Quick Tips on Getting New Long Tail Value out of Old Sponsored Posts on a blog

Let’s say you have 50 or 100 or 1000 old blog posts on one or more sites that were sponsored articles.  You were paid up front for a short time advertorial essentially.  That was years ago and those posts haven’t brought any revenue to you since.  :(

Plus, the FTC has changed the landscape of online marketing and now you have to go back and consider adding some new form of disclosure to an advertorial.  Lots of work for no revenue, all cost, no profit, plus if you don’t you risk who knows what from the FTC.  :(

QUICK TIPS (ok not so quick) to get those old articles earning money again!

There are several things you can do in conjunction with each other to get those old deep links earning you some money.

  • First, realize that what ever work went into those articles in terms of copy, research, writing etc, is long sunk.
  • The risk of FTC issues is as real as your geographical address if you reside in the US (If you live in Canada, the UK, the Pacific Rim, feel free to laugh at the FTC all you like.)
  • Now, go over to Skimlinks.com and sign up for an account. 
    • They essentially turn old deep hyperlinks going out from your site in to current working affiliate links if there is an affiliate program through their collection of multiple networks traversing the world. 
    • They aggregate affiliate links through multiple networks at commission rates that are often higher than you can get individually. 
    • Get your account up and going and load the javascript onto your site. 
    • If someone clicks on one of your old deep links and buys something, you get a commission.  $$$
    • Pretty easy for just copy/pasting some javascript in your footer!
  • Skimlinks is a good option, BUT for advertorials, it will likely only convert if you had kick ass copy on a page that draws a lot of natural search results. 
    • If your copy was written for 2006 and not 2010, it might not convert so well no matter how good it was. 
    • If your page hasn’t drawn a new hit in 2 years, well then its really not good for much of anything, almost.
  • SO, identify your articles that you want to target.  For example, I recently went through an old blog, I filtered for all articles that still had a CountTrakula.com link in it, an old PayPerPost tracking mechanism, then I further filtered for articles from 2006.  THESE WERE OLD AND TIRED! But some of those posts still have some power,
    • Some have lots of incoming links
    • Some generate traffic!
  • So next, you need to install the Redirection plugin into your wordpress site. 
    • Don’t have your blog on WordPress?
    • Move your blog over to WordPress and stop fooling around.  :)
  • Now, start redirecting those old links to either your home page or a category that is relevant for the post.
    • Essentially you are salvaging those backlinks.  yes they are over 18 months old in my example, but a backlink is a backlink.
    • I had a few hundred to do myself, not a job for one sitting.  So make sure you have a good audiobook to listen to or TV show to partially pay attention to, and then start copy/pasting/clicking away
  • Once your redirects are set up in full or either in a batch, go back and check your redirection logs. 
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    • Look for old posts that are logging actual redirects to your home page or categories. 
    • If you have an old advertorial bringing traffic to your blog for ‘drug rehab’ and you don’t have a better destination for that traffic on your blog,
    • then log into one of your affiliate programs and search for a new affiliate program that has a high conversion rate for ‘drug rehab’. 
    • Get the link for the program, then go back to your site, and replace your redirection destination link with the affiliate link! 
    • Now all that traffic that was coming into your blog for an advertorial and likely bouncing away, screwing up your stats, and not doing anything for you is getting pushed to a high converting affiliate program where it might actually do that Google searcher some good and
    • make you a commission!  $$$
    • Pay attention to your redirect stats.  If it stops bringing people in, then change that redirect to a new 301 redirect back to your home page to salvage backlinks.  This puppy is harvested!
  • If for some reason you like the traffic on that particular topic, but don’t want to send it to an affiliate landing page cold, then write up a NEW blog article that covers that topic or category
    • Then change that redirect from over to your new article.
    • If you are smart, make sure the article includes an affiliate banner to something useful, or at least some chitika or adsense ads or something.  I don’t want you to starve!  :)
  • Sometimes a Rewrite may work too…
    • You will not want to rewrite every article, but every now and then your original article may be pretty damned good and still relevant.  If so, polish that puppy up, and republish it with a current date.  Remove the old sponsored/advertorial references and OWN that new article yourself.  Find some new way to mix advertising on that page for that article, especially if it is pulling in traffic! 
    • Plus, if it is pulling in traffic, do something on that new re-written post to really try and lock in those readers to subscribing with you.  You already know that it is bringing people your way, do something good for them, and try and get them to come back or stick around.
  • A large percentage of your old advertorial articles from years back will not be relevant, will not have traffic and will only bring you minor backlink boosts.  That’s ok, don’t sweat it, at least you removed the liability stemming from the doubt over the FTC’s poorly conceived and executed new rules.  :)
  • For that 10% that can do something for you, well more power and a little extra revenue to you!  :)

Bonus – if you do leave old deep links in any old article, make sure you put a rel=”nofollow’ tag on it if you hadn’t already.  Might as well please Google while you are at it.