In the era of live streams, Instagram stories and other multimedia content, is blogging still relevant? Spoiler alert: all signs point to yes!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt noticed the influx of video and other forms of visual content flooding our social media feeds in recent years. Facebook live streams, YouTube channels, and Instagram stories seem to be all the rage these days. And considering how easy it is to create video content with modern smartphones, it’s no wonder this trend has caught on like wildfire!
This has left many individuals and businesses alike to wonder if this new surge of visual content and video blogging is going to leave traditionally written blogs in the dust, paving the way for a new more visual tomorrow.
Is the written blog dead?
While it’s no doubt easy to see the appeal of video, as a fan of the written word ourselves, we decided to take a deeper look into the subject. What we discovered as we looked into the data was pleasantly surprising.
Not only do statistics indicate that written blogs are both alive and well, but they also show that the number of individuals both writing and reading blogs is continuously growing!
From individual lifestyle blogs to leveraging blogging as a means to drive business and B2B sales, it seems the days of written content still have a bright and shiny future ahead.
The purpose of blogging
Why do people write blogs?
This is a question with no clear cut, singular answer. Depending on the desired outcome of your blog, there can be a number of reasons you may choose to start blogging. In almost all scenarios, however, the main goal is to reach, engage, and resonate with a larger audience.
A blog not only increases your visibility but helps create a human connection with visitors of your website, all while building trust and establishing credibility with your audience.
Blogs can be used to:
- And more…
No matter the purpose, blogging remains a critical ingredient in the content mix of any business or creative individual seeking to connect with their target audience and make a real impact.
The benefits of traditional blogging vs. creating video content
Video and other multi-media content certainly has its perks, but there are also many benefits to maintaining a blog as a regular part of your website. And not everyone likes watching videos, or learns best from video content.
One of the main reason written blogs have stood the test of time is due to their ability to effectively target certain audiences by optimizing for search engines. By incorporating specific keywords and keyword phrases, along with answers or solutions to issues or questions your audience has, you can provide content that both resonates with your ideal visitor as well as ranks better on Google and other search engines.
While there are ways to “stuff” keywords into the titles and tags on video content, blogging gives you a way to utilize those keywords in a much more streamlined and elegant manner.
By naturally incorporating your target keywords into your written content, you eliminate the appearance of “keyword stuffing”. This makes your overall website appear much more polished and professional.
Blogs also provide you with more link-building opportunities, which are a crucial aspect of SEO, helping you rank higher and earn more traffic for relevant topics and keywords. In fact, studies show that companies who blog receive 97% more links to their websites (ImpactBND)!
Why you should consider starting a blog
If you find yourself wondering, is blogging worth it? Just take a look at some of the statistics we’ve found (HubSpot):
53% of marketers rank blogging as their number one content marketing priority! Whether your goal is to drive sales and clients to your website or to just build a personal brand, blogging is the tried and true method to help you achieve your goals.
Blogging builds credibility. Whether you are a company or an influencer on the rise, building a blog helps connect you with your audience, building trust.
Blogs have been rated the 5th most trusted source for attaining information online! More and more, the current generation is looking to blogs as a trusted source for news and information.
Blogging helps your SEO rankings. Having a regularly maintained and updated blog helps you stay at the top of those google searches, increasing your SEO ranking via link-backs and targeted keywords.
How blogging can help promote your business and drive traffic to your site
Over the years, building, growing and promoting a blog has become a core component and popular strategy among businesses large and small to:
- Drive brand or issue awareness
- Grow audiences
- Generate more sales, opt-ins, etc
- Establish credibility
- Position as an industry authority
- And more…
In today’s digital age both customers and clients alike seek out and desire a more personal touch when choosing a brand or company to do business with. A blog can help you tell authentic stories and control your narrative to build a connection between you and your potential buyers or clients.
Your blog can also serve as a treasure trove of useful information and data that you can leverage to provide a better experience or better products and services to your visitors. Comments, feedback, click-thru rates, time spent on page, member of page views and more can all provide useful insights that can be applied to other areas of your business.
From marketing efforts to customer service and product development, this information can provide you with a competitive edge often overlooked by others in your market.
Popular topics to jump-start your blog
We’ve covered why blogs are important, how you can effectively use them to the benefit of yourself or your business and provide value to the readership.
We’ve also delved into the data on why blogs are here to stay and that they are performing quite well despite the emergence and growth of other media types.
But where do you go from here?
Now that you’ve been thoroughly convinced that blogging is still a worthwhile endeavor, it’s time to click away at that keyboard and bring your ideas to the world.
However, you may find yourself stuck asking, “What should I write about?” It’s easy to get stuck trying to find the perfect niche, purpose or platform upon which to build your masterpiece.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most popular blog topics on the web right now to help jumpstart your imagination.
Fashion: Fashion has a huge global audience who are always on the lookout for the new and fresh, which is likely why fashion blogs are one of the most popular categories for blogging in the world today.
Food: From scrumptious recipes to fad diets and restaurant reviews, the food industry offers a plethora of options for blogging with droves of hungry fans waiting to devour each and every word.
Travel: Travel is becoming more accessible by day, leading to a huge trend in travel blogging. Travel advice, destination guides, and price hacks are all popular subjects among the leading travel bloggers.
Music: With so many genres and styles of music to delve into, a music blog gives you endless possibilities for honing in on a target niche.
Lifestyle: The sky is the limit with this popular blogging category. A lifestyle blog is a great type of blog to consider if you’re having difficulties picking just one thing that you love to write about.
Fitness: Fitness and healthy living are hot topics in the modern world, making this a great category to blog about.
DIY: As people become more budget and environmentally conscious, the DIY industry has blossomed. Ride the wave by sharing your best DIY tips and hacks.
Sports: If you’re passionate about sports, this popular topic has a wide audience waiting for your content!
Finance: Finance is a tricky subject for many, so if you have the know-how you’re bound to be a hit by sharing your tips to conquering both personal and business finance matters.
Politics: This polarizing topic is always a conversation starter, and with the constant changes in the political landscape, you’ll be left with endless fuel to fire your blog posts.
Tips for making your blog stand out in the crowd
With so many individuals and companies utilizing blogging to drive traffic and sales, how can you make your content shine above the rest?
While you might just be a small fish in an ever-expanding internet sea, there are some key things you can focus on that will help set you apart from the crowd.
Below we’ve compiled a short list of key tactics that are backed by data and proven to help any blog be more successful.
Quality content: This one should come as a given but with all the competition there is in the online world, only the quality blogs are really going to stand out. If you’re not a natural writer, either start a practice blog to train yourself or look into hiring a professional writer in order to best express your ideas in blog format.
Compelling images: Though the written word is alive and well, visual stimulation can still mark your blog as a cut above the rest. In fact, studies show that blogs with images get 94% more traffic than text alone. Professional photos and graphics can help emphasize the points you lay out in your blog, making it more fun to read and giving it a lasting impact. Pay extra attention to that first image in your post, as this will likely be the image people see when your link is shared on social media. Having an enticing photo in this spot will help drive clicks!
Spice it up with some video: Just because we’re advocating for written blogs doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your content with a video clip here and there. This helps your blog feel a bit more interactive, which can be a great way to engage your audience.
List format: 43% of blog readers admit to skimming through the content rather than reading from beginning to end. Formatting your blog with multiple headers or in list format can help increase your views and shares.
Title length: Studies show that 6 to 13 words seem to be the magic number when it comes to titles. This produces titles that are quick to catch when skimming search results, yet long enough to be informative.
Update, update, update! This is a great trick that not many marketers are doing. By frequently updating your old content, you increase your chances of getting strong results by 74%!
Post frequently: posting content frequently, ideally at least once a day, can get you 5 times as many views as bloggers who post once a week or less.
To Blog or Not to Blog….You Know What to Do!
Blogging has been around since the dawn of the internet. And while the way we consume information online has evolved over time, the “blog” has endured as a critical component of information on the World Wide Web.
From non-profits to hobbyists and multi-national global corporations, everyone is in on the act. And just when you thought video and other forms of media might be pushing blogs to the sidelines, data has shown just the opposite.
Readership is as strong now as it ever was, and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. So if you’ve been on the fence about starting up a blog for personal or businesses reasons, there’s no time like the present to get started.
By using the tips in this guide you can jumpstart your efforts and make sure your blog hits the ground running, providing both value for you and your prospective readership or target audience.