July 15, 2015

The importance of updated blog pages


When thinking about keeping our precious blogs updated most of us will automatically think of posting content on a regular basis. And while blog posts will probably take up the major part on our blogs, we should not forget about the content we share in the pages of our blogs.

Readers follow along with our blog posts and get a little peek into our lives and projects. The blog posts keep them updated on the stuff that goes on in our businesses and private live, and whenever a new project or idea is launched we all make sure we'll share the big news in a blog post. But what about the pages in the menubar or sidebar? Do they get as much attention from us as the posting area?

They definitely should! Blog pages are the go-to-places for our readers when they are looking for additional information. That could be info on the blogger, info on products or services, info on ways to collaborate and sponsor or a contact page. And when these pages are not as updated on a regular basis it can be really disappointing to a reader. Worst case scenario: you as a blogger might miss out on a great business opportunity or collaboration just because you forgot to update your menubar. Bummer!

As a blog reader myself I love to read the about pages on blogs to get a little background info on the blogger. If you are a frequent about-page visitor yourself, you might have noticed how often the about page content dates back to the time the blog was actually launched. In the meantime a ton of blog posts have been shared, sometimes over the course of a couple of years. You can even see the personal growth of the blogger through time in the way they write or in their pictures. And yet, the about page still shows a picture from another era and outdated info. But life is fast and busy, so how can you prevent this from happening?

SCHEDULE TIME FOR REGULAR UPDATES
Just as most bloggers schedule time to write their blog posts, you make it easier on yourself when you schedule some time for updating the other parts of your blog. Since this doesn't have to be done on a daily, or even weekly basis, you might want to set a monthly schedule for yourself. If you are using an editorial calendar for writing blog posts you can schedule a little time once a month to go through all your blog pages and other blog parts to see if the content needs an update. If you don't use an editorial calendar, put a monthly notification in your (digital or paper) agenda.

DATE YOUR PAGES
If you want to be really clear on how updated your page content is, you might want to put a date under the content. I have done this on my about page here on the blog. I sign off with my name and the date that I last updated the page.

CHECK IF LINKS ARE STILL WORKING
If you use any links to other websites in your pages, check out during your monthly update if these links still work and the pages you link to still exist. I do this with my portfolio page. On this page I share the custom made blogger layouts I've worked on. All the clients on this page gave me permission to share a link to their blog. But as time goes by they might become bored with their layout and contact another designer to make a new blog layout. It would be pretty awkward if I linked to them to show off my work while meanwhile they put a complete new layout from another designer on their blog.

HAVE EASY CONTACT OPTIONS
This isn't so much a tip on how to keep things updated, but I wanted to share this anyway. One of your pages should definitely be a contact page. When your blog starts growing people might want to contact you for various reasons. If you don't have a contact option on your blog you might miss out on great opportunities. While a seperate contact page in the menubar is probably the most professional option, you can skip a whole page and just put a contact icon in your sidebar. But whatever option you choose, make sure readers can actually reach out to you!

Since my Summer vacation is coming close (more on that next week) I took the time this week to go through all the pages of my blog to see if anything needed to be updated. I won't be around for a couple of weeks, but at least all my info is up to date!
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