Blogging: Is It Still Relevant?
I have been blogging since 2009. That might sound like a long time, but in the early days, my blog was more akin to a journal entry—I recorded daily happenings, thoughts, lists, and whatever else struck me. Many of the entries didn’t have pictures and visitors to my page were rare. Such was my start, but also a reflection on the still-morphing existence of weblogs.
While Justin Hall is noted as the first person to ‘blog’ back in 1994, many more have come after him. Hall’s early ‘personal homepage’, begat many blogging platforms within a few short years, and the growth of this new phenomenon has only grown from there. Blogger and LiveJournal launched hosted web tools in 1999. WordPress—arguably one of the most popular blogging platforms today—joined the fray in 2003.
I happen to have blogs on both Blogger and WordPress, but there are plenty more sites you can turn to today, from Medium to Squarespace, Tumblr to Drupal, Type Pad to Weebly, and so many more. The platform might change, but the concept remains the same—sharing content with others in a setting where it can be commented upon and shared at will. It is a great medium for writers, people with hobbies or specific interests, and businesses who want to establish a voice for themselves on the web.
Changing Face of Blogging
Like anything though, the face of blogging is changing. Where people once shared stories of their personal days and challenges—Mommy bloggers are still a huge part of the blogging world—topics have exploded from there. Whether it be politics, journalism, art critique, travel, dating, or food prep, you can find a blog for that. But where some people avidly read many blogs a few years ago, nowadays the average person’s attention span is so torn by the constant influx of social media content, that the influence of blogging is changing.
No longer will your take on Grannie’s home remedies be relevant, when your humble blog goes up against trusted big-name websites. You have to have something relevant and unique to say, and present it in a visually appealing way. Not to mention well written. If you are touching on current events, they have to be timely too, as well as accurate in detail. And even if you write a fantastic post that draws in readers, that’s still not enough. Today’s bloggers need to consistently create good content on a regular basis, promote it to the hilt, and interact with readers to make sure they are a part of the experience.
Tall order? Maybe, but that’s the name of the game, especially if you are a small business trying to get your voice heard in the echo-chamber that is today’s social media world. I have talked to people in person, discussed the relevance of blogs with folks on Twitter, read umpteen numbers of articles across the web (yes, I still read blogs), and pondered how best to get the biggest bang for your buck with blogging.
- regular posting
- quality content
- maximize shareability
- vary the style of posts (graphics, words, pictures, videos, lists, long posts, short posts, podcasts, etc.)
Are blogs still relevant? You bet they are. How you make yours relevant is the key though. It can be a lot of work, but still worth the effort. Especially for small businesses looking for people to find them amongst all the online chatter. Think smarter and reach out to those in the know. Ask questions, talk to experts, and don’t forget the darn SEO, headings, keywords and alt tags while you’re at it.
Will this go viral? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter. It helps me to write it down in a cohesive manner and understand it better myself. It also adds content to my stream. And hopefully it will strike a chord with my readers. Do you have anything to add?
I wish you good writing and longevity in your blogging endeavours!
January 16, 2017 @ 5:04 pm
Well said. I have two blogs: one on Blogger, one on WordPress. I haven’t posted on either in ages. To be honest, I’m just not up to the effort it takes to attract readers. And without readers, blogging feels like the digital equivalent of singing in the shower. And there it is.
January 16, 2017 @ 9:57 pm
I hear what you’re saying Patti. Shouting into the wind can be less than satisfying. The pressure then becomes working to get your word out further, either via Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc., or leaving it to plain old organic reach. You have to put the effort in and even at that it still doesn’t always pay off.
I have to admit I sometimes pine for the days when we would join in on G-Man’s memes. The enthusiasm that was shared there was always so encouraging.
If you do jump back into the world of blogging, I’ll do my best to swing by and leave comment! Your words were always well written, witty and wise.
January 30, 2017 @ 1:45 pm
Thank you for your kind words. And I miss G-Man too. I still get notifications from Facebook on his birthday. Sad.
January 16, 2017 @ 3:14 pm
[ Smiles ] Do remember, that we are not all searching for the same things on the internet.
Granny’s little old blog doesn’t have to compete with those major websites, because Granny has her own audience (That is merely an example).
Get rid of the idea of competing and produce the type of content that your audience loves.
Once you build a loyal audience, you are good to go.
Also, it is nice to come across the blog of a veteran blogger as yourself.
January 16, 2017 @ 3:21 pm
True that Renard. I have personally been blogging this long to keep my writing alive and enhance it along the way. I know I’ll never compete with the big sites, and that’s okay, but I work with smaller companies who want to make sure their voice is heard amongst the rest of the clatter out there. Hence the notion of competition, but I completely agree that content is key.
I like to think that’s why my clients turn to me in the first place too. Thanks for the encouragement!
January 16, 2017 @ 3:24 pm
[ Smiles ] You are most welcome!