More than 4.7 million people were asking Google this week if blogging is dead. After quietly celebrating 11 years of blogging in January (I was surprised too), I have to say the question comes up every year.
The answer is still no.
In fact, Christopher Penn of SHIFT Communications started the new year by advising that in light of Facebook’s recent decision to suppress unpaid brand posts, “It’s time to start blogging again.”
Over at Business 2 Community, Amanda Abella says, “it’s more important than ever to have a blog.” The biggest reason blogging isn’t dead? None of us own social media, meaning “we have zero control over any of the changes social media companies decide to make.”
Blogging is a requirement for students in the University of Toronto (UofT)’s Foundations of Digital Communications Strategy & Social Media course. Donna Papacosta, who has been blogging since 2004 and teaches the course, says “Students must create and maintain a blog as the hub of their online project.”
So why blog?
- Blogging helps you “get known, get remembered and get business,” Donna says.
- Blogging is a way to showcase “thought leadership,” bring traffic to your website and connect with customers, says Business 2 Community’s Gregg Litman.
- Blogging delivers results, according to 85% of the bloggers who responded to a survey by Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina. [Link corrected; sorry Andy!]
- Blogging helps reach customers. Hubspot says 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. Hubspot also says customers who write three to four blog posts a month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, 800 more monthly site visits, 60 more Twitter followers, and 50 more Facebook likes than customers who write two blog posts per month.
- Blogging helps nonprofit (and other) associations highlight, recognize and profile members, says wellness blogger Linda Dessau.
- Blogging helps you grow your profile, be found through search engines, build your brand and build credibility and trust with potential clients, some of the reasons Problogger’s Darren Rowse gave for starting a blog in 2018. As he said in an earlier post, “To me, it really boils down to what Bob Burg said: “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to, people that they know, like, and trust.”
Tips for blogging in 2018:
- Follow the “distributed publishing” model, as UofT students do. “That means, in addition to publishing on your own blog, publish elsewhere, like Facebook or LinkedIn,” Donna explains. “If people find your content on a mobile device and they’re already on Facebook, they want to read it there.”
- Create a structure for your blog with an editorial calendar and category “buckets,” Linda says. This keeps your blog on a consistent schedule and sparks your creativity.
- Don’t assume people will come to you, says Location Rebel. “People are hanging out in different places,” says Sean (no last name given), like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. “Choose at least one other medium and really embrace it.”
- Forget you’re producing a blog, advises Jamie Cartwright for Weidart Group. “Rather, start managing an exciting and wide-reaching online publication.”
Social Media Examiner asked two “thought leaders” (I’m not fond of that term but it seems to sum up their status) if blogging is dead.
Mitch Joel has always referred to blogging as a personal publishing platform. Based on this pure definition, he doesn’t think it’s going anywhere. Mark Schaefer thinks blogging will be dead when reading is dead and that there will always be a place for long-form content.
So if you’ve been neglecting your blog, get back into it. And if you don’t have a blog, isn’t it time to start one?