6 Things to Check When Editing Your Archives

Over the last couple of months, I’ve started working on editing old blog posts in order to liven up my archives. I want to be able to share old posts in order to bring them back to life and in order to do that, I need to make sure they meet the same standards I have for my more recent posts. It’s not a tried and true method and it’s definitely more time consuming than this particular blogger would like, but having a list of things I want to get done on each post makes the process go a lot more quickly.

edit archives
Death to the Stock Photo

Font

One of the most noticeable changes I’ve been making to my old posts is the fonts – both the body font, and the font I used on my photos. When I switched from Blogger to WordPress in the fall, the fonts didn’t convert because I wasn’t using the default one in Blogger. And as far as photos went, there was a while where I switched up the font on each blog post’s photo – and it was always something cursive and vaguely difficult to read.

Looking back through my archives now, I want these things to be streamlined – and in the last several months especially, I’ve worked on making sure all of my blog photos use one of two fonts: Ariel or Modern No. 20 (I love Modern No. 20, but it doesn’t have a bold or italic and for certain posts, I need those features). So the first thing I do when I edit a blog post is to highlight the post, and clear formatting (if you use WordPress, this is the eraser on your toolbar).

Photos

It would be an understatement to say that when I first started blogging I didn’t realize how important photography was to the whole thing. That was five years ago, and even just last year when I started this blog I wasn’t paying that much attention to it.

Going back through my archives now, I have a checklist I go through for all of my blog photos:

  • Quality To be honest, this means that most of my photos come from a free stock source like Unsplash. I love photography, but I’m not that great at it and I’d rather use a free stock photo that’s higher quality than one of my own.
  • Size The first thing I do when I open up a photo in PicMonkey is resize it to match the width of my paragraphs. It’s something I never would have thought of on my own, but a while back when I worked with Kenzie on a blog consult, she mentioned that it looks a lot more pleasing to the eyes to have the photos match your text in width.
  • Formatting With any photo that I put text on, I use a transparent overlay to make the text more visible. When I first started doing this, I varied the sizes and shapes a lot, trying to figure out which I liked better. So now, going back through my archives, I try to make sure they all match with the box shape I use now.
  • Text I mentioned above that I like to make sure the text on all my photos is either Modern No. 2 or Ariel, so when I’m editing old graphics or creating new ones now, this is one of the things I make sure to do.

Layout

Another thing I’ve noticed has changed with the switch from Blogger to WordPress is the format on some of my older posts. For whatever reason (probably because I was always messing with fonts and sizes) the spacing on some posts is a little off.

I don’t know about Blogger (I can’t remember the formatting features they have), but on WordPress this is another thing that the Clear Formatting tool seems to fix. Although I did spend a lot of time retyping entire posts because I didn’t realize this was an option…Oops.

SEO

One of my favorite things about WordPress is the ability to use plugins for so many different things, and one of those plugins that I love is Yoast. I’m learning more about SEO now, but having a checklist of things to run through helps a lot in making sure that my posts are search engine friendly.

If you don’t know what Yoast is, it’s a plugin available with WordPress that allows you to enter a focus keyword or phrase and then tells you what steps to take to better your SEO on that post. A few things are making sure the keyword pops up in your title, page URL, throughout the post, and on your photos’ alt tag, and making sure to include photos and links in your post.

Tags and Categories

I’ll be honest: for a long time I paid absolutely no attention to the tags on my posts. Once again though, when I switched to WordPress I started paying attention and trying to keep my posts organized. Tags and categories are how I’m able to list a categories tab on my blog, and how I can direct people to posts they might enjoy based on other posts they’ve enjoyed.

Going back through my archives, I try to fit older posts into categories and tags I’ve started using in the last few months in a way that streamlines my content.

Grammar

I’ll be the first to admit that I can be pretty bad about this. I love editing other people’s writing and picking out grammar mistakes I find there. With my own writing though, I’m really terrible about finding my own mistakes. For whatever reason, I can read through something three times and still miss the same misplaced comma I did the first two times.

Sometimes the best thing for this though is time and distance. Going through old posts, I’m more likely to see the mistakes I might have made a few months ago that I couldn’t see then, and correcting these makes my blog look a lot more professional.

So what about you? Do you edit old posts and if you do, do you have anything specific you look for to update? 

  • http://www.chitsandgigglesblog.com/ Kristyn

    I recently learned about the Clear Formatting in WordPress. How did I not know about this before? I am also in the process of updating all my old posts (there are so many and it’s so dang time consuming!). The first thing I did was the formatting. Then I will go back and update the pictures – another headache and get the vertical width to be the same as the horizontal width. I probably should have just done it all at the same time, but I’m impatient and I wanted that formatting fixed like yesterday!

  • http://lanivcox.wordpress.com/ Lani

    I did the same thing as you. I went from Blogger to WP.org and then to WP.com. So, going back and fixing things has been a chore. Your checklist is a good one and is the kick in the rear that I need to go back and continue the work. Good stuff, as always, Kiresten :)

  • http://simplicityrelished.com/ Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

    This is so so helpful, thank you. I’ve written tons of posts that I myself have forgotten about. And I’m definitely looking into Yoast.

  • http://www.nomadnotebook.com/ Lizzy

    How are you getting on with WordPress now? I’m considering changing over from Blogger due to being able to utilise tools like Yoast, but i’m still a little nervous to make the big jump!

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook