The Internet is littered with blogs that have been abandoned by their owners as they got busy, didn’t find the response they wanted, or just realized that blogging can be hard work. When blog search engine Technorati did a survey last year, it found that only 7.4 million blogs out of the 133 million online had been updated in the last three months. But simple blogging startup Posterous thinks some dead blogs may be due for a resurrection.
Let’s say someone started an blog a year ago on WordPress but let it die out after a few months. Maybe they want to try again using Posterous, but they don’t want to leave all their old work behind on WordPress. Now the San Francisco startup is offering an “import” feature that lets them bring all their old posts, including media, into their new Posterous blog. Co-founder Sachin Agarwal tells me this works for any service that supports the MetaWeblog application programming interface. That includes WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type, Blogger, and more. Livejournal isn’t supported, but Agarwal says there are plans to add it soon.
Of course, moving to Posterous is no guarantee that a wannabe blogger will be able to find the inspiration or the time needed to post regularly. Still, a service like Posterous or its more established competitor Tumblr (which, incidentally, you can also import to Posterous) tries to make the process easier by removing as many technical barriers as possible — in Posterous’ case by letting you do things like publishing via email or posting cool content you find online via a bookmarklet. The import feature is a nice addition in that vein, and it also helps Posterous make a compelling pitch to users of other services — those who have abandoned a service, who are frustrated with it, or who maintain separate blogs on both Posterous and another platform. This won’t work as well for people with more established blogs, since the import changes each post’s web address (so links to your posts will get broken), but Posterous isn’t aiming for that audience.
The Y Combinator-incubated company raised a $725,000 seed round last year. Agarwal says traffic to Posterous blogs is growing by about 30 percent every month.
Our upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!