With the uptick in social media platforms and the massive changes in marketing over the years, some people tend to think that blogs are dead.
They think that they’re outdated and a thing of the past, but I’m here to say that blogs are indeed still alive and well and after some research, I think you’ll be surprised to see why.
As a blog writer for business owners, my motto is that: blogs aren’t dead, they’ve simply evolved.
To better understand this (maybe somewhat bold) statement of mine, let’s dive into the evolution of blogs as a whole.
Pack your bags, friend! We’re going back to the 90’s 🧳
Who remembers the family computer that would kick you off the Internet if someone called the house phone?!
(If you don’t remember this, YES this was a thing. We’ve come a long way 🤣)
➡️ Dial up internet had just hit the market and around this same time, the first style of blogs was introduced.
At this time, people were using blogs to publish articles about their personal lives - sort of like an online diary so to speak.
Now I know what you might be thinking - this sounds oddly familiar to the style of blogs we see today in the influencer community, right?! Talk about an evolution!
➡️ Fast forward to 2001ish, many political style blogs started popping up and these were closely followed by news style blogs.
➡️ In 2002, "mommy blogging" first became a thing.
➡️ In 2003, Wordpress launched and is still one of the largest blog host platforms today.
➡️ In 2005, the world is introduced to the first video blog, which would later become known as "vlogging," as YouTube makes its debut.
➡️ And then we meet social media. In 2006, Twitter enters the chat and gives users a way to "microblog" with limited character counts.
Facebook also becomes available to the public at this time, so marketers begin to be drawn towards social media for a large portion of their content creation.
➡️ Businesses and brands start to emphasize social media use when Instagram hit the market in 2010.
When Instagram hit the scene, people began shifting their focus primarily to social media because it was the new, hot thing that everyone was flocking to!
Consumers were no longer browsing the general Internet each day - instead they started following their favorites on the ‘gram.
So, it makes total sense why business owners made this shift - they wanted and needed to be where the people are.
And with the new features on these platforms almost daily, it made it easy (and still is making it easy) for people to stay on these apps for longer amounts of time.
There’s quite a few downsides that comes with *only* marketing on social media, however, and I talk about those in this blog post.
➡️ In 2011, Google updated the way it ranked sites on a Google search and began putting a large emphasis on high quality content.
For this reason, many businesses started implementing the use of blogs so that they could increase the amount of high quality content on their website and thus appear higher in Google searches - this is what we call SEO: search engine optimization.
If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, essentially it means that the more optimized content you have on your website that relates to what people are searching for in your industry or niche, the higher you’ll appear in a Google search!
And while SEO is of course still important today, it’s not the MOST important reason your business needs a blog - I share my philosophy about this in this blog post.
The use of blogs was originally very popular for this reason, but beyond ranking higher in a Google search, by creating valuable blog content on a consistent basis, business owners were also:
positioning themselves as the expert in their industry
becoming a go-to source for information and education
building a content bank that was organized, searchable and could be referred to and accessed at any time
Not to mention, this was content that the business owner or brand OWNED - meaning it could never be taken from them and they had ultimate control, unlike their social media.
So, if blogs have so many benefits for businesses and brands, when, and more importantly, WHY did the focus really start to shift?
Many social media platforms started implementing their own style of blogging or vlogging, so peoples attention was easily drawn away from the traditional website style content.
➡️ In 2013, LinkedIn Pulse launched as an add-on feature for users to share blog style articles directly on their feed. In 2017, this feature morphed into every users' homepage newsfeed and anyone could contribute.
➡️ Then, a MASSIVE shift happened when Instagram launched our beloved Instagram stories. A vlog style feature where people could quickly connect with their audience in real time on a daily basis.
➡️ Another huge shift happened when Instagram starts being rivaled with TikTok in 2020 as a short form video app for people to provide value alongside entertainment.
So, it’s clear that blogs have evolved in recent years, but how are they being used today? Or, I should say, what is the BEST way they can be used today?
People that are still using blogs today are thinking about the long haul of their business. They're creating content for their blog in a way that guides the rest of what they do.
They know they need a social media presence on various platforms because that's the current trendy thing, but they don't START here.
Smart people know that the moment they press "post" on a social media platform, they no longer own their content and that it can be taken from them at any time.
Because that's a risk they aren't willing to take and they want their audience to be able to find the value they bring at any given time, they treat their blog on their website as a home base for ALL of their best content.
They start with long form blog posts FIRST where they can dive deep into one topic that brings great value to their audience and then they pull small pieces for their social media content that will then drive people to their blog for the ultimate value.
Think of it like this:
Social media = short, quick wins & entertainment that will quickly expire
Blog posts = long form, value driven content that can live on for years to come
A blog on your website becomes a content bank that is FILLED with organized and searchable content that you can refer to over and over and over again.
Long story short:
In the past, blogs didn’t really have a strategy aside from SEO, people used them to post about anything and they were highly utilized for personal life.
TODAY, a successful blog is highly specific for your industry or niche, is created with strategy in mind so that your blogs and your social media can coexist in a streamlined way and your content is primarily created to SERVE your people (aka, it’s not about you).
Blogs are extremely overlooked in business today thanks to social media, but the people that do utilize this asset are setting themselves up for the long haul in their business and those are my kind of people 👏🏼
Blogs are extremely valuable for your business or brand, no matter what industry you’re in, and getting started isn’t as hard as you might think.
To help you get started on investing in your business for the long haul, click here for my 4 Step Blog Content Creation Plan!
If you want more guidance on blogging for your business, click here to view the services that may be a fit for you!