The death of blogging? Kill me now!

For 5 of the past 6 years, my professional identity — and my ego — were tied to this site. Well, actually, it was the old site — the one with Darth Blogger in the header.

Ah, the salad days of blogging! Can it really be over?

This story from USA Today, summarizing a UMass/Dartmouth survey,  suggests companies are bailing out of their blogs in favor of social media channels that are less labor intensive and more connected to their audiences.

…the percentage of companies that maintain blogs fell to 37% in 2011 from 50% in 2010, based on its survey of 500 fast-growing companies listed by Inc. magazine. Only 23% of Fortune 500 companies maintained a blog in 2011, flat from a year ago after rising for several years.

The story also hints that maybe blogging is killing itself:

Lou Hoffman, CEO of The Hoffman Agency, a public relations firm, says many corporate blogs fail to attract readers because they exist solely to pitch products and are badly written. “Companies don’t understand that the content on a blog shouldn’t be ‘about me.’ ” Such information tends to be dull.”

If you’ve played in social media for any amount of time, you know how self-centered this space can be. But if you’ve written a successful blog — one that generated lots of comments and conversation — you know about the community values blogs support.

Hey, with all these companies leaving the blogosphere, maybe there’s still an opportunity for old folks like me. It’s a shitload of work, and the pay sucks. But I love this space, and I love the doors it has opened for all of us.

Thanks to Rob Jewell for linking me to the USA Today story.

 

10 thoughts on “The death of blogging? Kill me now!

  1. Makes sense to me – the type of evolution you’d expect. Aren’t we better off that every a-hole with a computer isn’t publishing “content.” Let youtube and facebook be the playground of the amateur, no? As mentioned, many companies made the mistake of approaching their blogs in the same way they approached their crappy newsletters and press releases, which are also ignored. The outlets and avenues will continue to change but content and strategy will still be king.

  2. That’s kind of sad. I hope it’s just company blogs that end up going down. Personal blogs have proven to be an invaluable asset to me. I was planning on starting a professional blog when I get out of college. Has tough sledding taken a hit?

    • Yes, ToughSledding’s readership has tanked, but that’s mostly because I don’t write much anymore and there are no cool people to argue with anymore! In addition, I’ve stopped making the rounds of the blogs, reading and commenting as I once did. It’s was fun, and I learned a lot. But it doesn’t pay the bills. Now I spend much of my online time as a teacher — and it comes with a paycheck.

  3. IMO, depending too heavily on third-party channels like Facebook is a bad move, as you give up the rights to your data, in most cases. I’d rather see companies become savvier about improving their own channels – ie, moving more into video, games/apps, and the exclusive deals, on their own sites. The social media channels will come and go, and your data (and the audience you put so much effort into building) will go with it.

    Maybe it’s time to consider video blogging, Bill :)

  4. Bill,
    I completely agree, but refrain from admitting my being on and off the blog wagon since mine was launched three years ago. Time is a challenge, but for brands it’s important to talk about the industry through more than short snippets on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and now Pinterest.

    Blogs are a great forum for many brands – not all though – to have deeper engagement with their audience and create even greater and more tangible relationships with them.

    With that said Bill, you’ve motivated me to write another post. I think I’ll keep it short and sweet, but it may just be about blogging for brands and I might just reference this post. Look for the back-link.

    Good stuff Bill!
    Ralph

    • Ralph,

      I’ve always defined “short and sweet” as 750 words — or about the length of the typical newspaper column. (Showing my age!) But given the shrinking attention span of the online audience, I see short-and-sweet as 200-400 words today. And given the popularity of YouTube and Pinterest, maybe blogs should have no words at all.

      But I’ll try to stay with short-and-sweet while also delivering substance. That’s a real challenge for blog writers, many of whom can’t write for shit (present company excluded)!

      Bottom line, we agree. Those really devoted to a brand will be served the the substance of a blog vs. the more shallow nature of the other platforms. And the blog will continue to add fuel to the SEO engine.

  5. Pingback: You’re Blog is Dead… So Give Up «

  6. Just read an interview with Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, and thought of your post (http://www.modernluxury.com/houston/articles/funny-lady)

    Interviewer: True or false: Blogs are the new black.
    The Bloggess: False. Blogs were the new black two years ago. Now everyone has one. They aren’t particularly fashionable, but you can’t live without them. Blogs are the new sweat pants.

    Bill, enjoy your sweatpants.

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