To Blog or Not to Blog

I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had much time to update my blog. So I’ll tackle the question that has plagued mankind since the dawn of the information ages: should you have a blog or is a static site good enough?

Many who pose and answer this question with one-size-fits-all generic advice, such as “Everyone must blog” or “Blogging is dead,” aren’t offering much help. Let’s examine the arguments more closely:

Blogging is Dead…Or is It?

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A keyboard. This is what you blog with.

Just like literature, the novel, and the PC, blogging is on its way out.

Blogging, The Guardian tells us, is being replaced by social media. Fast Company tells us we’re undergoing a “content revolution.” Guy Kawasaki hasn’t updated his blog in four months. In one interview I saw on YouTube, he claimed that he has relinquished his blog in favor of Google+.

As a dyed-in-the-wool writer, lit nerd, and novel reader — those things which are going extinct, remember — I never really liked blogging as a means of online socializing. In fact, I don’t really care for online “socializing” at all…the real thing is better.

To me, blogging somehow soiled the purity of writing. When I began my blog’s first iteration, I started by insulting blogging as “blathering into the void.”

The Guardian argues that blogging, the blogosphere, and, yea, even the world are better off without all this noise. Blogs have morphed into news media, which are burying the casual blogger beneath oceans of more useful and entertaining content.

By association, I couldn’t help but remember that the The Guardian also argues that the novel is dead (this time for reals).

Whatevs

Such doom-and-gloom proclamations, as Gawker pointed out in its response to the above article, have been going on for a very long time, because literary novels just aren’t popular:

This is pretty clear to most people who aren’t literary writers given that they don’t read literary novels. And it’s also pretty clear to a lot of literary writers, who are spending their days eking out an existence on meager advances, adjunct salaries, and temp jobs, that what they do is marginal. The difference between those people and Will Self, a lot of the time, is that they do not expect that what is important and meaningful for them personally must be important and meaningful for everyone.

Incidentally, Gawker, a blog, is the 156th most popular website in the USA.

So I’m not too likely to believe that either blogs or novels are dead.

As a matter of fact, if you do some searching you’ll find that the internet is littered with the dead:

  • B2B Marketing is Dead
  • Email is Dead
  • Cold Calling is Dead
  • TV is Dead
  • Advertising is Dead
  • Social Media Managers are Dead
  • Social Media is Dead
  • The Internet is Dead

But I digress.

To Blog or Not to Blog

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The death knell of blogging

Amidst all the dead blogs out there, I can’t find the very blog that inspired this post (one of many titled “Blogging is Dead, Long Live Blogging”). Perhaps it’s no longer among the living…

Said blog railed against having your own blog: it’ll just lie buried beneath the sea of other, more popular blogs that crowd the data streams. If you’re a business person, a business, or just a person, what reason is there to have a blog when no one will read it?

Tapping into the search engine market is one of the main reasons businesses have blogs. Self-promotion is one reason writers blog. And writing for fun is yet another reason individuals blog. That’s why I started this blog.

But not everyone wants or needs to have a blog. Since I live and breathe WordPress, writing, and technology, blogging’s a fun hobby when I have the time to actually do it.

Businesses, on the other hand, should remember that blogging isn’t free. It’s a form of marketing that costs money, just like PPC ads or direct mail. Unless you’re willing to put some serious cash or time into blogging for SEM purposes, you won’t see results.

After all, you’re competing against all the other businesses who are blogging their butts off to stay in the search engine limelight. Take a gander at any search engines results page to see exactly how many “dead” blogs you’ll be competing against.

So no: blogging isn’t dead.

It’s just changing shape, like the rest of the publishing world.