. This is great to chat about.
Megan Porta: Yes. So before you go share with us a favorite quote or any words of inspiration you have for food bloggers.
Liz Falcigno: I don’t necessarily have a favorite quote, but I think that’s something that I live by. My blogging journey and career is just to be consistent and to not give up. Because there are lots of ups and downs when it comes to blogging and lots of things that can seem frustrating or daunting or huge tasks, but in the grand scheme, just to be consistent, stay positive and keep working and great things will come.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. Liz has a list of resources like we’ve chatted about throughout the episode, relating to today’s topic. You can find those on her show notes page at eatblogtalk.com/cleaneatingcouple. Liz, tell my listeners the best place to find you online.
Liz Falcigno: Yeah, you can find me on my site, thecleaneatingcouple.com or if you have any questions about anything we talked about, feel free to send me an email. [email protected]. I’m always happy to chat about this stuff and help anyone that has questions.
Megan Porta: Awesome. I saw your dog on Insta Stories just now. Cutest puppy ever. Oh my gosh. I just had to mention that. You guys should go check that out. Oh, so cute. I love it. Thank you again, Liz for being here and thanks for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.
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