Unlike many bloggers, I blogged for a decade before moving to WordPress. That meant I had a pile of old posts with no tags on them. One of the nice things about WordPress is that you can use the tags in conjunction with a plugin like Similar Posts to display links to related content at the end of each post. And trust me, when you blog for a decade, a lot of your stuff is related.
It’s also sad how much of that old content becomes obsolete, but the 2% that stands the test of time and continues to get readers year over year is satisfying, too.
Here’s how to tag your old content–wherever it came from–quickly and easily.
Install a plugin like Simple Tags, then go to your highest-traffic content. You want the best bang for your effort. Edit your top-traffic posts, and create keyword tags for that content. Don’t go overboard like I did–I now have 1,700+ tags, many of which are of questionable value. It’s better to have a few dozen or a few hundred really good, specific tags. If that means tagging a few posts in a weekend for a few weekends, along with your new stuff, that’s better than trying to get it all done all at once like I once did (and have regretted ever since–now I’m gradually removing three-letter tags that mean nothing).
Once you have a collection of tags, navigate to Tools, Auto Terms. To save effort, I generally tag the content that doesn’t have any tags yet, and by all means check the “whole words” option. Auto Terms used to hang up on me badly, but optimizing MySQL and Apache helps that considerably. Surprise, surprise.
I found that doing this made my site much stickier, which is good for readership. They find stuff that helps or interests them, which is good for them, and they come back, which is good for me. Everyone wins.