January 10, 2019

Who Knew How Much Fun It Could Be to Improve Old Posts?

backlit keyboard

It took me far too long to come around to the idea of re-purposing old posts here at Atheist Revolution, but I have discovered something unexpected: I really enjoy it. I never imagined it would be so much fun to revise, update, or re-imagine old posts. In many cases, it has been humbling in the sense that I'll read an old post and ask myself, "What the hell was I thinking?" But even this has been fun because it often leads me to ask what I wish I had written and then use whatever occurs to me to revise the post. Who knew self-improvement could be so much fun?

Some of the posts I have re-purposed so far did not require extensive re-writing. It was enough to fix broken links, update some of the information, add an image, and do some minor editing. In these cases, it was more about getting the content in front of a new audience who wasn't around several years ago when the original post appeared. Other posts required major revisions and/or expansion. These have tended to be the most fun. I find that I often approach them by looking for an idea that still seems like a good one but that was not unpacked nearly enough in the initial post. In essence, the old post serves as a springboard to write something new about the topic.

Admittedly, I have a vast collection of old posts that are not worth re-purposing in any way. Some were just bad, and many were too time-limited to have any value now. I have to say that the biggest disappointment as I have dug back through the archive has been the incredibly short lifespan of many of the more news-oriented posts. Even those that generated decent traffic typically did so for a very short time frame. I suppose it is a good thing that I have written fewer and fewer of these posts over the years.

Breathing new life into old posts is something I plan to continue and hopefully do even more of in 2019. When I feel like writing but don't have any good ideas for new posts, I will look back through my collection of old posts and identify those that contained worthwhile ideas but underperformed. I'll look for those that have produced little traffic since they were posted but contain something I think I might be able to shape. These are my favorite posts to revise because I feel like I have a second chance to do something meaningful with them.

Of course, there are other ways for bloggers to breathe new life into old posts without revising them. Some of these can be helpful in getting one's content in front of a new audience, but they aren't quite as much fun as starting with an old post and trying to figure out how to improve it. And so, I'm likely to continue working to improve some of my old posts as long as it continues to be fun to do so.