Anyone for business blogging? New balls, please

Updated June 27th, 2019. Gauging the usefulness of blogging for business over the last few years has been like watching a tennis match: plink, plonk, game to either the yay-sayers or the nay-sayers, depending who’s on top form that month. In honour of the forthcoming Wimbledon tournament in the UK, here’s a look at how the blogging championship is shaping up this year…(2019.)

Anyone for business blogging? New balls, please

No-one ever said blogging for business had to be confined to text. Deuce.

The topic rides a roller coaster, it seems with highs when the digital marketing scene is relatively quiet, and lows when the latest new social media toy-toy emerges to beat it in straight sets. But like many good veteran players, blogging for business isn’t gotten rid of that easily.

For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here

The latest business blogging grand slam

Back in December 2015 my little cage was rattled by the respected Mark W Schaefer of {GROW} in his article What is the future of blogging? when he pronounced, “Blogging is not less important because something happened to blogging. Blogging is less important because alternate forms of content consumption like audio and video are finally catching up. People have more opportunities to migrate to their favorite form of content.” 40-30 to Mark.

But hang on a minute. Surely content like audio and video are performing similar roles to “blogging?” And if they are – simply sharing the same or similar information in a different format – that is “blogging” too? No-one ever said blogging for business had to be confined to text. Deuce.

Happily, elsewhere in the article Mark states, “For argument’s sake let’s define blogging as any long-form content, no matter what the “shell” for it might be.” Phew. Advantage, blogging.

At least he isn’t suggesting that the text form of blogging for business is going to be eaten up and spat out by heaving, snarling cheap videos and nonsensical infographics.

Only a year ago, the intrepid Jeff Bullas sang the praises for blogging for business in this article: “Continuous effort online has great rewards. Google keeps indexing your content and brand. People start having conversation and share your content. This is crowd sourced marketing. You are creating digital assets online with one piece of content at a time, one tweet after the other and building “earned” search engine authority. It’s one brick in the wall after the other that makes a house.” 15-love. 

Has that changed? Have all the grizzly, gritty new vehicles for communicating business messages managed to confine text-based blogging to dust-gathering desktops and a few Kindle readers?

What does “blogging for business” really mean today?

1.Blogging for business is a genre of communicating information, opinions, expertise and credibility, plus a few. This does not restrict it to text format; after all more than 60 percent of people learn better visually. Blogs and articles are nearly the same thing. In the dim, distant past, articles could be expressed as text in newspaper features, TV news features and documentaries, and audio formats like cassette tapes (remember them?) or radio programmes. Today, blogs are expressed in the modern equivalent of those formats. Simples.

2.Don’t let people’s lust for miniaturisation fool you. Even Twitter  opened up its verbal floodgates from 140 to 280 characters. By all means share bite-sized abstracts of your business blogs on social media to promote them and drive traffic back to your website (where your original blogs always should be). But somewhere the full story must be told – in a blog post.

Although we’re assured that video is just as searchable as text on Google etc., many bloggers publish their video alongside a text transcript. Ask yourself why.

3.So you can publish full business blog posts on some social media platforms now. So what? That’s all very well and can add grunt to your brand, particularly if your name IS the brand. Although the articles you post on LinkedIn may get quite a few views, they will reach their “sell-by dates” pretty quickly. On your own website, they are much more likely to gain smaller amounts of traffic over much longer periods of time and become “evergreen” posts, text or video. In any case, you can “repurpose” blogs – or make them shorter – so that they use the same basic research but offer slightly different angles to use across various different social media platforms. But never forget who owns the real estate.

4.Don’t bitch about the different ways of sharing your business blogging information: embrace them. These “experts” who write frivolous articles about the demise of printed/text-based words and try to instill fear by slapping us around the face with all the latest communication tools are not doing us any favours at all. As with most information technology the tails are wagging the dogs so hard the poor dogs are lucky to find three legs to pee from. When we say business blog content, what we SHOULD mean is pure information and thoughts. How those are expressed is a matter of which vehicle you choose.

Is the blogging for business tennis match over yet?

No. And given the never-ending arguments of “is it” or “isn’t it,” one thing is for sure. The very fact that we spend so much time discussing it suggests that it’s still very much on our minds.

Yes, it may change form, it may change media, it may change from the current fashion for “long-form” (please, please, don’t – other than for tutorials. Serialise your long blog posts instead) to more digestible and retainable lengths again. It just needs a fresh approach, some sensible thinking and adaptation to current needs.

Game and set to blogging. New balls, please. 

What do you think of these “tennis match” arguments about blogging for business?

Please share your views…