The blog is dead. Long live the blog.
It’s easy to write off blogging now that the heyday is over.
Several years ago, it seemed like everybody was starting a blog. Many of the biggest names in blogging—Neil Patel, Guy Kawasaki, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin—all jumped in early and commanded large, influential followings. Company blogs followed suit—every company began a blog page, dishing advice on their industry to any who wanted to listen.
These days the focus isn’t on the written word as much as it was. Podcasts are the flavor du jour. Video content and smaller, short-form social posts have exploded.
But to paraphrase Mark Twain, if you’ve heard reports of the blog’s death, they’ve been exaggerated. Blogging is alive and well, and even if you’re a long-established brand, there’s more to be done.
1) Stock and Flow Are Both Needed
Robin Sloan published a post several years ago that explains content creation in terms of two economic terms: “stock” and “flow”. It’s a useful mechanism to think of the content your company puts out and figure out what’s most important.
“Flow” is the everyday conversation—the content that comes out and reminds people you exist. It’s your social feeds, your daily and more-than-daily updates that pour into the ocean of content that surrounds the modern Internet user every moment of every day.
It’s constant, but it passes by and then is gone.
“Stock” is different …
It’s as interesting down the line as it is now, and it has utility outside the moment. It’s the content that drives people to find your site when they look up search terms on Google.
Blogging is one of the most important sources of stock you have.
Look at Neil Patel—he’s been generating traffic off some of his best posts for years. He’s one who does stock well, because he consistently updates old posts.
You need both stock and flow, and blogging is a pillar of your stock.
2) Your Website Needs Interesting, Evergreen Content
Salt Lake City-based Extra Space Storage doesn’t exactly seem like the kind of business that would need a blog. Self-storage isn’t the most awe-inspiring sector. But they’ve been killing it for a while …
Because they’ve been creating evergreen content that taps into their core audience.
Their blog covers topics ranging across a broad range of ideas, including holiday parties, minimalism, the best neighborhoods to move to, and organization.
But all of them tap into keywords that their customer base is likely to be searching for. And it’s paid dividends for them—they’re one of the largest self-storage companies in America.
Evergreen content grabs attention in searches, especially when you know your customers. The breadth of topics that Extra Space’s blog allows them to cover lets them open their net wider and drives business they might not ever get otherwise.
3) SEO’s Human Element Matters More Than Ever
You remember content farms, right?
If you’ve been around the Internet for a while, you remember a time when Google’s top results seemed to all pull from the same network of poorly-written articles that came from link farms. They were havens for low-effort content, articles written to appeal to bots and not humans to get the best Google ranking.
Google wised up.
As time has gone on, Google has gotten smarter and smarter at figuring out what people really want to read. These days it’s not enough to shovel some garbage up and stuff it with links—if you want long-term success building any sort of SEO strategy, content is king.
Your blog is the chief source of ongoing content that people care about. And it’s YOUR platform—not a rented space like YouTube.
4) Blogging Establishes You as an Authority
No matter your business, your customers are going to vet you to figure out if you know what you’re talking about. Reputation helps, but if you can show your customers you really know your stuff by pumping out content that explains what you do, so much the better.
Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Neil Patel…all those big names run businesses based on what they know. And their constant flow of content supports it—the blogging that comes out of their companies supports the consumer’s view of them as authorities.
You can capitalize on this, too.
5) Your Best Blogs Are ‘Honeypots’ for Links
There’s a secret to this: if you do good work on blogs, you get linked to. When you get linked to, your site goes higher on search results (not just the blog side, the whole site). 75 percent of users never click past the first page of Google.
You want to reach people? Blog.
If you’re not using the power of blogging to create real useful content, branded by your company, that can generate a constant stream of links and position you as an authority—well, what are you doing?
National brands don’t stop needing to build links and reach people through search engines. If anything, it’s more important as you continue to grow your business. Out of sight, out of mind—and if you fall behind, it’s hard to get back.
Make the most of your website and blog. It’s worth it.