Now on my second year of blogging, with well over a thousand posts published, I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t remember the majority of what I’ve written about.
Normally, the only time I revisit an old post is when I receive a comment on it. But even then, I don’t normally re-read said post. I merely skim it to jog my memory as to what it was about, so that I can respond to the commenter. I then reply to the reader’s comment – and that old post leaves my consciousness.
I very rarely take the time to “re-read” old posts.
But I recently had reason to revisit several. These were very old movie reviews, from my early blogging days. At that time, I didn’t understand the difference between “page” and “post” and had published them in “page” format. So I recently decided to republish them as proper posts, one a week, to get them out of the “page” hierarchy where they weren’t receiving any traffic.
While moving these reviews, I took a moment and read one. I was, frankly, rather shocked to find severe writing issues: spelling mistakes, sloppy grammar errors, and confusing verbiage. I could barely believe I had written these articles.
The thought “I’m a terrible writer, and should quit blogging,” crossed my mind, so I stepped away from the computer for several hours. If I found these posts from two years ago terrible, who’s to say what I’m writing today is any better? Maybe I’m a horrible writer.
But I later came to terms with my dismay. For starters, these posts were written when I was new to the blog writing style, namely how brevity is valued over wordplay. Second, I had the ability to fix these old posts, through the wonder of digital publishing. As long as it didn’t take an inordinate amount of time, I could be my own editor and clean up the writing before hitting “publish” a second time.
In conclusion, I think it’s a worthwhile exercise to revisit old posts – especially ones still generating traffic. The typical blog receives the vast majority of visitors from its “long tail” – old posts that appear in search results. It may be worth revisiting the most popular of these, as they can be the first page a web surfer views and generates an impression of said blog from. Obviously, not everyone begins reading a blog through its most recent posts.
So take a look as some of your old posts – like me, you may be surprised by what you find.