One might think that blogging is dead in 2020, but if one thought that, one would be wrong. Blogs are still alive and well with many reasons why you should continue to put effort into it. And if you don’t yet have a blog, you might want to consider starting one.
Why? As just mentioned, there are many reasons, which I’ll get into in a minute, but first, let’s look at how blogs have changed over time.
A brief history of the blog
The first blog was published in 1994 at Links.net by Justin Hall although, at that time, the term “blog” didn’t exist. It would be three years later, in 1997, when the term “weblog” was coined which ultimately got shortened to “blog.”
A lot has changed since then, both in who blogs and how we do it. Today, many businesses invest heavily in blogs as a part of their overall content strategy and for good reason.
Blogs are a tool that can help you not only attract your target audience but also establish yourself as an authority in your field. But, it takes time, effort, and consistency.
Long gone are the days when you could publish a 400-word article, stuff it with keywords, and be done.
Of course, blogs still help with your search engine optimization (SEO) but there’s much more that goes into a well-crafted blog article than keywords alone.
For instance, word count is important. Consider this statistic: in 2016, the average word count of a blog article was 1,054 . Three years later, in 2019, that number increased to 1,692, according to SearchMetrics .
What does that mean? It means that longer blog posts get more attention from Google because the search engine is placing an emphasis on quality and valuable content. In other words, longer blog articles that are helpful to the reader receive a higher rank than short, fluff pieces.
“But Wendy, I don’t want to write super long blog posts every week!”
Don’t worry. You don’t have to write 1,200+ word blog articles every time, but you do want to make sure that you thoroughly cover the items and ideas in a clear and concise manner in any blog post you write.
That takes time.
In fact, it makes sense that if blog articles are getting longer and they need to be focused on value-driven content, the time it takes to write each article is also taking longer. Consider this: in 2014, the amount of time it took to draft a blog article was 2 hours and 24 minutes. In 2019, it was 3 hours and 57 minutes.
Reasons why you should blog
So now that we covered a bit about the history of blogs and what needs to go into a well-crafted blog article, you may be wondering why in the world anyone would want to carve out the time to do it.
Remember, about 77% of people online still read blogs, and those folks are loyal to their favorite brands. And even if your brand isn’t one of their favorites yet, those folks read blogs to learn about companies, products or services. They are dependent on that content to get informed and educated. Keep in mind that six out of 10 people purchase a product after reading a blog post about it.
If that’s not enough reason, websites with blogs get 424% higher chance of being ranked highly on search engines than websites that don’t, according to Tech Client, and businesses that include blogs as part of their overall content strategy get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
It’s not all numbers
Let’s not only focus on numbers. Let’s discuss some of the other reasons your business should have a blog.
The blog content you work so hard to create can be used over and over again. In fact, you don’t just post it and forget it. Sure, you promote it on your social media channels, but there’s so much more you can do with it. You can slice and dice the content into bite-sized chunks and spoon feed your social media audience over and over.
Another plus for blogs is that people trust the information they see on them. Did you know that 68% of blog readers believe the blog adds credibility to your website? That’s because your blog is where you can explore the human angle of your business and find your voice. It’s where you can display your personality and empathize with your audience. It’s a place that lets you differentiate yourself from your competition and enhance your credibility.
OK, so you know why you should blog, but you can’t just sit down and start banging out content. Well, you could but that wouldn’t be the most productive approach. In our next article, we’ll discuss ways to go about planning and creating content for your blog.
Till then, reach out if you have any questions, and if you liked this article, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter where I share three quick tips to help you create incredible content.