Updating your forum posts: how to and etiquette

Note: This content focuses on conventions for updating blog posts after publication. While you’re working in forums, the principles are roughly the same.

Some of you will want to make changes to your forum posts before the checkpoints, and this is a-ok with us.

But you might be wondering whether this is accepted practice for bloggers. The answer is: yes. Ish.

In this post, I’m going to refer to a blog post by ProBlogger on updating blog posts after publication.

It is completely fine to update your posts as long as you are transparent about what you’re doing. And there are different types of changes that are generally handled differently:

  • quick fixes
  • changing information
  • adding something new to a post.

Quick fixes

If you find a typo or a broken link in a post after publication, it’s completely okay to correct them, and for this kind of minor correction, it’s generally okay to make the change without indicating you’ve done so.

Changing information

If you make a post and you later find out you provided incorrect or inaccurate information, it’s okay to update the post. Ditto if your opinion changes. But in both cases, you should acknowledge you’ve made a change.

There are two ways to tackle this: update the original post, or create a new post that links to the old one.

Update the original post

Be as transparent as possible. It’s best to show the original as well as the new version in the original context. You should also flag at the beginning of your post that you’ve made a change.

The convention is to include a note at the top of the post in square brackets, like this:

[Update: I made blah blah change because]

Where possible, you should use strikethrough to indicate text you want to remove. And then add in the text you want to add.

Write a new post

If the changes are really dramatic or you want to rewrite the whole post, you might like to write a new post that links back to the original post. You can also add a note to the original post including a link to the new post.

Adding something new to the post

ProBlogger calls these ‘updates’. Here’s an example of a post I wrote that I later updated to include a link I hadn’t originally included. You’ll see I’ve added it at the top of the post.

Updating your posts

If you want to make big changes to your post, sometimes you might find it’s easier to do that by writing a new post. In these instances, we’d like you to keep that initial post, in keeping with blogging convention. Plus, it’ll be a great way for you to reflect on the changes in your blogging practice over time.