Independent Blogging Is Dead…For Some Communicators

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Independent blogging is dying say some pundits. The results aren’t what they used to be thanks to the increased competition from online mastheads and blogs that have turned into daily content machines.

Blogging Dead

Other pundits say, “No, it’s not dead.” Just work harder, deliver frequency, commit to blogging day in day out (multiple times a day) for years, and you’ll get marketing results.

Sound impossible for an individual or small business? I think so. Even if it’s not, I don’t think an individual or a vast majority of small businesses should invest so much effort into one tactic.

I’m not the only one. In some original research Vocus will release tomorrow, only 35 percent of PR and marketing professionals give blogging a 4 or 5 (highest) as an effective tactic. One quarter do not even use a blog.

In my experience, there are other tactics that have as much or more impact on a small company’s bottom line. Some of these tactics include speaking, hosting events, email marketing, social networking sans the blog, or creating different types of content other than blog posts (which seems to be the base commodity of the interwebs).

Without editorial intent, without something new to say, in many ways blog posts are becoming spammy.

It makes sense that some marketers are moving away from blogging. Why spam stakeholders with “me, too” blog posts that don’t add to the conversation or an industry’s general knowledge base? Blogging for the sake of inbound traffic alone adds little value to the community. Done right, a blog contributes to the general welfare of a community.

The same thing could be said about publish frequently to appease the Almighty Algorithm. Quality is necessary.

Quality Marketing - Ice Cream

Don’t get me wrong, if you want to invest the resources and build a great online publication, then by all means do so. Most of the successful brands who achieve this end up becoming media properties in their own right.

Those that don’t rise above base traffic granted by the algorithm and frequently pushing their wares on social networks? Well, it’s safe to say they have a spammy element to them. And most marketers end up moving away from such tactics in favor of more effective ones.

Sometimes you have nothing to say, so you don’t publish a blog and opt to invest in an ad or an infographic or…. And that’s OK. I know individuals and brands who stopped blogging because they felt like there was nothing else to be said on their topic or life happened and they moved on. I respect them for that decision.

For every “original brand blog” or individual bloggers that seems to go away, I see scores of small blogs that publish that aren’t trying to achieve Mashable nirvana.

These independents blog because they have something to say, even if it’s just for a handful of customers, friends or business colleagues. Perhaps they have an opinion about Buzzfeed, or Donald Sterling, or last week’s networking event, or summer nights. Perhaps they see their blog as a means to nurture their existing customers.

But being the #1 blogger in the world is not their intent. That’s why they remain.

Finding it hard to stand out with content? Get your free Guide to Beat Content Marketing Overload now!

Image: KevinJohn F. Newman (Creative Commons)

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff is president and founder of Tenacity5 Media, a digital marketing agency that provides content marketing and social media services. A former journalist, Geoff continues to write, and has authored five books. Follow him @geoffliving.

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