~ Jennifer Chait
Is your own.
Do you re-read your own blog? I hope you said yes. If not it’s time to start. If you have many blogs this can be a daunting task; especially if your blogs are older, with plenty of content. Some of my blogs are old and stuffed so I break it up. Once a month I read one month’s worth of posts from each of my blogs. It doesn’t take that long, it’s a nice break from my regular work, and re-reading offers me plenty of perks such as…
- It offers me new ideas: One of the best places I find fresh content is in my old posts. When I’m re-reading it jogs my memory about something I meant to write about and have since forgotten or I’ll find that I could easily expand on a topic. If you write more than one blog you can take an old post that was popular at one blog and re-slant it at another.
- It tells me how good (or bad) my blog is: Listen, if your old blog posts bore you, if it’s a struggle to re-read then there’s an issue. Imagine how your readers feel. I have blogs that I enjoy reading as an outsider looking in. Sadly, I have one blog that I can’t stand to re-read right now; so I know it needs some work. If I don’t want to read my own words why should I expect others to enjoy them? In a best case scenario this can help you improve your blog immensely. In a worst case scenario this might let you know that a blog should end.
- I find typos: I almost never find my typos the first and second times through when I’ve just written a post. Later, I’ll go back and catch mistakes. You may think it won’t matter if a blog post you did last year has a couple of typos but it might. If I like a blogger’s current posts, I’ll go back and read their older posts as well. If the quality is a lot different it can be disappointing. Each of your posts that someone reads is a chance to make an impression, so it’s nice if that impression is error free. Or at least as error free as possible.
- I find dead links: This is basic blog maintenance 101. When I read other people’s blogs, one dead link won’t bother me enough to shun the blog but if every single link is dead I may stop reading.
- I catch comments I missed: Every time you don’t respond to a comment is a chance missed to gain a possible regular reader. I’ve missed comments (I try hard not to but we all do) if I catch one I missed I respond. I don’t care if it’s been four months; a comment deserves a response. I’ve gained a couple of regular readers this way.
- I’m reminded of broken promises: I’ve visited many a blog where, at the end of a post, the blogger will say, “Coming up next… (insert enthralling topic).” I get all excited and check back and then nothing. I really dislike when bloggers break promises. Guess what though – I’m guilty too. If you have a lot of blogs you will likely promise something at some point and forget to deliver. Re-reading allows me to catch those moments where I had a great promise and then I forgot.
- Re-reading tells me what’s working: More importantly it tells me what’s not working. Ironically my readers and I don’t love the same posts. I can work really hard on a post, decide that it’s brilliant, and then what… no one comments, no one cares, and it can be unsettling. After getting over my initial disappointment I remember that what matters more are the posts people do like; not the ones they don’t. Re-reading reminds me what kind of posts work best for a particular blog so that I waste less time writing the ones that don’t.
- It builds self confidence: If I’m having a bad – I’m – gonna – quit – blogging – because – I – suck kind of day then re-reading my best posts helps. It cheers me up to see lots of cool comments and well-planned ideas. I think that in any kind of writing we all have days where we think we could be better. Focusing on your positive and successful pieces can help calm down your negative thoughts or self-doubts.
Do you re-read your own blog? If so, what have you learned from this process?