Here we go again, another article about the death of blogging. These posts come around more regularly than news announcing that red wine is good for you and that sharks have been spotted off the English coast.
The headlines are usually the same. Google is suppressing organic search to boost advertising. So instead of frequent, short articles, you should be building up your newsletter email list, lead magnet content or evergreen long-form articles.
Look, all of these elements play a valuable role in an all-round content marketing strategy.
But the suggestion that you shouldn’t be writing news-style updates for your website on a regular basis misses the point. Shorter articles of between 500 and 1,000 words are the steppingstones towards publishing a newsletter and drafting an eBook.
They’re also good for SEO, help cement your reputation as an expert in your niche and, most of all, they’re fun.
Here are ten reasons why the death of blogging is greatly exaggerated.
1. 500 words a day keeps your writing muscles in shape: If you’re training for a marathon (or a 5,000-word article) you don’t go long distance every day. But staying fit and alert means that when the time comes, you’ll have the stamina to complete the long-form writing challenge.
2. Write chapters, not novels: Many of my longer articles are based on a series of blogs that follow common themes including business-to-business marketing, artificial intelligence, social media and influencer marketing. In some cases, I plan the longer article beforehand and publish the chapters separately to drum up interest while I wait for best time to publish the longer piece.
3. Packing a punch: From experience, it's much easier to maintain a crisp, clear tone of voice when writing to a deadline. I’m generally more focused and in the flow when typing for an hour or so compared with a two-day stretch to write a longer piece.
4. Building a reputation: There are plenty of ways to remind your audience of the topics and formats where you specialize. Sharing curated content and engaging with other experts is a good way to start. But if you want to build your reputation, original and frequent content is the most effective route available.
5. Newsletter content: If you’re going to publish a newsletter every week, you need fresh content to keep your audience attentive. Not every article that you link to will be 500-1,000 words long, but blogs are still the best way to offer quality and choice.
6. More internal links: The more articles that you publish, the greater the opportunity to add internal links. From an SEO perspective, this gives Google a clearer idea of the structure of your website, your main content themes, and the most popular articles.
7. Publish fresh content regularly: This doesn’t automatically mean a leap up the search rankings. But it does trigger Google’s algorithms to rank and re-rank your website as quality and trending content appears.
8. Power up pillar pages: Search-engine friendly pillar pages depend on ‘content clusters’ that increase your chances of appearing on page one of the search results. You’ll eventually need a mix of formats that includes video, podcasts and long-reads, but a cluster of search-friendly blogs is a good start.
9. Blogging for fun: When I flick through the newswires every morning, I always find at least one article with which I agree or disagree strongly. Writing five hundred words is a surefire way to get a load off of your chest. I also find that when I write from an emotional standpoint it triggers other ideas that go on to a list of future articles.
10. Building an archive of social posts: When I post on social, I follow the rule of thirds. One-third curated content including retweets, one-third engagement with posts (replies), and one-third based on my original articles. Every time I add a new blog, I add two or three posts to my Google Doc archive so that I can publish and recycle regularly on Twitter and LinkedIn.
As I mentioned, I’m not downplaying the importance of newsletters and lead magnets at the expense of blogs. In fact, I’m launching both shortly. I’m just saying that it’s not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to give up blogging to create a newsletter and vice-versa. True, you might have to concentrate harder and find more efficient ways to generate extra content, but that’s a topic for an entirely separate article!