Blogging: Out With the Old? Not So Fast!

by Shonali Burke on October 29, 2010

Bench talk

Old, New, Out, In

As technology races ahead, we’re bombarded by tools claiming to be the ultimate for communicating our messages to the masses.

Ten years ago, it was the internet and websites that sold dog food, a few years ago “blog” entered the lexicon, and today everyone has a Facebook page. There’s no telling what tomorrow will bring.

Communication tools are welcome in the business world.

They help us spread our message and content to our audiences. Facebook and Twitter have quickly become the go-to applications for businesses, and with good reason. They’re easy to use, engaging on multiple levels, and they’re free.

Their drawback is their depth – it’s hard to communicate a complex idea or message on your Facebook wall or in a Tweet of 140 characters.

Don’t forget about blogging!

Sure, blogs may have come into vogue several years ago, but that doesn’t relegate them to the world of cave paintings.

Blogs have done everything from spread news to far corners of the world to sway election outcomes to telling us what to buy.

A blog entry presents a concept quickly and efficiently, and by including links, pictures and video a blogger provides support and resources easily accessed by the reader.

Blogs continue to be important.

eMarketer estimates that this year more than half of internet users will read blogs this year and by  2014, readership will rise to more than 150 million Americans, or 60% of the internet population in the US. That’s pretty significant!

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Maiser, author of lifebeginsat30.com and eatlocalchallenge.com.

A veteran blogger, Jennifer’s blogs receive an excess of 20,000 visitors per month, a figure she credits to being online for so long. That’s a key lesson: longevity helps with your search engine optimization!

Jennifer’s start in the blogosphere began when she realized she needed an outlet to talk about food. Her early entry gave her the luxury of experimenting with what worked and what didn’t.

After nine months of trial and error, she realized one of the oldest adages about writing – “write about what you know” – was true today. Her passion for food translated into a successful, and much trafficked, blog.

“The worst thing you can do is make yourself blog because you will come across inauthentic,” she comments.

“Editorial calendars and other structures limit the amount of passion you can put into the site. Draw from life events and what is happening in the ‘here and now’ to create content.”

And what can you do when your blogging passion wanes?

“A fresh redesign of my site helped me,” she says. “You know how reenergized you feel  when you clean up a room?”

Other highlights from Jennifer:

  • Advice for new bloggers: don’t make it hard – have fun!
  • Advice for bloggers getting ready to throw in the towel: take a break, walk away and come back to your blog.
  • It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – if you’re using Twitter or a form of micro-blogging, keep reaching out to your audience that way until you are ready to return to your blog.
  • Use Twitter and Facebook to keep your community engaged. These social tools have complemented her blog by adding people to her community.
  • Dealing with little or no comments – No comments are OKAY!  Sitting and waiting for comments is very old school! Look at other analytics to gauge engagement, such as blogging reactions, Google alerts and share of voice.

Finally, Jennifer highly recommends Maggie Mason’s book, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch.  “This book gave me great ideas about what to blog about,” she says.

Social media applications are truly useful because they give us another way to spread our messages.

Remember that your blog allows you to thoroughly present an idea or thought – you’re not limited by the constraints of this medium!

More from Women Grow Business:

Image: Marcos Lima via Flickr, Creative Commons

Regular contributor Terri Holley is the owner of Creative Blog Solutions and a social media strategist, plus a certified life/business coach. A forward-thinker and relationship-centric gal, Terri supports small businesses who understand the value of using social technologies to build deeper relationships with prospects and customers.

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