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Is blogging dying?
Is it still worth starting a blog today?
Will blogs soon become a distant thing of the past?
You’d be surprised how often questions like these are asked. As a matter of fact, people have been wondering if we’re approaching the end every single year, without fail. Since blogging first entered the mainstream, people have predicted its demise.
The answer however, is not so clear.
It hinges entirely as what we actually consider to be blogging. In one set of circumstances, a new blogger will never get off the ground. In another, their blog can take them to unimaginable successes.
The difference? How you position yourself in the marketplace.
What Is Blogging Anyway?
The word blogging has changed a lot over the past 10 years.
In the early days of blogging, the format was generally associated with journal like entries. This is part of the reason blog articles have always had dates associated with their posts. The word blog itself stemmed from the phrase ‘web log.’
These days however, anybody publishing content on their website regularly can be referred to as a blogger – regardless of the type of articles published.
Considering WordPress – the world’s most popular blogging content management system accounts for over 30% of the world’s websites, it’s fair to say blogging has truly evolved into something huge.
Is Blogging Dead?
Over the years, the landscape has changed. The way we consume content has changed. The world in its entirety has changed.
However, one thing has remained constant:
If you are able to capture somebody’s attention and engage them thoroughly, than you have something valuable.
The difference between bloggers that succeed, and those that do not, is a thorough understanding of this fact.
Your blog can not be a means to an end. It is simply a platform to capture and direct attention.
In this sense, blogging can never die out, so long as people continue reading articles on the internet. Because if you have that attention, you should be able to monetize it in some way – even if it means pushing people to a more profitable platform.
See this video for more information about this concept:
However, the blogosphere has become a far more competitive place than it used to be.
Publishing articles on its own probably won’t be enough to stand out and truly become memorable among the crowd of others in your niche.
People don’t follow blogs as religiously as they did in the past. There is simply too much valuable content on the internet today, and people are impatient.
Therefore, your strategy needs to extend beyond just your own site.
Instead of becoming a blogger, I ask you to think of yourself differently – as someone building a personal brand.
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can move beyond your own blog, and build yourself as a true authority figure in your niche!
1. Get People Off Of Your Site
100,000 visitors a day to your website means absolutely nothing, if all of those people click away and forget about you moments later.
Ironically, blog content should push for some sort of content that is away from your site.
Again, people don’t follow blogs as strongly as they used to, and chances are people aren’t going to come back unless you are able to get in front of them again.
On my site, you may notice that I strongly push people to sign up to my email list.
It is probably the primary goal of my blog content – at least for first-time visitors. I prioritize email signups even over course sales when it comes to my articles, and typically push towards subscribing to my newsletter much harder.
I want people coming back and consuming more of my content here… but they’re never going to know about it unless I can connect with them somewhere else. Somewhere they’re already spending time.
My email newsletter encourages people to check out my best posts anyway, which gives me a much bigger opportunity to build connection. It’s only at this point where people typically feel comfortable enough to buy one of my products.
Hoping that people will return to your site just because you have incredible content simply won’t work. People will forget about you by tomorrow unless you’re able to connect with them further.
2. Position The Brand First
Whether this is a company’s brand or a personal brand, you need to ensure that branding remains one of the primary goals of your content.
The dictionary defines branding as ‘marking in a way that cannot be removed or forgotten.’
Are you really doing that?
Memorability is insanely important, which is why it’s important to be unique.
Those who do what everybody else does will be easily forgotten.
This is why it’s so important to hold strong opinions, and not be afraid to piss people off. You need people to get fired up about something – whether they feel good about it, or they feel bad about it, they need to feel something.
The world’s most famous and most successful people are hated by a huge chunk of the population. It was these same acts that caused another huge chunk to love them.
You can’t build a connection while being neutral about everything.
Identify what your core values and beliefs are, then play these heavily in your messaging. Let your brand’s personality shine through.
You will naturally attract people that resonate with you, and the people that don’t like your message will naturally shy away towards others. This is okay, and a sign that you’re holding a position strong enough to warrant such actions.
Once you’ve identified your messages, you need to make these known. Often.
3. Be Seen And Heard From Often
You need people running into you when they aren’t expecting it.
This is why social media is so powerful. It gives you an opportunity to get your message in front of people when they otherwise wouldn’t be thinking about you and your company.
In today’s day and age, it could be argued that having a strong social strategy place is almost – perhaps even more important than having a strong blogging or content marketing strategy in place.
There are entire businesses built off the backs of websites like Instagram and Pinterest. While it’s never a good idea to rely too heavily on a third-party platform, this should attest to the power these networks alone can have when utilized correctly.
However, your strategy can’t end there.
In addition to social media, you should consider repurposing the content you’re already writing for other networks, such as YouTube or a podcast.
For example, I utilize each blog post as a script for my audio blog. I take the main points and make them into a SlideShare. These two things are combined and added to YouTube. Key points will be made into my ‘business tip of the day’, which is shared on all of my social networks.
Each one of these things offers further discoverability, and may get in front of people who have not seen the content anywhere else.
Then, you need to get each one of these platforms working together in a complete system.
Get new social media followers to visit your website. From there, entice them into signing up for your email newsletter, which you can use to send people back to your site. In your articles, embed relevant YouTube videos from your channel, and encourage people to subscribe.
Through each one of these, you brand yourself further and can subtly make your audience aware of the products you have to offer. You also ensure that regardless of where your audience spends their time, you will be there, ready to deliver value.
With the internet as large as it is today, you can no longer get by if you are only acting as a blogger.
You need to be out there, showing up wherever your audience is, delivering your message, with whatever medium is best suited for that platform.
Between social sites, YouTube, email, podcasts, forums, and everywhere else your audience is already spending their time – the majority of your content today should actually be off of your website, not on it.
I hope this message has resonated with you. I’d love to hear more about how you plan to shape your content strategy going forward, to ensure you’re better achieving the goals you have for your business this year.
Finally, if you’re interested in learning the exact steps I use to distribute my content as wide as possible, I strongly encourage you to opt into my free, 7-day traffic building email course. For a limited time, I’m also sending a 36-slide master deck focusing on content repurposing, that discusses my exact strategy in detail.
I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about it!
To your success,
– James McAllister
Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)