More Money for No Work – From Your Blog Archives?

by Derek Halpern · 24 comments

Mining for Gold in your blog archives

Let's start digging!

If you’ve been running a website for a few months, you probably know which pages on your site do the best—both from a traffic and search engine ranking standpoint.

Well, each one of those pages is a golden ticket to a more successful website.

Think about it. Most people leave their archives alone. However, if one of your older article gets decent traffic, why would you ignore it?

You wouldn’t. That article is your chance to capture leads and make more sales. So, break out your yellow helmets, and I’ll show you how to find gold in your website archives.

The Social Triggers Psychology Books Example

To better explain this, let me share an example from my site Social Triggers.

One of my pages ranks for “best social psychology books.” Each day, I get several visits for that term, and related terms, and until recently, I let that traffic go to waste.

Yes, my blog teaches you how to improve your marketing by taking advantage of proven social psychological principles, but think about it. Does someone searching for psychology books want to learn marketing tactics?

Nope… they want psychology books. So, what did I do?

I created a list of psychology books, all of which are affiliate links, and included them in my sidebar on my social psychology books page. See the example below:

See how I added custom content to my sidebar offering psychology books?

Guess what happened… As of today, 15 minutes of work helped me yield an 82% conversion rate on book sales. Not bad! People were looking for books, and that’s what I gave them. Naturally it converted well.

It’s All About Visitor Intent

When people visit your website from search engines or from other pages, they have intentions. In my case, they wanted to buy social psychology books. However, that’s not always the case.

Let’s say you wrote an article about how to get more web traffic. If that’s one of the popular pages on your site, what are the intentions of your visitors? They want more web traffic, right?

Right! So, what can you offer them?

You could sell them a product that helps them get more traffic, but if you’re trying to grow your list, you could create a free ebook about traffic generation, and then offer that ebook in exchange for an email.

What if people were looking for split testing results? The same applies. You could offer a product that helps people conduct split tests, or you could offer an ebook in exchange for emails that gives them split testing results.

But now you’re wondering, “how can I create a custom call to action for each and every post?”

You don’t have to…

Focus On Your Popular Articles

If you’re running a blog for a while, creating a custom call to action for each of your articles isn’t practical. It’s also not the best use of your time, even if it converts well.

So, the quick and easy solution is, focus on the most popular articles in your archives.

How do you find your most popular articles?

If you’re using Google Analytics, it’s easy. To find your most popular pages, click on Content then Top Content.

Once there, find your most trafficked articles, and write them down on your to-do list. Then, systematically create custom calls to action for each page. It’s that easy.

If I were you, I’d mix up your calls to action between free resources for subscriber generation and specific product mentions for revenue generation. For example:

  • Free Resource – Writing articles about social media marketing? Give away a free social media marketing action guide in exchange for an email. Got another article about awesome luggage? Give away a free luggage buyer’s guide in exchange for an email.
  • Product Mentions – Working off the same examples. If you’re writing about social media marketing, upsell your social media marketing ebook. If you’re writing about luggage, try to sell your favorite luggage recommendation.

Note, if you notice that one of your articles isn’t attracing the right kind of audience, like my Social Triggers example, you’re better off promoting a product.

What do you think? Are you currently maximizing the potential of your archives? Leave a comment!

About the Author: Derek Halpern ran marketing at DIYthemes, and is the founder of Social Triggers. To get more tips on how to be confident, sign up to his list here.

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Naomi Niles

Great way to squeeze the most out of your hard work!

We had a post on one of our sites for band logos that was getting hundreds of visits from search engines a day. I took it down a few weeks ago because it was skewing our results. But, we had amazon affiliate links on there and while it wasn’t pulling in tons of money, it was a nice bonus every month.

Derek Halpern

Why would you take it down? Was it unrelated traffic? Were you unable to monetize it further?

Naomi Niles

It was unqualified traffic for the main service we were offering and actually causing us extra overhead in inquiries. I decided I’d rather have a more accurate representation of our conversion rates than the small bit of extra income.

Lee Hughes

So simple yet very effective!

Derek Halpern

It’s true. and you know what’s funny? No one does it. So, it’s even better.

Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate

Good stuff. Going through the thought process here right now after doing a mild redesign on my site.

Derek Halpern

Good stuff. I always mine my archives for pretty much everything. Helps me find new ideas for articles, get subscribers, come up with product ideas, etc. It’s really awesome because it’s all based off data.

Andrew Finkelstein

Simple, straight-forward and easily applied info. Thanks for the post


If you start to think of each post as a separate mini-product for your customers, then you should be able to see new ways to optimize each product for more income or pageviews. You may create it and put it out there with a purpose in mind, but people and search engines don’t always see our content the same way we intended it. Don’t be afraid to modify it or re-position it to make better use of the traffic it actually gets.

Great post.

Derek Halpern

I’m totally for that. If you realize that your article is attracting a different audience than you originally intended, I wouldn’t hesitate to update it to make it more effective for that audience.

Brandon Cox

Right on. I’ve done this many times as well. One of my niches relates heavily to books and so I often go back and add in a few Amazon links to pages I see popping up with high SERP’s.

Derek Halpern

Yea, this works great for books. However, if you’re doing anything, you don’t have to just sell books. You can convert subscribers, or sell ebooks, or sell course, or sell consulting too.


It’s always good to check your stats and review those older posts now and then.

Time to look at how I can use those Thesis sidebars better. 😉


I have managed to get top page ranking for several high traffic keywords like “Canon Rebel Review” for my camera review site. I am getting visitors but very few converstions… I don’t quite see how I can use the book angle but maybe I can think of something else…. This priniciples in this article are spot on. I have to see how I can incorporate them.


Squeezing the life out of every blog post; nice idea Derek.

In case anyone is interested the Thesis Multimedia box is a really great tool for running sidebar offers on a post-by-post basis.

And if you’re not using Thesis (shame on you), you can try a plugin called Widget Context.

Pangeran Wiguan

Thanks for pointing that out.

I just never think to optimize my old posts.

But sometimes, the old post don’t have that much topic we can monetize especially if the visitors intend is to get “free” goodies.

Shaiq Uddin

Its really a very effective way of making most of your blog.

Sherryl Perry

Great idea to create custom calls to action for our most popular articles. Thanks!

Ahmad Wali

Very good idea maybe we can create email lists by offering something related to the archive pages!! Never thought about it


Derek – how do you create custom content in a sidebar for a specific post in Thesis 1.8?

Brad Harmon

Wow, Derek. I’ve never really thought about visitor intent when it comes to search results that don’t really relate to my blog. I have several old posts that rank well for unintended keyword phrases. This post gives me a great way to turn this into a revenue stream. Thanks for the tips.

Andrew @ Blogging Guide

Great way to bring some life out of those archived posts! These archived post are not really useless but can still be used to its full potential and this is really a great suggestion you gave us. Give people what the want.

Kishore Mylavarapu

Good idea.Let me implement it on my blog.Thanks.