My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.
My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts.
If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar.
Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar of my blog to learn more about me and my blog.
January 24, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about “the wish I made.” Whose wish is it and how does it fit into the story? What kind of wish? Go where the prompt leads!
Make A Wish – by Hugh W. Roberts
“Clean up this mess, and put out the rubbish! I haven’t got all day.”
Looking at the single candle on the 80th birthday cake she’d made herself, Miriam made her wish before blowing out the candle. She watched her demanding daughter cut a slice of the cake and devour it. She wondered if arsenic had a taste.
When turning to look at herself in the antique mirror, Miriam’s wish revealed itself – a beautiful, slim, young woman ready to live life again. But this time without the burdensome daughter that craved her inheritance and cake more than her mother.
Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.
Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses
28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.
As I move into my fourth year of blogging, sometimes I look back on my early posts and cringe. It’s great that I’ve come a long way as a writer, but I’d love to refresh some of those old posts. Is it better to delete them and republish as a new post, or just go in and update them? Also, does deleting old posts impact SEO rankings?
I’m going to tackle Michelle’s last question first.
Many blogging professionals agree that keeping old, out-of-date blog posts reduces your blog’s overall SEO (search engine optimisation) rating. Even if you regularly publish new blog posts, your blog will suffer if you have old, out-of-date information on it. Your new blog posts will also receive a lower ranking.
SEOs dislike out-of-date information and will redirect readers to sites that have up-to-date information. This is one of the reasons that I recommend every blogger updates their ‘About Me‘ page at least once every six to nine months, especially if it includes pingbacks and links.
Old, out-of-date, and irrelevant blog posts and pages (including your out-of-date ‘about me’ page) serve no purpose on your blog or to your reading audience.
I have a clearout of old blog posts at least once a year, usually in December, when I find the blogging world a lot less busy.
Do this first before deleting any blog posts
Before deleting any old blog posts, there are a few things to consider. I’ll cover these in my answers to Michelle’s other question: Should bloggers update old blog posts or rewrite them and delete the older post?
If a post is still relevant, useful and contains evergreen content, I’d recommend that you update it. More so if it includes valid pingbacks to other live posts on your blog or to other blogs and websites.
Don’t forget to also check if the post has any incoming pingbacks from other blogs that are still valid (you’ll find these in the comments section of the post).
I recently deleted a pingback from a blogger who had deleted the post that included a pingback to one of my posts. SEOs dislike broken links. They don’t look good on your blog, and if your blog contains too many broken links, readers will probably not come back.
When should I rewrite an old blog post?
If a post has out-of-date content or is poor quality (including images), but you feel it is still relevant, rewrite it. Don’t forget to delete the older version before publishing your new post.
When rewriting the post, give it a new title. Think of a title that would make you want to find out more or make you want to click the ‘read more’ link.
If you have content that is out of date, irrelevant and/or poor quality, but you feel it can be salvaged – even if that means a complete post rewrite – then you should do that!
How to check for broken links
After you delete any old posts, I recommend that you also check for any broken links on your blog.
You can do this by running a report on a free broken link checker site such as Brokenlinkcheck.com. However, beware! If you’ve never performed a broken link check on your blog before, the report you receive could be rather overwhelming. I’d recommend pausing the report once you get to 20 broken links, fix them, and then run another report.
WordPress also offers a broken link plugin, although this will only be available to those on certain WordPress plans or to bloggers that have a self-hosted blog.
Once you have run a broken link check, I recommend you perform one at least once a month, or whenever you delete any old blog posts.
Another good practice is to delete any pingbacks in blog posts you’re about to delete first, before deleting the post.
Can re-written blog posts become successful?
I have rewritten and republished many of my earlier blogging tips posts. Not only had they received few views, but I felt the quality was poor, and they had poor quality images. As I rewrote them, I updated procedures and added better quality images that did not slow down my blog. I also added pingbacks to some of my other most successful posts.
Many of these posts have since become my most successful and best-performing posts.
Let’s wrap it up
Delete any old blog posts that contain out-of-date information and can no longer be salvaged.
Before deleting old blog posts, deactivate any incoming and outgoing pingbacks on the post first.
Run a broken link report on your blog at least once a month or whenever you delete any old blog posts.
SEOs will rank your blog and new blog posts lower if it contains out-of-date informnation.
If a post is still relevant, useful and contains evergreen content, update it. More so if it includes valid pingbacks to other live posts on your blog or to other blogs.
If a post has out-of-date content or is poor quality (including images), but you feel it is still relevant, rewrite it and give it a new title.
Always delete older versions of rewrtitten posts before publishing the new post.
Thank you for your questions, Michelle. I hope I have answered them for you.
Michelle is a boomer with a youthful outlook seasoned with a dash of wisdom.
She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada with her husband and one of her two young adult daughters.
Michelle works full-time in financial services and has a passion for learning new things.
When she’s not working, studying or blogging, you might find her on stage singing rock music, or enjoying a walk in the great outdoors.
Visit Michelle’s blog for tips on environmentally-friendly living, decluttering and living your best life.
As a gay man, you may be surprised to hear that one of the biggest hurdles I faced was going into a gay bar for the first time.
At 17-years-old, I was in awe of my straight mates. They’d been wandering into bars and nightclubs for the last year with the only threat of getting asked for age identification.
At 17-years-old, my straight mates were not only getting drunk most Friday and Saturday nights but were boasting about sleeping around with members of the opposite sex without any worry. Whether they’d slept with many of those they mentioned was open to debate.
At 17-years-old, it was against the law for me to sleep with a person of the same sex. If I boasted about it, I could get myself into trouble. The law stated that, for my safety, sex remained on hold until I reached 21.
Of course, I overlooked that particular part of the law. Like any red-blooded male at 17, my hormones made my brain think of little else but wanting to (putting it mildly) get laid.
By the time I reached my 19th birthday, I already had what I had considered a boyfriend. He was over the age of 21 and thought I was too.
On one particular, wet Saturday evening, I found myself sitting in my boyfriend’s car. Holding hands with him, we listened to the patter of the rain on the roof as we watched the raindrops splatter on the windscreen. For weeks, we’d both built up the courage to go to a gay bar for the first time.
The bar was out of town and miles from where we lived. However, neither of us wanted to get out of the car and walk up the steps to the bar. Instead, we both sat there trying our best to peer through the spattering of rain, trying to make out the figures going into the bar.
“It’s nice and warm in here,” I said.
“Yeah, too wet to go outside,” responded my boyfriend.
For the next half an hour, we made an excuse after an excuse as to why we should stay in the car. Even though curiosity ran through our minds of what was on the other side of the doors to the gay bar, our bodies remained fixed to seats while we continued peering at figures entering and exiting the bar.
“What if we bump into somebody in there who recognises us?” asked my boyfriend. “If there’s somebody in there from work, I could end up getting beaten up or sacked.”
Not only did those words cut me in half, but I began to worry that if the police raided the bar, my boyfriend and I would be in serious trouble because of my age.
Although at 19-years-old, it wasn’t against the law for me to go into a bar, I questioned if it was against the law for me to hold hands with another man in a public place.
Terrified of the consequences of entering a world where people would have welcomed and accepted us for who we were, we drove off and went home. Hiding who we were and how we lived our lives seemed a much safer option.
It would be months later when I talked about that night again.
“If somebody you worked with had been in that bar, wouldn’t they have been as terrified as we were at being spotted?” I asked.
“I never thought of that,” came the reply. “But it’s still a risk, isn’t it?”
Six years later, as I made my way on a coach to a new life, I left behind a boyfriend who had been secretly sleeping with another man he worked with.
Have you ever been terrified to do something or go somewhere for the first time? Please share the details in the comments sectionor, even better, contact me about submitting your story as a guest post.
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It may seem much longer, but at the end of 2018, WordPress introduced the Gutenberg Block Editor to users.
And what a journey the Block editor has had since introduced. Some users moved to other blogging platforms to avoid using it, whereas others decided to continue using the Classic editor for free via the Classic Block.
Last year, I witnessed more than ever fans of the Classic editor coming over to using the Block editor, some of whom wondered why they hadn’t done it sooner.
As more bloggers use the Block editor, I thought I’d write some posts on how some of the most popular blocks work.
I’m kicking off with the ‘Paragraph‘ block, which everyone who uses the block editor will use.
How Do I Find Or Add A ‘Paragraph’ Block?
After adding the title of your blog post, click on the ‘+‘ symbol in the draft section of the post.
In the search box that opens, type in ‘paragraph.’
Select the ‘paragraph‘ block.
Start typing in the paragraph block on the draft post.
How Do I Add A New Paragraph?
Tap the return button on your keyboard to add a new paragraph.
Does The ‘Paragraph’ Block Come With Any Options?
Yes. The ‘Paragraph’ block comes with a toolbar full of options. Here’s a list of what you can do.
Yes. Click the kebab menu in the toolbar to show even more options such as ‘Add to reusable block‘ and ‘remove paragraph.’
More options are also available on the righthand side of the draft page. To see them, select any block that contains text and select the ‘Block‘ option.
Colour: Change the colour of text or the background colour of a block.
AMP Settings: AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source framework that allows browsers and apps to quickly load your site’s content on mobile devices. AMP is enabled by default for all WordPress.com sites. Click here for more details.
Typography: This allows users to set the size of the font in a block. Here’s an example. In the next block, I’ve selected font size 36.
Hugh’s Views And News
See how much bigger it is than the text in other blocks.
Users can also manually set the size of the text by clicking the icon that sits to the right, just above the Size Default box. The icon looks like two small slider buttons.
HTML Anchor: This option allows users to insert ‘page jumps’ into a post. For example, you could anchor the words ‘Skip to the bottom of this post‘ in a block. Clicking on the anchor text then takes readers to the bottom of the page. Click here for more details.
Additional CSS class(es): Add CSS code to a block. –
CSS is the acronym of “Cascading Style Sheets“. CSS is a computer language for laying out and structuring web pages (HTML or XML). This language contains coding elements and comprises these “cascading style sheets”, which are called CSS files.
Note: Some of the above options I’ve mentioned may move or change over time.
Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.
Looking for more information about the Gutenberg Block Editor? Check out these posts.
What were the top 10 blog posts on Hugh’s Views And News in 2021? Unfortunately, none of my posts made the top 10 because there is no guaranteed way to produce an accurate top 10 list based on the number of likes, hits or comments.
In 2021, 133 blog posts got published on Hugh’s Views And News. Many subjects, including blogging tips, writing, music, flash fiction, photography, true stories, social media tips and guest posts, made it to the front page.
If you asked me to recommend ten of those posts, I’d have a tough choice to make. But as I already hinted, many readers agreed that basing top 10 lists based on the number of likes, hits or comments doesn’t always work.
That’s why I’m offering you ten blog posts published in 2021 on Hugh’s Views And News that I recommend. They are not in any particular order other than the published date they appeared on my blog.
My first post of 2021 got me off to a great start. And the message in it is as relevant today as it was on New Year’s Day 2021. Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions for the New Year? Read my post first before making any decisions.
Not only do I list these 7 simple mistakes that I see many bloggers making, but I give details on how to fix them. Read my post, take action, and watch your blog sky-rocket if you’re wondering why it’s plateaued.
I see so many bloggers reblogging posts with little care about what they’re doing or giving any reasons why they’re sharing the post. Some bloggers who reblog other bloggers’ posts aren’t aware that they could face copyright infringement. Read my post for full details before reblogging that next post.
The most popular question I get asked by other bloggers is ‘How do I get more people to visit my blog?’ This post lists 7 easy methods that worked for me and helped me gain thousands of new visitors, many of whom followed and engage with me.
Changing this default setting on your WordPress blog is one of the easiest ways to increase the number of visitors coming to your blog. I’m still shocked by how many bloggers have not changed this setting. Are you one of them?
Becoming overwhelmed with blogging is something I’ve witnessed many times. It’s a horrible feeling with lots of traps waiting for victims to fall into. This post takes a good look at the biggest trap of all. Are you about to become a victim?
If you haven’t heard the news, WordPress is running Bloganuary during the whole month of January.
By participating in Bloganuary, you’ll get access to the Bloganuary community site, where you can meet and get to know others working toward similar blogging goals. You can share tips, learn from others, reach a new audience for your blog, and make some new blogging friends. Click here for more details.
Don’t forget that you can also find me on social media. Click on any of the buttons below.