Now you see it, now you don’t. The blog post you read in your feed reader an hour ago was deleted by the blogger. There is rarely a good excuse for it, although I will share some thoughts of why you may consider it. But, before you think twice about a post and opt for that delete button, first consider…
- People already know what you said. One of the worst reasons you could delete a blog post is regretting your words after you publish. First of all, if you’re going to bother with regret, after publishing it is too late. Once it’s out there in feed readers, email inboxes, etc., there’s no going back. People have seen it and you do nothing but make yourself look like someone with something to hide. If you’ve changed your mind or realize you screwed up, edit the post and say so, own up to it. Apologize if it’s necessary and just move on. It’s far more respectable.
- Nothing on the Web is ever completely deleted. It doesn’t matter that you deleted the post from your blog. It’s still probably cached in search engines. It was probably in feed readers. It’s very likely in the email inbox of some subscribers. Again, you just look like you have something to hide and you never know when it could come back and bite you on the ass (all it takes is for one reader to call you out for a simple deletion to turn into major drama for you — not worth it).
- Your blog posts show your progression. It’s okay to change your mind over time; we all learn new things and have new experiences that might influence our opinions on an issue. Instead take it as an opportunity to connect with your readers. You’ll have more positive influence by justifying what you’re telling readers than by simply flip-flopping. Don’t underestimate people’s memories. Just because you delete a post, it doesn’t mean your readers don’t remember the views you shared.
I firmly believe the above to be an excellent guide to follow; however, people are always talking about “online life” vs. “real life,” but the reality is, we only have ONE life. The way we manage either component trickles into the other. With that reality I submit that there are a few reasons to delete a blog post or comment. These are only my opinions, so please understand and give it some thought as you read through the list …comment below, I promise not to delete any!
- Every time you see it, it makes your stomach drop.
- You are thinking about it obsessively.
- Your mom questions why you wrote it.
- You think it might upset your boss. Your “real” job pays the “real” bills, right?
- Someone attempts to assassinate your character. Most of us are never going to get rich blogging, so you shouldn’t endure any unnecessary grief.
- Unfounded behavior such as racism or prejudice. Freedom of speech might be a right in your municipality, but this is YOUR blog. If you think someone is off base, than feel free to edit accordingly.
- It’s attracting spam. I would never eliminate a strong post, but sometimes it’s easier to just kill the post then waste time filtering comments. At the very least, close comments.
Dealing with a few dead links or disappointed readers is easier than getting rejected for a job, a tarnished brand and wondering if it was the blog post that kept you from gaining another client or a dream career. The delete button was invented for a reason, use it with caution and sparingly, but use it!