This is the first post in a series I’m creating entitled “The Death Of Blogging”. In this series I’m going to cover 5 issues or topics that are causing the “death of blogging”. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m saying blogging is dead or that it’s dying soon. But these 5 particular topics are contributing to what I consider a downward spiral for blogging. I can’t help but think that the actual spirit of what blogging is intended to be has been damaged and someone harmed in recent years. So through some brainstorming I thought up 5 key things that I think have transformed blogging over the years. And The Death of Blogging sounds a lot more intriguing and interesting than “Some things that have altered blogging”.
I conjured up the idea of this series one night while trying to think of something new and interesting to blog about. I frequent tons of blogs about blogging and I see a lot of the same topics covered over and over. However, I was inspired by a series by Sarah Arrow on Best Blogging Tips Online entitled “Blogging Fears” in which she covered some of the fears that bloggers have as well as how to get over them. Her series made me 1- want to do a series, and 2- talk about something different besides the Best WordPress plugins posts you see all the time.
So with that said, here is part 1 of my 5 part series, The Death of Blogging!
Internet marketing is a huge business. Promoting products and services online is the new wave of marketing and has enabled billion dollar businesses to capitalize on the popularity of the internet. Internet marketing incorporates techniques like using Social Media to promote products and brand awareness, running ads, and the topic that I’ll be speaking on here-Blogging.
There are two facets to Internet Marketing as far as the death of blogging goes for me.
- Affiliate marketers
Remember how I prefaced this series by stating that the topics I’m covering aren’t all necessarily bad things? Affiliate marketing isn’t a bad thing at all. Being able to make money by promoting products/services and getting a commission is great and one of the ways myself and many other bloggers make money blogging. However, the problem is that the growth of internet marketing has inspired hundreds of people to promote products/services solely for the purposes of getting paid.
How it works
- Bob finds an eBook on Clickbank about losing weight that he thinks can sell. He has 0% interest in the topic at all
- He creates a fake persona and starts a healthy lifestyle blog to set up a place to sell the eBook
- He writes posts about eating healthy and losing weight based on info he finds on Wikipedia or pays someone in the Philippines to write it for him
- He promotes his blog to help sell the eBook from Clickbank
- People buy the book because he portrays himself as an “expert” and they grow to trust him
- After a while, he lets the blog die out and moves on to the next niche
This is called Niche Marketing. Niche sites started popping up all over the place over the past 5-10 years and they’re using the blogging platform to do it. My problems with this are pretty obvious. For one, you’re creating a completely fake persona and don’t have any knowledge of what you’re blogging about. Secondly, these blogs rarely provide any value to readers at all and are just used as a way to sell a product. The trickery aspect involved here is detrimental to what blogging is for in my opinion.
Blogs don’t have to be personal or thought provoking, but they should at the very least be of some sort of value and not be deceitful.
Next, I have to talk about businesses a little bit. Company blogs are an awesome way to help do some internet marketing and expand your brand. The problem is that a lot of companies aren’t doing it very well. What I mean is they half ass it and don’t provide any type of value. If the only time you post on your company blog is when you have a new product or special to promote, you’re not doing it right.
The amount of company blogs I’ve seen where you have no idea who wrote the posts, have 0 personality in the writing, and are just plain boring is ridiculous. Company blogs should be a way to connect with your customers and give insight into the company. That’s what blogging is all about- connecting with readers and informing.
Straying away from the negativity, here are some examples of good company blogs:
Google’s blog is great because it gives you information and news related to the company as well as some entertainment. The great mixture of news and entertainment is much appreciated. Another thing Google does great with their blog is allowing different members of their teams to do the writing. They’ll have someone from marketing write a post one day, then an IT person the next day. It’s definitely a great use of resources if nothing else!
Ok, I wrote this blog post on 2/4/13 which is the same day I grabbed the image you see above of the 37Signals blog. Notice that the post has over 20 comments. This means that not only are people reading their blog, but they’re also engaging in the conversation. That’s a great sign that they’re actually blogging and not approaching the company blog half halfheartedly.
The Short Stack blog, SociallyStacked, is an excellent example of how to have a fun, informative company blog. They give you insight into what’s happening at the company, industry news, and some helpful info as well.
The Wrap Up
In closing, internet marketing is great. But the use of blogging solely as a means to market products is really hurting blogging. It makes it difficult for actual bloggers with useful information and valuable insight to get out there. The more of these garbage, low quality, thin blogs that pop up, the harder it is for useful blogs to really shine.
What do you think? Is internet marketing helping or hindering blogging? Stay tune for part 2 of my 5 part series on The Death Of Blogging.