Welcome to the blogosphere! Okay so no one says blogosphere anymore (at least we hope not) but we recently stumbled across a book on blogging from 2007 and it made us think…
In a world where it seems like the internet is changing daily, how far have we come in the past decade of blogging? We dove on in and after what was possibly my first time researching with a physical book since college there are some things that stood out.
In 2007 Clear Blogging said “Blogging is still in its early days and will continue to grow explosively” and it has. As we’d predicted, a lot has changed since this book was published but there’s also many things that have stayed the same.
What’s Changed About Blogging?
Available (& Recommended) Technology
Tools, platforms, web browsers, you name it. Its undeniable technology has come a long way since 2007. Options that existed back in the day have improved or fallen by the wayside and countless new ones have emerged.
Using Link Bait to Drive Traffic
Linkbait posts designed to drive traffic to your website were big back in the day…think the clickbait of the early 2000s. Even Google’s Matt Cutts claimed this was a good thing at the time, but nowadays “baiting” people online is a big no-no. Google and the social platforms (most notably Facebook) are taking a stand against link bait, clickbait, engagement bait and whatever bait comes next to focus on what really matters: providing value. After all, traffic and clicks don’t mean much if those web visitors aren’t taking action.
Linking Like Crazy
This is another blogging tip the Google Gods would disapprove of today. Of course, you’ll want to add backlinks to your own content (and content from others) when relevant to provide more information where necessary and show authority but gone are the days where large masses of hyperlinked text filled the digital page.
The Ease of Measuring Blogging’s Impact
Even back in 2007 folks were being asked to prove the ROI of their blogging efforts. While not perfect we’ve seen huge improvements in blog analytics themselves and the ability to track your blog (and overall site) performance using tools like Google Analytics and others. Advances in digital marketing have made it easier than ever to draw connections, see the impact your blog is having on your marketing efforts.
Blogging by Committee
Clear Blogging states blogging shouldn’t be done by committee. While it’s true that having too many cooks in the kitchen can hurt more than it helps you shouldn’t discount the value of having multiple blog contributors. Different people within your organization have different expertise. Showcase this!
What’s stayed the same?
Write for Your Readers
Ranking with Google is important but providing value to your readers is even more so. Use your blog to answer common questions that come up with prospects. Place writing for humans before writing over for bots. Ditch the jargon and use words (and a writing style) your customers and prospects understand.
Pay Attention to Usability
This was something to focus on in 2007 but its importance has skyrocketed today, especially with an increasing number of lawsuits for sites that don’t meet web content accessibility guidelines and the ever-growing emphasis on mobile. Your blog should be accessible to all users on all browsers and devices. Make use of things like whitespace, shorter paragraphs, and subheadings to improve readability. Ensure any blog navigation is user-friendly even on those smaller screens. And make sure your headlines give people a good idea of what they’ll be diving into.
Don’t Excessively Self-Promote
Tooting your own horn every once in a while is fine but you shouldn’t make a habit of doing it in your blog. After all, as Clear Blogging stated back in the day “people can spot an advertorial miles away” and if your blog reads like a sales pitch they won’t stick around.
Where will blogging be in another ten years? We’ll have to wait and see!
Kaitlyn is the Manager, Social Media at RDW and an all-weather beach enthusiast. When she’s not creating integrated social media strategies or launching campaigns, you can find her traveling and looking for the best local eats, hopefully at the same time.