Is Blogging Still Relevant in the Social Media Age?
We hear this question thrown around a lot: “With social media being so popular, is blogging really important anymore”? I should disclose at the start of this article that I write blogs for a living, and so I do have a pretty big bias to the fact that blogging is still relevant. But what do you think? In this article, I’m going to explain why I think every website should still be running a blog in addition to their social media accounts. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
You Have Full Ownership Over a Blog
So long as you have set up your blog with its own domain name and hosting, that blog is yours. This means that you can determine what it looks like, how you monetise it, and what you publish. When you publish articles on social media you are confined by the rules of the platform you are publishing on. Your links may be restricted, your design may be restricted, and your attempts to monetise your content may be restricted. And what happens if that social media platform ceases to exist one day? You’ll either have a huge job ahead of you moving all of your content, or you’ll lose everything. Is this really a risk you’re willing to take?
A Blog is Easier to Monetise
Whilst not everyone builds a blog purely to monetise it, a lot of people do have this in mind when they start up. Most social media networks will not allow you to monetise your posts, so you won’t make anything from the traffic they receive, and you won’t be able to include affiliate marketing links. When you own your own blog (.wordpress and .blogspot domains don’t apply), you can monetise it in any way you want. Want to add Amazon affiliate links in? Feel free. Want to add Google Ads? There’s nothing stopping you. When you publish on social media, it is the platform that makes money from your content – not you.
Social Media Has a Different Purpose
When you use social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you’ll notice that the majority of posts are a short introduction to an article, and then a link to that article. Most people on social media do not want to read long articles – instead they’re just looking at short snippets of information and photos. A blog, however, enables you to write as much or as little as you want. As a creator of content I see the value in blog posts, and like to be able to relay as much information as I need to in order to get my point across. I don’t like to be bound by short messages, I’d rather intrigue someone on Facebook and let those who are interested read my full post on a blog.
Social Media is Exhausting
I don’t know about you, but my Facebook feed is full of so many adverts these days that it’s rare that I will scroll through everything on there. In fact, I have ended up ‘un-following’ around 80% of my friends, and ‘hiding posts’ from companies I used to have an interest in. And even with these settings in place, my news feed is still full of adverts. Most of my adverts are from the clients I write for – clearly cookies that have been saved from writing web content or researching blog posts – and in the real world, I’m not interested in dental companies in Texas (I live in the UK) or drug rehab centres in California. This has led to me using Facebook in a completely different way. Instead, I now sign up to the mailing lists of any company blogs I want to follow instead of looking for their posts on social media. I can’t be the only one to be doing this.
A Blog Improves Your Website’s SEO
And finally, if you run a website of any kind, you want people to find it. A blog is a great way of keeping your site updated with relevant content, and showing the search engines that your website is still active. By including keywords in your blog posts, you can also optimise your website for different search phrases, which will draw traffic to your website and may lead to increased sales.
Whilst I certainly believe that social media has a role to play in marketing, I don’t think it will ever replace the blog. Instead, I see value in social media as a supporting device, but not something that can or should be used on its own. What do you think?