Blogs are informational websites that have a series of individual posts about different topics. Most businesses have a blog section on their websites that give information about their industry as well as business and product updates.
Blogging has traditionally been a major aspect of online marketing with 55% of marketers in 2020 stating that blogs are their top priority for inbound marketing. So, is blogging still relevant as 2021 approaches? Keep reading for our in-depth discussion on the importance of blogs in the current era.
Why is blogging important for your digital marketing strategy? An informative blog on your website gives your visitors the incentive to keep coming back for updated content.
Without a blog, most of your visitors have no reason to visit your site again after they get the information they were looking for. Blogs are also one of the best ways of creating brands online and increasing awareness about a new business, product or service. A professionally written blog will feature on the first page of search engine results for people looking for that type of information.
Once someone lands on your blog they will stay and look at what else is on the site and may even convert into a customer. To add to this, posting a blog is free so the return on investments for blogs is quite high.
The final reason why blogs are important is that you own the content on your blog as it is on your website. This is better than relying on sites like YouTube or Facebook where you are at the mercy of the social media platform and they can shut down your page or delete your content without your permission.
In the last few years, many social media influencers have complained of censorship and interference from social media platforms. This is why they are creating their own websites and blogs.
The last five years have seen an explosion in the usage of social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Social media platforms now allow users to post articles, videos, and images to thousands of followers who can then share the content with their own followers. So, with all these options is blogging still relevant? The answer remains yes.
Whenever you need information on something, you probably do a google search for it. On the results page, you then skip over all the ads at the start of the results page to click on the first organic website on the list. This is usually a blog. So, for the time being, blogging isn’t going anywhere.
But blogging isn’t as lucrative as it was 10 years ago. There is much more competition for audiences. There are over 152 million blogs on the internet as well as an increasing number of social media platforms drawing the attention of internet users.
So, people are reading blogs but only the best content on the internet will get an audience. What types of blogs succeed and which ones have become irrelevant? Keep reading to find out.
There is no doubt that most long-time bloggers have seen a drop in their audience numbers due to increased competition and changing search engine algorithms. Traffic building strategies that worked just five years ago are now obsolete and may even harm your Google rankings. Here are some blogging practices you need to let go of in 2021.
When blogs first came out in the ’90s, there was little content. People enjoyed reading personal stories from their favorite bloggers. But in 2021 if you want entertainment you are more likely to go to YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.
Personal content is now in plenty on social media where its consumption is easier and more enjoyable than reading a blog. So if you want to post a story about your experience at a restaurant or your baby’s first words, post these on your social media pages rather than your blog.
Another practice to let go of is clickbait headings. We are all tired of clicking on links such as “the funniest pictures you will ever see in your life” only to be disappointed when you get to the site.
Search engines have gotten better at noting our annoyances and punishing websites that use clickbait to attract an audience. Avoid this practice as it leads to a high bounce rate from your blog which lowers its ranking on search engines.
In the early days of blogging it was also a recommended practice to post many blogs. The more blogs you posted the more traffic you generated.
But with millions of blogs online, search engines are now rewarding blogs with high quality, long-form posts of between 2,250 to 2500 words. Of course, you should still have regular blog posts to keep your website current but the focus should be on quality, not quantity.
For your blog to succeed in 2021 it’s beneficial to be niched down rather than generic. People online are looking for specific information for their specific problems and they will prefer to get this from a specific subject expert. Blogs that are niche-specific and geared towards a particular demographic or target segment will be more successful.
Now that you know what doesn’t work, it’s time to learn the strategies that will help you create a successful blog.
To get the most out of a blog in 2021 and beyond, it’s best to set it up the right way from the beginning. Many people start blogs on free platforms, but this isn’t advisable as it means that you don’t fully own your content or audience. If the company hosting your blog decides to shut down, they will take your blog and audience with them.
So, if you want to start a blog invest in creating one on your own website. This will allow you to choose a personalized domain such as your name, the name of your company, or the name of your blogging subject. You can also choose better hosting and have more flexibility with your blog designs and content.
All successful businesses know the importance of knowing who your target market is and creating products and services that meet their needs, think corporate storytelling. The same is true for blogging. Bloggers that are succeeding in the modern age create very niche content for a specific type of user.
For example, rather than visiting a mainstream website like Cosmopolitan, most ladies now get fashion and beauty advice from bloggers from the same demographic as them. It is easier to trust advice from someone that looks like you.
You can start by going after a subject matter that you are passionate about and then write for a certain demographic in mind. As you get an audience you can do your research to find out who your tribe is and what they are looking for. You may need to tailor your content even more to the different types of people that visit your blog.
For instance, you may find that your audience has both stay-at-home moms and career moms. So you could create separate email lists for the different groups with content and offers that will be more interesting for them.
Secondly, you will have to be active on at least one of the major social media platforms to engage with, and grow your audience. The average American spends over 2 hours daily on social media and the number of social media users has grown to over 3.96 billion globally.
Many people access all the content they need from their favorite bloggers on a single social media platform such as Facebook or YouTube. If you aren’t active on Social Media, you risk getting forgotten by your followers as some of them rarely visit blogs to get new content.
Just like investors should not put their eggs in one basket, bloggers must also diversify their traffic sources to survive beyond 2021. If one site goes down at least you can continue having an audience on other platforms. Almost everyone has a Facebook account so you should create a Facebook account for your blog.
You can then choose another platform depending on the type of content you create and where your audience spends most of their time. For instance, if your blog is a fitness blog then YouTube would be a great place to show your workouts.
Something else you can do to increase the relevancy of your blog is to add video content. In 2019, internet users spent an average of six hours and 48 minutes per week watching video─ a 59% increase from 3 years prior. As a society, we are reading less and prefer listening to or watching our content. If they visit your blog and you have a video post as well as text content you are giving them options to engage with you as they prefer.
Embedding videos on your blogs will reduce your bounce rate and increase the amount of time people spend on your website. This increases the SEO rankings of your blog so that when someone Googles for content that you have written, your blogs will appear on the first page of search results.
Another importance of video content is that it builds trust with your audience and cements their loyalty to your brand. Appearing on video will display your personality and mannerisms and people that like your character will be more willing to engage with your blog. Of course, people that find you annoying will click out of your content fast. But having a successful blog means that you will have haters.
Whenever people do a Google search, they are looking for knowledge and information. In case they want entertainment, they will go to their social media platforms. So, to feature on the first page of Google search results, your blogs should be educative.
So, what does high-quality blog content look like? First, it must answer questions that people are searching for. There are several keyword research tools such as Answer the Public which can help you figure out what your audience wants to know. You can also go on social media groups dedicated to your niche and read posts and comments to find out the hot topics and unanswered questions in your subject area.
Great content is also professionally written and easy to read. Consider taking copywriting and content writing classes to ensure that your writing is above average. Another feature of great content is that it is regularly updated with the latest information. Bloggers that write their posts once and forget about them may see their rankings slip further away from the first page as more updated content takes over.
Something else you shouldn’t ignore as a blogger is having a subscriber email list for email marketing or periodical newsletters. Your engagement with your social media followers is in the hands of the social media platform.
Even organic traffic to your website is controlled by search engine algorithms. But once you get people to subscribe to your mailing list, you can control how to engage with them. You can build trust with your subscribers over time making it easier to convert them to buying customers.
Another tip to succeed as a blogger in 2021 and beyond is to find successful bloggers that are doing what you want to do and learn from them. If possible, you could even get a mentor to guide you on what you need to do to succeed. Many successful bloggers have training and coaching programs to help newcomers succeed in the industry.
Blogging is not dead─ it is more important than ever. But to have a relevant blog in 2021 you must put in the work to become the subject matter expert in your niche. You should use modern blogging strategies such as embedding video in your blogs and posting your content across many social media platforms.
If you’re looking to build quality content for your blog, feel free to contact us today.