There’s been a recent trend in businesses and agencies abandoning their blogs to instead invest in social media. I can’t say the decline is very surprising — blogging is hard work.
It’s difficult to produce valuable posts, and it’s even tougher to do it on a consistent basis. Especially in the beginning, it’s frustrating to create content that no one sees. It’s hard to put your time, money and effort into an endeavor you only hope will lead to new business.
So, many businesses quit blogging.
Most give up before blogging really pays off, and as a result, truly gain nothing from their investment. They search for greener pastures and an easier way of accomplishing the same goals.
As a result, it’s not surprising to hear that many of the businesses and agencies abandoning blogging are doing so in exchange for deeper investment in social media. With this in mind, I created a list of reasons why a company should quit blogging.
You should quit blogging if…
1. You want an uncertain future
Abandoning blogging for social media is a dangerous move. What you’re really doing is giving away the keys to your kingdom. Not only are you eliminating many of the benefits of authorship that blogging provides, you’re betting the farm on the longevity and continued value of individual social networks.
Sure, Facebook seems fairly invincible — but the landscape could easily change within the next few years. In fact, I’d be shocked if it didn’t.
In this fast paced online world, the only constant is change, even among the titans.
What’s even more likely than the failure of any particular social network is the proliferation of additional “potentially valuable” networks. This poses a danger of spreading your efforts too thin, eliminating the potential for building a noticeable presence on any single network.
Alternatively, anything you publish on your blog is yours. You’ve created it, and you can continue serving it to visitors as long as you pay your hosting bills. As social networks rise and fall, your blog will live on.
2. You want to sell to the wrong audience
Investing in a social media presence over a blog may make sense at first. After all, it’s often much easier to secure a Twitter follower or Facebook fan than it is to get a feed or newsletter subscriber.
What most businesses don’t realize is that it takes very little effort and almost no personal investment for an individual to become a Twitter follower or Facebook fan. The ease of acquiring connections is almost always inversely associated with the likelihood of selling to that connection.
For many bloggers, each post and piece of content serves a very specific goal: to encourage readers to perform actions that increasingly strengthen their investment in the blog and brand. It’s much more difficult to cultivate and continuously reengage with social audiences.
By bringing these visitors to your blog and giving them a reason to stay, you’ve brought them into an inner circle where your brand and influence is much stronger.
3. You don’t want to get the most out of social media
It’s ironic to think that businesses are leaving blogging hoping to gain more value from social media, especially when so many have been vocal about the difficulties associated with selling directly to social audiences. Social ads often have extremely low conversion rates — arguably because there’s a mismatch between the intentions of social users and the actions advertisers are hoping they’ll perform.
Social users are primed to share content. This makes social media the perfect place to acquire new visitors to your blog, but one of the worst places to sell your products or services directly.
Social audiences should be seen as the starting point: the outermost, easiest, and most loosely tied connection to be made.
Creating and sharing content you’ve created on your blog within social media allows you to effectively harness the power of social audiences (because you’re giving them what they want), while simultaneously increasing the likelihood that certain users will begin to invest more heavily in your message and brand. Giving social users content to consume creates opportunities to keep them engaged.
4. You don’t want improved rankings
Creating content for your blog is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve the way your website ranks in search engines, across the board. As Google gets more adept at detecting manipulation, websites that create true value for users will continue to outperform those that don’t.
By publishing content that is helpful to people, you’re sending all kinds of signals to the search engines that your site is worthy of high rankings.
Blog content created with users in mind tends to:
- Generate more significant, natural links from a variety of websites
- Engage social users and drive social metrics that can influence rankings
- Rank for a wide variety of long-tail keywords
By abandoning blogging, or by only engaging on social websites, you’re giving up on the power content has to generate the links that drive organic ranking improvements.
5. You want to be limited by someone else’s rules
Twitter limits you to 140 characters. Facebook limits you by their terms of service.
Social platforms limit how you tell your story and dictate how others interact with the content you create.
In some instances this makes sharing content easier, but it can severely limit the reach and impact content can have if that content is restricted to social platforms only.
Running your own blog means you can test the limits of the browser and the user’s experience with your brand, including:
- Ability to run scripts and interactive elements
- Ability to track user interaction without limitation
- No limits on content medium or message
- Capturing user contact information and building lists
6. You want to do more busywork and less real work
Sharing content others have created does little to elevate your brand in the long term. And yet, this activity dominates the work performed by team members responsible for spreading a brand’s message through social media.
There’s value in providing useful content for audiences you’re cultivating on sites like Twitter and Facebook. But, this value pales in comparison to the loyalty that can be cultivated by actually creating new and valuable content yourself.
Creating content that is unique and provides value beyond the “me too” regurgitation of ideas is the real, hard work required for online marketing success.
By now, you’ve caught on you should only quit blogging if you want to forfeit the many benefits that come with it. Instead of acting as a blog replacement, social media should be used to cultivate a targeted audience and lead that audience to your on-site content.
Businesses that make the mistake of abandoning on-site content creation are making a grave mistake — but it’s a mistake you’ll want your competitors to continue making. With less noise, the signal great content creates can become even more clear, providing even more benefit to those businesses willing to make the investment.
Why will YOU never stop blogging? Let us know in the comments below.