Stop apologizing for not updating your blog! That's it! Just stop it!
Throughout my entire career writing these Golden Nuggets, I have explained over and over again how important it is to have an active blog on your website. The basic goal of your blog is to provide good information to customers who want to know more about a topic.
The blog on your website is a good place to publish information that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the pages on your site. Most webmasters spend a lot of time tweaking and tuning every page of a site for the best possible conversions, and often the long form information in a blog post just doesn't fit anywhere within the structured, well planned site.
Every blog should contain information to support the products and services that are sold, and include internal website links to those other pages.
Stay Active, Stay Healthy
Over the years, I've been able to measure the slow traffic drop for websites that makes updates very infrequently and other that make no updates at all over several years. Those sites simply fade out of the search results. On the other hand, I have yet to see a website with an active blog experience that slow drop off of traffic. If you make no other changes to your website, it certainly seems like you must post at least once per month to your blog as a way to signal Google that your business is still open.
Google doesn't care if you take a few days off for vacation, or if you are only open 3 days of the week, just as long as there are visible changes on your website that they can find. This will help maintain the health of the ranking you have in Google search results.
Your Blog Should Always Be Positive
I have to return to the topic of taking a few days off for vacation. Whenever you close for vacation, you'll usually put a sign on the door and, hopefully, put a message on the home page of your website. The only people who will see those signs are the customers who visit while you're away. No one else will care, although if you over share vacation photos on Facebook, you're likely to get plenty of comments.
Many of the customers who visit your store on the day you return to work will not even be aware that you were closed for a week or more. To them, it appears like you are conducting business as usual.
This is how your blog should appear all the time, as if it's simply business as usual. Most of what you post to your blog will become a permanent part of your website. For that reason, you do not need to tell people you were away, closed, or that you slacked off on your duties for a while.
Telling someone you were away and apologizing for your absence in your blog does tends to reflect badly on your abilities instead of portraying you as a professional in your field.
I often see horrible examples of penitent blog writers apologizing to I know not who. Yet these blog posts are left on their site forever for future generations of readers to see. Here are some examples:
This blogger says: "Sorry I haven't been able to write in awhile. Momma and I have been super busy..."
Honestly, this blogger is overlooking that no one cares if you are busy doing your job and running your business. You chose to do it. To new or infrequent readers, they didn't even seen a gap in your postings.
Here's another one:
This blogger says: "I haven't written for awhile. Sorry about that. It seems that this year is going even more quickly..."
Well... there's that incorrect usage of "awhile" again as well as the excuse that time flies when you are doing your job.
At least this next one wasn't reporting awhile away:
This blogger starts out just fine but then drops in the line: "I started a jewelry blog a while ago and haven't kept it up, but I'm going to start writing more."
It turns out that she hasn't posted since this February 1, 2013. She should not have even mentioned that she was going to start writing more. Her post would have been fine without that sentence.
This last one covered two issues I commonly see:
This blogger says: "I've been away from the bench for a few weeks. The first reason was this lovely new site which is far from finished but it IS live!"
I do not like when new websites announce their launch as the first post in their blog. Most website owners try to accomplish too much with their new website and think they will have time to write a blog. They post a message like you see above and then they never go back and update it again.
I'm glad that they took time off from work to finish their new website, but they should have left the blog section of the website hidden until the first real blog post was written. It's April 2016 as I write this, which means that blog has floundered for the last 14 months.
I could go on and on with all the examples I have of websites with floundering blogs.
You're Just A Blogger
You're not that important.
If I've learned nothing else since I started writing way back on July 27, 2010, it's that no blogger is important enough for their readers to follow every day, every week, or even once a month. Readers only read when their own schedule permits. It doesn't matter how much effort you put into one of your blog posts, you have to realize that many of your customers will not read it.
If you're lucky enough to have regular readers, they might save an interesting blog post to review later, but they probably will forget all about it if they haven't returned within 24 hours. This is also a good reason you need to repost, reshare, and repurpose your content over time.
Sorry to say, but general business blogs never achieve the level of interest like a legitimate news website would. Readers might panic if the cnn.com or forbes.com websites stopped publishing for a day because they are reputable sources for current news with new post published every hour of every day.
Those popular websites built their business on delivering current news and they have readers who check in often.
General business blogs don't deliver current news, just supporting information to educate more about the product and services sold, and therefore your blog is not important enough to follow all the time. No one will miss your blog if you skip writing for a few days, weeks, or months. Although if you lapse for more than a year, it will look like you've abandoned your website.
Hiding Your Extended Absences
I recommend that you update your blog at least once a month, but if that schedule is still too ambitious for you, then you should remove the publication dates from your web pages. Of the 4 screen grabs I show above, 1 of them is less than 2 months old at the time of this writing, but the rest are more than a year old.
It simply doesn't look good that they are apologizing for taking time away from blogging, only to disappear again for another extended period of time. The solution is to remove the publication dates, and to remove the remorseful sentiments that they were away in the first place.
The Golden Nugget for today is that each of your blog posts should support other information on your website to help search engines better understand who you are and what you do. Customers also read these blog posts to get a better understanding of the products and services you provide. Don't use publication dates unless you can publish at least 1 new blog per month, and don't apologize for missing a few months, or years, between your posts.