Mature businesses face challenges different from the ones new businesses need to overcome.
In the course of my work as a professional ghost blogger and coach for business blogging, I've found it's the same with new bloggers versus seasoned business bloggers. Keeping content relevant and fresh is an ongoing challenge in marketing of any kind, of course, but today I want to deal with a particularly interesting issue:
You learn that information you'd put in a blog post months – or even years – ago isn't true, or at least isn't true any longer:
- Someone posted a comment that contradicted what you said, and, upon looking into the matter, you discover you'd been mistaken.
- You've learned there's some better way to solve a problem, a solution you didn't know about then, or perhaps one that didn't even exist at the time you wrote that old blog post.
- The "regs" have changed in your industry, and the old information is simply outdated.
What's the best way to handle that situation in your blog?
According to Gardner and Birley, authors of Blogging For Dummies (they solved the problem of bringing their material up to date by issuing a second edition!), bloggers should avoid editing posts after they've been published, in keeping with the "transparency" principle. Many bloggers, they explain, make corrections by using strikethrough text on the original entry, followed with the correct version, while others use italics, bolding, or notes at the top or bottom of the original post.
Here's what I think: Since blogs are more conversational and less formal than websites or books, admitting mistakes can actually add to the "human" side of business blogging. Your being a lifelong learner who keeps up with new thinking and with ongoing developments in your field can't help but add notches in the "plus" column for you and your business.
My idea is in keeping with something Blogging For Business authors Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulis are saying, which is that one of the characteristics bloggers should have is "the ability to write in a natural, authentic, human voice."
The solution I like best for expanding on and correcting old blog posts is the one suggested by Garner and Birley for"when you really mess things up": Start a new post.
Armed with your new understanding of the information or of a better solution to a problem, share what you now know with your readers. Explain what you used to think (linking back to the old blog post), then share the new, better information you have today.
So, here is my new version of an old saying:
To err is human; to update your blog posts is divine!