Blogs are not dead. Here’s why
Once upon a time, there was a popular, periodic type of public diary, where people from many different backgrounds and spectrums of interest wrote their ideas, on the Internet. In time, the blogger gradually rose as a new profession, captivating the attention of readers and brands as a new space for the digital community where dialogue was the norm. As for the present, however, the reality we face is drastically different: a mere glance at the Google Trends’ graphs regarding blog-related search terms reflects their considerable decrease in popularity. That being said, would it be sensible to declare that blogs are dead for good, in 2021?
At a first glance, a prominent factor seems to have risen as the main rival of the blogosphere: with more than 3.6 billion users worldwide, and expectations of reaching 4.41 billion in 2025, according to Statista, the centrality of social media platforms in today’s society is undeniable. In them, we can detect some type of vertigo of immediatism, which has brought us the richness of real-time communication. Especially in these pandemic times, we are increasingly craving more intense and instantaneous communication, in the name of a deeper sense of community and closeness, and these are, undoubtedly, particularly positive traits which distinguish social media platforms from blogs.
Even so, according to Statista, the number of blogs created in the United States still registers a daily growth, having reached a total of 31.7 million at the end of 2019 — which shows the way social media platforms cannot fully replace blogs as a communication medium, for their own prerogatives. To begin with, as they randomly conglomerate people from every context, social media platforms display a higher level of irrationality directly associated with the nature of crowds, as Byung-Chul Han explores in his literary work. In a blog, the content comprises a distinct format — usually translated into longer texts and the inclusion of audio-visuals — which incites more thought behind its planning and editing. Also, their comment sections are less accessible, preventing more effectively some inconvenient and belligerent opinion manifestations. Besides, we should not forget the ephemerality of the shared content in social media — the Instagram Stories and tweets may end up being the most flagrant examples, playing with algorithmically agile fluxes of posts one swiftly discards.
Nonetheless, there are other particular traits of blogs that surpass the mere comparison with social media platforms. Firstly, the growing trend of content marketing. According to a recent SEMRush survey, 84% of the inquired group of companies, agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations have a content marketing strategy, and 89% elect their organic content — yes, we are talking blogs, here — as their most effective distribution channel. In fact, nowadays, many studies show that Internet users who are able to find useful information regarding their topics of interest, as they search for something, are more likely to choose the brand that provides it.
This is obviously linked to an increasingly impactful segment of any current marketing strategy: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With 92.96% of global traffic coming from the Google ecosystem — and despite many speculations on the contrary –, companies are realizing the importance of search engines and consequently increasing their understanding of their dynamics: how to work alongside their algorithms, making the most of them to appear at a position as high as possible, in the results pages for their most relevant search terms. Actually, as stated by BrightEdge, 68% of online experiences begin in a search engine, and SEO is able to generate 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media
Last but not least, blogs end up being a showcase for brands and organizations to corroborate their level of authority within a certain area or subject, to Google and other search engine platforms, which rely on the quantity and quality of the content their blogs exhibit, based on dozens of different factors (interaction metrics, the density of a determined keyword within the text, etc.). They are still a key way of displaying the identity of any brand or organization online, with credibility and clarity, and demand a constant update from professionals.
Therefore, next time you think of deleting that blog of yours which needs to be taken care of, instead of doing so or leaving it there as it is, work on its improvement: the success of your brand or organization may depend, at a considerate degree, on the effort you devote to it. Blogs are, indeed, still alive and full of potential for the years yet to come.