Blogging Isn’t Dead and Your Business Needs It (Even in 2019)
At the start of every year, we see an influx of articles debating whether blogging is still relevant or not.
It’s easy to see why. According to a recent survey, there are currently more than 2 million blogs in existence and over 80 million blog posts are published every month.
Other blogs aren’t your only competition. Throughout the past couple of years, we’ve seen the rise of podcasts and vlogs.
Getting and keeping people’s attention is now harder than ever. There’s so much content online that continuing to blog can sometimes feel like screaming into a void.
But blogging is far from dead. Yes, it has become more difficult, but the numbers show it can do wonders for getting your business found online.
In this blog post, we’re going to discuss why blogging is still relevant and how it can help you rise above the competition.
Let’s get started.
Blogging is Thriving
Despite what naysayers say, businesses with blogs generate 67% more leads on a monthly basis than those who don’t.
How you blog and the strategies involved may have changed throughout the years, but putting in the work can do wonders for your ROI.
You’re in full control.
As long as you own your domain and host your website, you are in full control of your blog. You control how and when the content is displayed. That’s not something you can say about other marketing options available at the moment.
Social media marketing can lead you to a new pool of potential customers, but are you in full control? The answer is a resounding no.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram make money through advertising. In recent years, they’ve changed their algorithms several times to ensure that the users who pay are the ones who get seen.
Imagine building an audience on a social media platform. You’ve developed a loyal audience and you know which types of posts get the most engagement. Business is doing great, and a huge number of your leads come from social media marketing.
But then, the social media platform decided to change their algorithm. Only a small number of your followers see your posts. Even paying to get your posts seen doesn’t get as much engagement as before.
You’re not generating leads anymore, and years of hard work have gone down the drain.
This would never happen with a blog. You are in full control of how and when your content is displayed. Your content isn’t subject to the whims of a social media platform.
It does wonders for your SEO.
Before we discuss this blogging benefit, we need to make one thing clear.
The days of creating content purely for search engines are long gone. Google is now smart enough to sniff out keyword-stuffed posts, leading users to content that actually help them.
With that caveat in mind, blogging can help you rise in search engine rankings–as long as you create content that’s informative, helpful and unique.
You can use keywords over and over.
If you’re a business with a blog, you’re most likely writing about specific topics. This gives you the chance to use your target keywords several times without having to resort to keyword stuffing.
For example, you own a men’s clothing store in New South Wales. You can posts that teach people how to buy the right suit, the best pair of jeans so forth. You can use the keyword “men’s clothing store in New South Wales” in these posts in ways that feel organic.
Google has more content to index.
When you have more blog posts, Google has more links to index. This means that you’re giving yourself more chances to get found online by potential customers.
Think of your target audience, and use them as a jumping off point to think of blog post topics. What are their struggles? How can you help resolve those struggles for them? What are their goals? How can you propel them closer to those goals?
You’re positioning yourself as an authority.
When blogging for business, you’re writing about a field you’re most likely an expert in. Whether it’s listicles or how-to posts, your expertise is supposed to come across in the content you create.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Who would you trust? Some random person on the Internet or a niche expert whose blog you’ve been reading for a long time? There’s no contest.
Positioning yourself as an authority builds trust between you and your audience–an audience that can later turn into customers. This means writing high-quality blog posts that help resolve their concerns and propels them closer to their own goals consistently.
Blogging Successfully in 2019
Choose quality over quantity.
At the beginning of this blog post, we mentioned that over 80 million blog posts are published every month.
The statistic can sound disheartening. With the sheer amount of posts being published every month, what chance does your blog post have of ever getting read by people? If you’re blogging for business, your chances are still quite high.
According to Cuarata, long-form in-depth blog posts generate nine times more leads than short ones. Put that together with the statistic that only 18% of companies write blog posts longer than 750 words, and a picture begins to emerge.
Getting noticed amidst millions of blog posts doesn’t seem so hard once you know how to stand out.
You can do that by writing blog posts that are longer and better than what your competitors are coming up with.
Find out which blog posts are topping search results for keywords you’re targeting. You then use what you’ve discovered to create blog posts that are twice as good.
Let’s say you’re a travel agency in New South Wales. You’d like to target the keyword “top tourist spots in New South Wales.” When you do a quick Google search for that keyword, you see that a blog post entitled “Ten Must-See Spots in New South Wales That Only Locals Knows About.”
You now have a blog post idea that can propel you to the top of search engine rankings, but you have to make that idea better. Creating something that’s as good as what’s already topping the search results isn’t enough. If the competitor’s blog post talks about ten locations, yours has to include fifteen or even twenty.
Long-form content can benefit you in many ways. As long as what you write is interesting, users will spend more time on your blog post. This tells Google people find what you’ve written useful and give it a boost in search engine rankings.
You also increase your chances of getting more backlinks. You can contact influencers who’ve linked to similar blog posts and ask them to link to your instead. Your blog post is longer and contains more detailed information, so getting a positive response won’t be difficult.
Writing high-quality blog posts requires a lot of work, but the results will be worth it. Instead of frequently churning out 300-word blog posts, consider writing long-form content that packs a punch.
Before the dawn of Netflix and online streaming, we got used to watching our favourite shows at a specific time and day.
Over time, we started to build a routine. If our favourite shows came on TV at 7:00 PM, we’d make an effort to be there on time.
Writing short blog posts that don’t contain much information daily won’t help you grow. You’re not giving users useful information so they’ll look for it elsewhere.
Writing in-depth posts every couple of months won’t help you either. Sure, users might like one posts, but you’re not giving them a reason to come back to your blog. You’re not giving them useful information consistently, so they’ll move on to other websites.
You need to strike a balance between both.
Think of your blog as someone’s favourite show back in the old days. Make it difficult for people to forget about you by posting consistently. Be a part of their routine.
Aside from increasing traffic, blogging consistently can also help your SEO.
- The more blog posts you publish, the more pages Google can index. New visitors can find you through several blog posts. If they like what they see, they may continue exploring your website.
- With a blog, you have more opportunities to use your target keywords. You don’t have to resort to using the same keyword over and over in a single product page. You can use it organically in your blog posts.
Plan your blog posts in advance.
If you write blog posts on a regular basis, you can run out of ideas. Instead of being productive, you might find yourself sitting in front of your computer and staring at the blinking cursor.
Ensure you always know what to write about by planning your blog posts in advance. Brainstorm ideas and organise everything in an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is where you jot down blog post ideas along with when they should be posted. You can create one with pen and paper, an Excel document or a Google sheet.
Find whatever works for your process best. If you’re unsure how to start, there are plenty of free editorial calendar templates available online.
Make your blog posts easy to read.
Have you ever flipped open a paperback and found a huge block of text staring back at you?
In print books, a block of text may be fine, but the Internet is an entirely different story. If readers land on your blog and discover the text is too difficult to read, they can go read another blog instead.
Competition is fiercer than ever. On top of creating high-quality content regularly, you also have to make sure it’s easy for people to read.
Keep your paragraphs short.
Nowadays, most people read blogs on their mobile phones. Blocks of text are difficult to read on mobile phones, so it’s safe to say you should avoid them if you want people to keep reading.
If you’re unsure how to avoid this, a quick rule of thumb is that a paragraph shouldn’t be longer than three lines. You can preview your post and see if some of your paragraphs take up four lines or more. You can then make a few changes.
Break up the text.
Nothing looks more boring than scrolling down a blog post and finding paragraphs…and more paragraphs. Break up your paragraphs with images, videos and bullet points.
Make skimming your blog post easy.
Most users want information and they want it right away. In fact, according to statistics, the average time users spend reading a blog post is 37 seconds.
That sounds horrifying. You spent all this time writing a blog post and users are just going to quickly scroll through it?
The thing is, most users are only going to read the parts of a blog post that are relevant to them. Make sure they find those relevant parts by utilising headlines.
If you use WordPress, you can easily format a particular line of text so it can be tagged as Headline 1, Headline 2, Headline 3 and so forth. The headlines are formatted differently and stand out from the rest of your blog post’s text.
They catch a reader’s eye, telling them which bits of information they’ll find helpful. Once a headline grabs a user’s attention, they can stop scrolling and actually read what you’ve written.
Headlines aren’t just used for aesthetic purposes. They tell Google how your post is organised, and the search engine can index information accordingly.
Headline 1 is similar to your blog post title and should only be used once. You can, however, use Headlines 2, 3 and so on several times.
Contrary to what some people think, blogging isn’t dead.
Blogging as we know it may have changed in the past couple of years, but if you choose to adapt, it can greatly help your business grow.
Don’t settle for regurgitating the same information you’ve seen countless times online. Find your biggest competition and attempt to be five or ten times better.
Creating high-quality content isn’t enough. You also have to do it consistently.
Done properly, blogging can help you soar above the competition. If your competitors aren’t blogging or if they’re creating lacklustre content, take full advantage of the situation.
Cornerstone Digital is a digital marketing agency in Sydney. If you’re struggling to find more leads online, we’d be glad to help. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.