It came on slowly and hit me hard. Blog posts are dead.
Maybe not quite dead, but dying.
I first felt it after installing a recording app on my website and watching users just click around — not even reading the content.
Then I noticed my own audience, those in my Facebook group, hardly actually read the blog. They never go to the blog. If I share a post to the group of 450, maybe 30 people will click through to read it.
Last week I published a 4,500 word epic post, and then did an outreach campaign for the post. With a 51% open rate, to a totally cold audience, I’d say the outreach did good. Not wildly successful, put good. It ultimately got me 2 or 3 shares, and invitation to be on a podcast.
It also got me a few bits of feedback. 3 emails in particular that really stood out.
“I can tell there was a lot of work that went into it, but I don’t have time to read it”.
“Skimmed it over. Looks good. Thanks for sharing.”
“You might want to try shorter more direct posts. I don’t think busy contractors would take the time to read that.”
That’s when it it hit me. Long form blog posts are dead. Nobody was going to read this damn post. Except for the search engines (that has value, which I’ll get to in a moment).
While 69 recipients opened, only 12 of them clicked to read the post. From the 3 emails I got, we know only 9 maybe read it. Perhaps it was the use of the word loooong which dissuaded them.
Hell, as a busy business owner, and active marketing ‘persona’, who barely reads his friends text messages, I wouldn’t read a post unless the person coincidentally sent me a post on something that I just happened to be really interested in. And the word long wouldn’t make me any more interested.
So that got me thinking… Why am I blogging? Why do I just keep churning out blog posts?
What kind of content should I be producing? What would’ve been a better outreach piece?
To get a better idea let’s look at the 4 broad types of content you can create:
Long Form Blog Posts: Get crawled by search engines, and get backlinks.
In 2018, text is still the most digestible piece of content for Google. If you want search rankings long form blog posts are the way to get them done. However, they need to be geared towards google targeting high search volume subjects. A blog post on ‘how to manage your service calendar’ isn’t going to get a ton of traffic, no matter how you slide and dice it.
Readers that find them through organic search, will read the content, so it’s not ‘useless’ but it is no longer the only type of content you need to create.
Long form blog posts work particularly well if you are serving an audience that is already seeking ‘how to’ information that you are providing or spends a ton of time online. That’s why the ‘how to make money online’, and ‘earn passive income’ market does well; people are looking for how to information and sinking a lot of time, at their computer, into that. Audience scrolling through FB between a busy life… isn’t doing that.
Video: Build & Maintain Contact with your audience.
Ah its been the year of video since what, 2013? And video is still thriving. Rather than making your audience read, video presents an attention grabbing matter, and isn’t filled with distracting outbound links or other content like what is displayed in a blog post.
Most appealing though, is that a 10 minute video doesn’t seem nearly as daunting to your audience as a 4000 word blog post.
Infographics: Outreach Gold?
Concise information, right in a picture. WIth my current realization, it seems like these might be out reach gold. Rather than mentioning a 4,500 word blog post, I could just mention an awesome new infographic in the outreach… and the content will actually be digested.
There’s also the sharing aspect and the pinterest angle. Admittedly I’m a little behind in these areas, as my audience doesn’t do a ton of sharing on ‘business marketing’ advice, and does even less (round to o) pinning. However sharing and Pinterest can generate a ton of traffic for the right audience.
Lead Magnets: Build Your List
These are the free frameworks, checklists, cheat sheets, that you give away intended to get someone on your email list.
Create Content For A Purpose
Once you have an understanding of the purpose behind each piece, it’s easy to see what you need to do going forward. Before creating content aimlessly, think about what the purpose is behind. While I don’t think creating content just for the sake of creating content, is bad, you’ll do much better with a strategic purpose.
For me, I need cut back on the longer blog posts, and create content that will do a better job of connecting with my current audience at http://homeprosuccess.com. That means more video.
I need content that will be shared. Video could work, but in my opinion an infographic is far more digestible than a 10 min video, so I’ll look to video.