Are Blogs Dead In 2018?

Blogs aren’t dead… They’re changing. The concept of blogging has evolved to become more inclusive of a variety of content with the goal of adding value through an overarching and cohesive online presence.

Content creation is no longer just about writing. Fifteen years ago, a writer could put out their personal thoughts on a website, gain a following, and grow their reader base.

Now, content creation is not about words on the page but about how those words are used to create a story. This “story” is more than just a narrative. It’s the overall voice of a brand through copy, imagery, photography, videography, and emotion.

Moreover, “content” is not just a blog. Blogging is just a part of a content marketing strategy. Social media has largely invaded, generating a new way to create, share, and spread content.

Nevertheless, though blogging is just one part of the content landscape, it is still one of the more crucial forms of communication. Blogging hasn’t died--and likely won’t for years to come-- because of the intimacy of the author-reader relationship. Blogs allow the writer to connect with the reader firsthand. Words and tone create a narrative that strongly represents feelings, opinions, and viewpoints. A personal, deep-rooted connection occurs when a person reads words that perfectly relate to how they feel or what they wanted to know.

These changes exist in both personal brand blogs and business content, which we’ll dive into deeper below.

Personal brand blogs

Personal branding is where content creation has taken the largest turn. In the world of Instagram personalities and Facebook coaches, content has become more than just a blog. Aspiring influencers are no longer limited to a written blog. They can build a personal brand about fashion, politics, cooking, fitness or anything about which they’re passionate—without even hosting a blog. They can use photography, drawings, video, vlogging, podcasts, and audio to build a following.

The definition of “content” has expanded. With this expansion comes a new way for individual and personal brands to see success—even if they don’t necessarily have writing ability.

This means two key things if you are trying to build a personal brand online:

  1. If you’re not a writer, you can still build a personal “blogging” brand through other forms of content on social media. Oftentimes, you’ll want to partner with a content company to create the words for you, as you focus on other aspects of your brand.

  2. If you are a writer, your writing is competing with other forms of visual and auditory content. This means you need to step up your game, boost your creativity, and foster a loyal community of readers, consumers, and influencers. The greater your following, the greater your continued reach will be.

Business blogs

In a similar fashion, businesses are beginning to use a variety of content as well. Companies are not foreign to the idea of multi-function marketing: TV commercials, billboards, radio ads, etc. are all different forms of content with the same underlying brand voice.

Today, however, these different types of marketing are fusing together into one. Blogs are accompanied by Instagram pictures. Podcasts are accompanied by written summaries. Live Facebook videos are accompanied by Twitter campaigns.

Business content marketing is more than just blogging. In fact, separating out “blogging” from other forms of content is virtually impossible if you want to see success.

The goal is to create a cohesive presence in front of your consumers, on the platforms where they hang out the most.

You can build this presence with a strong content strategy. Without a formalized plan for building your brand through content, you’ll create a confusing and inconsistent appearance to consumers. You need to ensure that your written blogs, social media, visual imagery, email campaigns, and other marketing are all appropriately aligned with the same voice.

Blogging and content creation are still one of the most useful investments of time and money for your business, especially if you have an online audience.

Working with a content company like Palm Beach Content Co. to build your strategy will ensure a unified content presence that shows results with your audience.

New blogging challenges

With a changing landscape arise new challenges for bloggers. As the internet has matured and blogging become more commonplace, the competitive stakes have been raised in tandem.  

The first challenge is simply the rules of search engine optimization (SEO). Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are often altering their algorithms of how they optimize search results, content, and marketing. They’re trying to make the experience better for their users—often at the expense of brands who are trying to promote on these platforms.

To overcome this challenge, you can host your own blog and website. Blogs have the most staying power because you control them. You make the rules. If you can build a loyal readership, your traffic will remain consistent regardless of the changing SEO rules on other platforms. You will not be beholden to a third party; instead, you’ll be dealing directly with your consumer.

The second challenge is the saturation of content. Anyone and everyone can write a blog. There are 17 new blogs published every second. Search the phrase “content marketing” and Google presents over 70 million search results. Blogging is itself not novel anymore, and just presenting content will alone not get you noticed.

The only way to truly stand out with a blog is to create amazing, unique content. People can easily spot quality while turning away from BS. You need a distinctive viewpoint and perspective, strong writing style, a blend of various forms of content, and an updated knowledge of SEO practices. If you want to stand out from the crowds of millions and build a loyal following, you need to create a unique brand voice.

These two challenges are highly linked. The internet is a library of content for humans with robot librarians. Today’s content creation is a balance of building content that is interesting to humans, but written in a way that robots can code and organize it. This means providing valuable content with the right length, depth, and context.

Blog success

If traditional blogging is “dead,” then what kinds of blogs are seeing success?

The best blogs are those that provide consistent value to their readers. Blogs are not an easy solution to all of your marketing woes. If you want to see success from your blog, you need to put in the time, effort, and resources.

A strong blog that provides value can be one of the best investments you can make.

But you have to make the commitment to that investment. The blogs that survive have:

  • A formalized content marketing strategy
  • A strong awareness of audience and competition

  • A plan for growth and pivoting alongside technology changes

  • An associated social media plan

  • Consistent, regular postings

Over to you

Blogging is not dead. It has simply evolved to become more inclusive of a variety of content in a way that builds a brand’s overall online presence.

In fact, if you want to see success with today’s customer, you need quality blogs and content to set yourself apart. Blogs are an opportunity to build a library of proprietary information, provide value that intrigues consumers, engenders a sense of loyalty with current consumers, and draws organic traffic to your site.

Blogging is alive and thriving in 2018. Investing in content strategy is the single strongest way to build your blog, your voice, and your brand.

Are you ready to get started? Contact Palm Beach Content Company today to start building a content strategy that will set you ahead of the pack this 2018.

Allison Hess