If you look across the board, it looks like blogs are generally showing lower traffic numbers, compared to about 5 years ago.
Part of it is due to the emergence of micro blogging platforms like Twitter and social media networks like Facebook.
I’m also part of the group that finds it easier to post 50-word updates on Facebook, rather than site down to write 500-word blog post.
Does this mean that blogging is dead?
As with all things that are “dead” or soon to be dead, like SEO, PPC, Google, the announcement of their demise is premature.
While you can’t blog and do the same stuff you did a few years ago and expect the same results, some of the fundamentals remain the same.
Quality content (still) rules: People go onto the Internet for all sorts of reasons. To be entertained, to look for information, to learn stuff. If a website has quality information, it will get traffic, whether it’s on Facebook, YouTube, a blog or a standalone website like Slideshare or Lynda.com
If it’s relevant, people will go out there and get it. It’s just like casual gamers buying an X-Box to play Halo or Call of Duty. And yes, they only own that one game.
If you’re consistently putting out 500-word posts providing useful and relevant content, tightly focused around a topic (with about 10-20% allowance for off-topic and unrelated posts), you’ll find a ready audience, like my friend Mike Doyle is doing over at his PaleoRiot blog.
Integrated social media strategy: Yes, platforms like Twitter and Facebook have taken away some of the traffic which would otherwise have gone via type-in traffic to blogs. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid these platforms.
Working with them instead means you can build new fans, use the platform’s social and sharing functions to reach out to other users on the platform. By building up a Facebook Page or Twitter profile for the blog, you can aggregate traffic to your site and pull them in, especially when you’re posting announcements of new content or doing promotions like contests and giveaways to blog readers.
Think about ways in which you can “chain” various social media channels together and funnel traffic to your blog. In a sense, the blog becomes a landing page for your brand with your content engaging readers who come by.
Blog monetization: This is still key. If you can’t effectively your blog, you’re not running a business, you’re running a charity/non-profit.
Fans who like your content will want to engage more with you. If you take time to write and publish a book themed around your blog’s area of focus, it gives fans more of what they want, and gives you an opportunity to generate income from your writing.
A blog post can give you about 500 to 1,000 words worth of engagement. An ebook gives you more room to come up with 10,000 to 20,000 words worth of content and has more flexibility in terms of infographics and information you can present.
Think of the blog post as the TV series, coming out regularly, while your products, whether they’re a book, video training or coaching as the feature films or movies where you showcase your premium content.
In short, blogging still works, the game has changed. If you adapt to the changes, you will likely do even better than before.