Make it a Date10
Being a dating blogger isn’t easy. Sure, you can turn a lot of eyes, and it’s true that no-one looks better than you in your flashy widget-ready theme, but that on it’s own just isn’t enough. You need to be able to pull-off the first date as well!
There Has to Actually Be a Date
How can you court your reader without having a date in the first place? It is hard to realise when you are writing your post, but ask yourself, will this information still be relevant and useful in a year from now? Two years? Three? A large number of blog posts simply aren’t timeless, not because they were poorly written, but because of the nature of the topic. The posts age, and their value ages with them. If your topic falls under this blanket, then readers will want to know how fresh every post is.
Another reason is that blogging, more than any other type of website, is expected to be transparent. At the very least, you are expected to show the date. Blogging itself is a time-focused process, with posts ordered chronologically. Readers will expect to see the date, and denying them this simple courtesy will do you no favours.
Prepare For the Date Accordingly
Now that you’ve agreed to go on the date, you need to get dressed up. I’m afraid that your default “ This entry was posted on Monday, August 7th, 2007 at 11:22 am and is filed under…” suit just won’t cut it. The important thing to remember about dating pages online is that different customs around the world mean that different people may read the same thing differently.
For instance, I am from the UK, and when I see “01/12/06,” I am at a loss. For me, that means that the page was written on the 1st December 2006, but I’m well aware that most of the pages I read are written by people from America, who would have interpreted that as the 12th January 2006, almost a year earlier.
In order to remove the confusion, the easiest method is to actually write out the name of the month. For instance, here on Pro Blog Design, we display the date as, “August 7th 2007.” No room for confusion.
The nice thing about this is that, thanks to PHP, it is extremely easy to do. There are a large number of possibilities available for you to use in your blog, to show the date exactly as you want to. In WordPress, the code to display Pro Blog Design’s date is as follows:
<?php the_time('F jS Y') ?>
To change that to display the date differently, perhaps I only wanted to show 2 digits for the year, I would simply change the letters in the brackets with the correct alternative from the PHP date manual.
<?php the_time('F jS y') ?>
Call Me Any Time. I’m Not Fussy.
It is true that the date is crucial, but what of the time? Do your readers really need to know the minute in which you hit the publish button? What benefit does this serve them?
You have to answer that question yourself I’m afraid. In most cases, it will depend on your blog’s topic and posting frequency. For example, a news blog posting 20 articles per day would find the time to be an absolute necessity, but what about the gardening blog which posts only once per day? The time suddenly becomes a lot less important.
Well then, you seem to have learnt your dating etiquette satisfactorily now. Dinner at 8?
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