When you write posts on your blog, do you think about their future? What will happen when you share them with the world? What will they look like when you share them on Twitter? Will they attract comments? What will those look like?
Odds are, after a few months, you forget about your blog posts, unless you get a new comment, share or traffic surge. They are still there, waiting, but are largely ignored.
The thing is, while they are sitting there, they are changing, potentially losing their value. Sites you link to shut down, videos you post from YouTube are taken down. The result is weaker post that will rank lower in Google, give people a bad impression of your site and in some instance remove the entire point of your post.
You could spend the time checking your site every few weeks, looking for dead links and issues, or you could try and be more thoughtful on who and what you choose to put in your post.
Let’s take videos on YouTube as an example. If any of these are true, you might want to consider an alternative way of writing your post. Perhaps give a more details breakdown of the video peppered with some screenshots?
- Do you think this video will not be here a year from now?
- Does most of your post rely on people watching the video?
- Can people infer the point of your post if the video didn’t exist?
Millions of videos are removed from YouTube every year. Odds are, at some point, the entire basis for your post will be lost to the world. This issue applies to all services that allow you to embed their content, YouTube is just one service of many that removes content quickly and without warning.
Consider all the people deleting their Twitter accounts? While that embedded Tweet looks great now, in a few months it will be a useless bit of white space. What can you do?
This is a great place to use a blockquote of the tweet or even a screenshot.
Anything you cite, embed or link to, needs to be considered. Will your link to an article go behind a paywall some day? If it is at a large publication, probably. So add context or find a different source.
We spend so much time working on our blogs, we need to take the time to insure that they will be viable in the future. By just being considerate of what you select to post, you can save yourself a lot of cleanup in the future, and ensure people access to your work for years to come.