Are people still reading and following blogs?
Not as much as during the last 5 years, but this does not mean that blogging is dead.
There are opposing views on the status of blog publishing; some internet analysts correctly point out that social media has reduced the prominence of blogs, however, others are pointing out that blogging continues to reach the right audiences.
“Blogging is dead” has become a headline and a tagline used by many blogs, many of which are still around, but if you ask online marketing professionals, dismissing blogs as relics of the internet past is not a good business move.
It is true that blogging has declined significantly since Google made the controversial decision of terminating Google Reader, a very popular and highly functional RSS reader packed with social media features. Google Reader was discontinued in 2013, and it was very popular among journalists and subject matter experts.
To be sure, there are various alternatives to Google Reader, one of them being Feedly, but something happened to the internet segment known as the “blogosphere” when Google pulled the plug on Reader.
For anyone who has something to write about, blogs are still relevant. You see blog posts used to great effect by individuals who publish on platforms such as Medium and LinkedIn. What has changed is the nature of blogs themselves; while they used to be primarily considered as personal diaries and largely confessional platforms, these days they are mostly used in a more professional manner.
Blogs are excellent for building both reputation and authority; take a look at this blog on car-related articles, for example, it is maintained by the CEO of a car dealership that also provides an automotive subscription service. The blog posts are directly aimed at car buyers and drivers in general, thus showing readers that this is a CEO that cares about sharing his thoughts with potential customers.
Content marketing and search engine optimization are important reasons why you should continue to be an active blogger. Keywords are the pillars that search engines are built on, and this is not going to change anytime soon.
As for content marketing, you can use blogs to promote products and services, but make sure that you provide interesting context to go with your marketing efforts.
Let’s say you operate a neighborhood pizzeria; getting more customers to visit your establishment is something that you can accomplish with coupons, which can in turn be offered on a blog post, however, you will get better results when you include information that is either newsworthy or fascinating.
One example would be to explain the true origin of pizza as an Italian-American recipe that would eventually be adopted by chefs in Italy.
In the end, there are no good reasons for you to abandon blogging in 2020; in fact, if you have not previously published a blog, this could be a great year to start doing so.
Market research shows that blogs are only second only to podcasts in terms of reader engagement, and this can be explained by the intimacy that this content platform continues to provide.