Is blogging still a thing? Hell no.


Photo: Jonathan Daroca (CC)

In honor of my 11th anniversary in blogging this month, I’ve written a two-part post. The first part, Hell yes, ran Monday on Birmingham Blogging Academy.

Blogging shouldn’t still be a thing. Most blogs are terrible, and most corporate blogs are ghost towns.

Why bother?

After all, we have easier and quicker ways to build an audience. It’s a minefield to negotiate placement and ads with big-name bloggers, and we have to deal with issues from credibility to hacking to FTC regulations.

This isn’t the time to start a blog, and it’s a perfect moment to escape blogging for longtime practitioners. Let me give you four good reasons to shun blogging.

1. Blogging can’t compete with the buzz around social media. Your boss thinks social media is all the rage, but has no idea why or how. It’s an argument marketers have been losing for years.

The numbers don’t hold up when comparing social media-driven sales to other tactics. But we no longer live in a world where persuasive arguments can be made on facts, if that reality ever even existed.

It’s easy to set up a Facebook page and share a sentence or a photo or a link every other day than to go through the multiple steps to post to a blog. Your boss will never visit your blog; she might accidentally stumble across your approved corporate Facebook update.

She will certainly see a competitor’s Facebook update and ask why we aren’t doing this, too.

2. Blogging requires more time than available for marketing and public relations teams. For starters, those teams are busy managing the social media accounts, and possibly the email campaigns and maybe trying to squeeze out a media release or two.

As a former newspaperman, I can tell you that getting a story from idea to print (or Web) each day of the year was nothing short of a small miracle. And we supposedly knew what we were doing.

Pity the poor marketer who must navigate the maze of approvals, from legal to human resources to supervisors to the CEO herself. It takes time to develop ideas, even longer to develop good ones, time to create the post or time to farm it out to a freelancer or agency. It takes a lot of time to learn the software and time to upload one stinking photo.

I don’t want to think about all the time I spent blogging that could’ve gone to fighting polio or rescuing baby skunks.

3. Blogging requires more money than anticipated. Obviously, the first investment is installing the blog on your existing company site, plus training for staffers who’ll use it. Perhaps some of that money comes from funds otherwise earmarked for traditional media buys or tech upgrades.

You spend money on stock photos, graphic design and freelancers. You can calculate the total company investment by labor hours times salaries. Our speaker Laura Creekmore reviewed all areas for content development that require money during her presentation. It adds up quickly.

4. Email marketing still works. Most companies don’t have a blog, but they do have customer lists. Some are even cleared for use in email campaigns.

If marketers must spend time and money developing content, putting it directly in front of an invested audience is a great strategy. It’s not as sexy as social media, but neither is blogging.

Consistent email marketing brings customers along the sales cycle, keeping them connected to dynamic brands. It requires effort to build the list and to learn the email software, but it’s effective.

Those four reasons are enough to make anyone reconsider the blogging path. Strong marketing involves a mix of options in reaching your particular audience. Pick the ones that make sense, not the ones handed down by experts and advocates.

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About Wade Kwon

Wade Kwon is conference director for Y'all Connect. See his full bio.

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