10 Reasons For Editing Your Published Blog Posts

by Barry Welford June 18th, 2009 

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Conclusion

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.

Barry Welford

Offering practical, effective ways of strengthening Internet marketing strategy and getting bottom-line success, particularly through local SEO.

BPWrap

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18 Responses to “10 Reasons For Editing Your Published Blog Posts”

  1. 11. Updated content keeps the post current for the search engines, too.

  2. I often check my analytics and find new terms that I rank for and then go back to a blog post to optimize that page better for the new term I just discovered. I sometimes even go add a very specific affiliate ad that matches this keywords to make some money. Another thing that I'm working on is going through and interlinking all my blog posts the same way the wikipedia does. This is a very good list.

  3. Yeah, correcting typos is fine, but when correcting true mistakes, I prefer to do that with a comment. Sometimes, if it's particularly important that people not be misled, I will make that an in-line comment or if it's really critical I might use strikethrough on the original text and then add my new text in bold.

    The only time I'll actually edit is when the mistake was a mistake of communication – where I didn't express myself clearly and therefor apparently gave wrong information. Even then I hesitate because I just don't feel right "rewriting history". Annotating, fine, but rewriting makes me uncomfortable.

  4. That's an interesting viewpoint, Tony. I do not feel I am creating history. Rather I'm creating something that should be the best it can be for future visitors. Some even suggest that blog posts should not carry dates since they should be, in a sense, timeless.

  5. I tried to edit to incorporate feedback from my comments all the time. I also make sure I always comment back to my readers to make them feel like it's an interactive experience to visit my blog.

    Great post man.

    Dan

  6. Great write up. I have always avoided making changes to my blog posts once published but I have never had a good reason for belief. I appreciate you taking the time to give me a reason to change my ways.

  7. [...] June 19, 2009 10 Reasons For Editing Your Published Blog Posts Posted by kpgraphicarts under Bloggig | Tags: edit blog | Leave a Comment  http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/10-reasons-for-editing-your-published-blog-posts.html [...]

  8. Great tips! Thanks this will definitely help me as a blogger to keep my blog shining! :-)

  9. Your advice is really great Barry.

    I have noticed many times that comments on posts have something that might be added to the post content but seriously I have never thought of re editing it.

    Now I have taken your words will do when ever I will find any valued additions. I am sure search engine bots will also love it.

  10. Tvents says:

    The blog editing is needed. Of course, this is related to the readers. They will continue visiting the blog with regular editions. I hope I can continually implement the blog editing.

  11. Ejvind says:

    I feel like Tony that we are "Writing history" Sometimes it is not in the best interest of the user to have corrcted information, since this may confuse (if I have read the "old" blog post first) In that case I would prefer to be able to see the corrections made.

    On the other hand I have deleted a blog post once, because I had written it while being very angry, and after cooling down could see that I was doing both me and my target a disfavor.

    Thanks for a great topic.

  12. [...] Consultants recently made a compelling case for making later updates in his piece titled, “10 Reasons For Editing Your Published Blog Posts.” Without rehashing all ten of his reasons, I encourage you to read his article to see how you [...]

  13. Cool Gifts says:

    I think it's also good to go back and edit your older posts. You might find many of them are still very relevant. You may just need to update a few things or give a new example.

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  16. [...] second piece on blogging is a guest post by Barry Welford on the need to update your old posts. We actually did an article in the last issue of the magazine where we discussed the need to [...]

  17. Your blog was the first place that told me the answer for what I was looking for. Thanks.