Blogging is Alive and Well and Remains Relevant
Today, there are so many new mediums that people often ask if blogging is dead. I certainly don’t think blogging is dead, but it has changed. Today I’m going to talk about why blogging is alive and well, and the benefits of blogging.
I received this listener question on Anchor, from Marcus Boswell. What does the modern blogger get out of blogging? This question is common, because there are so many other things we could be doing with our time.
Let’s explore why blogging is still relevant today. If you have a business or are starting a business, the reason to have a blog really boils down to this quote by Bob Burg.
“All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to, people that they know like and trust.”
In This Episode
- How to be known, liked and trusted
- Blogging generates trust – people actually talk to you like they know you
- Creating and publishing useful content on a regular basis creates relationships
Besides building trust and relationships with readers, there are many secondary benefits of blogging.
Secondary Benefits of Blogging
- Blogging is great for SEO
- It can drive traffic to your business
- Great for converting traffic to leads
- Great for building authority and credibility
- Blogging helps personalise your brand
- It provides fuel for social media
These secondary benefits are fantastic, but the relationship building and showing your customers that you really understand their problems and know them is really why blogs are so powerful.
“Honest and transparent content is the greatest sales and trust building tool in the world. Period.” Marcus Sheridan from Sales Lion
Creating great content on a regular basis that changes people’s lives helps us, but is blogging the only way? Podcasting, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social outlets can all help build trust.
- Your style and voice should dictate what medium you use to create your best content.
- Where is your audience? How do they prefer to consume content?
- What medium works best with your topic?
- Always consider using a blog. You can embed any medium on your blog.
- With a blog you have complete control, avoid using a third-party for a home based
- You can always use other hosts, but point back to your home base
Examples of people using different mediums, but pointing back to a blog as a home base:
- ZenPencils.com – Gavin has created a home base for his preferred medium – cartoons, all based around a blog.
- LisaEldridge.com – A blogger using YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to highlight her make up examples and tutorials.
- JayBaer.com – A speaker and author who uses podcasting to drive traffic back to his blog and content.
- iSocialFanz.com – You can find Brian Fanzo on every live streaming network, but he posts the replays on his blog.
Darren: Hi there and welcome to Episode 98 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com and today, I want to tackle a question I get asked a lot. Is blogging dead? There’s heaps of other mediums around at the moment and I constantly hear people saying, “You know, blogging is dead. It’s been killed by,” and you can insert your favorite medium here.
I want to tackle that. I want to talk about the benefits of blogging today because I obviously don’t think that blogging is dead, but it has changed and that’s what I want to talk a little bit about today. You can find today’s show notes with some links that I will mention in today’s show at problogger.com/podcast/98.
Today I got this question from Marcus Boswell over on Anchor.
Marcus: The question I would have for you is, “What does the modern blogger get out of blogging?” I feel like I got dozens of other things I could or should be doing with my time so I need to give myself a really good reason. Does that make sense? I hope it does. Anyway, thanks for what you do.
Darren: Thanks so much for the question, Marcus. It is a question that I get asked quite a bit. There are so many things that we could be doing with our time and some of these things are actually talked about at times by some people as blog killers. Podcasting killed blogging, YouTube killed blogging, Facebook kills blogging, Twitter killed blogging.
I’ve heard all of these networks talked about as blogging killers. I want to explore today is blogging still relevant for today? If it is, why should we consider blogging. Particularly, I want to talk a little bit about from the perspective of a business or a person who wants to build a business so whether it be an existing brick and mortar business, why should they be blogging? Whether it’s an online business, why an online business should be blogging, and even someone hoping to build a business whose looking to get into starting a business, or an individual looking to sell themselves in some way because essentially, that’s a business too.
For me, the answer to this question really comes out of my own experience of the last 13 or so years of blogging and the benefits that it has brought me. I didn’t start out with the intent of starting a business. I started blogging just to express myself. That’s a completely legitimate way to do it, but what I found in turning that self expression into building a personal brand and business is that it really boils down to what Bob Burg said in his famous quote, “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to, people that they know, like, and trust.”
Know, like, and trust. It’s a catchphrase that gets used a lot in marketing at the moment. Almost every conference I go to, people talk about how to become known, liked, and trusted because that’s how you get people to buy from you.
As I look back over the last 13 years of creating content on a regular basis, that helps people. It’s helped me to become known. The fact that I went to a conference last week and people came out within minutes of walking into the room and began to talk to me as if they knew me. It was a little bit bizarre, I have to say, but it’s also a powerful thing. What’s more amazing to me is that they not only knew of me, but they spoke to me on a deeper level like they knew me. This takes a little getting used to. The first time it happens, it does freak you out a little bit.
I remember many years ago going to a conference, I think it was Blog World Expo and someone came up to me and gave me this huge hug and began to pour out their heart to me like they would pour out their heart to a friend that they had for many years.
It was the first time that I realized that by creating content that was useful to this person over a couple of years, and them reading everyday, seeing videos of me, seeing my photos, me sharing some of the stories of my life, they actually felt like they knew me. They felt like they are in some sort of a relationship with me, purely platonic, but there was this relationship there. I had this deep connection like we shared a journey together, like we shared experiences together. That they’d go to that next level of not only knowing of me, but knowing me, liking me, and trusting me.
For me, this is the case for blogging. It’s all about the ‘relationship’ and I use that word relationship in inverted commas because it’s not a real two way relationship. I didn’t know that person really at all, it’s the beginning of a relationship.
There are of course many secondary benefits of blogging that would interest any business. Blogging can really be great for Search Engine Optimization. As we talked about a couple of episodes ago, it can be really great for driving traffic to your business and for converting that traffic into leads.
It can be great for helping you to build authority and credibility. It can be great for helping to personalize your brand which is something I think many businesses struggle with. Today, people are very suspicious of brands so a blog can help you to breakthrough that.
Blogs are great for creating feelings for social media. What do people do on social media? They share content, they share links. So if you are creating content, it’s great for not only your social media accounts but other people’s as well. All of these things are fantastic, but for me they’re all secondary to the relationship thing.
The blogs do help you to become known, liked, and trusted. They also, on the flipside of that, help you to express that you know your customer. You can show your customer that you know their needs, you know their problems, that you like them, that you trust them. That’s a very powerful thing as well. It takes this know, like, trust thing to the next level if you can create content that not only helps you to become known, liked, and trusted, but the way you reverse that, you show your customer that you know them, that you like them, that you trust them through sharing stories and being transparent with your customer. That shows that you trust them.
These things are very powerful. I love what Marcus Sheridan from the Sales Lion says. I came across this quote a year or so ago now. He said, “Honest and transparent content is the greatest sales and trust building tool in the world. Period.” Honest and transparent content is the greatest trust building tool in the world, period. I completely agree with that so I think we can agree that creating content on a regular basis that changes people’s lives helps us in business, but here’s the question. Is blogging the only way to do this? Has it been superseded by all of these other things?
Can’t podcasting help to build trust? Can’t YouTube help to build trust? Can’t Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, LinkedIn, Email, all of these other platforms. Messaging, Snapchat, can’t they help to build trust?
The obvious answer is yes. All of these things can be useful in building a relationship, establishing trust, helping you to become known, liked, and trusted. There are examples of individuals using all of the mediums that I’ve just mentioned as their primary vehicle for building their business and brand, so why should you be blogging today if you can use all of other platforms?
Let me say four things. Three main things and then I’m going to come back to blogging with the fourth thing.
Firstly, it partly comes down to where you create your best content as to what platform you want to use. What will your primary vehicle be? Are you better with the written word or are you better with speaking? Are you better at presenting to the camera? Are you great at creating visual content or something else? Your style and voice should determine what mediums you’d choose as your primary vehicle.
Number two, where is your audience? How do they prefer to consume content? Some demographics prefer to read some demographics. Some groups of people prefer to listen. Some prefer to watch. Where is your audience? This is one of the factors you need to consider when you work out what is your primary vehicle.
The third thing is what does your topic work best with? Some topics need visuals, others don’t. Other topics need a personal hand holding, so you appearing on camera might be comforting to people. I guess those are the three factors. Your voice and style, what your audience prefers, and the topic itself.
These three things should give you some hints as to what vehicle to use and create content on, but here’s the really important factor. You should always strongly consider using your blog even if the written word isn’t your primary vehicle. I would argue that everyone should consider a blog.
You may not decide to go with it and you certainly can have success by being a YouTuber, or being a podcaster, or being a Facebooker, or whatever it is. There’s these examples of people who have used just one network alone. But I believe that you should strongly consider a blog alongside any of those other vehicles.
This podcast is hosted on a blog. You can embed your videos on a blog. You can host any kind of visual content on a blog. By having a blog, you are not constrained to just one medium either. If you are just a YouTuber and you just want to create some written content, where are you going to do that? Where are you going to host that?
By having a blog, you can dabble in different types of media which as we explored in the last podcast will appeal to different learning styles.
The other good thing about having a blog on your domain or own service is that you have complete control over your home base. Always, you should be wary of making your primary vehicle third-party destination because the rules can be changed in those places. You can be locked out of those places in some way. You want to drive people to home base.
You might want to choose to host your content in other places as well as your blog, but I believe you should always be pointing people back to your home base and a blog is a great home base.
Let me give you some examples here that illustrate how people are using different vehicles, different mediums, but also having a blog as their homebase. Check out ZenPencils.com, Gavin is a great Melbourne blogger. His primary medium is cartoons. He’s an amazing cartoonist. He takes quotes and puts them into cartoon form, that’s a really motivational place. He’s created some great visual content, but they are all hosted and based around his blog. He’s always driving people back to his blog.
Checkout LisaEldridge.com. Lisa is a UK YouTuber. She uses YouTube extensively. She talks about makeup, beauty products. She also uses Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She’s got hundreds of thousands of followers in each of those networks. Her YouTube clips get hundreds of thousands of views and I suspect most people are viewing them on YouTube, but she’s also constantly driving people back to her blog where she posts all of her videos and other content that she is producing. Go and check it out, it’s a great home base. She’s very active in all of these different networks, but she’s driving people back to her home base.
Check out JayBaer.com. Jay has built a great personal brand around his speaking and book writing, but he is also a prolific podcaster. You can find him on iTunes, he’s got over 400 podcasts hosted on iTunes and all of the other podcast networks. But he also constantly drives people back to his blog where you can find every episode hosted there. You can listen to them there as well as find all of his written content.
Check out iSocialFanz. Bryan Fanzo, another good example of a personal brand. Bryan is huge on every live streaming network that you can think of, but you guessed it, he posts his replays to his Periscope and his Blabs alongside other kinds of content, visual content and written content on his blog.
Blogs are not dead. Blogs are still relevant today, but they have changed. They are no longer just about the written word. They can be home for all of the content that you are publishing on all of these different platforms that people do say is killing blogging.
Consider a blog, you may also consider other platforms and you do need to access your style, your voice, your audience, and the topic itself but consider having a home base and consider building it on a blog that you have complete control over your own domain, on your own service, and using a platform like WordPress.org which you have complete control of.
Marcus, I hope that answers your question. If you do have any other questions, you can find me on the Anchor app and ask your question there as a comment replying to any of my anchors waves. I will put a link in the show notes to all of those blogs that I mentioned as examples as well as my Anchor account. I will do a podcast at some point in the future on the topic of Anchor, but in the meantime check it out and do a search for Darren Rowse and you’ll find me there.
Also posted on the show notes today is a little post that I wrote on the topic of Anchor recently as well. For those of you who are completely confused by that, I really look forward to chatting with you in the next couple of days in Episode 99 and presenting to you Episode 100, our milestone.
Who would have thought that we’ll make it this far? I really do appreciate you listening. It’s been fantastic actually in the last few weeks to see our download numbers really starting to escalate, thank you so much. I do appreciate all of you listening, but also the comments that you are leaving on the show notes.
You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/98.
You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @problogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.
How did you go with today’s episode?
If you would like to ask a question for the podcast, you can find me on anchor. Just do a search for Darren Rowse. I’d love to hear from you.
Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts below.