Followup Blog Posts: Updating the Past

    September 12, 2006

Followup blog posts are an often overlooked way to develop an idea further, provide more information on an older post, and to develop a posting series.

Writing a blog post that continues a previous, but often unfinished idea, provides a number of real and very tangible benefits.

Returning to a previous ongoing controversy, topic, or concept, provides a useful and interesting source, of blog post ideas. Often your longer term readership will appreciate finding out more information on an idea previously presented in your blog. New information and ideas often arise after a post has been published. Don’t waste those thoughts. Print them on your blog as update posts. With the difficulty many bloggers have in finding posting topics, the followup post is a gift waiting to be opened.

Followup posts are ideal for political, legal, and sports blogs, to name just a few. Each of those blog categories is ideally suited to continuing column ideas over time. Most readers will be very intrigued as to how the initial case, policy, or game under discussion was resolved. Instead of only getting the introduction to a concept, your readers can get the entire story.

For personal bloggers, ongoing postings are part of the reason for the blog in the first place. The ongoing daily life of the blogger is a continuing saga in and of itself. Following up on some previous event in the blogger’s life flows naturally in personal blogs.

Business bloggers can create an ongoing series of posts, revolving around one business oriented topic. Later, as new ideas are formulated or the quarterly reports are published, the blogger can return to the previous series and the accompanying reader comments, and renew the discussion. By picking up an older post concept, the idea can often be developed further, to the benefit of all.

Often, the results of the business idea are played out in the real world. Whether those results were forecast on your business blog or not, they are important to your readership. In fact, they can potentially be some of the most powerful posts to appear on your blog.

When referring to a previous post, be sure to link to that column, and any subsequent related postings, directly. Place a live link, using the older post permalink, directly within the new post. Make certain the link appears early in the discussion, so readers unfamiliar with the previous posting can get up to speed on the ideas presented. The blog visitors can read the background information for context and previous history.

While it’s not considered by some bloggers to be a proper policy, linking to your previous post is a courtesy in this instance. It’s not quite the same thing as linking to your own post in support of your own argument. In this case, it’s simply providing background information for new visitors to your blog. For complex issues, previously posted material is often essential to understanding the ideas presented.

Having everyone familiar with the previous post or posts on the subject, helps to further the discussion. In fact, linking to your previous posts is not a bad blogging idea. In fact, it’s a good one, as it provides full disclosure of your previous writings and thoughts on the issue at hand. Your previous posts on the topic will also fill in any necessary details for the readers who missed them.

Following up previous posts also provides a sense of completion for previous ideas. A concept isn’t simply thrown out on the blog, and left hanging, and unresolved. Returning to an as yet uncompleted thought process, can lead to new and exciting discoveries about the idea.

Sometimes, the readers simply want to know how the story turned out in the end. There is nothing worse than a continued story that has no conclusion. No one wants to be left wondering how it all turned out in the end. Looking back to some previous posts, occasionally left unresolved, provides a wealth of blog posting ideas. They are not only helpful to you as a blogger, but they are often of tremendous interest to your readers as well.

Several tangible search engine optimization benefits can also result from followup posts. The internal linking, between two or more pages within the blog itself, helps to develop the blog’s overall themes and topics. With theme relevance becoming ever more important to the search engine rankings, the SEO value of internal blog linking shouldn’t be overlooked. Having two or more strongly related inter-linked pages will provide some very tangible SEO benefits for your blog.

Follow up those old posts, and see where they lead.

Retracing your previous posting steps is a powerful way to move your blog forward.

Usually, the journey leads to a better blog, for both the blog writer, and for the blog readership.

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Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

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