Throwback Thursday is the day to bring your old blog posts back to life.
We all have old blog posts in our archives, many of which are buried bits of treasure that can reward us again. Throwback Thursday is the perfect day to rekindle those old blog posts.
Only use blog posts that are still relevant, although always ensure you first make any necessary changes to the posts you want to highlight.
How to participate in Throwback Thursday
Select a favourite blog post that is at least a few months old.
Share it via a pingback or link in a new Throwback Thursday blog post.
After all, not only will some of your readers not have seen the post the first time it was published, but new followers may also not have seen it.
However, as I mentioned, rather than publish the whole post again, the idea behind Throwback Thursday is to include a link to the post you want to highlight in your Throwback Thursday post.
What you should do with your Throwback Thursday blog posts.
Only publish the post on a Thursday. That may seem like common sense, but I’ve seen bloggers publish them on other days of the week. Some readers may find it odd to publish Throwback Thursday posts on any other day than a Thursday. After all, the clue is in the title.
However, don’t worry if you miss publishing your Throwback Thursday blog post. You can always delay publication until the following Thursday. There are lots of Thursdays to choose from.
If you’re a day late in publishing your Throwback Thursday post, you can always change it to a Flashback Friday post. Flashback Friday has the same concept as Throwback Thursday, where you are encouraged to highlight older blog posts.
Share your Throwback Thursday posts on social media using the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday so that other participants can find your post.
Tag your post ‘ThrowBack Thursday’ on your blog so other participants can find it.
You can also include the words ‘Throwback Thursday’ or the hashtag in the title of your blog post, but always ensure you add the title of the blog post you’re highlighting. You don’t want to end up with many blog posts simply titled ‘Throwback Thursday.’
When creating the pingback to the post you want to highlight, ensure you turn on the ‘open in new tab‘ button so that readers don’t lose the page of your blog they’re on.
Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for full details.
Is there anything else I should consider when publishing Throwback Thursday blog posts?
Yes, I recommend closing comments on the post and asking readers to leave any new comments on the original blog post you’re highlighting. That way, they can see and read comments already left on the post you’re promoting. They can join any ongoing discussion. It makes more sense to have comments on the same post rather than scattered across several blog posts.
When selecting which posts to promote, choose the ones you believe your readers will benefit from and think they’ll enjoy reading again.
And that is Throwback Thursday.
Do you participate in Throwback Thursday? Do you have any questions about Throwback Thursday? Please leave them in the comments section.
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Have you ever spent hours researching and writing a blog post for it to then get very few (if any) reads or comments?
Disheartening, isn’t it?
Have you ever been deflated when all your hard work and time put into writing a post ends up giving back little if any reward?
Heartbreaking, isn’t it?
Over the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve used seven methods that have not only helped me get my blog posts noticed but have helped get readers to leave comments and follow my blog.
Try them out and see if they work for you.
1. Blog Post Titles
I can’t express enough how important the titles of blog posts are. They are like the shop window to your blog.
The title of your blog post can make or break whether it gets any attention. It’s the most critical element in whether somebody will read your post or move on to another blog.
I’ll be honest and tell you that in the past, I’ve given some of my blog posts terrible titles. No wonder they weren’t getting any attention, or any new visitors leaving comments on them. All they did was make my blog posts flop.
If the title isn’t eye-catching or enticing enough to get visitors to click on the ‘read more’ link, then you’ll be losing hundreds of potential new readers and followers.
But first things first! Always ensure your blog post has a title before hitting the ‘publish’ button.
That may seem like common sense, but I often see blog posts without a title, resulting in WordPress giving the post a random number as the title. It not only looks strange, but it looks unprofessional.
Of course, it’s easily fixed, but too many blog posts without titles can put readers off from reading any new material from you.
At the very least, you should be previewing all your posts before publishing them, so make sure the preview shows a blog post title.
If you’re stuck for a good blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the link to read the post. It can sometimes be as simple as that.
Once you have your title, try inserting it into a headline analyser and see what score it gets. The higher the score, the more likely your blog post title will attract search engines and readers. I use CoSchedule for this. Click here to try it out for free.
And finally, do not use blog post titles you or other bloggers have used before. Why? Because search engines rank blogs that use duplicated titles lower than those with original titles.
2. Add An Excerpt To Your Post
For those followers who get an email notification of your new blog posts, adding a captivating excerpt can also entice readers to then click through to read the post.
If you don’t add your own excerpt, WordPress will use the first 55 words from your blog post as the excerpt. This can often make the post sound confusing, or give no incentive for readers to want to click the ‘read more’ link, especially if the excerpt cuts off midway in a sentence.
Where possible, I always ask a question when writing an excerpt. For this post, I’ve used –
‘Having trouble getting visitors to your blog or to read and leave comments on your posts? Here are 7 methods I use that have resulted in thousands of readers reading my posts and leaving comments.‘
The more you make an excerpt intriguing, the more readers your post will get.
The excerpt box can be found under ‘Featured Image‘ in the settings menu that appears on the righthand-side of your screen when composing a post.
3. Opening Line/Paragraph
Just as the excerpt to your post should be enticing, so should the opening line or paragraph. If your opening line or paragraph is not engaging and appealing, then readers are more likely to move on or skip over the post without leaving a comment.
I often begin my blog posts by asking a question. If you ask a question that poses a problem, readers will want to find out more because you’ll likely be helping solve the problem. Your post then has a greater chance of getting read.
Again, ask yourself what opening line or paragraph would make you want to read more and comment on the post you’ve written.
Like many others, I believe that blog posts that include photos and images look far more inviting to read.
Did you know that blog posts containing images are over 70% more likely to get clicked on and read than those that do not include any images?
Adding images or photos help break the post up and creates white space, which all help to make the reading experience more comfortable.
However, be careful when adding any images or photos. Large images can slow down the speed at which your blog post opens. If your blog takes too long to open, many readers will move on rather than wait for everything to download.
Always reduce the size of any images or photos before adding them to your media library.
I use an iMac and am able to reduce photo and image sizes by clicking on ‘Tools – Adjust Size’ on the toolbar of my computer.
5. Be Kind To The Eyes
You may have a brilliant blog post title and great excerpt to entice readers, but if the body of the post isn’t kind to your readers’ eyes, or not attractive to look at, many will move on quickly.
A few things to consider about the body of your posts –
Is the font the right size so that your readers do not have to squint or enlarge the page to read it?
Can the font be seen clearly? Black font on a white background is the safest combination to use.
Is the background colour of your blog gentle on the eyes?
Are paragraphs too long, thus making them blocky. Keep paragraphs to no more than four sentences long. This helps creates white space on the post.
Is the spacing between each paragraph correct?
Does any of the text run into any of the images you’ve inserted on the post, resulting in paragraphs breaking up in the wrong place?
Have you lined up images correctly, so they are in line with the correct text?
Is there anything in the post or on the page (such as a gif) that can distract from reading the post? If so, consider removing it.
As I mentioned in the above points, I’ve found that a good rule to apply to a paragraph is to never have more than four sentences in it. This helps break up a post nicely and makes reading it a comfortable and pleasant experience.
Finally (and this is something you should always be doing), always preview your post before publishing it so you can correct any issues.
6. Add Sub-Headings
Inserting sub-headings, especially in long posts, break up a post nicely, giving readers a more enjoyable and comfortable read. They’ll be more likely to keep coming back if they’ve found reading your posts a pleasant experience.
As you’ll see from this post, I’ve changed the colour and the size of the font to the sub-headings I’ve added. This helps make the post look inviting and friendly to read.
7. When To Publish Your Posts
As you publish more and more posts and visit more and more blogs, you should get an idea of when are the best days and best times to publish your blog posts.
For example, if most of your readers are based in the U.S.A (and you’re based in the UK) the best time to publish your posts is between 12:00 and 17:00 GMT. Why? Because the mornings are peak-reading times for many.
Remember that your posts will appear on the WordPress Reader of the bloggers who follow you, but will slowly disappear as more and more posts drop onto the reader.
I’ve read many articles about when is the best time to publish blog posts, and most of them claim the best publishing day and time is Monday at 11 am EST. However, until you know where most of your audience is, this will differ.
Blog post titles are the shop window to your blog. They can make or break your blog.
Make the titles of your blog posts enticing enough to make visitors want to click the ‘read more’ link.
When creating a blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the ‘read more’ link.
Never use duplicate blog post titles. Search engines rank blogs and posts with duplicate titles lower than those with original titles.
Adding your own excerpts to your blog posts are far better than allowing WordPress to use the first 55 words of your post as the excerpt.
Hook readers by making the opening lines of your blog posts enticing to make them want to find out more.
Blog posts that contain images or photos are 70% more likely to get read than those that do not contain any images or photos.
Reduce the size of images and photos before adding them to a post. This will help your post download more quickly.
Make sure your blog posts are kind to the eyes. Avoid glary colours, tiny font, and combinations of colours that make the font hard to read.
Use no more than four sentences in each paragraph, as this helps breaks up blocks of text that can look intimidating to read.
Use sub-headings in long posts to help break the post up.
Find out where the majority of your followers are located, and schedule posts to publish during the morning in the timezone they are in. Mornings are peak-viewing times.
What do you do to entice readers to read and leave comments on your blog? Please share your tips in the comments section.
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Should bloggers delete, update or republish old blog posts?
Michelle, who blogs at Boomer, Eco Crusader, had a question.
Here are Michelle’s questions:
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. Your new blog posts will also receive a lower ranking.
SEOs dislike out-of-date information and will redirect readers to sites with 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 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, consider a few things. 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 check if the post has any incoming pingbacks from other blogs that are still valid (you’ll find these in the post’s comments section).
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 it contains too many broken links, readers will probably not return.
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, fixing them, and running another report.
WordPress also offers a broken link plugin, although this will only be available to those on certain WordPress plans or bloggers with 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 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 containing out-of-date information that can no longer be salvaged.
Before deleting old blog posts, deactivate the post’s incoming and outgoing pingbacks first.
Run a broken link report on your blog at least once a month or whenever you delete any old blog posts.
SEO will rank your blog and new blog posts lower if it contains out-of-date information.
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 rewritten 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 is passionate about 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 we drift into the last few weeks of the year, I find the world of blogging gradually becomes a quieter place. Like thousands of others, I’ll be taking a seasonal blogging break as we head deeper into December.
However, one of the most popular posts I see appearing every December and early January is the traditional ‘My Top 10 Blog Posts Of The Year’ post. It won’t be long before these annual posts drop into your email box and WordPress Reader.
But how do bloggers measure the success of those top 10 posts? What is it that helps make those posts appear in their ‘top 10’ lists?
The more hits, the more successful?
Most bloggers who will publish their ‘Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021’ blog post will base their list on the number of hits each blog post achieved. But that always has me questioning if that is the right way to compile a top 10 list.
A blog post may have thousands of hits, but how many actually read the content? Does not reading a post make it successful? Should the number of hits count towards success when we’ve no idea how many times the post was read?
Does landing on a blog post by mistake make a post more successful when some of those landing there don’t stay and read the content?
Search engines are significant when looking for something in particular on the web. However, how often have I clicked on a link and then moved on quickly after realising the page I’ve landed on is not what I was looking for? I’ll be honest and say that I’ve lost count!
It’s made me question whether that click I made should count towards making the post more successful when I haven’t read the content.
Volume V’s Sales
Let’s have a look at it another way. Take these two identical shops:
Shop ‘A’ gets hundreds of customers a day because of its location or large advertising budget. However, it gets few sales a day.
Shop ‘B” gets a much smaller number of customers because of its location or smaller advertising budget but gets a high sales volume.
Which of the shops is the most successful? A or B?
When should comments count towards success?
If I compiled my ‘Top 10 Posts of 2021’ post based on the number of comments every post got, my top 10 list would look very different from the list I compiled for the number of hits or ‘likes’ a post got.
For example, one of my posts that received the most hits did not get any new comments or ‘likes’ left in the last 12 months. Yet the post that was number 21 on my most hits list got three new comments and six further ‘likes.’ Which one should be considered to have been the most successful in the last 12 months?
Then there are some bloggers (like me) who may not count specific comments. Comments that add value or prove the post was read, count. Whereas lazy comments such as ‘Great Post’ or comments that only included a line of emojis may not count.
When measuring success, should we include all comments or just the ones that add value or prove the post was read?
When is a ‘like’ not a ‘like’?
I’ve never been a fan of the ‘like’ button on blogs since I discovered that some bloggers and readers misuse it. However, I see many bloggers basing the success of posts on the number of times the ‘like’ button has been clicked.
Should clicking ‘like’ without reading a post count towards making a post successful? How many times have you had the same person press the ‘like’ button on lots of your blog posts within seconds of each other?
How many times has somebody clicked the ‘like’ button within seconds of you publishing a post?
Surely Sandra read my 900-word post if she clicked ‘like’ within ten seconds of me publishing it, didn’t she? Otherwise, why would she have clicked the ‘like’ button?
How do we know if somebody who clicks ‘like’ actually read the post?
Unfortunately, unless somebody clicks ‘like’ a reasonable time after publication, and leaves a genuine comment that proves they’ve read the post, we don’t know.
Misuse of the ‘like’ button seems to be quite widespread in the blogging world, with some readers even pressing it to take away the feeling of guilt for not having the time to read and comment on a post. Some click ‘like’ as a sign of support but may not read the post. Should those ‘likes’ count towards the success of a post?
Some see the ‘like’ button as nothing but a free promotional tool for their blog without reading a post. Leave a ‘like’ and, fingers crossed, it will bring in some new visitors.
The only success we should be discussing for these types of ‘likes’ is that the person clicking the ‘like’ button feels the post and blog are successful. All they’re doing is jumping on the success bandwagon of somebody else’s hard work.
If you’re wondering why I still have the ‘like’ button at the bottom of all my posts, allow me to enlighten you. I discovered (and was told by WordPress) that it is connected to the ‘reblog’ button. Remove it, and the ‘reblog’ button also disappears from your blog posts.
That’s something I was not willing to allow.
And removing the ‘like’ button from your blog doesn’t mean it will be removed from posts when they appear on the WordPress Reader. If you’ve removed the ‘like’ button from your blog, are you aware that people can still click on a ‘like’ button when reading your posts on the WP Reader?
How do I measure the success of a blog post?
Simple. If I was motivated or inspired to write and publish a post, then it’s a success. Therefore, you won’t find a ‘Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2021’ post on my blog.
At the end of the day, I guess it’s entirely up to the blogger concerned about how they measure the success of their blog posts. What I do question, though, is should bloggers be publishing results that are not necessarily accurate?
Allow me to run a final thought past you
Suppose a blog post only gets a few hundred hits yet gets over 50 genuine comments and likes. Does it make it more successful than a post with thousands of hits yet very few comments and likes?
What do you think? How would you measure the success of a blog post?
‘One hundred posts! That’s far too many in eight months,’ I told myself.
One hundred posts over eight months mean that, on average, I’m publishing 12 posts per month or around three per week.
I was rather shocked by the figures, but told myself that it shouldn’t be about me but my audience. That’s where I hope you will step in by answering some questions and leaving your answers in the comments section.
Are 12 posts per month too many, too few, or just right on Hugh’s Views And News?
How many blog posts did you publish between 1st January and 31st August 2021?
Do you think you’ve published too many, too few, or the right amount of posts so far this year?
What are your reasons for the answer(s) you gave to the last question?
If you blog on WordPress.Com, you can find out how many posts you’ve published by going to your blog’s ‘Stats And Insights‘ page and click on the ‘Insights’ tab.
You’ll find the information towards the bottom of the page under ‘Annual Site Stats.’
Join the discussion and let me know your answers by leaving them in the comments section. You don’t need to answer all of the questions if you don’t want to, but I’d be interested in reading the answers you do give.
In the meantime, if you’re wondering what I did on my unplanned blogging break, here’s a clue of one of the places I visited.
Doesn’t it look gorgeous?
Over the coming months, I’ve lots planned for Hugh’s Views And News. In the meantime, if you’d like to follow me on my other social media platforms, click on the buttons below.
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