Should You Still Be Blogging in 2021?
Let's start with some fun facts: 1998 marks the first known instance of a blog on a traditional news site. A year later, "weblog" was shortened to "blog," and the platform Blogger, the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tool, was first launched.
That means blogs have been populating the net for roughly 21 years. (Cheers!) While some trends, like denim-on-denim and boy bands dressed in all white, may have phased out since then, blogs continue to roll on. Companies still consider blogging to be one of their most valuable marketing efforts, and with good reason.
Blogs are here to stay.
When it comes to digital marketing, most people think of paid ads and social posts. Both have their place and can work hard for your business, but social posts don't offer the shelf life or discoverability of blog posts. And, while paid traffic from digital advertising can bring in business, it stops the minute your budget runs out.
Blogs, however, stay "out there" in searchable space, converting organic traffic to leads all year long. Many companies report that their blog-generated leads come from older blog posts. So, an article you post today could prove to be a lead source long after it's published.
Are podcasts more valuable?
Another digital marketing tool, and cousin to the blog, is a podcast. Podcasts have become so popular they've recently surpassed blogs in Google search results. So yes, we think podcasting is a smart way to share content (and ironically, we'll write a blog post about this in the future), but the current hype around podcasts doesn't diminish the value of also blogging. A 2020 HubSpot study revealed 60% of people read a blog at least once a week. So, blogs are still important among consumers.
Helping you blog on.
At Matchstick Studio, we believe blogging is a relevant and worthy effort. That's why we include a blog page with all of our Modular Orange websites. We get it set up and ready to rock with great content. After that, we do recommend a few tips. In fact, here are some of the most common questions we get, along with our best advice.
What should I write about?
Research: If the purpose of your blog is to inform customers on a particular industry or topic, then research the heck out of it and make a list of the questions people ask, angles you could cover, and insights you bring to the table. Use this list as your content calendar. That's an awesome place to start.
Experience: Don't take for granted your knowledge and expertise. Write what you know. And if you don't know something, interview someone who does, and share their wisdom. If you happen to be interviewing someone for your podcast, turn your show notes and transcriptions into a blog post, so you get more bang for your buck.
Products & Services: Assuming your business sells products and/or services, blogs are still one of the best channels to talk about what you have to offer. People show up ready to read, so this longer format allows you to elaborate on your business and share why you believe in what you're selling.
Stories: Blogs are a great place to tell your personal story and why you're in business. You may find it's a lot easier to make a deeper connection with customers in this space than you ever could with a social post. And, if it's relevant, blog posts are the perfect spot to share your customer success stories.
Trends & Insights: Blogs allow you to address trends you've spotted or talk about insights you've had. So, share some of your observations and talk about how you help people meet the latest trends with your business.
Competitive Angles: It may help to take a look at your biggest competitor's blog roll. Get scrappy. See what they're talking about and consistently create more valuable content than what they're sharing.
How long should blog posts be?
Blog posts can play a huge role in your SEO performance, driving a significant amount of organic traffic to your website. Google loves long-form, information-packed articles spanning between 1,000-7,000 words. It's because Google perceives longer blog posts as more authoritative and helpful to readers and therefore places them higher in search results.
Several studies show that posts around 2,000 words are performing well. So, that's a good target. With that said, it's essential that any blog post is truly informative and offers quality content. If your topic is only good for 1,000-words, then stop there.
Do all blog posts have to be long-form content?
No. While long-form content offers SEO benefits, it's good to work in shorter posts ranging between 300-1,000 words that provide quick, to-the-point material. They may not rank as high in search, but your readers can appreciate this type of "bite-sized" content. So, plan for long and short posts in your editorial calendar.
How often should you post?
Whether you post once a month or once a week, it really doesn't make a huge difference. The key is that you're consistent with your posting schedule. Your readers will come to know and understand your frequency and will depend on you to deliver on that timeframe. Decide what feels right and reasonable, and stick to the plan.
If blogging regularly feels overwhelming, consider finding someone with a voice you trust and ask them to be an ongoing contributor.
We got you.
As blogs continue to be a terrific way to generate leads, garner organic traffic to your website, and build awareness about your products and services, we encourage you to keep it up! If you're just getting started, we got you. We can hook you up with a fresh, affordable site that includes the easiest blogging system on the internet. We're talking click, type, save. Contact us for details!