RT Cunningham


The Art of the Rewrite - Old Articles Become New Articles

typewriter - rewrite If you suffer from writer’s block, perhaps you should take the time to rewrite an old article. You can “freshen” the information contained in the original article and perhaps be inspired to write something new, possibly related to it.

The key to rewriting is making sure the new article isn’t just the old article being republished. If you’re going to republish an article, rewrite it to make it better.

Rewrite or Not?

Some articles cannot be rewritten, or shouldn’t be rewritten. How do you decide? Well, I’m going to tell you how I decide. Sometimes I act on that decision and sometimes I don’t. I usually don’t.

I use statistics, usually covering 90 days or more, to see which articles have the least amount of page views. With WordPress, The Jetpack plugin gives me a real-time report of what’s being viewed. I also view reports from within the Google Analytics and Google AdSense dashboards.

Ideas for the Rewrite

If you think doing a rewrite is a new idea, think again. Major newspapers and other commercial entities have being just that for more years than I can remember.

If you read a new article and think you’ve read it somewhere else before, it’s a pretty good bet you have read it before but not necessarily somewhere else. Some writers (or authors, if you prefer) aren’t very good at doing an effective rewrite.

The idea of rewriting is to make an existing article better than it was before. It doesn’t do much good if you’re simply rehashing the same things, even if you’ve reworded some things.

One way to generate ideas is to use Google Instant (from Google Search, start typing a keyword and see what comes up). Another way is to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

The use of keywords is obvious. You want to write what people are searching for. You can write the greatest article of all time but it doesn’t serve you if no one searches for the keywords in it. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve written over the years that just sat there, not being viewed by anyone.

I’m Not Suffering from Writer’s Block

I won’t define writer’s block for you. It isn’t what I suffer from. I suffer from something far worse. I just don’t care to write anything at all at times. Even when I know I need to. I have plenty of article ideas, so that isn’t the issue.

I’m thinking about rewriting a few articles again (I’ve done it before) just to keep myself occupied. It’s the hottest part of the year in the Philippines and when it’s hot like this, I don’t feel like doing much of anything.

I have to decide on a few things before I can even do that. Money isn’t the issue, though more of it would definitely help. No, I’m waiting on operating system and software updates. I don’t know how long it will be. A new Ubuntu Server is available this month but I’m still waiting on hosting company. I have no idea when Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS will be available at the hosting company with the dedicated server I want to move my stuff over to.

I’m considering an expansion and I don’t even want to think about doing it before I move to another server. The clock is ticking because the Ubuntu Server I’m using now loses support in a year.

I don’t want to rewrite something and then decide to move it to another web space in a month or so. I want to rewrite something that will stay here. I’m starting to get bored, so I need to decide something soon.

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By RT Cunningham
April 28, 2016