I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I first heard the news.
BLOGGING IS DEAD – the headline screamed.
“No! This can’t be!” I thought to myself while staring at my computer screen sipping my cup of chai tea.
But like any good story, this one has a twist. (Cue the dun dun dun music)
Where did I read this insipid bit of news? It was on a blog, of course.
And just about every other thing you read about blogging being dead will be on someone’s blog.
Here’s a little exercise for you – Google “blogging is dead” and see what you get. The first result I get is a post from Fast Company…written in 2012.
Then, scroll down to the “related searches” area and you get this:
The years are there because every year someone says “Blogging is dead” and we just don’t know if this may actually be the year!
Spoiler – It’s not. And it won’t be. Not for a while anyway.
Yes, blogging has changed a lot since social media came along.
Comment sections on blogs that once thrived are barren while the conversation now takes place on Facebook. Blogging is no longer your community’s home. That is true.
But just because the purpose of blogging has changed doesn’t mean it’s no longer an important communications channel.
Here are two big reasons you should keep blogging:
- Controlling your content
In just a single second, Google processes over 40,000 search requests. That’s a lot of people looking for answers. Answers you might have. The more pages on your site with certain keywords, the higher you will rank for that keyword. That’s where your blog comes in – fresh content.
Google loves them some fresh content. So why can’t you just make some changes to your website? It doesn’t really work that way. Adding some fresh parsley to a plate that’s been sitting out for 4 hours doesn’t mean it’s now a fresh meal, does it?
In addition to having a place to add fresh content, blogs allow you to cover more than just a website does.
Would we have a page on our website devoted to whether blogging is dead or not? No, that’s silly. But it makes a great blog post. We can also cover hot topics like Peter Panepento’s post on the Boy Scouts’ reaction to President Trump’s speech. Again that would not be a page on our website, but it allowed us to “newsjack” that story to help you handle crises better.
“Why couldn’t we just post on social media?” you ask. Well, that brings me to reason #2…
Controlling Your Own Content
When you post something on social media, you immediately lose control of that information. Yes, you can edit or delete it, but that’s about it.
What if someone who disagrees with you reports your post and it’s deleted? What if they keep reporting you and you get banned? If you want to see this in action and lose all faith in humanity at the same time, see the horrible experience of Ijeoma Oluo who was banned by Facebook after posting screen shots of the racist things people were sending her via DM. (Yes, I know she published it on Medium, but that brings me to my next point…)
What happens to your content if the channel you posted it to goes out of business? Or what if they decide to delete older content? Sorry, it’s just gone.
Finally, what about older posts? It is very difficult to find older posts in order to change outdated information as your situation changes. Search results could pull up a post about a program you don’t provide anymore. That’s not a great first impression.
With your own blog on our own website, you own and control all of your information. You can quickly update it as needed or easily link to it when someone asks you a question you have already answered. People are directed to your website as opposed to an outside site with a million distractions. Then they not only see your post but also learn more about your organization and then possibly donate.
Blogging isn’t dead. It isn’t even sick. It’s just evolving. But that’s communications in general, right?
(Blogging also helps if you are looking to become a thought leader. For more on that see our next Nonprofit Marketing Accelerator on becoming a thought leader and media darling.)