When was the last time you actually read a blog post or an article?
In this digital age of micro posts and insta pictures, does anyone even talk about blogging? Have #hashtags and likes taken over the SEO and articles? Are long posts slowly fading into oblivion?
Right from 1994 to 2020, blogs have undergone many changes – from being the personal homepage (Justin Hall in 1994) to being the only source for content, it has aged gracefully. From being the journal of personal life to increasing (few) businesses up by 700%, blogging has changed the way business performs. In this era of digital marketing and instant results, blogging has not only survived, but has become one of the most beloved tool for search engine ranking. When blogging has offered and continues to help businesses in ways like driving traffic and building online presence, why then it’s one of the last topics talked about when it comes to internet marketing?
The fact that blogging seems to fade is a myth. Blogging is one of the oldest tool of the digital times. Blogging was one of the most popular medium in 2000s with every business/companies and many individuals having their own blogs (having a blog gave an extra edge). Including SEO keywords and monetization became a fad then. With the arrival of social media channels, blogging took a backseat, watching the new players playing the same old game in a different style.
How blogging has evolved over the years
In the later half of 1990s, from being accessible to handful (to those who had software knowledge) to early 2000s (with a plethora of blogging platforms transforming the blogging methods), blogging became a serious and profitable channel of marketing. In fact, when WordPress, one of the most popular blogging platforms, launched their site in 2003, connecting with audience was no.1 reason cited for Why Blog?.
There was no dearth of topics which blogging was refrained from. Right from political discussions to climate talks, promoting business to personal life, blogging established itself as the most sought after ways of doing a business.
With the advent of facebook and other social media marketing channels, blogging became a blur. As much as there are lot of business and courses erupting every few days on how tos and tactics to mark online presence (or go viral) through social media posts, there are handful that talks about blogging for business (especially in India).
Winds of change
In 2000s, when internet became the rage, appearing in top search results became challenging. The blogging season was at its peak. In order to climb to top search result pages, many content writers started adding keywords in their articles. Sometimes, the keyword would be layered and plastered continuously in the content, at times would be highlighted in bold so that search engine bots can sniff the keyword and move the page on its top rankings. As a result, many articles, (read: irrelevant articles) started crawling up in the search pages.
Tired of being stuffed with keywords and SEO, companies like Google changed their algorithms. The winds of change transformed blogging into a useful, functional tool for business. Gone are the days when a handful most searched keywords were filled in the blogs/articles in order to appear in the top search results. Google changed its algorithm and though it is one of the most unsolved mystery, there are (genuine) ways to scale your business through blogging, which many business swear by, as it has helped them progress.
Blogging in 2020
You may ask – when the whole world is busy liking and instagramming micro posts, who has the time to read or even write a blog? It’s so outdated and old-fashioned, right?
The answer is “no”. Blogging has gained more prominence and is the most authenticated means to establish business credibility. When you blog about your business niche, and are continuously writing genuine, meaningful content, search engine bots (who are way more smarter and intelligent now) will bring your website to limelight and you will be the center of attraction (read: getting more traffic which, in turn, will generates more leads)
Of course, overnight success is not possible when it comes to blogging. The adage ‘Slow and steady wins the race‘ suits blogging aptly. A blog with steady flow of posts at regular intervals combined with right knowledge and in depth subject matter knowledge will outshine other websites and land in top search results. The more detailed and correct information/knowledge (without needless keyword garnishing) post it is, the more it benefits the reader, the higher your traffic will be (There is also a myth that a post with higher traffic will shift website to top rankings. A good website with informative content will appear in top search results even though it might not have a huge traffic trail)
With a hurricane of short posts swarming the internet, long posts have become the new dad. A post of about 1400 words doubles your chances of appearing in search rank index.
Why long posts?
If you have a question or want to learn something and are looking for a solution, what type of answer would you expect? A one-liner or a detailed answer, explaining the processes, whys, and takes you through the steps? When it comes to problem solving, long form content with relevant information are important. If we are to believe latest reports, posts with a minimum of 1000 words garner more social sharing than shorter posts.
Although, there is no Bible to guide how and what to write in a blog, to give an edge and add sparkles to your content with increased visibility, its important to have following in a post (I have broadly outlined them, will give detailed explanation in a while):
- Choose micro niche or a specialized concept
- Describe the problem
- Explain in detail – in and out
- Provide solution/options
How to write a blog post for your business?
Let’s get straight to the point now. It’s easier to pen down personal journey than discuss and showcase business issues. But then , you are not alone. Many, like you, have struggled and have risen up. Many are still struggling and can’t fathom ways to tackle. Here, you step in and try to pen down your journey and the ways you overcame the hurdles. The reader can get inspired or even might just apply the same techniques and get their issue resolved. Imagine the satisfaction and trust you build by offering to understand their challenging journey and giving him the right, timely solution! This trust that you build will prompt them to come back again and again.
So, the picture is all fine. But how to get there? Fret not. We break down into easy steps to write that perfect blog post for your business which will drive traffic and improve your online business visibility. Even if you are a beginner, follow these steps and craft a smart, crisp, and effective post:
- Kick off with a detailed research of the topics you want to discuss and if solutions have already been provided. There is no use of writing on a common topic. Do a research and search for problems that are growing day by day. You will find that plenty – because the very nature of any problem is they keep recurring in different forms and sizes.
- Start penning down your experience/view on the topic. Ask questions. Is it really an issue? How it all started? What is the impact on the business? What does future hold?
- Sktech an outline giving an overview of the topic you are planning to discuss
- Dig down to the center or go till the root to show how the problem started to sprout and grew bigger
- Discuss the challenges and pain points. Don’t forget to add how (if) you/your business suffered and what all you had to endure. An empathetic connection hooks the reader.
- Mention the experiments and failures/lessons learned. What does solution A do? Why did solution B never worked? How is solution D better than other options?
- Share the strategies you used and ways to overcome hurdles, generating ideas.
- Summarize the issue
- Review the whole article. Cut. Chop. Edit extra fillings.
- Hit that ‘publish’ button.
- And lastly, which is the most important one, spread the word. Let the world know.
Once you get the hang of it, it will not seem such a tedious task. To avoid getting stuck, always keep an eye on market trends. Make a note of issues/topics that keep sprouting here and there. Develop a voice and stick to it. Be regular and consistent. Remember, blogging is not a destination, it is a journey to the destination.
Now that you know how much blogging in 2020 holds important for businesses who want to scale up their online presence and stand out from the crowd, its time you start dating it (and be committed!). Go start a blog and have a wonderful writing journey!