SEO

7 Reasons Why Blogging Is Still Important in 2012

Some people would like you to think blogging as we know it is over.

They share the eye-popping numbers for Tumblr’s growth, for example: 355 million unique visitors per month, and 400 million pageviews per day. And it’s true that Twitter and Facebook have lead many people away from blogging.

But publishing content on a blog is superior to these platforms in many ways, like putting a human face on your brand, differentiating you from your competition and educating prospects and clients.

But I want to expand on seven areas that will prove essential in 2012.

Foundation for All Your Social Media Activities

Just because most of the conversation is moving off of the blogging platforms doesn’t mean that you should abandon ship. See, a blog allows you to create a base in which all of your work is anchored.

I tweet, Facebook, guest post and use Quora, but all of that would be hopelessly messy if I didn’t ground everything I did on Quick Sprout.

But you cannot fully explain yourself on Twitter. It would take me over 500 tweets to share just one of my Quick Sprout blogs with you!

A blog allows you to build a fuller picture of who you are. Most people will meet you through other places…but if they like what they read on Twitter, then they’ll follow you back to your blog and find out more about who you are.

You better have a lot of content to give them.

Build Your Brand As An Expert

Examples of tech bloggers who have used their blogs to build themselves as experts in their field are legion.

These guys and gals now command attention and lead a remarkable life influencing trends, creating breakthrough ideas and giving us some of the best information out there.

That last part is critical. These bloggers didn’t focus on themselves. They focused on publishing long-form, brilliant articles that put their talent and knowledge on display.

Being an expert is not talking about yourself. Do that and your efforts will backfire on you. In fact, as Dan Zarella explains, the more you talk about yourself the less people want to follow you.

So what should you talk about?

Before you even start writing, you first need to do intense research to find out what your audience needs. Where are the gaps that you can provide information? How can you avoid adding noise to the echo chamber and provide that amounts to a unique contribution to the web? What is it you love writing about? And is there any money in it?

Once you figure that out, you then need to clamp down and start writing. Here are 5 guides to help you:

Build Trust

People are skeptical. They are skeptical about strangers on the street and they are even more skeptical about strangers on the internet. A blog with consistent, truthful and helpful content will allow you to bridge that gap between distrust to trust.

How do you build trust? The more you can build these trust elements into your site the better:

  • Clean and beautiful design
  • Correct spelling and grammar
  • Thorough about page
  • High-quality photo of the author
  • Signs of social sharing
  • Links to trustworthy sources
  • High-quality images and visuals
  • Short, easy-to-read domain name
  • Professional logo
  • Solid, detailed content updated frequently
  • Presence of community and conversation through comments

Back when blogging was the only game in town, it was easy to build trust in a short period of time. Now it could take you six months to a year to even get a few hundred faithful followers. To be frank, it could take even longer. But be patient and persevere because the time you invest will eventually outlast those who can’t hang and you will win the trust game.

Exercise Your Creativity

You might wonder why creativity is important in a world where business and hard-hitting metrics seem to dominate, but the answer is simple: in any competitive field it is the most creative who will succeed.

Look at the rise of the infographic. By employing the use of infographics GOOD magazine got put on the map. Many businesses noticed their success and followed suit.

But they must evolve…and they only way they can do that is to employ creativity.

If you think about it, there is nothing that might lead anyone to use infographics in the early days except as a hunch. “Why not explain complex data in a simple picture?” That insight comes from someone who is constantly trying to be creative.

You can encourage those insights by blogging. Here’s how:

  • Create content that stirs up conversation and communities that generate new ideas
  • Blogging can reduce stress as you work out ideas or problems that might be weighing on your mind
  • The process of blogging unlocks hidden ideas in your own mind, leading to insights
  • Helps you maintain a focus on what needs to get done.

But ultimately, blogging will lead to growth as you learn about yourself, your audience and the world around you…leading to further creativity and profitable insights. As you can see by the examples I’ve shared, creators of great achievements always walk down this line.

Growing Stream of Organic Search Traffic

It’s hard to think that anybody would doubt the benefits of blogging to improving your organic search engine efforts, which in turns drives more traffic to your site, but in case there are any unbelievers out there…here’s the evidence:  people who’ve blogged five times in the last 7 days will get 6.9 times more search traffic.

That’s hard to ignore, don’t you think?

Active blogging drives more traffic to your site…and more traffic to your site leads to more leads. And when people show up to your site and find well-reasoned and useful content, they are going to learn more about you.

Furthermore, as more posts increase, your overall site traffic will increase also. In other words, accumulating posts on your site over time is like a snowball growing in size as it rolls down the hill.

If you think about it, the more content you have the more likely you are going to have something that a reader wants. Why not try and give it to them?

Consistency is the Key

Do you know who Kevin Rose is? He’s the guy behind Digg…so he’s pretty famous. Do you know that he bailed on his blog when Google+ rolled out?

Many of us found that unbelievable.

But this actually happens a lot. A new technology comes out and people flock to it, giving up on what they were building prior to that. In fact, lots of big name companies gave up on their blogging for Facebook. Perhaps the numbers are better for them, but from an individual viewpoint, that will hurt you.

Look at all the famous bloggers today. People like Hugh MacLeod, Fred Wilson and Rand Fishkin. One of the reasons they are famous today is because they worked hard year after year producing attractive, useful and powerful blog posts.

And get this: the size of your blog will also affect your monthly leads. Accumulate over 52 posts a month and your business will definitely benefit:

If 52 posts a month is too many, keep it growing by at least feeding it 2 or 3 posts a week. This consistency will pay off over time as you start to see results in about 6 to 12 months. So don’t give up.

Proven Business Model

Finally, the best reason you should continue to blog 2012 is that it’s a proven business model. How you define that business model is up to you.

Some have used it to get book contracts:

Others used it to build a business, like Brian Clark or Darren Rowse.

Still others, like I mentioned it above, used it to brand themselves. This model has been proven over and over that it is strange that some people would ignore it or run to the latest social media fad.

Conclusion

2012 is a great year for blogging. It’s still one of the best tools in your SEO toolbox, a great way to brand yourself as an expert and even improve your life by being a great way to make money.

So, whether you have been blogging for years or this is your first, invest in building a blog that becomes something remarkable and profitable and try not to get distracted by those who say it’s dead.

What other elements of blogging do you think will be especially important in 2012?

 7 Reasons Why Blogging Is Still Important in 2012
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.

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16 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Blogging Is Still Important in 2012

  1. Neil, your insight and the way you presented this was compelling — couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Blogging is going to be — if not already — a crazy business in the future. I feel that this is only the beginning of the rise of internet-based businesses, people, products, etc.

    I also have a firm belief that blogs will be the backbone of education, spreading of great, life-changing ideas, and will be the facilitator of many things.

    1. Paul,

      It’s certainly growing in that direction. I’m experiencing it myself. I worked in emergency medicine for years and when OT started to dry up I got stuck at home with no hours and my wife had to go back to work. I started reading into blogging and content marketing, which led me to launch a part time content marketing and business blogging biz.

      Fast forward a few years and now I have a satellite office, my wife no longer works, and I’m writing full time for businesses who recognize the value of blogging. They gain all the benefit from content marketing, and I have successful career.

      Talk about a win-win.

  2. I agree that blogging is often overlooked in the era of social media, and you make several good points that show it’s value. I think blogging is more important for brands today than it’s ever been!

  3. Neil,

    While I totally agree with everything you suggest here – and was about to send this article to a client and web design/developer group to help support my continued argument/discussion to blog internally on websites (and good external guest-post type places too) – be careful when you suggest in your “Consistency is Key” paragraph things like: “Accumulate over 52 blog posts a month and your business will definitely benefit.” It truly must be qualified with your other remark about: “as long as you are producing attractive, useful and powerful blog posts” OR “as long as all the other factors mentioned here are followed”. Not every site can or should support 52+ blogs per month – nor, necessarily 2 to 3 posts a week – just because! The main content may not be able to support so many other words infused into an internal blog space! Your stats/info are based on “active blogs”. People/websites should begin slowly/intelligently/strategically by making their blog “active” – compelling others to come read. Then it can be added to or increased in number. But, clients see words like “lots of content” or “lots of blogs” and that doesn’t always ring in their ears as meaning “quality content ” or “focused content” or “reasons why you should have that post on your site”. [now, with this comment in place, I'll send this over to those clients to read - thanks for the writeup!]

  4. One element of blogging that is also important is monitoring social media and other blogs to see what is being said about your blog or your companies blog. Listening to the feedback of your readers will gain their trust and it will create a sense of community.

  5. Great post, Neil! I agree completely. Blogging is the backbone of SEO and establishing authority. Or at least it’s what makes my engine run.

    Thanks for the knowledge!

  6. I’ve found there are so many stale blogs from 2008 and 2009, even 2010 that haven’t been updated yet. There’s a lot of junk out there. I’d like to see some of these blogs dropped from blog directories this year. Many of us are updating weekly still, so it’s a shame to see stale blogs clutter things up.

  7. It is totally true that blogging is constantly overlooked, but as most of you have mentioned already it is a tool that is gaining popularity. I mean not only can you get up-to-date information, but you can also share thoughts, business info, etc.. Actually, I’m trying to learn a bit more about blogging and its benefits, so this article really gave me some key points. Thanks!

  8. I’m glad I came across your article today. I have been putting more effort into my blog, however a friend of mine suggested it was all but a waste of time. Now I’m sure I’ll stay the course. Thanks Neil.

  9. This post is definitely encouraging. As a relatively new blogger, I definitely get discouraged at times. I have to be more disciplined when it comes to posting regularly. It helps to read this and get a better understanding of the benefits.

  10. Great article on why you should blog; though I would have added a whole lot more reasons. Customer engagement, openness in communications, etc

    I find the best way to blog is to continue to make a list of ‘stuff’ that people will find useful or that I want to share. When I need a blog post I get the list out and have a ready made title.

    Thanks

    Andrew

  11. I really enjoyed this blog as it offers useful advice to new bloggers and those who’ve been blogging for a while. I’ve been blogging for a about 6 months & when I stepped up my blogging activities to 3/week I really saw an increase in traffic to my website. I added a one video blog per week which also made a difference. I blog purely to support and build my business. My intention is always to provide useful content to my audience. I ask myself, how can I best serve them and deliver content on questions they’re asking.

  12. Inpsiring post Neil , i had started a web development blog almost a year ago . but didnt pursue it in a consistent manner. Im going to start working on it again to improve authority and seo rankings.

  13. Now a days, blogging plays an important role in small business to get targeted customers very easily. It is really an effective and powerful tool to build credibility and trust of a small business. Thank you so much for sharing these three useful tips.

  14. When you have an active and updated blog, search engines will pick up on your website, sending valuable leads to your sales pages. Increased website traffic is a surefire way to increase your company’s bottom line, cost effectively.