Web based Articles: Make Your Writing Timeless

Time­less writ­ing ben­e­fits the blog­ger. The event that start­ed my think­ing on this sub­ject was read­ing an excel­lent post a few days ago. It had a lot of the infor­ma­tion that I need­ed. I can also say it was very excit­ing. The type of post that adds a lot of val­ue to your life. It started:

“Good Morn­ing Every­body… Hope you guys all had a great weekend.”

Is this a case of time­less writ­ing? No, I was read­ing this on a Thurs­day. The arti­cle would have been as rel­e­vant any day of the week.  I sus­pect the writer want­ed to ease the read­er into the work and show how friend­ly they were.  It is a tac­tic used in con­ver­sa­tion, but one that doesn’t read­i­ly trans­late to writ­ing (unless you are writ­ing a col­umn in a dai­ly news­pa­per).  It is always good for writ­ers to present a friend­ly face to their read­ers and adopt­ing a chat­ty, con­ver­sa­tion­al style can cer­tain­ly make the writer seem more approachable.

As an on-line writer you must be con­scious of the fact that we all live on a spher­i­cal world. A world where at this moment some­one is wak­ing up from their sleep and anoth­er is going to bed. In this world week­ends are not always held on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day. It is a world where it is as hot as the hottest desert and as cold as the polar regions. All these dif­fer­ences coex­ist at the same time.

 

Timelessness

Time Warp - timeless writingFew pieces craft­ed for blogs are real­ly time sen­si­tive. If the writer were writ­ing a review of the lat­est great­est smart phone it is true that it may have a lim­it­ed life­time (e.g. for the dura­tion that the prod­uct is for sale) but this may be any­where between 3 months and 3 years, depend­ing where in the world the read­er is.

Pub­lish­ing a food recipe is nor­mal­ly time­less, even for some­thing as date spe­cif­ic as a Christ­mas cake. When you first pub­lish this recipe you prob­a­bly need to be cog­nisant of tim­ing. For exam­ple, you would be unwise to pub­lish it on the 20th of Decem­ber as many home bak­ers are like­ly to have their cakes already fin­ished by this time and ready for the table. For first time pub­li­ca­tion you should select the peri­od when peo­ple nor­mal­ly bake their Christ­mas cakes, pos­si­bly between mid-Octo­ber and mid-Novem­ber. Your recipe is time­less though because next year (or indeed ten years lat­er) when peo­ple are look­ing for cake recipes your page could be the one they read.

 

Time Limited Pages

If you are writ­ing about the views of a can­di­date in an elec­tion (such as a US Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion) will be time sen­si­tive, you can expect read­ers upto the point at which the can­di­date is unsuc­cess­ful, pulls out of the race, or the elec­tion is no longer an issue for the elec­torate. Writ­ing about the results of a Grand Prix motor race is even more lim­it­ed in nature, per­haps pro­vid­ing a few days read­er­ship in the after­math of the event. There may be a lit­tle inter­est in the run-up to the fol­low­ing year’s event but over­all you could not expect read­ers to con­tin­ue read­ing these pages after the first few weeks.

 

Creating Timeless Writing

Moon watchers

What is time­less writ­ing? Accord­ing to Blog Tyrant “a suc­cess­ful blog post is one that brings you traf­fic and sub­scribers for a decade” there is no rea­son why this goal can­not be achieved. You must craft time­less blog posts that not only have the imme­di­ate impact of being read but then go on to ben­e­fit your site for years to come. Some tips to mak­ing your blog time­less are:

  • Have imag­i­na­tive or mov­ing titles that grab and hold a reader’s attention.
  • Has a great excerpt that peo­ple can relate to, it is your Google Advert.
  • Solve or show problems.
  • Include imag­i­na­tive or per­son­al sto­ries or anec­dotes to ensure your work is engag­ing and builds loy­al readers.
  • Make sure your post is styl­ish, has a mix of text and images and the text is embold­ened, ital­i­cised, and high­light­ed through bul­let points or oth­er methods.
  • Link to pages that aid­ed your research (whether they are your own or those pro­duced by some­one else).
  • Pose ques­tions and make peo­ple think.
  • Expand on mate­r­i­al you have pre­vi­ous­ly published.

One thing you should NEVER, EVER, do is repub­lish an arti­cle you have pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished. If your blog has sev­er­al hun­dred posts pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished there is a temp­ta­tion to repub­lish an ear­li­er work because the top­ic is now trend­ing on social media and bring it into focus once again. Per­son­al­ly I keep a watch for top­ics that are trend­ing, which may cause me to pen a new post, but if time is an issue I am like­ly to sim­ply pub­li­cise the old post while the top­ic is trend­ing (per­haps after tak­ing a look at it and edit­ing it to ensure it remains up-to-date and includes lat­est thoughts on the sub­ject).

Do you under­stand what I am say­ing about time­less writing?

 

Leveraging Older Articles

You can write a new arti­cle that cov­ers the same sub­ject. In doing so ref­er­ence your old post. Per­haps, the now 4 years ago post, high­light­ed the need for this change to get dis­cussed fur­ther in the indus­try. You can take that oppor­tu­ni­ty to add a dis­cus­sion about the new think­ing and its prospec­tive impact. Accord­ing to Marko Sar­ic old­er con­tent is “an essen­tial tool in your con­tent tool­box is time­less con­tent that you can reuse and re-pur­pose”.

Old books by jarmoluk CC0 Public Domain from PixabayA blog may cov­er a sim­i­lar top­ic many times dur­ing its life­time and each pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain read­ers by show­cas­ing either con­tem­po­rary or old­er arti­cles. Truth is many ideas need time, patience, atten­tion and nur­ture to come to fruition. The writer needs to revis­it and refresh the idea, even if they are sim­ply doing so to cause the idea to be dis­cussed in advance of it being accept­ed as the stan­dard. Peo­ple rarely take a fresh idea seri­ous­ly. The idea needs recy­cling and regur­gi­tat­ing to gain trac­tion. As a writer there isn’t any rea­son you can’t take part in that process, help grow your own new idea.

The impor­tant thing to remem­ber about time­less con­tent is that it is as rel­e­vant in 3, 6, 12, 18, 36, or 72 months as it is today. It may per­haps last a great deal longer. The words you use helps the time­less­ness of your writ­ing. Those quips like “hope you enjoyed the week­end” are unnecessary.

Related Material

 You may find the fol­low­ing pages useful:

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee as a thank you for dis­cussing the need to keep your posts time­less. All images used here come from roy­al­ty free or pub­lic domain image col­lec­tions, such as Pixabay.

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4 Replies to “Web based Articles: Make Your Writing Timeless”

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