The key to a successful site is updating as often as possible. Even the best site will lack visitors if it’s not updated for a long time. Chances are that in a few months it won’t look so great anymore. So, you should update often. If you have a blog, post new entries at least twice a week; many people blog twice a day, but you should not force yourself if you’re not inspired or have nothing interesting to say. If you have articles, tutorials and writing, you should add new stuff once in a while to ensure frequent visitors. If you own interactive games and fanlistings/cliques, you should update really often.
But what if you simply can’t do this? What if you have a really busy life and just don’t have time to update once a week? The simple answer is- update whenever you can, even if it’s once in two months. But if you want to keep your visitors, you have to adjust your site’s content so it doesn’t feel too bad if it’s not updated for a month or more.
Remove your blog from the index page
If your blog is the first thing visitor see when enters the site, it will be obvious that the same message is on top for a long time period. It’s sending “I am not updating my site” message, and you don’t want that. So, locate your blog to one of your subpages. Write a note on another page about frequency of your posts, so the people know that you’re not blogging often.
Using scripts- especially content management scripts (such as wordpress) is very helpful if you want to update quickly. Instead of making new pages and uploading them using FTP program, you can update your site using a content management script. There are also many tagboard, directory, news publishing, games, fanlisting management, affiliates management, image gallery, guestbook and other scripts. That really saves your time, but make sure to choose a secure script or you’ll put your site at risk.
Limit the number of interactive games and surveys
The more interactive games you have, the more email forms you’ll get and you will have to update your site really often. Nobody wants to enter a contest and then wait two months for a reply. So, if you know you can’t update often, remove as many interactive games as you can.
Fanlistings and cliques
Same here. The more you have, the more often you’ll have to update. Limit the number of fanlistings and other similar sites you own. Alternatively, find a trusted person who will approve members when you’re not around.
Attract visitors with a different kind of content
Opinions, writings, tutorials, downloads and similar things attract visitors, but don’t require you to update twice a week. Just make sure you do update every month, or once in every two months. In your free time, write new stories and articles, but don’t put all of them at once. Update with only one or two new articles/tutorials, save the rest for later. That way, you’ll have a material for the next update even if you were too busy to actually write new stuff.
Replying to emails
Make sure your friends know you’re unable to quickly reply to their emails. It is a good thing to leave a note to your visitors as well, but check your email regularly and first reply to the most important messages. If it’s something concerning your site, make sure to reply as quickly as you can; that way, people will know that you’re just busy- not abandoning your site.