Give an Old Article a Second Chance

Planning my return to Medium writing

Image by Kat Stokes on Unsplash

For the past year, I have been busy writing, not for Medium but on a book project; I got a publishing deal for my book about the therapeutic experience, at the beginning of 2020 and suddenly my life wasn’t mine anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining; publishing a book has been and still is a journey worth working towards. However, this fantastic opportunity meant that I didn’t have as much time as I used to have for writing Medium articles and I have only just returned to carry on from where I left off.

While I was away, there have been some inevitable changes: the views on my account dived to almost nothing, meaning little to no income. The Medium platform changes and so did the calculations for earnings. More publications have appeared and the communities that I used to be an active part of have acquired lots of new members. I’m catching up and making my presence known again, but it will take time and effort. It isn’t quite starting from scratch because I already have a list of articles built up and some followers, but I need a plan, and this is part one.

Reviving old articles

As I looked through all my old articles, initially to look for inspiration, something struck me: why not make the old efforts work for me while I get going again? As writers, we tend to buy into the idea that we need to create a constant stream of new content. While this is of course needed for the Medium platform, there is nothing wrong with re-posting the pick of our best articles from the past on the many Medium Facebook groups.

My first step in returning to my Medium writing is to create a best-of listing of my old articles. It’s fun reading these, they are a reminder of phases of my life and stages of my writing. The lucky ones will be re-posted, one at a time in-between the new articles that I am researching and working on. Before I click that Copy Friend Link and paste these old favourites into Facebook, there are some important preparations to make sure the reader gets the best experience:

  • Reading old articles thoroughly before re-posting will make sure any mistakes, I didn’t catch the first time around are picked up. All writers miss things!
  • Make any amendments needed. Life has changed since I created them, and the information might just need a facelift.
  • Check any links to make sure they still work or are appropriate for the article now. It is so annoying when a link goes nowhere or to somewhere unexpected.
  • Lastly, I check the formatting, making sure it is easy on the eye and still within the required format for the publication in which it was originally posted.

Once that is done, they are ready to go.

Why this works

Medium is an ever-revolving door of people coming and going, and there are always new readers who haven’t encountered these old stories yet. Posting them just once means it is possible to miss a large number of people who would benefit from or simply enjoy reading the articles.

For example; I posted the article below last year. It got a reasonable amount of views and reads but posting it again six months later, generated a spike in reads and gave me a nice surprise for my income. It’s a start, but I cannot sit too long and dwell on this small sign of movement, though it is worth noting as a worthwhile step in the right direction.

Making the most of what I have already created will generate a new flow of readers, increase the possibility of gaining followers and opportunities to re-connect with my existing audience. Certainly, that is what I am hoping will happen, and the signs are there to prove me right (who doesn’t like to be right?), while I build up a selection of new articles and re-establish links with readers, publications and editors.

It’s good to be back.

Psychosexual and relationship therapist. Author of The Essential Companion to Talking Therapy, Watkins Publishing. Tea, cats and travel.

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