6 Reasons Why Blogging Isn’t Dead, Just Different
No one knows for sure when exactly it happened, but happen it did. You couldn’t escape the headlines: 2013 was the year the blog died.
It didn’t seem right. Dead? How could this be? Why, I just saw a blog the other day. Looked pretty alive to me.
Blogs didn’t die in 2013, of course. Maybe you could argue that commenting did. Or maybe, most accurately, you could argue that the blogging platform had changed.
Gone are the days of big-name blog powerhouses with tons of traffic, comments, and sponsors and advertisers lined up out the virtual door. Over the past two or three years, we’ve gradually seen a shift in engagement.
Bit by bit, piece by piece, the blog as we knew it was dismantled and parceled out. Instead of the blog being the hearth and home of the community, the community was being redistributed on other platforms. People were taking blogs back to Twitter, back to Facebook, and sharing links and talking about them there.
Curl your hand into a fist, and imagine all the information and energy concentrated inside that one source. Now open your hand wide, and imagine that information and energy being jettisoned out from your fingertips to other sources and beyond. Yes, the change in blogging is kind of like that.
The way we take in information online has evolved, and still is. The days of chronologically-ordered streams of posts are being cycled out. Information is now being ranked and scored by popularity, and shown to us in ever-changing grids. The traditional blog format is increasingly, well, outdated.
You may be thinking that this means blogging isn’t nearly as important as having a strong social media presence. You may be thinking that it might be time to retire your blog, or that it might not be worth starting one at all. On the contrary:
If you’re a business or a personal brand, it’s more important than ever to have a blog.
Even with the recent changes in reader engagement, blogging is still relevant and vital to growing your business. Here’s why:
Blogging increases your SEO
SEO is a term that gets tossed around so frequently that it feels meaningless — but SEO is anything but meaningless. “Search engine optimization” is how you help your website get seen near the top of the search results.
A long time ago, SEO used to be all about meta data and keyword density, but now the algorithms are much deeper and broader than that. Relevancy and authority go a long way to help your website get in front of searchers. How closely does your content connect to user searches? Are you consistently publishing quality, original content? A blog doesn’t absolutely guarantee top ranking on search engines, but it helps considerably.
Blogging drives traffic
Let’s face it — most people who could use your products or services don’t necessarily know who you are or how to find you. Most times, they are simply searching for answers to problems they have. That’s where your blog comes in. Say, for example, someone searches “how to use widgets,” spots your blog post on “7 Wonderful Uses for Widgets” in the search results, and clicks to learn more. Voilà, there’s another prospect reaching your website who normally wouldn’t have known you exist.
Blogging establishes you/your company as a thought leader
Mileage may vary here — if your writing is poor and riddled with misspellings, no one’s going to think of you as a leader of anything, let alone thought. But when your blog is well-written, original, insightful, and informative, people will view you as an authority in your industry. And when you’re seen as an authority, people respect your opinions. Which leads us nicely to…
Blogging fosters trust between you and your clients
Blogging isn’t about giving away all your secrets for free. No, you save the really good stuff for clients, of course. But by providing consistent value via say, blog posts with your tips and solutions for a general problem a prospect might be having, you set yourself apart as someone who’s dependable and knowledgeable — making them more inclined to reach out to you when a need for your products or services arises.
Blogging attracts like-minded clients
It may feel like your primary goal is to attract any kind of client. But all clients are not created equal, and if you’re in the business of providing services to people, you already know that it makes your job easier when you work for people you connect with.
A blog gives potential clients the ability to “read” your brand’s voice before they even meet you, and decide if you’re a good fit. While the concept of narrowing your client pool may seem counterintuitive to business success, it actually helps you zero in on your target audience — saving you time you can then reinvest in those relationships which are mutually beneficial.
Blogging helps tell the story of your brand
Your company is not just the products and services you offer — it’s also your experience, your knowledge, your people, your mission, and your ethics. That’s a lot to try to boil down to a pithy summary on an “About Us” page. Your blog, then, gives you a chance to shine — to showcase your voice, show off your talents, and prove to readers why you’re better and more qualified than your competitors, one post at a time.
Blogging isn’t dead, it’s alive and thriving. And it’s still a highly valuable weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Does your business have a blog? If not, are you thinking about starting one? Let me know in the comments below.