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When to update your blog posts

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Many of us, I think, have a tendency to write blog posts and then forget about them. I know I do.

That’s not a bad thing. Many blog posts are for a particular moment. They’re not, to use a popular blogging buzzword, evergreen. Sometimes, though, those momentary blog posts have a longer life than we expect. Sometimes, we unexpected find that we have to update some of those posts.

Obviously, that’s not the case for everything you write. But how do you know when to update your blog posts? Here are a few ideas that can help you.

When a new version or edition appears — Perhaps you’ve written a book review. Maybe you’re writing about a particular piece of software or a particular service that writers can use. As you know, new editions of books come out. New versions of software appear. Services get updated with new features. When that happens, you might want change the existing post instead of writing a new one.

When a service or business goes dark — nothing in the offline or online world is permanent. For a variety of reasons, services and businesses close their doors regularly. If you’ve written about a service or business like that in a blog post, you’ll want to update the post to remove all mention of that service or business. Of course, if the entire post is about that business or service then I suggest either deleting that post or adding a note to the post stating that the business or service has been shuttered.

When your opinion about something changes — We change. We grow. As part of that change and growth, our opinions shift. Sometimes, those opinions harden. At other times, those opinions make a 180 degree turn. I know a number of writers who, for example, didn’t see the value or use of social media. They tried it, then abandoned it. A couple of years later, they went back to social media and embraced it. If an older blog post puts forward an opinion that’s contrary to one you now hold, you can either zap that post into oblivion or add a section discussing why and how your opinion changed. I prefer the latter, if only because you can wind up with a good point/counterpoint piece.

How to indicate a post has been updated

You could decide not to do that. Or, you can mention the update at the top or bottom of the post. I know a couple of bloggers who do that like this:

Note: I updated this post on [date] to include changes/updates/revisions to version/edition x of [whatever]

If you’ve removed something from the post, it’s up to you whether or not you want to mention it. I usually don’t.

Telling the world about the update

If the updates to the post are significant enough, post the change to all your social media accounts. You can even write a short one or two paragraph post telling your readers about the update. Just remember to include a link to the updated post …

Final thought

It’s your choice whether or not to update your blog posts. I don’t do that very often, but when I do I find that adding an update to an existing post can be faster and more efficient than writing a new post.

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