Reviving a Dead Blog

Dead Blog Case Study: The Plan to Rebuild a Defunct Site

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

How hard is it to fix a dead blog? I suppose that depends on the niche of the blog and how determined you are to revive it. With some websites, it’s probably easier to just delete them and start over. In my case, though, it’s all about testing myself.

After all, I love challenges.

Out of everything I’ve attempted in the past, this is probably one of the more profound blogging case studies to date.

Why Not Just Delete the Dead Blog?

Sure, it would be just easier to delete the blog and move on to the next project. But where would the fun be in that? Besides, the particular blog I want to revive is one that has held a special place for me since I created it in 2015.

It was on course to be a great website until Google hit it with the YMYL/Medic Update in 2018. Within six hours, the site went from 200+ visits per day to less than 20 and has never recovered.

Google Update

The damage caused by Google’s changes essentially sucked the wind out of my sails.

Instead of deleting the dead blog, I’ve decided to see if I can get it back to where it was before the search engine changes. The problem, though, is the site’s niche. It’s one that is far more strict when it comes to delivering content.

Still, I bet that if I put in a bit of effort, I can bring the site back from the brink of complete death.

All of this is in addition to the fact that I find things like this to be quite fun. Answering questions such as, “is it possible,” or perhaps, “how long does it take” is one of the biggest reasons why I make certain types of content.

What’s the Plan to Revive the Dead Blog?

Every blogger has their own methods for rebuilding and creating blogs. And while some will dump a ton of time and effort into the process, I have quite a few more limitations than many.

For one thing, I also manage a couple of clients, several other blogs, YouTube channels, and am an active author. So, I only have a small window to rebuild this dead blog.

With that being said, let’s go over the things I plan to do to get the site moving in an upward trajectory.

  • Keeping Track of Weekly Data
  • Publishing Posts Consistently
  • Updating Old Content
  • Deleting Poor Posts
  • Leveraging Social Media

In order to stick with the plan this time, I’m setting up blocks of time in Asana to make sure I remember to work on this project. And this time, we’re going all-in.

Weekly Spreadsheet Monitoring

Of course, I’m including a spreadsheet in this case study. You can’t really go over the data without one, right? As if I need a reason to create another spreadsheet.

In any case, I am monitoring the progress of the dead blog on a weekly basis. This includes:

  • New published posts
  • Updated posts
  • Views per week
  • Impressions from Search Console
  • Clicks from Search Console
  • Avg Position in Search

In this particular case study, though, it is the data from Search Console that will be the most affluent. This demonstrates how the blog is performing during search results, which is vital if you’re trying to build a popular blog.

Consistent Content Schedule

I’ve seen firsthand the effectiveness of a consistent publishing schedule for both humans and search engines. And I’m not just talking about my own blogs.

One of my clients had a major boost in traffic due to publishing at specific times of the day.

This is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects for me to stick to. Not because I don’t want to write on the blog, but because I don’t have a lot of time on hand.

It’s easy for me to miss publishing an article here and there depending on what my clients need on any given day.

To combat this, I’m going to start writing beforehand and schedule new posts to go live a week or two ahead of schedule. That way, I am not pressured should I have to spend 12 hours working with a client in one day.

For the time being, I’m going to aim for a Tuesday and Thursday publishing at around 1:30 pm. This is in addition to the small things I write, such as the podcast posts or my weight loss updates.

In other words, Tuesdays and Thursdays are for guaranteed content. These are posts that absolutely have to be published. Everything else will be considered extra material.

Updating Older Posts

Another element of my client’s success is through updating content. In fact, I have a writer on my team whose job is to update older posts. And we’ve seen some MAJOR boosts to traffic because of updates.

In one instance, we had a blog post increase in traffic by over 8,000%! And I’m talking thousands of visitors per month in this case.

Not only are you providing new and fresh materials from updates, but you’re also demonstrating to Google that you value keeping the content up-to-date.

Besides, providing visitors with the most current and relevant information only works to boost your reputation as a creator.

Deleting Defunct Content

Google’s purpose is to provide the best answers to an individual’s search query. Sometimes, this means dumping posts that really have no impact or are relevant to your site’s purpose.

Too many of these types of posts can actually affect your search results in a negative way.

Normally, I’m opposed to deleting anything. But in some cases, it’s probably for the best. Especially if you’re constantly fighting for every inch of the search results page.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to delete everything that isn’t what Google views as “helpful content.” But I do need to trim a lot of the fat if I want the algorithm to view the dead blog in a different light.

Expanding Social Presence

Ever since Twitter started charging for its API, I stopped posting to social media from the blog. That’s because Jetpack lost access to post directly from WordPress.

Sorry, I will never call it X.

I am going to set up a social share platform to start posting more on social media. For this, I’ll probably either use Hootsuite or ZoHo. I’m not sure yet, but I’ll be sure to include which in the results section below.

Besides, I would love to turn this dead blog into a trusted brand online. And that’s going to take a lot of social interaction. But for the purpose of this case study, it’s more about sharing the posts and updates on social media.

I should include fixing the YouTube channel for this blog at the same time, but I don’t have that much time available at the moment.

Monitoring for 26 Weeks

Lastly, I’m monitoring the progress of this case study for 26 weeks. I’m running each week of data Monday through Sunday. And 26 weeks is relatively close to 180 days (6 months).

Statistically speaking, it can take anywhere from four to eight months for a well-written blog post to gain momentum in search. I’m hoping it won’t take as long. But we should be able to see some degree of forward momentum.

Depending on how the case study goes, I might turn it into something related to AdSense.

Results of this Case Study

As this case study is currently ongoing, I don’t have the results as of yet. However, you can follow along thus far by viewing the spreadsheet below.

The dates that are highlighted in yellow are those days with confirmed data. The dates without a highlighted color are estimates based on current progress.

I really don’t need the estimates, but I like to see how things might progress throughout the study.

Conclusion…

As this case study is still in progress, I don’t have a lot of data to share. However, I am confident that any dead blog can be fixed with a good content strategy and consistency.

It all really boils down to how much time you have available to put toward building your blog.

Michael Brockbank
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