Migrating Blog Posts Using Live Writer

If you're a D2D/A2A blogger and you've been using Windows Live Writer to compose and manage your posts, migrating old posts to a new blog can be a heck of a lot easier than, say, removing your own tonsils. This is especially useful if other means of migration are unavailable.

For the uninitiated, Live Writer can be configured to work with multiple blogs on multiple platforms. This allows you to very easily cross-post, that is, publish a single post to multiple blogs. That feature also allows you to quickly and easily move content from your old  blog to its new home.

If you've been using Live Writer, and you have been saving local copies of your posts, it's a simple matter of opening that local copy, selecting the new blog from the Live Writer "Weblog" menu, and then clicking "Publish."

If you haven't saved local copies, or if you are new to Live Writer, the process is only a bit more involved.

I won't go into installing and configuring Live Writer here. You have Google -- you'll figure it out.

Once you have Live Writer installed and set up to work with both your D2D/A2A blog and your new OTN blog, here's how to migrate old posts to a new home.

  1. Click the More link in the right sidebar in Live Writer. On the left side of the window that opens you'll see a list of the blogs you've configured Live Writer to work with.
  2. In that list, click the icon for your D2D/A2A blog. Live Writer will retrieve a list of the posts from that blog. You can use the Show drop-down to limit the number of displayed posts.
  3. Click on the post you want to migrate. That post opens in the Live Writer editing window.
  4. Open the Weblog menu at the top of the screen, and select the blog to which you want to migrate the post. The layout and format of the post may change, depending on any differences in layout between the source and destination blogs. That change is automatic, however, so you shouldn't have to do anything.
  5. At this point, take a moment to review your post. Update and edit as necessary. There's no point in subjecting your new audience to your spelling, grammar, and typing issues.
  6. Take advantage of the Set publish date function, on the lower right of the Live Writer editing window. While I haven't verified that this will work with all blog platforms, I was able to migrate one of my A2A posts to another blog, inserting it into the new blog at that same date the post was originally published on A2A, basically publishing in the past. It's like a blog time machine.  
  7. Once you're satisfied with the content, you've verified the correct destination blog, and selected the appropriate publish date, click the Publish button on the upper left. Once the publishing process has completed, your post will now appear in its new home.

Now, a couple of closing points...

Exercise a little editorial judgment in selecting the posts to migrate. Since the process described here has to be repeated for each individual post, why waste time and effort on anything that doesn't offer any real substance or reader value? Those quick, short "great post by whatisname on blah-blah-blah" items aren't worth the effort.

Finally, during the transition, don't abandon your old blog. Use it to make sure your readers know that your blog will be moving, and to remind them of where they can find your new stuff. During the transition you don't want your current readers to stop paying attention. Keep the channel open and active.

 

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