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Blog Exercises: Random Editing Day

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.Welcome to the first “Random Editing Day” as part of the Blog Exercises series.

The purpose of Random Editing Day is to help you edit and upkeep your site, but also to revisit and revise posts of the past.

Throughout this year we are going to have monthly editing exercises to help you flex your editing muscles, which improves your writing muscles. We’ll start with one post the first month and increase the number throughout the year, hopefully ending with 12 posts edited in one day.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.If you would like to do more, help yourself, but the exercise begins with one post.

Edit one previously published post. Select it at random by putting in a search term, clicking a category or tag link, or just randomly selecting something out of your archives.

Read through the post carefully and considering editing it for the following reasons:

  1. Spell check. Read through the post to look for misspellings. Not a good speller? Edit the post and use the Visual or Text Editor to look for red squiggle lines under misspelled words in your browser, if your browser has spelling enabled and available. Most modern browsers today do.
  2. Check links. Click on the links or run the web page through a link checking utility online. Are they still good? Do they need updating?
  3. Clean up the content. Everything can use a little clean up, fixing a word here and there, moving a paragraph or sentence around, fixing punctuation. Tighten up the phrasing and edit useless babble. Consider breaking up big blocks of text into shorter paragraphs or possibly lists.
  4. Off to a fast start? When we start blogging, we often take too long to get to the point. Now that you are more experienced, edit the start of the post to get to the point faster.
  5. Are the points clear? Again, now that you are more experienced, you’ve learned how to make your point faster and clearer. Maybe this post needs a visit from that wiser blogger.
  6. Fix Link Dumps: In the beginning, you may have been a bit lazy in adding links to your posts, so now is the time to change those link dumps into properly formed links that are easy-to-read.
  7. Add or change images? Are the images in the post still relevant and appropriate? If this was published during the craze of publishing no post without some eye candy, consider changing the image to one more appropriate and related to the content, or remove the image.
  8. Think SEO. As you read through the article check for pronouns. Search engines exist for nouns, not pronouns. Name things. Name them properly. Use nouns everywhere and anywhere you can to add keywords to your content and help the visitor skim through the content faster to determine if this is the information they need.
  9. Relevancy check. Is the post still relevant? Should it still be on your blog or have you left this topic behind you? Should you delete it? Or maybe it is time to update it, adding new information.
  10. Does it say what you still want it to say? Over time, our say changes as our blogging voice changes. Check to make sure the post says what you intended to say, and maybe say it better.

Everyone has their list of things to look for when editing their content. Sift through it carefully and make sure it still connects with your audience, whether it was published two days ago or ten years ago. Because you never know when an old post will be new again to a reader, and any post can be a gateway to your site from search engines.

Note: Tom Ewer of ManageWP Blog has taken this exercise to the nth degree in “A Simple Checklist for Editing and Optimizing Old Blog Posts.”

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

8 Comments

  1. Posted January 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    OH, MY! VERY useful information. Thanks, Lorelle… love this hotlist. Quite a few I hadn’t thought of. :)

  2. Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I do this occasionally when I re-read old posts. But my archive has over 2,200 posts, most of which are at least as long as this one. (5,000 words is not uncommon.) So I know I’ll never get through them all.

    One of the things I also do is combine daily link lists (generated automatically as WordPress posts by a plugin that works with Delicious) into a large monthly link list. Because I often have 10-20 of these daily lists a month, it reduces the total number of posts. While it’s true that I’m breaking links to my site when I delete those old lists, I think I’m sort of neatening up the site. And I check those links while combining the lists, too.

    • Posted January 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Hey, Maria!

      Those of us with thousands of published posts – random is the best we can get. LOL! I call it the stumble-upon effect. If the post is hit by social media like StumbleUpon, I edit.

      We have a link list exercise coming up, so I’d love to have you share your tips on how to create these links when that arises. We’ll also be tackling link checking as well, a never-ending job. Oh, I wish it was easier. Isn’t it easier yet? LOL!

  3. Posted January 19, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle

    I smiled as I read your post. I do have random editing days in which I mainly retag my posts and edit paragraph formatting which went missing in action when I moved my blog to WordPress.com.

    Peace, blessings and angelic proserity.

    Mercedes

    http://pppministries.wordpress.com

    http://thelordsangels.wordpress.com

    • Posted January 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Sorry you lost some formatting during the transition, and good for you. Excellent!

  4. Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Since I am an editor in my day job, and a writer by vocation and trade, I love this post! Thanks, Lorelle, for encouraging bloggers to revise. As a wonderful teacher of mine once said, “Writing is rewriting.”

    I appreciate all I learn about WordPress and blogging from you. Excellent work!

    Eleanor

    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. I agree that it is important for us to edit before we publish, but the web makes it easy to fix it at any time, unlike traditional media that preserves our boo boos eternally. We just need the incentive, thus the monthly random editing day idea. I’ll have inspiration for the types of posts and the ideas to consider when editing the posts in the future, keeping it fresh.

  5. Posted July 22, 2013 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Some of us using a huge number of printed blogposts , hit-or-miss is the better we can make. HA! My spouse and i call up the idea typically the stumble-upon influence. In case the posting is usually reach by simply social websites similar to StumbleUpon, My spouse and i revise.

    Looking for a connection record exercising springing up, and so I’d love to have anyone talk about your own personal simple methods to make all these back links any time in which develops. We are going to also usually be fixing url checking out at the same time, some sort of constant task. Wow, If only ?t had been much easier. Certainly is not the idea much easier still? HA!


8 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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