What’s the Future of Blogging?

In the face of expanded video content, is blogging a dying medium?  I don’t think so. It may be a changing medium, but it’s not necessarily a dying one. The future of blogging for content marketers remains optimistic, even as we explore other content types.

The Blog Types

There are numerous blogging trends in the industry.  You have the microblogs: super short-form, less than 250 words with an abbreviated style. Running counter to these are long-form blogs, which are broken into indexable sections, dive deep into content, and rank high on LinkedIn. In the middle is the traditional blog of approximately 500 to 750 words detailing a specific subject, paired with images, broken into small sections, and carrying a voice unique to every author.

The Relationship Between Other Content and Blogs

But what about all the other content forms dominating the marketing industry? Podcasting, video content, video blogs, infographics…. I see these other content types as complimentary.  Each can be paired with another content type and gain the benefits that go along with it.

How can these different content types compliment blogging?

  • A 2-minute video on a subject can tease to a blog that tackles the topic more in-depth.  That blog can link to an infographic that dives deeper into relevant related data.
  • A blog can be a transcription of a podcast, with each linking to each other. The transcription adds indexable content for search engines. Your audience will have the choice to read or listen, based on their personal preferences.
  • A microblog pulls content from and refer to a free, downloadable white paper.
  • A long-form blog can promote the content found in a webinar series.
  • An infographic perfect for social media promotion can tie back into a blog.  

There’s no right or wrong answer. Writing is a malleable art form that can change to meet our needs.

Do Blogs Work?

What does research say? Data shows more value comes from long-form blogs that cut through all the content clutter. These blogs delve deep into a topic. They tend to be published less often, but end up chock-full of keywords that search engines love and precision readers appreciate. Neil Patel discusses in detail the value of long-form content as evergreen material and what you can do to produce it.

Even if blogging isn’t for you, the ability to understand its value and how it can help your other content marketing efforts will help you strategically plan your content marketing program. For instance, if you intend for your blog to host only videos, pairing those videos with transcripts or with short summaries will help sell the video. Search engines will index that text to help consumers organically discover your content.

As long as people have ideas to share, the future of blogging remains bright. Millions of posts continued to be published every day, including this one.

Need help with your real estate blogs? Let’s talk!

—————

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Understanding Your Blog Voice

I find one question often trips up new clients. In fact, most of the disconnect I see with first draft expectations boils down to an inaccurate understanding of voice. Whether writing it yourself or outsourcing to a team, you must have a clear understanding of your blog voice to create a cohesive brand.

What is voice in writing?

Voice is tricky. When we read, the words take on a personality. This “personality” is formed from the grammar, rhythm, and word choices writers make. Writers use character adjectives to explain voice. For example, if I said, “this article sounds like it was written by a professor,” that likely means the writing is bogged down by jargon, complex sentence construction, and advanced vocabulary.

Why the voice disconnect?

During initial client consults, I’ve had people say they want an informal or casual tone.  The first draft is delivered, and in the reviewing remarks, it becomes clear they wanted something else entirely. A response might be that the content seems too basic, delivers a surface-level grasp of content, or needs more data. What the client is really expressing a desire for a different voice. They would like something more business casual, like discussing the industry during a conference panel. Their audience is familiar with the industrial jargon and trends; these can be used casually during the writing.

When coming up with your content marketing program or when getting ready to draft your blog, really put some thought behind what you want your blog to sounds like. You may have heard of the content marketing term “persona.”  I find creating personas a viable exercise, especially if more than one person will be working on your marketing. Having a document that gives a clear understanding of the company voice is invaluable. I particularly remember reading one detail from a “Social Media Persona” document: “The individual is in with the latest trends; they are likely to buy Warby Parker and Bonobos.”

Advice for understanding your blog voice

I recommend giving some solid thought to your blog voice. Create a persona. While you don’t necessarily need to go so far as to describe where your content marketing character is going to shop, don’t boil it down to just one or two words. Describe the person behind the blog. Determine if it will be in first or third person. If you would like to be more formal, how formal do you want to be? Are you looking for a more scientific blog devoid of opinions?

Consider this:

If you want your blog to position you as a thought leader, your voice might be:

  • Professorial. Shown through data and research.
  • Positive. Upbeat language showing excitement for new developments.
  • Confident. Self-assured opinions about industry directions backed with research.

If you want your blog to appeal to a luxury audience, your voice might be:

  • Formal. Likely third person.
  • Sophisticated. Write naturally with advanced, but not obnoxious, vocabulary.
  • Confident. No wishy-washy suggestive language like “should be” or “might.”

If you want to appeal to a millennial audience, your voice might be:

  • Business casual. Discussing the industry without showing off jargon.
  • Fun. Use clichés or pop culture references.
  • Informal. A first-person that addresses the reader.

For one of my clients, I think, “upbeat, cheery, positive” when I write. They want their content to be knowledgeable, but in person they are extremely friendly and easy to talk to. Their excitement is palpable. Their blog combines a deep knowledge of the local residential real estate industry with an approachable personality. It’s what is most natural for them.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into understanding your blog voice. My final word of caution: don’t try to be something you are not. If you’re trying to adopt a bubbly, youthful persona when that’s just not you, your marketing effort will fail. Make the blog voice natural to your brand and business.

 

——————

Need some help finding your voice? Schedule some time to chat with us!