Is blogging dead in 2022? Will business blogs still have merit in 2023? These are two questions in the world of content marketing right now.
As a long-time blogger, I can tell you that there are a lot of misconceptions regarding blog writing. Business owners seem to fall into one of three camps.
"Blogs are dead! They don't bring you sales."
"Long live blogs!"
"I'm not really sure if blogging is important for my business. I'm doing it because everyone else in my industry is. If it's not bringing in any ROI, I want to stop."
A Brief History of Blogging
Can you guess when the first blog was published? It was in 1994 before social media became a thing even before most people were avidly creating and using websites.
Early on, blogs were used for personal reasons. Most blogs (short for "weblogs") were online diaries where people recorded their travels, their thoughts and ideas, and their favorite recipes to share with family and friends.
We've come a long way since then.
Today, it's estimated that there are more than 440 million blogs.
Maybe the question we should be asking as business leaders and executives isn't, "Is blogging dead?" but rather, "How can I make my blog as effective as possible?"
Why Blogging is Still Important for Businesses and Nonprofits
If you were hoping I was going to agree with group number one and say that yes, blogging is dead, I'm about to disappoint you.
As I mentioned in "Executive Coaches: Here's What You Need to Know About Blogging", the art of blogging is still alive and well.
And so are the impressive results it brings.
Companies that blog receive 55% more traffic than those that don't, according to a study by Simple Marketing Now.
Other benefits of blogging include:
Organic and useful content to share on your social media channels
Starting or continuing a conversation with would-be customers
Answering existing customers' questions, en masse, rather than one at a time
Blogs provide credibility and authority
Dangers Companies Face When Blogging
"If blogging is so great," you may be wondering, "then how come everyone isn't doing it?"
Well, that's simple.
Just because something is great, effective, and helpful doesn't mean we always follow through on it. Don't believe me?
When was the last time you:
Organized all your files?
Prepped for your annual tax refund months in advance?
Drank 8 glasses of water and consumed the recommended 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables a day?
Blocked out time in your schedule to plan a month's worth of digital content?
Jumped on the treadmill consistently 5 or 6 days a week?
Just because something is helpful and useful doesn't mean it's always easy to follow through on.
Blogging Danger #1: No Key Person
Blogging falls by the wayside for many businesses. Without a key person in charge of the blog, it's doomed to fail.
While writing a blog is a simple process, in theory, it requires many steps.
Keyword and SEO research
Building an outline
Writing the post
Editing and polishing the post
Adding tags, links, and categories
Publishing the post
Sharing the post on social media, on other blogs if possible, and on LinkedIn as an article
If you don't have someone on staff to write your blog posts you'll need to find someone. If you're a solopreneur or your staff is too busy, find a reliable and proven content writer who can partner with you.
Blogging Danger #2: Fluffy Content
Remember the days of black hat SEO? Those were nutty times--when companies could keyword stuff their way to the top of Google searches.
Thankfully, Google and other search engines have become far too sophisticated for this to work any longer.
This is good for businesses and nonprofits who have a blog. It means that blogs have become more authentic and valuable.
Most visitors to your website will come through a blog post. In fact, I recently read a statistic that said while 50 percent of sales on your site come from a service page, these are rarely the pages that a first-time visitor frequents.
Instead, blog posts that inform, educate, inspire, and help readers are those valuable hooks that draw potential customers or clients in.
Think of it like fishing. The more hooks (blog posts) you have in the water, the greater your chance of catching a fish.
Blogging Danger #3: Inconsistent Follow Through
There is a LOT going on in today's companies and nonprofits. Most people are wearing two or more hats. The Great Resignation, quiet quitting, and remote work have left many business executives and nonprofit leaders scratching their heads.
Filling all the normal positions, keeping things moving, and trying hard to maintain books that are in the black take priority.
Blogging, while effective, is a long-term game.
You can't expect to pop a few posts up on your blog and see customers flooding in.
When meeting with a potential new client, this is a red flag to me: "How many posts will you have to write before I get customers?"
I won't take on a client who asks me this anymore.
Note: If you don't know the value of blogging, I recommend you read up on it first, create a solid content marketing strategy, and then seek help from a professional content writer.
The opposite side of the coin is perfectionism when it comes to blogging. Some of us are too focused on creating blog posts on the exact same schedule, week after week. Any deviation from this results in a meltdown.
You don't have to kill yourself to be regular in your blogging. Overall consistency is far more important than perfection.
The Power of Blogging
Blogging is far from dead.
Rather than bemoan the state of your current blog, consider blocking off time for a blog revamp.
During that time, check your analytics to see which posts are performing best and what sources of traffic result in the most visitors. Double-check your CTAs (calls to action) and make sure links throughout every post are working.
Spend a little time planning out blog posts in advance. This is an important part of a content marketing strategy. Determine who on your team is responsible for what tasks when it comes to the blog.
Create follow-ups and schedule monthly or more frequent reviews. Don't let your blog become stagnant. Instead, celebrate it for the wonderful tool it is.
Remember when the only advertising available was expensive newspaper or trade journal ads? These cost hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. Their effectiveness was hard to predict.
Now, you have the power to create your own mini journal or magazine for potential and existing customers. That's a wonderful thing!
If you've felt resistant to blogging, don't have enough hands to keep your blog current, or are in need of a new blogging perspective, please reach out. I'd love to chat with you about your blog and all its possibilities.
Joy specializes in writing simple, clear content for busy business owners and nonprofit execs. Learn more about her services which will help you cut through the online clutter and connect with your audience in a better, more authentic way.