The popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snap, and TikTok have led to a number of people asking if blogging is dead.
You may think it is, after all, when is the last time someone pointed you to their blog? A blog is a shortened version of web log or a type of online diary. However, as social media platforms gained in popularity, many moved their diaries into a different, more visual format, like Instagram pictures (static images), YouTube (free form videos), TikTok (also free form video), or Snap / Instagram Stories (images or videos that disappear in 24 hours). Yet is blogging dead? Here are a few reasons why we think blogging is not only alive but stronger than ever.
- Despite the popularity of these visual social media platforms, two of the biggest, Facebook and Twitter still link out to blog posts. Hundreds of stories are being shared via these platforms and while they do not remind users of traditional blogs, they are! In fact, when we look at links that are shared across these platforms, it is a long tail distribution. The majority of links that are shared are from a wide variety of sites. These niche blogs appeal to niche audiences which is the backbone of Internet segmentation, and leads to better monetization. (More on that in a later point).
- When people want to buy something, they know exactly what they want. They aren’t going to be thumbing through social media for it, they turn to the most efficient search tool ever created, Google Search. It is in this final step though where sales are won and lost. Search Engine Optimization is still an important marketing tool for businesses and blogs are of the utmost importance and value here. Whether a product review, an anecdote, or a how-to tutorial, blogs offer additional insight into a product or service when the buyer is ready, as opposed to social media which is seen as more of a discovery tool. On top of this, blogs can continue to be evergreen and be resurrected as opposed to the timeline based medium of social media.
- Advertising is a continuation of being able to place custom scripts on blog platforms. You cannot monetize your influence on social media sites, although this is changing slowly with Instagram and YouTube has had a partner program for high traffic creators. On blog platforms you can choose the right advertising formats, exchanges, sizes, and more that fit your aesthetics, audiences, and desire. On top of that, Google AdSense, for example, let’s anyone monetize their site; minimum payments start at $100.
- While people are slowly dismissing diminishing production values, the written word is still an easier medium to command attention with. Five minutes in front of a camera can feel like an eternity while a five minute article might not seem like much. Not everyone was born with the Hollywood “It” quality. Further, in pre-COVID moments, when we were all in the office, it is much easier to read a post than it is to watch a video. Finally, text allows you to skim while it is hard to watch videos in a “x2” state.
Blogging is hardly dead. While new visual formats are expanding on the scene, the old format of words still commands among the tech heavyweights, Facebook and Google. As long as we have a keyboard to type words, and inputs into most search engines are words, words have a long way to go. It will be a while before we can claim that the blog is dead. (Make sure you adhere to the GDPR though!)