There’s a little something that dies in the soul of a marketer with a long history in social media consulting when he realizes it’s been almost two months since his last blog post. Using the holidays as an excuse can only get you so far too. I contemplated waiting until April and using tax preparation as an excuse but then I’d have to turn in my social media credibility card if I did that and I’d prefer to hang onto it.
Is Blogging Dead?
I’ve had a blog since June, 2006. This thing is older than two of my three children. Fortunately blogs aren’t like children. They don’t die when you neglect to feed them them…or do they?
According to my Google Analytics my traffic hasn’t changed a lot over the last six months. It’s held surprisingly steady. According to Feedburner I still have about the same number of subscribers I had many months ago. So in that regard the blog is just as active as it was last year.
But in general, blog reading seems to be on the decline. Though this is highly qualitative in nature, even the most die hard blog readers I know say they read vastly fewer blogs than they used to. Can we blame Google’s assassination of Reader for this? Probably not but it’s a good scape goat if you need one.
Time is the Issue
It really boils down to time. It takes a lot more time to create a blog post. You have to think about it. Edit it. Proofread it (though I like to skip this step for “authenticity” which actually means I’m “in a hurry” or “lazy” or “just ready to move on”). Tag it. Categorize it. Do some SEO hocus pocus and then, finally, publish it. That’s dangerously close to feeling like work.
It takes time to read most blog posts too. Almost every blog strategy will tell you to create shorter posts. Use bullet points. Add plenty of photos. Make sure you have multiple sub-headlines. Heck, I’ve told a bunch of people that stuff too. I think I might even believe it. People don’t have the time, or so we say, to read a long post.
But that’s crap really. I mean we live in a day and age when binge watching a season of Mad Men over a weekend is virtually a sport. We make time for the stuff we want to do. If I’m honest with myself I didn’t really want to blog for the last two months. It just came down to choosing other things.
So is blogging dead? For some people it absolutely is but I think we’re going to see the solidification of good, interesting, informative blogging. The only people who are going to stick with it are those who see a benefit personally or feel like they have an audience.
The fact that blogging well and consistently is hard is actually a wonderful barrier to keeping the less committed people out. Likewise, the time to read a blog and keep coming back to it requires commitment too. How much more valuable is the reader who returns regularly than the guy who got suckered into a linkbait post? Tons.
Blogging isn’t dead. I think if anything it’s probably going to be rediscovered down the road as this great platform for reaching the kind of people you want to be connected to and that’s all it was ever meant to do in the first place.