Do you have MFA sites in micro niches that are now dead? I have been there and worn out the tee-shirt. Stop stressing and move on.
Forget writing for search engines and write for people instead.
That is what Google was telling you to do all along, but pre-penguin you could get away with it.
Do You Keep the Domains?
Ideally, yes. BUT how many blogs can you manage and still do a good job? An aged domain is worth its weight in silver, as long as it is not too focused on a very narrow niche.
If you have a domain, LEDBathroomLighting.com, then it is going to be very difficult to attract large numbers of visitors to a blog with that title and it would be better to let it die, unrenewed.
If you have a domain HomeEnergySavings.com then you could quite easily turn that into a good blog.
Do You Keep the Old Posts?
Initially, yes. It looks bad to Big G if you have a mass deletion exercise. Weed out a few of the worst posts every few weeks until you have deleted anything that does not fit with your new blog.
What About all those Backlinks?
Delete the ones you can delete easily, and those from ‘bad neighborhoods’. Otherwise let them lie.
What about Ads?
The principle is that ads are there to help your visitors. If you have lots of ads on your page then that will just put off any visitors who find your site.
Build your readership first; then think about monetizing your site.
Do Looks Matter?
Yes, they do. You are trying to appeal to people. Get rid of that default 2010 or 2011 theme. You can get a unique theme for less than $100, though even a free WP theme with personalized options is better than nothing.
How to Get Real Visitors?
That’s another story, but you need to get your website sorted out before you start worrying about that . . .
Written by Phil Turner, an ex-teacher from Ireland. Phil believes that to succeed in anything you have to help others and share your own knowledge. He makes a living mostly by writing on his own sites, which include HowToMakeExtraMoneyWriting.com and 21CWoman.com.