What Happens If You Do Not Update Your Website For 3 Months

Written On Day: 511

Among the usual bunch of praise filled comments my previous post has a very interesting comment:

Come on dude.  Update your blog.  How do you expect your website to be a success with no updates?

Good point – how am I going to be successful without frequently updating this blog?  The song sung every week by  the choir is “Frequent posts lead to success”.  The preacher thumps his fist on the Good Book and sprays the first row as he shouts, “A website will die if  unattended – DIE!”.  Traffic will decrease, readers will unsubscribe, Google will stop sending you traffic.

Ignoring This Website And How it Effected The Success of This Website

For a couple of months my gaze has been elsewhere.  This website and blog have been on their own.  I have done nothing to prop or push it.  The last blog post was on Feburary 25, 2010.  Three months between blog posts – that can’t be good.

Normally things ignored deteriorate.  Empty houses spawn cobwebs, boards fall off fences, rust grows on pipes.    Without constant care lovers turn into ‘friends’; without constant care pet goldfish start doing the backstroke.

But surprisingly this website  did not  mind that I was gone.  There has been no deterioration, no rotting – the fish did not die.  3 months unattended was no worse for the website then 3 hours unattended.  Actually the fish are fatter and swimming faster.  Some of my stats have gone up in my absence.

Website’s Daily Visitors

website traffic for previous 3 months

Average daily visits has increased by 20%.  Nothing spectacular for 3 months, but pretty good for not doing anything at all.

But if the content is not changing then how can the traffic be increasing?  Without visitors coming back and reading new content you would expect traffic to go down as visitors realize the website is static.  How is it possible that the average daily visits has increased?

The answer is simple.  Even though the limited number of subscribers are not coming back, the almost unlimited number of non-subscribers are increasing.

Website’s Search Engine Traffic

Website Search Traffic

Google seems pleased with my website – it keeps sending more and more .  Although not shown on the graph May 2010 is already at 290 Google visitors and will be at least 350 by the end of the month – making it the second best month ever.

There are millions of internet users for whom this website is fresh and new.  For them 3 month old website is fresh content.  They are looking for answers and this website provides them.  They do not care that it has not been updated in 3 months.  Google knows this and sends traffic my way.

Google does not care that my subscribers have not been provided with new content.  Google is concerned about the millions of internet users looking for answers to their’ how to make money with a website’ questions.  Which of course, this website provides.

Website’s Subscribers

But what about my poor subscribers?  Every morning they check their RSS readers with anticipation only to be disappointed – every morning for 3 months.  The agony and despair they must feel.  You can only court a crush for so long until repeated rejection forces you to look elsewhere.

Website Subscriber Traffic

The subscribers to this website did not miss me at all.  There was no despair due to my absence.  Hearts were not broken, dreams where not shattered.  There was not a mad rush to unsubscribe.   Nobody seem to care that I did not post – no one was angry  enough to unsubscribe.

The only reaction was from the commenter above who pleasantly requested that I write another post soon.  He did not unsubscribe, he simply and kindly asked for more.

This website had  around 80 subscribers 3 months ago and it has around 80 subscribers today.

What Will Happen If You Stop Updating Your Website For 3 Months?

Nothing.

Feel burnt out?  Is the sight of low traffic and no revenue really starting to get on your nerves?  Are you yelling at the dog for no reason?  Are you twirling around on your pivot chair trying to force new content out of your head?  Are you starting to think that the time spent on your website has been a complete waste of time?

If you answered yes to the above then you are like 99% of all webmasters.  You have 3 options:

  1. Keep yelling at the dog.
  2. Quit.
  3. Take a 3 month break.  Don’t worry about your website, it will be there when you come back.

A Successfull Blogger Is Good At Pretending To Care

Written On Day: 420
Old Lady

If an apple falls out of an old ladies bag and rolls down the street stopping at my feet I will bend down, pick it up, and hand it to the lady.  She will smile and say, thank you kind young man.  I will return the smile and move on – she is right, I am a kind young man.

A guy is walking down the street staring at a map and obviously lost.  He looks at me with a face that is a plea for help.  I will look the other way and try to ignore him, making a silent prayer that he does not stop me.  Why should I help him – he should be able to help himself.

I feel the same way about my readers – why should I help them?

I do not possess any need to help people that can help themselves.  The old, the blind, the slow, I will help if forced – if an apple hits my foot.  But everyone else are on their own.  I do not care if somebody is lost or needs a dime, there is no force driving me to help people in need.  If they have a brain, eyes and the major extremities then they should be able to help themselves.

And that is why blogging is difficult.  Blogging  is about giving advice, tips, suggestions and information with the intent of helping the reader.  Provide content that helps readers.  They do not know how to do something – show them how.  They do not know about something new – tell them about it.  They want to be entertained – stand on a beach ball and roll around juggling bananas.  Blogs are not for the blogger, they are for the reader.  You exist to serve the readers.  They should be able to help themselves – but no – they want you to help them.

But honestly, I do not care about the readers.  Besides the couple of visitors that leave comments, I know nothing about the other readers.  There is no connection with them – they are just bodies without souls.  No different then the hundreds of bodies I walk past everyday on the streets.

Do Successful Blogs Truly Care About You?

Successful blogs are run by kind people.  People who care.  Their posts offer free advice in a pleasant and loving way.  The bloggers care about their readers – they want to help.

But do they truly care?  Or are they just good at giving the impression that they care?

Obviously they are just pretending to care and are very good at it.

Just like the vacuum salesman who arrives at your door worried about your children.  You open the door and see a man holding a vacuum and beaming a smile.  You say, hello, may I help you? Suddenly with a  worried look he proclaims:  there are a lot of bacteria in your carpets, bacteria that can make your children sick, your children!  Like you, I care about your children – I do not want them to cough and sniffle,  poor little things.  Please buy this vacuum so that your children will not be sick.

Being a vacuum salesman is difficult.  You have to look sincere when you talk about ‘the children!’.  The best salesman are those that can form a little tear at the edge of their eye as they speak.  How could you say no to somebody caring so much.

You cannot sell vacuums if you do not care about the children.  To be a successful vacuum salesman, I mean blogger, you need to appear like you truly care.  Be kind to your readers.

How To Test Whether a Blogger Truly Cares

Probably there are successful blogger that truly care.  To test whether a blogger really cares is easy.  Write the blogger an email and ask them a question.  Be easy – do not make them work hard.  Ask them something simple like:

Hello.

I have really enjoy your blog and your style of writing.  Just wondering how long does it take you to write a post?

Thanks,
You

After you send this email there are three possible outcomes:

  1. No response.  Does not care.
  2. A quick response.  No hello, no punctuation, no capitalization, poor spelling.  For example: it takes 2 hours.  Does not care.
  3. A well formatted email response with greeting, punctuation, correct spelling and capitalization.  Truly cares.

Of course, if you email me my response will belong to the ‘Cares’ category.  But that is only because I am not successful and I need to appear to care even in my emails.