Editing your published blog posts is probably the best advice you will read this month, yet very few of you will do it. Here are 10 reasons why you should. If you have others that make more sense to you, why not add them in the Comments.
Ten Reasons To Edit Blog Posts
- To correct typos
Perhaps a no-brainer to start with. Leaving typos there will turn off a good portion of your audience and you will lose credibility with the ones who stay, which is even more important.
- Because you can and it is easier than writing new blog posts
This is almost two reasons in one. However if you think through why you are blogging, then a polished version of a previous post may well achieve your goals better than a new blog post that you are struggling to write.
- To optimize search engine visibility
If you want more traffic through search engines then this reason alone justifies your editing. Through your analytics, you know why people visited this blog post. If it was a keyword search where your blog post was #6, then a little thought can probably get you to #1. This will increase your visitor traffic enormously.
- To add more images
It is sometimes a struggle to find exactly the right image at the time. Images contribute little to search engine traffic so they can be left to a subsequent re-edit. Images do help greatly in making blog posts attractive to their human readers so it is worth adding them, even if it takes a second go-around.
- Because you should better serve your readers
Wait twenty four hours and re-read your blog post. Is it the best you could have done for your readers? If not tweak it.
- To allow you to blog fast
This is one of the most powerful reasons. If there is some news item or other blog post you would like to comment on, then do so even if your initial attempt is a fairly short post. Further reflection may allow you to develop the post in a very effective way.
- To allow you to blog more often
Reason 6 almost forces you to accept reason 7. Once your short placeholder blog post is up there, then you are committed. You will find that you are inevitably writing more blog posts this way. Through the blog site architecture, this will improve your search engine visibility and increase your visitor traffic.
- To incorporate feedback from your visitors
If your blog posts are interesting and written fast, inevitably some of your visitors who comment may have important additions that could be included. In some cases this can spawn a new blog post. In other cases you may wish to amend the original post.
- To include related developments
With a fast developing subject, sometimes there are interesting items that arise that could usefully be added to the original post. In other cases you may become aware of other information that you missed in your first research. In either case these additions can enrich the original blog post.
- To create everlasting value
This is perhaps the most powerful reason of all. A printed page once printed is unchangeable. An online web page can be refined continually since potentially it will be there for ever for those who visit. Getting visitors to your web page is the most difficult part of the process, so why not make sure their visit is as perfect as it can be. Even a subsequent related blog post may not be the one the search engine suggests for a keyword query so make sure that the visitor sees relevant content if they are directed to an older post.
Similar advice from others
If you were not convinced by any of the ten reasons above then the following, which bring a different perspective on this topic, may persuade you.
Jeff Quipp would like you to work on your published log posts and believes there are 3Rs of Blogging - Redirect, Reuse, Recycle. This would help you greatly with reason #3 on our list re search engines. Search Engine People has even created a WordPress Blog Link & Traffic Analysis Plugin. With this tool you really have no excuse to leave those old blog posts alone.
If you need only a slight push to go for the higher ideal represented by reason #10, Creating Everlasting Value, then Reblossoming Content: Transforming Events Pages from Transitory to Evergreen by Bill Slawski should be enough to do the trick.
This really does open up a whole new perspective on blog posts. Blogs inevitably have a moment-in-time, a Now characteristic. Nevertheless it is intriguing to consider that potentially they are also there for ever. Keeping a mental note on how your blog post could have eternal value may cause you to slightly change its content. Don't worry if you do not get it right straight away. After all you can always come back to edit it.
If this is not enough to get you to re-edit old blog posts, then perhaps you will let us know why that would be. Alternatively if you do re-edit for a reason that was not mentioned, then that too would be of interest. After all, unless you let us know, we will not know how best to re-edit this when the time comes.
Barry Welford is an Internet Marketing expert with SMM Internet Marketing Consultants in Langley, BC, Canada. He is a consultant and coach to small and mid-sized businesses of all types and has extensive international business experience with major multinational corporations, particularly in marketing. He can be found on Twitter at @bwelford and writes frequently on BPWrap and the other SMM blogs.