Well, this is embarrassing! I haven’t updated my blog in over year and, in the intervening time, we actually entered a new decade: the 2020s. Conventional wisdom dictates that, if you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to make regular website updates. Not daily, necessarily, but… regularly. So, not updating in more than a year (since November 2018, to be exact) is a generally bad idea. But, life intervenes and there is no time like the present to get back in the saddle!
The Importance of Website Updates
Search Engines Love Fresh Content
Search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, favor websites with a regular supply of fresh content and love (to the extent that an unfeeling algorithm can love anything) to crawl fresh webpages. And, the more pages you have indexed on your site over time (think, blog posts), the faster search engines will crawl and index your site.
Humans Love Fresh Content, Too
In addition to appeasing the Search Engine Gods, a regular supply of fresh content is also a great way to attract and retain flesh-and-blood readers (that is, humans). Who wants to visit a website that hasn’t produced anything new since 2018? (I ask this sheepishly, believe me.)
Getting into the Habit of Updating Your Website
I think that getting into the habit of creating new website content on a regular basis is, like so much in life, a question of mindset and scheduling. This is especially true when you’re a solitary person, accountable only to yourself. And, as a solitary person accountable only to myself to make sure this site is updated regularly, here are some ideas I have for updating routinely from here on out…
Set a Realistic Goal
It’s been so long ago now that I don’t know if I am remembering correctly, but I think my original blog post goal for this site was to post two or three times per week. That was… um… ambitious. So, this time around I am setting what I consider to be a much more realistic goal, given my commitments, schedule, and the fact that only so many hours exist in a day: I want to post a new blog once per week. Weekly website updates seem like a goal that is both doable and reasonable and, as such, a goal I am more likely to stick with.
Plan in Advance
One of the hardest things about maintaining a blog is coming up with topics to write about. I hope to get around that challenge by plotting out, in advance, topics I want to write about, so that when it’s time for me to pen (or, type) my weekly blog, I have a list of relevant topics to choose from.
Remember that Website Updates Don’t Have to be Long
According to recently published articles, an ideal blog post length is around 1,200 – 1,500 words, but shorter content – like, 500 words or so – is also acceptable. So, while it would be great to always try to hit the 1,000+ word target, ultimately if I only have 500 or so words to say on a subject, that is fine, too. And, in any case, all blogs should be relatively short – writing a blog post is not exactly like writing a master’s thesis or PhD dissertation.