There’s one trend I’ve been noticing lately when it comes to blogging: not including the date on posts. While there are a ton of great reasons to not include the date and I completely understand why one would remove it, I want to take a look at why you should consider including the date with your blog posts.
Information is constantly changing
Nowadays things are changing rapidly. What might have been relevant 2 years ago may no longer be. Because of this, publishing content and not including the date can be misleading, especially if your content is on a subject where information becomes outdated. By including the date on your posts, you’re giving your readers context. They can automatically decide whether your information is current or not. They’re not wasting their time reading a post and implementing things only to later find out that all their time and energy spent was for nothing.
It Shows Currency
How many times have you stumbled across an awesome blog and were unsure when the last time it was updated? Including the date on your posts tells people “Hey! I’m still here!” I don’t know about you, but when I stumble across a blog that hasn’t been updated in awhile, I usually just walk away, making no effort to connect. If the date isn’t listed on your posts, how will people know that your blog is still active? Some people might automatically assume that it is, while others might think the opposite.
Who Should Include the date?
Some blogs can get away with not including the date, while others will benefit from it. Posts on technology, social media, or even reviews should think about including the date. If the information within your niche changes rapidly, then you should probably consider including the date. Of course while you are always free to go back and edit past posts, there may come a time when you are unable to do so. The date at least will provide some insight into the fact that the content presented might not be current.
How to incorporate the date in a non-obvious way
Okay, so let’s say you want to include the date, but you’re afraid people are going to see it and think your posts are no longer relevant. I understand. Luckily, you can still include the date in a non-obvious way. That way, you aren’t turning readers away, but those who are looking for the date can find it.
The first way is to add the date to the bottom of your posts. Readers won’t immediately be hit with the date as soon as they land on your posts, but it’s still there for those who are looking for it.
If you want to leave the date off your individual posts, but still let people know that your blog is updated regularly, you can display the date on your main blog page, but hide it on individual posts. That way, people searching through your site will still receive some context, but your individual posts will remain timeless.
One final way to incorporate the date is to display an updated on date rather than a published on date. As we all know, some content can still remain relevant years after the fact. Displaying an updated on date allows your older content to remain current. This method does require a bit of coding knowledge in order to get the date to change as a post is updated, so it’s definitely not a quick fix.
Do you display the date on your posts? Why or why not? Join in the discussion below.
Note: This post was originally published as “Is Your Blog Missing This One Crucial Thing?” I’ve since updated this post to reflect the fact that including the date is not a necessity, but is something you should consider. I have a guest post in the works that will discuss the benefits of not including the date on your posts so you can see both sides and make an educated decision when it comes to your blog.