Blogging is still relevant. It’s not dead.
Track the evolution of thought over the past 6 years:
- in mid-2004, I first discovered blogging. My first thought: “what a narcissistic waste of time!” By the end of the day, I started reading a few and kinda liked it. By the end of the week, I had started my first blog. It was all about me and my incredible lame thoughts about things I thought were funny. Here’s one of my very first blog posts called “The Fitted Sheet Conspiracy.”
- by 2005, my family is blogging about our life as missionaries in West Africa; posts about the kids are loved by family back home, but articles about our missionary work grabs the attention of people at our home church – we actually start getting regular comments, even receiving comments from other missionaries in Thailand and East Africa. We chronicle the birth story of our now adopted daughter in “real-time” – a late night C-section in the bush of Africa is transcribed by my wife almost play-by-play as I relay it to her via my cell phone – people back home are checking our blog regularly for updates . . . cool!
- by mid-2005, we are sponges for other blogs – hungry for connecting with people back home – networking and participating in tribal blogs that we belong to. We not only write a blog, we look forward with anticipation about the next blog post of our blogroll. Seems powerful to be connecting with people and their thoughts.
- by mid-2006, I am developing a pretty good size blogroll and bookmarking all of them on my Internet Explorer browser. It’s cumbersome, but it works.
- by 2007, we are blogging constantly – loving the connection and love that we get to chronicle our life, especially life at the end of our mission in Benin, West Africa – sending pictures home of our final days makes it real for church members back home to feel a part of our 10-year work in West Africa; as we wait final adoption and immigration paperwork for our daughter, this is how we send updates out on a daily basis (BFB . . . before Facebook existed in our lives)
- I have finally discovered the RSS aggregator, Bloglines. By subscribing to an RSS feed on all my bookmarked blogs, this single page shows me every blog I want to see on the same page. Love how easy it’s made to keep up. I scroll through blogs of friends I want to read and scan other blogs for good content to share on our new marketing blog.
- by 2008, my wife is into this “new” thing called Facebook. At first I say, “what a narcissitic waste of . . . uh . . . oh, wow, you’re really connecting with lots of people! Move over, I want to scroll through your newsfeed, too!” I decided to open an account for myself. Facebook enters the picture. Life changes.
- by mid-2008, I discover Twitter. Life changes. People tweet about their blogs. I’m also beginning to enjoy how FB and Twitter friends tell me when they blog. This is easier because I’m already there looking at other stuff. Most people would rather have breakfast in bed than have to go down to make breakfast. Feed it to me!
- by late-2008, I realize I haven’t opened up Bloglines page in months. Instead of coming here, I am seeing alot of these blog posts promoted through FB and Twitter. You know what? I still haven’t returned to Bloglines since then. It’s dead to me.
- by early 2009, our personal family blog sees its final installment. It’s been a good 5-year run, but now that missionary life is behind us, we struggle to find out what to blog about. Plus, our family and friends see most of that on Facebook anyway. The marketing blog continues to roll on because it provides an outlet of content that is constantly feeding the search engines.
- by late 2009, we are importing our marketing blog posts into our Facebook feeds – it goes into my personal profile as well as it now posts to the new Marketing Twins Facebook Page (you are a Fan, aren’t you?) The automatic importing (as a note) is a cool feature that makes it easy. Our Facebook Page links to Twitter as well, so anytime a new blog post is imported as a note into FB, it also tweets it out. That’s some bang for the buck!
- by mid-2010, I am still committed to telling people they need to start blogging, or re-start it.
2 key reasons to blog:
- IT TELLS A STORY – if you are trying to sell flowers, auto repair work, consulting services or missionary work, a blog provides a platform that people can learn alot about you. The search engines love it, but so do those potential consumers or supporters. They need to know a little about you before they put their money into your pocket (as a transaction or donation). Show pictures, share video and talk about things that tell me the deeper part of who you are. A blog showcases experience, values, expertise, and helps build trust. And if you did it even once a week, at the end of the year, there would be over 50 articles that tell people a little more about your mission, your business or your passion. And it perpetually rests out in the digital world – and you can repurpose blog posts in other formats, link your customers to past tips, or allow people to find you based on a highly-optimized blog post around certain keywords. Tweets and Facebook status updates just can’t do that as well . . . yet.
- SHARING MECHANISM – when you import your blog post as a note into Facebook, it is now something your Fans or Friends can “share” – providing them content that is easily passed on is the key to effective digital word-of-mouth marketing. If you simply put your promotion into your status update, your followers can read it on Facebook, but it’s not easy to share. Making it a link to an outside URL is the key.
If you still need help getting started, Chris Brogan shares a simple blogging formula.
image source: kaushik.net