During the Fall and Winter, I meet with many clients to help them formulate their web plans and budgets for the following year. During many of these meetings, I suggested to clients that they consider a leadership blog to raise awareness of their industry’s issues, make leadership more accessible and approachable, and showcase their thought leadership. Surprisingly, a couple of clients recently remarked, “Blogging, isn’t that passe?”
My initial reaction was “no way!,” but since several clients had made the comment, I decided it was worth doing more research.
If you google “is blogging passe,” you’ll get nearly 150,000 results, many of them with the exact title of “is blogging passe?” Some of these articles and posts go back as early as 2008. The general thinking goes like this: with the rise in popularity of Facebook and microbloggins platforms like Twitter, putting up and managing a corporate blog is passe. Put another way, since it’s much easier to create short-form content on social networks, long-form content creation (blogging) is dead.
So is blogging passe? Here’s why I think blogging is not dead. In fact, I think niche blogging with high quality content is more important than ever.
Casual bloggers have migrated to social networks, leaving the blogosphere to more committed bloggers intent on developing and sharing quality content. When blogging first appeared on the web scene, everyone started blogging. People blogged about their pets, they posted photos, they shared links. This type of casual blogging is now found mainly on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, etc.
Blogs by experts and thought leaders continue to be very popular. We’re actually seeing that people prefer corporate, association and non-profit blogs to corporate, association and non-profit websites because of the perspective and the voice that come from blogs. Blogs simply feel and sound more human than corporate websites, which is why they often get more traffic than corporate websites. Webbiquity says corporate blogging is more important than ever.
Producing unique, original and useful content is the only way these days to approach the myriad changes in the search algorithms being put in place by Google and Bing. In other words, the search engines like blogs because they tend to have unique and original content that searchers are looking for.
Google is about to roll out Author Rank. With Author Rank, Google wants to make it easier for users to find the work of specific writers, and leverage its ability to use authors as an element for ranking pages and sites. Author Rank means you have a blog, you connect it to your Google+ account, you get verified, and your blog content contributes to page rank, which directly affects where your site shows up in Google search results.
Blogs continue to be a great way to educate your members and customers. I tell clients that blogging requires a greater commitment than Twitter or Facebook, but it provides more benefits. If your organization is not yet blogging, I hope you’ll ignore the hype and consider a timely, niche blog that speaks directly to your target audiences