Blog Posting in 2020 – Still Alive, Well, and Effective
Every few years, the same unfounded claim bubbles up to the surface like bad rumors or spam emails. The same headlines return, claiming authoritatively that “Blogging is Dead.”
Over the years, headlines have also announced with certainty that “Twitter is dead.” Or, “SEO is Dead.” Or even “Rock is Dead.” None of those things have been true, and with more than 4 million blog posts published daily, it’s pretty easy to see that blogging is still alive and well.
In fact, according to statistics collected from sources like Google Trends, Hubspot, and WordPress by website TechJury.com, blog posts are thriving, read often, and help sell a whole lot of stuff.
See for yourself:
- In March 2019, over 4.4 million blog posts were published every day
- Over 409 million people read more than 20 billion pages on WordPress each month in 2020
- Businesses that make serious blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see a positive return on investment in 2019
- In 2018, businesses who utilized blogs got 67% more leads than those who didn’t
According to a 2018 study by the Content Marketing Institute, blog posts and articles were the most effective method of generating early stage interest during a buyer’s journey.
These facts are just a drop in the bucket. The statistics surrounding blog posts and blogging are astounding, making it easy to see that blogs are not dead, or even fading away. They are still an important tool for businesses today.
Basic Blog History
Blogs began as a journaling platform, allowing their publishers to rant and rave, profess love and adoration, share recipes, and discuss projects and dreams. Blogs were used to share personal information with friends and family, but as writers became more interesting, many grew a substantial fanbase.
As blogs grew in number, people discovered they could also be used to attract internet traffic and sell products and services. When businesses adopted blogging for the same purpose, their numbers exploded.
Today, blogs have evolved into an effective business tool. They are an advertising platform and information distribution medium. They are used to alert customers of new products or sales and to provide information and validation to potential clients.
For businesses, well-written blogs can be responsible for a substantial amount of internet traffic any website attracts. In fact, coupled with a solid social marketing plan, blogs are proven to bring visitors to your digital doorstep.
Why Would My Business Need One?
Many people believe a business blog is not worth publishing. They believe their website’s content alone can effectively appear in the search results and be responsible for attracting customers.
However, web content tends to be a lot more stagnant for several reasons. Blogs are made to be updated every day, website pages – although they can be, are usually not.
A good B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) blog can be the billboard that attracts new customers and provides them with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Blogs can also keep your customers informed and connected. By regularly creating fresh content about your products, services, or even company-related information, your clients can see that you’re staying on top of your game.
Ultimately, your blog and social media should attract visitors to your website. Your site is the mothership, it’s the place where your products and services are showcased. Your site may include a storefront where people can purchase your products, or a contact form for people to get in touch with your team.
Your blog should be considered an important part of your social media marketing plan. It’s not a separate part of your site, it’s one of the breadcrumbs that lead to your home page.
Blogs Create Search Results
Blogs also have another important purpose. Search engines like Google and Bing are more likely to include your website in their results when other readers, bloggers, and even other businesses link to the posts you publish.
Fresh content attracts search engine attention, especially when there are keywords and phrases written into the posts that align with your potential client’s searches. Fresh content also tells search engines that your business is alive and your content is current and relevant. Those things get your website and blog content indexed more often.
Although Google and other search engines are constantly modifying their search algorithms, fresh content and incoming links to your posts from other sites helps turn the giant eye in the sky in your direction and keep it checking back for new stuff.
Blogs have Changed, not Died
The search process and SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, have both constantly evolved over the years. In early blogs, it was possible to claw your way to the top of the search results pile by including your most relevant search terms over and over. And over. And ov… you get it.
In other words, if you sold pink socks and you worked the phrase “pink socks” into your web pages and blog posts over and over, you could positively affect your place in the search results list.
Eventually, the SEO deities decided to count all of the instances of any particular term as one composite result. So, if “pink socks” appeared on your website’s front page 10 times, it only counted as one.
One of the positive results is that people began to write informative, relevant blog posts instead of useless, repetitive gibberish.
Today, Google’s latest search approach has made it more important than ever to create well-written, useful, educational blog posts.
According to recent reports, Google will reward blogs with higher standings on their search results page based on the quality of the blog’s posts. In other words, the better a blog post is written and the more useful or enjoyable the content, the higher the blog will sit on the search results page.
Basically, a poorly written blog with great info will be less important to Google than a well-written blog with the same information.
What Kind of Content Should I Produce?
Today’s successful, effective blogs are informative and educational. They provide your visitors with helpful information and help them make better decisions instead of pressuring them into an impulse buy.
The old, high-pressure approach is no longer the best way to land sales. People don’t want to be pushed into a purchase, they want to read about and research products – and very often, about the company that sells them. And, they want to feel good about both before handing over their hard-earned cash.
Today’s blog content should also resonate with readers. Instead of pushing to make a sale, posts should address concerns, answer questions, and share valuable knowledge with readers in a friendly voice.
Modern blog posts should also include other media as well. By using video, images, and other content along with text-based information, your blog can be more interesting and hold your reader’s attention longer.
If your visitors feel that they are getting value from your website, they are more likely to return next time they need similar information. By freely sharing helpful info, your blog posts also help to build trust with your visitors, positions you or your company as an expert source, and helps keep your name fresh in your potential client’s minds.
How Often Should I Post?
The number of new blog posts you create a month is entirely up to you or your company’s wants and needs. Some companies post once a week, and some post once a month. The most important factor is that your posts stay fresh, relevant and continue to provide quality content.
Studies do show that more posts generate more leads. However, if you don’t have enough content to generate a quality post once a week or more, then post every other week. If you still can’t think of enough to say, then post once a month.
It is more important to post information your readers can connect with than anything else. The bottom line is, create well-written posts as often as you can to keep your website squarely in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other of the other search engine’s focus.
How Do I Attract Readers?
Posting a blog does not automatically bring readers. There are an estimated 500 million blogs with 5.8 million blog posts created every day so, without some work, your blog will be lost in an ever-expanding sea of information.
The best way to bring readers to your site is to use social media (and email lists when possible) to get the word out. Once a blog post has been published, a small overview of that information should be made public through Facebook. Then, an even smaller quip should be posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media outlet available.
As mentioned before, your website is the “mothership.” The main goal is to bring traffic back to your site where they are exposed to your company’s products and services. Every social media post should include a link back to the primary content in your blog, which will also drive traffic to your site.
You can also help drive traffic back to your own blog or website by commenting on other posts. By leaving comments on other, relevant blogs, you can create interest in your own.
Writing as a guest blogger for other websites can also help to generate visibility. Any action that promotes your blog and gives people reasons to visit your website is a win.
Elvis Has NOT Left the Building
Although rumors will likely persist each year about the demise of The Blog, there is no reason to believe blogging will die off anytime soon. Blogs provide an easy way for companies to generate exposure and interest, and to connect with their clients.
Besides, if blogging is dead, what are you doing here? (Need help? We can do it for you.)
While working from home is not the same as being onsite (especially if you were not used to it), it is possible to pivot both your workflow and your mindset, all while staying on track with your projects.
Let’s face it – being a business right now, large or small, is hard. COVID-19 hit all of us like a ton of bricks and very few were prepared.
No matter how long this crisis lasts, one thing is for sure – it’s time to prepare your business for the long haul. With that, we need to work harder, and stronger, during this unprecedented time in history.