Yes, it’s that time of year again when people ask, “Is blogging dead?”
Why summer? It is common that blog traffic numbers dip as people head out for vacations, a cool splash in the pool, or other summer distractions. Just this week, the highly successful blog Think Traffic reported its numbers, which were down 2% in July.
Of course, the “Is blogging dead” question can be asked at any time during the year, and mostly by people eager to present growth stats of social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.).
Just as fast as people are starting blogs, they are abandoning them. Why so many deserted blogs?
“My guess is many people or companies say, ‘Let’s start a blog!’ and then do nothing with it after a month or two because it’s so labor-intensive,” writes Gini Detrich on Spin Sucks.
It’s also, she notes, because it takes expertise to write and often results in delayed gratification regarding feedback. It is also easier and faster to set up a profile on a site you don’t control versus building a brand based on your interpretation of industry news.
Yet… Companies that update a blog just once a week see a 77% increase in leads, according to HubSpot. As Detrich writes, “Wouldn’t you rather do blogging the right way and generate leads than sit on the phone and make cold calls all day?”
Explains Susan Cartier Liebel at Solo Practice University:
What you need to do on your blog is explore ideas, new or old, and then offer your perspective. This is what will distinguish your blog from others. If readers or potential clients can identify with your perspective, are intrigued by your voice on a given subject, they will prefer you as a resource over the next “voice” out there. Your tone, credibility, consistency and ultimately your reliability post after post, will bring you your clients, your referral network, and professional relationships and opportunities of all kinds.
And if you are on the various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, when people want to check out who you are they can be linked to a web presence that reflects you and your voice as you build up a body of work expressing your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and authority in your area…
It bears repeating that overall content marketing efforts via social media are still referred to as “micro-blogging” in some circles.
Rather than ask, “Is blogging dead?,” perhaps it is time to consider how blogging still functions as a company’s content cornerstone. Here are three immediate benefits:
1. Your blog is a platform you control. Facebook marketing is one thing, but that platform — or any other — could disappear tomorrow. Yet, your blog and its content remains under your control.
2. Your blog allows for in-depth exploration of ideas. Blog posts can be as lengthy as required to explore a topic, and can offer ongoing examination of current trends. This builds thought leadership on the one place that matters most: your website — all the closer for potential leads.
3. Your blog is a content marketing hub. Additional social platforms or other connections can all be routed back to your website’s blog. This provides strengthened brand building and overall search discoverability.
Rest assured blogs are not dead, and those who understand this fact are at an advantage. We await the compilation of Technorati‘s “State of the Blogsphere 2012,” and the trends within, due later this year.
Katie McCaskey is SixEstate's content director. She tests real-world application of content marketing techniques using the cafe she co-owns as a laboratory. She was Tech Editor of Chief Content Officer, 2010-2011, and contributes to the Content Marketing Institute. Connect with her on Google+ or @KatieMcCaskey.