As a blogger for almost a decade, I want to say that people still read blogs. But is that really true?
Should we still write blog posts? Retire our blogs to become YouTube influencers or live stream stars? Or should we change how we write blog posts to better engage our audience.
These days, it seems like everyone’s in the business of blogging. Corporations, small businesses, startups, non-profits, influencers, schools, solo bloggers—all write blog posts and all compete for that number one spot on search engine rankings.
Why? It’s the biggest guarantee that their blog post will be read. Those that invest time in maintaining a blog want their efforts to deliver. Yes, it is possible to both enjoy writing blog posts and want profitable results.
For readers that don’t know, blogging is a big commitment. It takes hours to:
- brainstorm a blog topic
- research information to support the blog topic
- devise keywords for the blog post
- write the blog post
- edit the blog post
- design graphics for the blog post
- format the blog post on your website
- promote your blog post across channels
- review analytics for the blog post
Is this time well spent? Not if you don’t have the right blogging strategy in place. And especially not if people aren’t reading blogs anymore.
The question is this: do people still read blogs? Are blog posts the best way to connect with your readers? Is your blog the strongest way to inspire consumer action?
The answer—yes and no. Let me explain.
Why People Don’t Read Blogs
The good news is that people still want to get their hands on creative content. The bad news is that it’s not always in the form of a blog post.
These days, your audience can select content from a multitude of media platforms. There are live streams and social stories and webinars. There are videos and tweets and social posts. There are GIFs and infographics and filtered photos.
Content isn’t only offered in the form of a blog post. In short, your blog post competes not just with other bloggers but also with more creators across mediums.
That’s a lot of competition.
Yes, people still read blogs. But they’re also scrolling their social media feeds. They’re also streaming shows and short videos. They’re exploring all content platforms to decide which variety of content they enjoy best.
It’s a buyer’s market in the content world. How can you engage your audience with your blog post when they have so many options?
Why People Still Read Blogs
In terms of internet history, blogging is on the older side of content delivery. Reading blogs is a retro art, like reading a hardbound book, taking a picture with a camera and listening to music from a cassette tape.
Just kidding. Maybe a little serious.
Yet, it’s still a sought-out way for readers to take in information. Why? Because the internet still supports the ease of finding blogs and reading blog posts across all devices. Search engines today allow users to search across articles, videos and social posts while still providing the convenience of categorizing the search by medium type.
In other words, if a user wants to read a blog post, the search engine delivers the convenience of finding that specific medium type instead of shuffling through all forms of content.
People still read blogs because they want to read blogs and it’s not a hassle to read blogs. Should the internet turn on us bloggers (or users demand a better online user experience for finding content), we may find ourselves changing our content approach.
Yes, people still read blogs. But how they read blogs has changed, thanks to the influence of the variety of available content. And it’s these changes that impact the success (or failure) of your blog post.
How People Read Blogs Today
Blog readers today read with more efficient purpose. They have a question in mind that they want answered. They digest the content at faster speeds, be it by skimming or by searching the page. And if your blog post doesn’t meet these requirements, they bounce before getting to the thick of your content.
Just because people still read blogs today doesn’t mean their expectations haven’t changed. Readers want quality content that’s easy to read on their smartphone. Readers don’t want delays in getting access to quality content. And they want the experience of reading your blog post to be visually and intellectually entertaining.
That’s a lot to live up to.
Before pressing publish, make sure your blog post meets the expectations of your readers. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your blog load quickly across all devices?
- Is your blog post title catchy and benefit-driven?
- Does your blog post content follow current SEO best practices?
- Can your readers easily find the answer to their question?
- Can your readers skim your blog post and still enjoy the experience?
- Do you feature visuals throughout the blog post, including images, infographics and videos?
- Is it easy to subscribe to your blog?
Blogs may no longer be the only way on the internet to take in content. Fortunately, it’s still the classic, tried-and-true method in delivering information that still resonates with readers. And while our approach as bloggers needs to change with the times, we can also thank the times for maintaining the relevancy of blogs decades later.