Story Versus Snapshot: The New Art of Blogging

Let’s be real. It’s a blog-eat-blog world out there. When it comes to your company’s website, having all old posts in your blog with nothing new or even somewhat current gives the perception to the visitor that business is…well…maybe not really happening. Some of you may dismiss this right away thinking, “Is this guy serious? Blogs? So 2006.” But really – blogs have not died. I am here to convince you of that. What you might think is a relic from the Myspace era is actually well and alive – and taking new forms that may be the reason for its slow-heartbeat reputation.

When you ask someone what they think of when they think of blogs you will likely get varied responses, but for the most part the common perception is that it’s content from the personal tone. Essentially, a blog-keeper is there to tell the story and better convey their message. Sometimes blogs get slapped with a label marking them as a time-waste, stay-at-home mother with too much screen time sort of thing. But don’t knock those moms because people are visiting their sites in droves. It’s not uncommon for brands to send materials to bloggers in the hope that they will review or mention their products to their (very dedicated) audience – that audience that the blogger has built trust and developed a virtual relationship with. Smart bloggers are even monetizing their sites with ad spaces and cross-promoting with other bloggers too.

Last month, Deanna wrote about the centrifugal force of content marketing, and this is really just the next step. Because once you make the content you can spread it around everywhere, making sure it reaches that masses. One piece can stretch a good amount of time, digitally.

Now you’re wondering what my solution to this problem is. It’s simple. Don’t be daunted with the thought of having to sit down and write hundreds of words to constitute as your blog. There are work-arounds. Chances are your company is already tweeting, Instagramming, or updating status after status on Facebook. One quick solution to getting newer content onto your site is to install a widget or plug-in that syncs with your social accounts to display each post. The best widgets will merge all your accounts into one stream so that you don’t need to install three to six different ones, but instead one seamless display of every post. If someone happens on to your site and sees that at least you are posting on Facebook and Twitter even though you may not have recent written content.

That brings me to the recent content. You need to have something – anything – with a new time stamp or otherwise, just take down the time stamps altogether. You don’t want your site to be stumbled upon and glanced over as nothing but senior housing for greying posts from 2011.

Speaking of 2011, that’s the year I joined Instagram. I was wary, in fact, I didn’t understand its purpose fully. If people wanted to post photos, why not just throw it on Facebook? But I stuck through it and found the filters to be a fun and artsy way to doctor the basic photos from the earlier iPhone models.  Instagram has finally caught on as a viable network after several years of slow adoption. Companies who don’t work in retail, fashion, or food industries may struggle with content on that platform so you may have to get creative. And when all else fails, everyone likes a good shot of a pet or sunset. The takeaway here is that new content could be a tap of the phone away. Don’t struggle over having to write something – say it with a picture and a caption.

So maybe blogs aren’t necessarily blogs anymore by their original definition of being long-winded accounts and/or stories, but rather a snapshot of your day or week via either a literal snapshot or short and sweet blurbs of content. Trust us, anything is better than nothing at all.