Is Blogging still Worthwhile?

My recent podcast guest, David Meerman Scott, author of author of 10 books with the most popular being the classic,The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, was asked that question in a recent interview. This book is now in its 5th edition and nearing 1 Million copies sold.

Joe: I’m an avid blogger. Is blogging still worthwhile?

David: I think it’s really important, and I’ll tell you why. I think it’s important because it’s your own real estate. And, what I mean by that is, you know, the social network, sure they’re important. I’m on Twitter. I’m on Facebook. I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on Instagram, a couple of other ones I dabble in. But, ultimately, those are somebody else’s real estate. Twitter, even though you have a Twitter feed, it’s Twitter’s real estate. I think it’s really important to have your own home base on the web and for many people, sure, you can have a website. But, a website tends to be kind of product driven for most, in most organizations. I think you need to have your intellectual home base on the web. I think people need that, and I think companies need that. And, to me, the best form of doing that is a blog because you can have your own URL. You can drive people to that URL. You can have total control over the branding and the design and the elements of it. You can embed other social networks into it. You can embed a YouTube feed. You can embed a Twitter feed into it which is kind of cool. But, ultimately, I do think it’s valuable to have a blog because I think it’s the best form of original content where you can own the real estate.

Joe: Is there a difference in blogging let’s say, 10 years ago to a decade back? Should we be updating it and including all those things you just mentioned, embedding a YouTube video once in a while or…?

David: I think that it’s evolved in a way that it’s both more exciting but also more of a challenge. I think it’s more exciting because it used to be just kind of straight text. I mean, you know, we all started our blogs with kind of just cranking out the writing. But then, we could add, start to add images. We could start to add things like audio. I mean here we are recording a podcast, right? You could embed that into your blog. Video and other sorts of things can be embedded into it. So, that’s changed. But, the other thing that’s changed is that while a good blog continues to have great audiences, I think it’s harder to attract audiences to new ones. Now, I have a strategy where I don’t, I try to avoid the word blog, and I recommend that people who are starting a content site don’t use that word blog. So, for example, if you were to create some original content that you were writing and embedding other stuff into, I would not call it a blog. I would not say, “Hey, this is David’s blog.” I would not have a link on your website that says View Our Blog. I would avoid that word, and the reason I would avoid that word is because I think there is some negative connotation around it. People think “Oh, a blog. That’s frivolous. What are you wasting your time doing that for? Isn’t that what people in their pajamas do at night?” If you just avoid that word, and I also believe the same thing’s true of the phrase social media, by the way.

I like the term real-time media as opposed to social media, and I think you could call your information site or something like that instead of the term blog because kind of the nature of your question, Joe, “Is blog still valuable?” I think there’s always value around great information that will continue to be the case, and I think it’s essential to have that original information be on your own real estate. But, semantics involved would suggest in my mind, that you don’t necessarily use the word blog.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Interview with David Meerman Scott