Don’t Forget Blogging – Even Though Everyone Else Seems to Have


Rejected, forgotten and unloved.

At times blogging seems so… yesterday (Not unlike those photographs of your high school prom when you were wearing a baby-blue tuxedo, a navy-blue cumber bun and a bow-tie the size of an airplane propeller).

Wasn’t it yesterday that Technorati was tracking more than 133 million blogs – with thousands literally being created daily?  Now most people have never heard of Technorati and blogging seems about as popular as an Arnold Schwarzenegger film festival.

How unpopular?  A recent survey by AOL and Nielsen Online found that the primary way that U.S. Internet users shared content on online was by email (66%) and social networks (28%).  Only a paltry 1% of those surveyed shared using a personal blog – tied in last place with message boards.

Definitely, not a good sign.

As recently as February, the New York Times declared that blogging is dead, especially with young people who were flocking to Twitter and Facebook.  Although to be fair the “blogging is dead” meme has been around since at least 2006, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when it rises from the dead and shuffles around like the zombies in “Walking Dead.”

With the all the focus on social networks, marketers can be forgiven for forgetting that blogging remains a powerful source for influencing consumers and establishing thought leadership.  Blogging remains effective.  Very effective.

In the dizzying age of 140-characters and instant status updates, blogging has become the long-form communications format of the Web.  It is the best way to communicate details, nuance and complexity.  Things that are impossible to do on the concise and constraining formats of Twitter and Facebook.  You can explain things in a blog post.

Writing a blog post is just that – writing.  Putting coherent thoughts together to present an idea or a concept.  Writing isn’t really required for a tweet (and neither, as far as I can tell, is spelling, grammar or punctuation).

A blog is also an excellent format for presenting multimedia content.  Videos and photographs are natural companions of blog posts.

And despite the gloom and apathy about blogging there is more good news about it.  Thirty-nine percent of U.S. companies blog for marketing purposes (and that number is expected to grow to 43% in 2012), according to a recent survey by eMarketer.

The same report noted that 63% of U.S. marketers used blogging as part of their online marketing strategies.  And according to the report:

“Blogging is becoming fully incorporated into the news media and companies’ marketing efforts. Companies are finding it more important than ever to have a voice outside their conventional marketing and communications channels, and blogging remains a compelling option.”

The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report by HubSpot concluded that blogging was becoming even more important to businesses than ever.  The report stated:

“More and more business are blogging: Businesses are now in the minority if they do not blog. From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%.  Businesses are increasingly aware their blog is highly valuable: 85% of businesses rated their company blogs as “useful,” “important” or “critical;” a whopping 27% rated their
company blog as “critical” to their business.”

So while blogging may have been overshadowed by social networking – it holds real value, especially for businesses.  So don’t forget about blogging.  It’s still important – even crucial to a strong online business strategy.

What are your thoughts about blogging?  Have you given it up?  Or are you still finding it valuable?

Links:

AOL survey “Content is the Fuel of the Social Web”

New York Times article “Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter”

eMarketer on blogging

HubSpot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing Report

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