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Thoughts on older posts

  1. This has been bothering me for a while. For my first month I got 100 posts, that's somewhere around 5 views a day. The next month 100 a day, this month so far averaging 123 a day. Here's the problem. I don't want my visitors to have to page back and back and back to reach early posts, and most don't. Also, top posts only looks at stats going back 48 hours, so popular older posts are lost.

    Question 1. As my older posts have generally not been seen due to the problems above, is it wrong to re-post a selection of them, and if so what would be the best way to achieve that? Is that just wrong to do? I tried a new page with links, but I see people have viewed that page often and never clicked the links, so I don't want to go down that path. Have people found custom menus to be effective, as that seems like the same idea.

    Question 2. Is there simply another way I don't know about or haven't thought about to get people back to these older posts? Categories don't seem to work, so I'm at a bit of a loss. I wish there was a wider choice of widgets for such problems.

    The blog I need help with is

  2. phoenixtearsheal

    I only have two suggestions -
    I thought your recent posts of the cat, and the using the mother-in-law as a fire-retardant were hilarious; do re-post any old ones you have like those :D
    And you can set your 'number of posts per page' to something like 1,000 or more if you wanted to.
    That's all I can think of at moment, hope of help.

  3. Thank you. The cat one was weird even by my standards. I'd feel somewhat like I was short-changing my readers if they had read every single post (two have claimed to, but apparently not), but I have at least 3 or 4 ones I quite liked that have only seen the light of day on another's monitor 1 time in the early days of my blog. It seems a shame to waste them.

    I think I might move to a format that allows a summary style view of each post, that way I can open up the screen to more posts per page, but I'd hate to have one, long, long home page. It's just the issue of finding a theme that looks good and achieves that..

  4. phoenixtearsheal

    To be honest I've come across several blogs which I'd like to read more of, they're bookmarked for the hope of one day.
    If you have some early posts then I think you should re-post if you want to, I can't see any harm in doing that, it's quick to copy and paste, and your new readers would get to read what they missed.
    I know large numbers of posts per page are theoretically possible (for some themes) but then again may take a long time to load, so yes snippets may be a better idea.
    I know everyone has different tastes, but the ones where eg: the lady lobbed herself off the cliff, and the poor guy dropped his bricks and had to back up the mountain, are sad endings, so I like the cat best, he gets you into all kinds of trouble, it's funny and fun to read :D
    All the best with it :)

  5. Even the cat had a sad ending. It's tragicomedy. If that's a word. Anyway, onwards and upwards.

  6. @theuglymoose
    You could put an archives shortcode in a text widget in your side panel, to list all the posts you've done or, as you say, you could choose a theme that shows excerpts instead. Only problem with that is you've got to hand-write them all or let the default setting use the first few lines of each post as it is.

  7. People aren't even clicking categories to the best of my knowledge, so creating a sidebar menu of that sort would probably be no different. I decided to repost an old one with hardly any views. It was kind of fun as I got to re-write it a little too, and back then I wasn't using pictures so adding a visual was nice too.

    Of course this is only go to be for a handful which are unknown. In the future I'm going to have to find a solution along your lines. Maybe I'll create a hierarchy of pages set as a kind of 'choose your adventure' style game, where you whittle down the type of story you want to see.. lots of work though

  8. Add a top posts page. These are the ones you like and hope other people will read. I'd guess perhaps only 5% of my search-engine or other first time visitors go to my top posts page, but I always have at least a few hits on some of the posts I've got there -- some people are clicking through.

    Give a short blurb as to why they should read it. Just giving the title of the post isn't necessarily that likely to draw attention -- the title of your cat post wouldn't make me want to click on it.

    But, after the linked title, suppose you say, "This one is weird even by MY standards. A tragicomedy in which he gets me into all kinds of trouble, but I eventually 'win' -- or, well, I shouldn't give away the ending. I've been told this is 'funny and fun to read.'" I guarantee if someone is interested enough to go to your top posts page, they'll at least think about clicking on that one.

    You wouldn't know if people are clicking categories or not, because those views don't show up in your WP stats. But how often do YOU click on category listings? I rarely do. I know people click on mine, but my blog gives information for people with particular interests, so when they find me, they may want to see what else I've said about that interest. But you are writing to entertain more than to inform, and that's not the kind of thing that is likely to cause them to look at categories.

    I'm the furthest thing from an expert, but if I were writing your kind of blog, I probably would use categories, but not even bother with a categories widget on the sidebar. People will probably almost never use it, and won't miss it if it isn't there. It's just noise.

    I read somewhere (I think timethief's site) that search engines don't like duplicate content and can downgrade you for it, so if you care about that, I don't think you want to do a lot of re-posting. Someone who knows more will probably set me straight if I'm wrong.

  9. Much as I dislike the format myself, you could always change theme to 2010 or 2011 and make the most of what recently did to them - in other words, utilize the 'infinite scroll' function of them. Then people only have to scroll down to see all your posts. Who knows, maybe they will?

  10. And I agree with jongleason - a top posts (but of your choosing, not what the widget does) would probably work well, though I'd personally suggest doing that on your 'about' page. It worked well for me in a previous blog and to the extent that I use it in my present one, it works well too.

  11. @jongleason top posts only show posts only look at stats going back 48 hours, so it doesn't help with older posts.

    I did have a page with links, which was being viewed quite a lot, but nobody was clicking on the links and very possibly because I wasn't selling them in the manner you suggest. That's a good idea, and I'll have to review that.

    I really do feel Categories are noise. What I'm finding is that my viewed are concentrating almost entirely on 'Top Posts', so only the last 48 hours and my most popular 2 or 3 are getting an airing, so to speak. I'm almost tempting to remove it altogether, because even then they only get exposed to recent postings.

    As for re-posting, I hate to do it, but when only a handful of people have read it, and in somecase just one person, and it's something I think readers will get a kick from I feel justified doing it. And again, I have reshaped the wording as I felt the original lacked a little, and added a bit more sprucing up (remember these were my early days!), so I'm not sure search engines would care or even notice.

    I really appreciate your thoughts on the problem, food for thought. Thanks.

    @absurdoldbird Thanks for the advise on the theme. I had a terrible time trying to find a good one last night with no success. I've check those two out tonight and see how they look.

  12. You're welcome. By the way, I'm reposting quite a few of my old posts. I came to the conclusion that I don't really care about the 404 error messages.

  13. why the 404 messages?

  14. If you move a post (which is what's happening if you repost it with a new date) then Google treats the original placing of it as missing.

    Have a look at what Timethief's written about it in her own blog (which is a very helpful blog for bloggers):

  15. I just left the old one out there and gave the post a new name. I figured nobody was reading the thing anyway.. and the old name wasn't that good anyway :)

  16. Here are some ideas for you 6 Easy Ways to Feature Older Content

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