31DBBB Day 21: Breathe Life Into an Old Post
This is day 21 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.
There have been a slew of movies recently which are remakes of older films, or complete reboots of entire movie franchises, and more are in the works. Batman Begins, King Kong, The Taking of Pelham 123, Karate Kid, Footloose, Clash of the Titans, and Conan the Barbarian are just a handful within a long list of remakes which are being produced for lots of reasons:
- Special effects technologies have improved
- Cultural ideals and mindsets have changed
- The story wasn’t well told the first time
- It was a good movie, but it’s so deeply buried in history that younger audiences probably won’t dig it up on their own
- We’ve learned that mullets weren’t a good idea after all
If you’ve been blogging for a while, then chances are that you have an old post or two that could stand to be remade. Perhaps you’ve learned a thing or two that puts a different slant on what you wrote. It could be that your writing skills have improved or that you happened to write the initial post in hurry, so that it’s just not that well written. Or maybe you wrote an opinion post, and your opinion has changed.
Whatever the case, there are lots of good reasons to go back through your old posts and update some of them. Here are four quick tips for revamping your posts:
- Write a better title. Sometimes just coming up with a new and better title can spark new interest in a post. Many successful bloggers believe that the title is the most important element of your posts, since that’s what grabs or loses the initial attention of potential readers.
- Rewrite the opening lines. Now that you’ve learned about writing an elevator pitch, apply that strategy to individual posts. The opening lines will either convince people to keep reading, or dissuade them.
- Correct typos, bad grammar, and broken links. I’m sometimes amazed and embarrassed when I go back to an old post and spot grammatical errors that I completely missed when I wrote the initial post. Bad grammar, bad spelling, and bad links may tell your readers that you’re not a careful person, so you may not have thought through what you’re saying.
- Give it a makeover. Just redesigning the look and feel of a post can make it more readable. Try breaking up large paragraphs, adding a picture, or adding subheadings. Books are frequently republished this way, even when their content doesn’t change.
- Add depth. As you learn more about subjects which you have already written about, it’s a good idea to go back and update those posts with new knowledge and depth.
Just as remade movies are bringing in droves of both old an new audiences, an update of an old post can bring a wave of readers to your blog.
- Does this assignment feel productive or counterproductive to you? Why?
- Have you or your opinions changed much since you started blogging?
- If you’ve ever updated an old post, what sort of response did you receive?
The Extra Mile:
- If you’ve never done so, go back through all of your old posts and re-read them. You may notice corrections that need to be made.
- If you know of a good example of an old post that has been updated well, please share both the old and the new post here for others to read.
- Please be sure to visit people’s updates that are posted here, and offer your feedback.
- Tweet, share, and bookmark this post.
Chris Branscome decided to see what would happen if he could pray once every minute. Read about it at The Prayer Experiment, or better yet, join in the Experiment yourself! Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisBranscome