Published never equals permanent. With your blog, you have the ability to go back and edit any of your posts at any time. Lots of bloggers stay away from the “edit” button because they feel changing a post after it’s been published is somehow dishonest to their readers. However, it’s possible that sentiment is actually more of a disservice than a little rewriting is.
Here are some ways you can, and should, edit your blog posts after you publish them. (And here’s a pro tip: don’t edit in secret. Include a note of when and what updates you made on the post, or use a strikethrough to identify changes.)
1. Correct a Mistake
Word usage error? Grammar or spelling mistake? Go back and subtly fix it, especially if it affects your message. There’s no reason to keep your typos alive. If you made a more significant mistake, like incorrectly quoting a fact or providing false information (unintentionally, of course), let your readers know, and fix it for their benefit.
2. Search Engine Optimization
This can be a sneaky little trick, but use your analytics to tweak your past blog posts and improve their SEO. If you discover a better keyword, for example, change the wording in your post. Don’t drastically change anything or alter your message; just make your post more search-engine friendly for the benefit of your blog.
3. Add Resources
You try to help your readers and give them blog posts that are useful to them; it’s how you keep them coming back for more. Don’t be afraid to return to a past post and add additional resources as you come across them. If you discover a great new article or database, for example, update your post to include a link. This is mainly for the benefit of new readers if people are not likely to re-read the post.
4. Add Images
Anything that can enhance your post can be added in the future, including images. Insert a new picture that illustrates your point, or add a helpful info-graphic. If you decide later that your readers would be better served with a visual representation of something you discussed, take a picture and make an update.
5. Update Content
If you comment or cover a timely news story, you can feel free to go back and edit it to include updated information when things change. In this case you definitely shouldn’t change your post, just add to it to alert readers of new developments since the post was originally published. Any other content with related developments can also be updated to reflect the most current information.
6. Include Reader Feedback
You may find some insightful feedback in the comments after a blog is published, or you may be contacted directly by a reader who has something more to add or a new point of view. Edit your blog post with reader feedback to make it richer. If a thought-provoking reader comment could round out a post or provide additional benefits to other readers, edit the post accordingly.
Alayne Valentine is a blogger and college student who has plenty of practice editing blog posts. She loves to write and covers anything from blog content to using grammar checkers.
Photo Credit: ajSEO