It is a fact that Google is putting more and more emphasis on high-quality content in their search algorithm. It is also a fact that blogging is a great way to generate a steady stream of content to please both search engines and visitors. Knowing those two facts, I assumed small businesses would be rushing to embrace blogging, but just the opposite seems to be the case.
Blogging is on the Decline
Since 2014 we have included questions on both blogging and social media in our internet marketing study. In the beginning, the companies who were actively using internet marketing tools did both. That is no longer the case. While 71% of companies indicated they are sending out some type of regular marketing communication through email only 53% are taking the time to blog on a regular basis. Why the shift? Blogging takes more time, and this year we have seen a very strong preference for less time-consuming activities in many categories.
Blogging Less Often Every Month.
Not only are fewer companies updating the company blog, but only a small percentage are blogging regularly. This year 26% of the companies in the study indicated they blog at least once a week. This is a pretty steep drop compared to the last few years.
The biggest shift is the rise in the number of companies who only blog rarely or for special events. This segment has more than doubled and represents 32% of all the companies who indicate they have a business blog.
When you consider that fewer companies are blogging at all, this rise is more significant, indicating a real shift away from the time-consuming blogging activities.
Time-Saving Blogging Tips
If everyone else is backing away, do you still need to be blogging? The answer is a resounding, YES! Developing high-quality content takes resources, but there is a payoff in search position, web traffic and conversion opportunities if you do it right. So, how do you balance the need for content with managing your time? Here are a few simple time-saving tips.
- Answer Questions – Every time a customer or prospect asks a question write it down. If one person asks the question you can bet there are a number of people who didn’t ask but would be interested in the response. If you respond via email you are half way to a blog post. If you don’t respond in writing, simply keep a running list of questions. You can do a round-up post where you answer a number of simple questions or an in-depth one when you have the time.
- Rely on Others – Set up a few Google Alerts to track changes in your industry or topics of interest to your audience. Collect links to a series of related articles. Then create a round-up post. With most of the information pulled from other sources all you will need to do is write short introductions to each of the links. Be sure to send trackbacks to the sources. They will appreciate you mentioning and linking to their site, and may even return the favor.
- Invite customers to tell their story – Let’s face it, no one will be more credible talking about your company than your customers. Invite them to write a testimonial or a short case study. An added bonus is the fact that the content is likely to contain many of the keywords you hope to rank for on different search engines.
Looking for more blogging shortcuts and tips? Check out our Blogging Basics Resource.