We can't escape it. Even while I lie on the couch with my Golden Retriever, Luke, snuggled at my feet or my Canary, Mitch, singing sweet melodies from his cage, we are all surrounded by it. The omnipresent entity I'm referring to is none other than the Internet and its numerous trappings, among which social media holds a prime spot. So, let's talk about the elephant in the room here - social media and its potential in lessening the power of blogs and blogging.
It's an important conversation. As markers on the highway of the digital world, blogs have been a beacon for countless internet users, guiding them towards valuable information, provocative insights, and compelling stories. But lately, this landscape seems to be shifting, and people are pondering if social media might be the cause. I've been grazing this digital pasture as a blogger for over a decade now and let me tell you, it's not a clean cut answer. So, let's dissect it piece by piece, shall we?
Much like how my kids, Roderick and Roselle, and their preferences have been evolving over the years - from Barbies to Robotics, the digital audience's behavior pattern has seen a seismic shift too. The key reason is the transition from long-form content (like blogs) to bite-size info chunks offered on social media. These platforms have worked meticulously to create attention-grabbing, in-your-face content that requires less cognitive effort to consume. It's a hot, spicy burger with fries on the side versus a three-course French meal, if you will.
But does this intuitively mean people have stopped reading blogs? Not necessarily. It's just that the convenience of getting 'snackable' content trumps over the investment needed for savoring a blog post. Time is of essence and the quicker the content can be consumed, the more appealing it is for this generation. However, on the flip side, this also means the breadth and depth that blogs offer get diluted in the wave of social media storytelling.
Back in the day when I first started blogging, getting readers was like teaching Luke new tricks. It required patience, persistence and a ton of doggie treats. True, organic reach was a task. But social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have extended the canvas beyond our wildest imagination by making it unbelievably simple for people to share and comment on posts, thereby amplifying their reach with minimal effort.
Now, you don't need to haunt multiple blog commenting sections for people to notice you. A simple post with the right hashtags can garner a chunk of views. It's like setting off a digital firecracker that explodes and showers your content all over the world. It's effective, it's fast, it reduces the barriers to entry, which subsequently has seen an explosion of content creators on these platforms.
It would be a fallacy to say that social media has eliminated the power of blogs. It's more a case of both mediums having different strengths that cater to different audience needs. Social media is for quick, mainstream sharable content while blogs cater to an audience looking for depth and insight. Just like how sometimes I prefer Mitch's melodious tunes to soothe me, while at other times I need Luke's warm pelts beside me for comfort.
The reality is, social platforms are extremely volatile. One scandal or a shift in algorithm, and the entire landscape can change overnight. Blogs, on the contrary, offer consistency and a stronger sense of ownership. They evolve slowly and are less susceptible to abrupt shifts. In a way, while social media platforms are thriving, they can be like a treacherous sea, while blogs stand solid, like lighthouses guiding those who seek them.
The best way to continue as bloggers is to realize the power both mediums hold and to harmonize them into a strategy. Social media can be leveraged to drive traffic towards a blog. The catchy snippets from a blog can be shared on your social media profiles encouraging followers there to read the full content on the blog.
Think of it as offering a free tasting of your delicious home-made spaghetti sauce at a farmer's market. If people like it, they are more likely to buy the jar, right? Similarly, a snippet offering a timely tip or an intriguing insight can whet an audience's appetite, leading them to your blog to consume the full course meal.
From a business perspective, the impact of blogs is undeniable. They are excellent mediums to offer detailed product information, behind-the-scenes peeks, and builds a sense of trust and credibility. Unlike social media platforms, where algorithms dictate visibility, a blog is your very own digital property and thus, remains in your control.
Moreover, from an SEO perspective, fresh and informative blog content is more likely to be bumped up by the search engine algorithms, increasing your visibility and credibility. It's a game of patience and sustained effort, but then again, so is teaching Luke to fetch!
Ultimately, whether you're choosing something as traditional as a blog or as trendy as a social media post, it's important to understand that authentic, valuable content will always trump medium. We are surrounded by noise and clutter across the digital landscape, and your audience's attention is a precious commodity. Strive to add value at every interaction and believe me, they'll stick around no matter where you're posting.
I've been in the muddy trenches of the digital world long enough to believe that mediums come and go, what remains is the value you build with your work. As long as you respect your audience's intelligence and time, any platform can serve you well - be it a blog or any social media platform.
Before we part ways, let's take a moment to appreciate and honor the beauty of blogs. They offer an in-depth exploration of a topic, an opportunity to slow down, pause, and digest what's being said. In an age where 240 characters can make or break news, blogs offer solitude and introspection. They are the hearty soup on a winter evening, warming us from within, one spoonful at a time.
So, while social media may kick and scream for your attention, always remember that the strength in a blog lies in its quiet persistence. In its commitment to stick around long enough for those who seek depth, introspection, and substantial engagement. Yes, social media may have gotten louder, but it has certainly not silenced the whispering power that blogs hold. And for my two cents, there will always be an audience who appreciates this.