Blogging, 20 years on

Posted on Posted in Copywriting

A chap called Dave Winer, a software developer in California, ‘invented’ the so-called blog (short for ‘weblog’) acting on the desire to “offer much more timely information” [1]. His first blog, called Davenet, was published in October 1994 and is still going strong today.

Since Winer created the blogging genre, it has gone through the familiar cycle of any new craze: from the best thing since sliced bread, peaking in popularity in the mid-noughties, then facing a decline as the novelty wore off. Blogging by the Millennial Generation halved between 2006 and 2010 [2].

Does blogging still have a place?

During this waning, we saw the mainstream adoption of social networks like Facebook and microblogging platforms such as Twitter, which allows users to express themselves through short updates of a mere 140 characters. Consequently, blogs fell off the radar somewhat.

Although the current trend is still for microblogging sites like Twitter and Snapchat, some of the most interesting writing and creative thinking continues to appear via the blogosphere, as the more committed and skilled writers stick it out.

Why should you blog?

Below are some very good reasons why blogging can still be a valuable part of your business’ marketing strategy:

Sales opportunities –

Static websites don’t attract many new customers but an informative, regularly updated blog can produce loyal followers and potentially good leads. If you post problem-solving blogs, people will come to trust and respect you. Obviously you’re not going to convert all your readers into clients, but it’s one more potential opportunity. And don’t forget to include a call-to-action on every post.

Become a trusted expert –

Blogging is a great way to express the personality of your business and highlight your knowledge and expertise. The more blogs you write, sharing your views on a variety of topics, the more your website will change into a powerful tool to showcase your specialist skills. When somebody visits your site and sees the insights you’ve shared, along with a group of followers who respect and seek that insight, it will be obvious that you’re a trusted expert in your field, which is a rare and valuable commodity online. The more people whose trust you’ve earned, the easier it will be to accomplish your online objectives.

Driving traffic to your website –

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an online game changer and high Google rankings have become the holy grail for web marketers. Popular, widely shared posts can have a dramatic effect on where your site ranks on Google, which in turn has a direct effect on the quantity and quality of leads. The way SEO works means that your blog content directly determines its audience. Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website and you’re creating content that people can share on social networks too, which helps expose your business to a much wider audience.

So, is blogging still worthwhile?

Statistics from Hubspot’s 2014-15 Inbound Marketing Report [3] highlight the importance of blogging. According to the study, companies that blog are thirteen times more likely to generate a positive marketing ROI. In that same study, a survey of 3,500 marketing professionals revealed that they place almost equal importance to blogging as they do to social media and SEO.

Here are some further interesting statistics [4]:

12 million people blog via social networks

77% of internet users read blogs

53% of bloggers are 21 to 35 year olds

The majority of bloggers are women

Finally, to practise what I preach, you can contact me at pru.gayton@paccopywriting.com, or call me on 07971 447052, if you require help with blog content. You can simply give me a brief summary of what you want to blog about, and leave the rest to me!

References:

[1] http://www.worldlibrary.org/Article.aspx?ArticleId=0000008713&Title=Dave%20Winer

[2] http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/12/16/generations-2010

[3] http://offers.hubspot.com/2014-state-of-inbound

[4] http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/blogconomy-blogging-stats-infographic

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