6 Writing Tricks That Will Revitalize Your Old Content

November 11th, 2020

Reading time about 13 min

Most writers complete the writing process and leave their content as is, never updating it. Whether the content is fiction,  news articles, short stories, or essay writing websites reviews, it’s important to keep certain content updated in order to keep up-to-date with the online landscape. This is one of the writing tricks many businesses and website owners use to continuously keep their followers engaged. 

If your website or business grows, the odds are that many people in your current following will not have seen your previous content. This is the tragedy of content creation: you are most creative and ambitious at the start, yet your audience numbers are at their lowest point. Still, there are ways to freshen up those early efforts and breathe new life into each paragraph.  This article will explore six nifty writing tricks that will revitalize your old content.

1. Play with your Voice

This topic is similar to music. The reason why cover songs are so popular is that we love hearing the same song, sung by the voice and style of different people. This concept can also apply to writing. A writer can try out different voices to make an old article seem new again. Maybe this time, you will rewrite it with a more enthusiastic voice or do the exact opposite and seem more cautious and cynical. Imagine acting as a character, each with his/her personality. 

It can be even more straightforward if you are writing for a specific brand. Most brands have an already-established direction, tone, and character. If you are tasked with writing for them, simply adapt your pre-existing work in that direction. If done right, it will seem like an organic union of your raw data and information, with their trademark style.

It gets even better if you are new to writing. The worst thing you could do is commit to a writing tone right at the start. The stakes are very low initially, so feel free to explore and find something that works for you. Maybe you have a specific writing role model whose style you want to imitate; you can do so knowing that imitation is part of the process. Still, be mindful of outright copying. Develop a method for adaption and do not commit blatant plagiarism.

While finding your voice can be frustrating at the start, mastering this process will guarantee that you will never run out of original and engaging content. 

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2. Play with Words

In its most literal sense, a rewrite represents the changing of words and their order. You get to keep the same points and ideas while expressing said ideas using different terms and verb tenses. This approach represents the bulk of most rewriting work, and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. However, by itself, the swapping of words can seem lazy and uninteresting, making the entire effort look cheap. 

One of the most important writing tricks is that rewrites should always employ multiple techniques at the same time. For example, using the aforementioned voice change will give your content a fresher, more original feel. Metaphors, hyperbole, irony, sarcasm, and epithets will enhance the text. A writer must remember that plagiarism is the one unforgivable sin of writing. And thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to catch. As a writer, anyone who has passed high-school can do what you do. Most people can write.

Your living is made by selling your ability to be original, creative, and convincing. This is why plagiarism cuts so deep: you forsake all of those qualities and simply copy another person. It undermines your main selling point. Back in the good old days, texts needed to be compared side-by-side to notice any plagiarism. Nowadays, we have automatic plagiarism checkers based on artificial intelligence technology.

In a mere fraction of a second, the software will scan a vast amount of information, detecting even the slightest amount of plagiarised content. Depending on when and where the mistake is made, plagiarism can ruin a writer’s credibility, so it must be avoided at all costs. 

While rewriting is seen as a bottom-barrel writer task, it is essential. To paraphrase an old saying: if you copy a single person, it’s called stealing. Yet, if you copy multiple people, it’s called research. You need to exercise your ability to express the same idea using different words. Brush up on your synonyms and make Thesaurus your new home page.

3. Remove Fluff and Restructure

As a writer, your payment will be based on the number of words you write. Given this fact, it is very tempting to prolong sentences unnecessarily or to ramble endlessly to pad-out the content. This useless content is called fluff. While it is grammatically correct, it can ruin even the most professional efforts. If the situation permits, cut out the fluff, and replace it with more useful, updated info. 

The internet has done many beautiful things, yet one of its most detrimental effects is that it shortens people’s attention spans. Nobody will waste their time reading through your fluff to get to the informative part when there are millions of other available information sources. This principle applies to all writers, yet it primarily affects writers who work for advertising or social media companies. 

You must make your content easy to skim. A majority of readers will spend less than a minute glazing their eyes over a page before moving on. A paragraph should indeed contain a point or idea, but long sections are hard to speed-read. Take your old text and restructure it so that each paragraph is only 2-3 sentences long. Depending on the job at hand, you can bold key phrases to catch the reader’s eye as he/she skims.

4. Keep the Point 

Stringing words together is the method of writing, not its purpose. Your main goal will be to convey ideas, regardless of the words being used. Having an obsessive focus on the words themselves will make the end product look jaunted, forced, and inorganic.

When rewriting, you should read your old text to make sure you get the point. In fact, making an actual bullet-point list is helpful. Then, explain those same concepts in whatever way you prefer.

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5. Rewrite Chunks, Not Bits 

While browsing your old content, try to keep a bird’s eye view. A narrow focus on each sentence can ruin the rewrite. For example, if your text is an argumentative one, each sentence will build towards a conclusion. Those examples and sentences will not make sense outside the original context, so it is useless just to replace every word with synonyms.

Instead, try to focus on larger chunks of text, such as paragraphs. As previously mentioned, each paragraph should contain an idea or argument, giving you a much better perspective of what to write. Rewriting word for word is not sufficient. This situation is similar to translating from one language to another. A literal translation will not make sense due to different colloquialisms, grammar structures, etc. Adapting the text is imperative, and that can only be achieved on a paragraph-per-paragraph basis. 

6. Sources: The More, the Merrier!

Of course, the primary source for your rewrite should be your original content. However, things change, and you can always update the information with current data. If your word count is not that strict, it is possible to research and include anything you deem relevant. 

Also, do not shy away from inserting personal opinions or notes. The current information super-highway can make even a month-old article seem horribly outdated. Trimming fluff will not only make the text more engaging, but it will also make room for the inclusion of more quotes and sources. 

Conclusion

Once you’ve done enough rewrites, you will notice that the process is remarkably similar to writing regular original content. After all, a writer’s method is to accept a task, research it by reading what other people wrote, and then amalgamate the info in their own words.

The only difference with a rewrite is that you represent the original source. Overall, the same methodology applies. It is too difficult, and it will soon become second nature.

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