About three years ago, I predicted blogs would become the CB radio of the new millenium. At the time, it seemed everybody had one, but only a few were worth reading. Blogs were the introduction into the world of self-publication, and it was the only venue for you to get your brand onto the Internet.
Today, blogs are being upstaged by social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Many bloggers found getting their message out on these other sites to be easier and more engaging, and are leaving blogs behind for this new world.
So are blogs going the way of CB radio? In terms of a fashion statement, yes. But as a viable avenue to get your message across, by all means, no!
What we are seeing and will continue to see is the Darwinization of blogs. The Internet is overbloated with blogs. Too many people with too many things to say. Bloggers who have not built the audience they had envisioned are becoming frustrated and are moving on to other platforms, such as Twitter.
And that’s good news for the blogosphere. As the herd thins out, those who have established and maintained good, quality blogs will become more noticable, which will eventually attract more audience as the search engine returns get less crowded.
It’s important to keep a blog in your social media strategy. A blog is a great way to bring depth, breadth and detail to your brand. Entries should promote your message, add insight, and provide valuable links to your customers. Like a newspaper, it needs to be fresh and inform, entertain and engage your readers.
Starting a blog is easy. There are several third-party sites like WordPress or Blogger than can can get you up and running in short time. The hard part, however, is maintaining the blog. Most blogs fail because the blogger has run out of ideas or cannot maintain it on a regular basis. There are two key things to look at when starting a blog:
1. Be sure to pick a topic you’re passionate about … something you can spend all day talking to someone about. Then map out at least 20-30 topics to write about. When you’ve finished the first 10, revisit the list and find 10 more topics.
2. Be consistent in posting. Good bloggers add at least 1 post a week, great bloggers do several a week. The key is that your blog must appear fresh when readers come back to you. If people come back to your blog over and over again and see the same thing, they’ll stop coming. Develop a routine and stick with it.
Keep in mind that every blog entry doesn’t need to be a 600-word essay. You can post photos, videos, links, PDFs, or anything that you think adds value to the blog …and your readers.
Finally, remember to promote your blog through your other social networking sites. The best way to get people to read your blog is to make sure they know when something new is posted.
Blogs may seem long in the tooth for those staying on the cutting edge of social networking, but they are still a valuable and relevant part of your branding strategy. Make sure you have a blog as part of an integral social media strategy.