Fixing a Defunct Blog in 2021: Rebuilding Crossing Colorado

After the algorithm change in 2019, Google sunk my flagship blog, Crossing Colorado. Since then, I’ve put a lot more effort into building WriterSanctuary as a brand. However, I would still like to refurbish the blog in 2021 and put my skills to the test.

Because it is a “health and fitness” site, it requires a bit more care than many others. This is because it was lumped in with the YMYL and EAT changes that stomped on a lot of fraudulent health sites.

And to be honest, I’m not sure why Crossing Colorado was added to that list. Every piece of information I share is based on scientific evidence and case studies, not feelings or beliefs.

I also have nothing to sell on the site, aside from Google’s own AdSense platform. So, why was put into that category of fake health sites?

Still, I would love to see if I can turn the blog around.

The Challenge to Fix a Blog in 2021

Part of my 2021 goals includes writing more words and being more productive. Putting in the effort to fix Crossing Colorado plays into that quite nicely.

And it’s affirmation to myself that I know what I’m doing. In some way, it’ll help combat the bit of impostor syndrome that still wraps itself around my mind.

Getting Back to Blogging

First, and foremost, I need to get back into blogging on the site. The Google algorithm probably sees it as an abandoned and defunct blog.

Amazingly enough, the site still has several featured snippets and has an average position of 24.3 in search results. In fact, a lot of my older reviews are still getting clicks.

Needless to say, I published 115 articles in 2018. In 2020, I’ve done 22 so far.

Revamping Older Articles

I recently got a comment on my walking post regarding the feasibility of a desk jockey getting 20,000 steps in a day. The first line from the commenter was, “I see this is an old post, but…”

It got me thinking that I really haven’t done much to revamp the older pieces on the blog. Plus, the date is clearly visible in the post’s slug (URL).

I think one of the first things I’ll do is change the permalinks for the blog and add the “updated” date plugin. If all goes well, I should see a bit of growth just from changing the format.

I know on my client’s blog, simply removing the date doubled his traffic in a month.

People like updated and current information, which means evergreen content can only go so far. I know I check dates when looking for data, so I can assume a lot of others do as well.

Create and Spruce Up the About and Contact Pages

I don’t really think I have a decent About or Contact page on Crossing Colorado. To create a successful blog in 2021, I’ll need to make sure those aspects are viable.

In reality, I’ve come a long way. Not only have I lost 80 pounds, I’ve kept it off for a long time. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I guess I know what I’m talking about.

I’m mostly doing this so that Google understands who I am and that I can be reached. I read online that both aspects weigh in how they judge a website.

At any rate, it’ll give someone a way to contact me directly should there be a problem on the blog or if they want to inquire about a sponsored post.

Hey, it worked for WriterSanctuary. One sponsored post paid me more than AdSense has all year.

Do What I Do for Clients

What I really need to do is treat the blogs as I would one of my clients. This means putting in the same effort to maintain them as I would for anyone else who pays me.

Most of the time, my sites take a backseat as I work hard for those with whom I have contracts. I need to give all the sites the same attention if I want successful blogs in 2021.

Instead of just winging it, I need to put in the same practices and effort.

You know what that means…yet another spreadsheet update!

Here’s to Revamping a Blog in 2021!

To be honest, I’m kind of excited to give this a shot, and I’m fairly confident I can turn the site around.

So, let’s set a goal: in 2019, the site received roughly 55 visits per day. If I can sustain the effort, I should be able to jump it back up to 150. Keep in mind I’m also working on several other sites at the same time.

That’s the goal for Crossing Colorado’s blog in 2021…4,500 views in December. And to keep me on track, I’m going to try to remember to blog about the journey every week.

But, we know how well I stay focused on providing updates.

I got my work cut out for me, now I just need the follow-through.

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Michael Brockbank

I've been a freelance writer since January 1, 2012. I've worked with a myriad of clients and currently the Content Marketing Team Lead for GreenGeeks web hosting. My fingers are also in a lot of different industries such as gaming and fitness.

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