I’ve decided to start blogging a decade after it was cool.
It’s still dark and I’m on a train to work. Once or twice a month I travel a ridiculously long way to see a client, and this early morning journey is my only time to myself. With a job, a side hustle and a young baby, this train ride is my only free time. So why not do some work I thought? Why not indeed.
Full disclosure: I’m writing this on a train, but not today. Not your today anyway – it’s Friday in my reality. I’ll post this on Monday morning when I’m back at work, so I don’t have to cheekily use my client’s time (and WiFi) publishing a blog that has nothing to do with them.
Also, that way I’ll have the chance to add some pretty pictures. Because everyone knows the internet is all about the pretty pictures.
The truth is
I’m writing this blog now because of Twitter. I only joined Twitter with The Online Advertising Guide a few months ago, and ever since I’ve been getting smarter faster by reading and critically judging a ridiculous amount of digital marketing content.
I’ve always read a lot about my industry, but Twitter has accelerated this process tenfold. I want to retweet only great stuff, and so to find it I am reading more than ever before.
And with all this great content filling my brain and no extra time to act on it, I decided to share it. I already put the best things I find on Twitter, but a long form, long lasting, long winded format like blogging just felt like it made more sense to me.
Not least because one of the great things I read recently told me how effective blogging is.
Blog like no-one’s looking
Apparently, even if no-one reads your blog on the regular, it’s still totally worth having. The blogosphere doesn’t have to welcome you with open arms for you to reap the benefits of typing what you feel.
There are many reason for this, all of which seem counter-intuitive until you realise how shallow most people’s browsing habits are. Take for example the study which found that the majority of links that are shared on social media are never clicked on. Never! Not just that they weren’t clicked on by followers, but that they also weren’t clicked on by the sharer in the first place.
That’s right – not everyone is reading everything they tell you to read. So don’t feel bad if no-one reads your blog (I won’t) – they might still be using it to show other people how smart they are.
Which is nice in a different way. Well kinda. Moving swiftly on…
Users trust websites with blogs
Ironically, I don’t really know my source for this: b2blistings.org, so I don’t specifically trust them (hence the lack of a link – sorry guys, I’m sure you’re cool really). They are a directory that ranks their listings by using signs of trust, and among these signs is an active blog.
As I say, I don’t know them, but I do respect their methodology for this. All the things they look for to see if they trust a site, are all the things I look for – including an active blog.
I mean, if someone at a company still gives enough of a damn to blog, they probably give enough of a damn to reply to support emails right? At the very least you know the lights are still on.
Consumers trust blogs
What about money? Do blogs rake in the cash? Apparently so.
After retail sites, and brand sites, blogs are where it’s at for consumer trust. Or at least it was in 2013 (any updated data anyone?). And this is according to a blog I do trust – socialmediaexaminer.com.
According to them (parsing a technorati report) people listen to blogs above social media when deciding what and where to buy. Basically if Johnny Writesalot tells you “that is one dope toaster” on Facebook, you might give him a smiley face. If you find his blog and he’s said it, you might just listen.
Small communities breed more trust, and so popular blogs in those communities are like gold dust. (ie the toaster community relies on Johnny Writesalot for his blog opinions, because they know him already, and he is one of the few people who… writes a lot.)
On top of this, influencers apparently care about their blog stats more than anything. This makes them put their best stuff on there, which is probably why they are so trusted.
And as we’re all sooo influenced by what influencers think, we must all agree that blogs are really important anyway. Right?
Right. If both consumers and influencers think it, you should probably think it too.
Blogs mean business
According to another eminently trustable blog, QuickSprout.com (who themselves got it from kapost, just in case improper attribution annoys you), businesses that blog get 55% more visitors. B2B businesses with blogs get 67% more leads too.
It just makes sense that companies with trustable sites are the ones you’ll tell your contact details to.
You can’t just hit it and quit it either (the submit button that is). It turns out that stopping blogging is a terrible idea. After guy-I’ve-heard-of Robert Ryan stopped blogging for just under 9 months, his traffic and conversions both went down by about a third.
Maybe it’s because people stopped trusting him (nah that can’t be it – people wouldn’t stop trusting guy-I’ve-heard-of Robert Ryan – he’s crazy trustworthy). More likely this extreme drop-off happened because his SEO fell apart.
Why didn’t they call it Bloogle?
You see Google et al like you better when you update your site often. And what’s more updatey than a blog? A blog where you scribble down and post what you hope is useful nonsense, week after week after week after week.
Or even better, day after day after day after day. As apparently daily posts will get you double the visitors of weekly ones. Better still, having more than 100 posts total will triple your visits.
However you feel about the chicken and egg that is page rank and page views, blogging totally helps your SEO. Especially if you do it right. I mean Rand Fishkin thinks so (if you put in some planning effort anyway). And he’s like the king of SEO, so he should know right?
So I’m going to blog from now on
And if you read this sometimes and maybe trust me a little more than you used to, that would be nice. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll visit the rest of The Online Advertising Guide more because of this thing. And maybe you’ll blog more too.
Or maybe you won’t. I’m not the boss of you.
Either way, this is my stop.
Author: Justin Driskill
Justin is the founder of The Online Advertising Guide and a freelance Digital Projects Manager.