As a business owner, you may sometimes feel that you are blogging into a void. Maybe you’re not seeing the kind of traffic or engagement you want right away and are starting to wonder if anyone is reading at all. Rest assured, many people feel this way, especially when first starting out. But, what would happen if you were to stop blogging altogether?
The truth is that if you stopped blogging your inbound marketing would wane away, your business’ digital presence would wither on the vine, and any hopes of boosting your search engine ranking or increasing organic web traffic would disappear. Your blog is the beacon of light that lets consumers all over the vast Internet world know that you’re there.
Consistency is Key
Each post that you write creates a presence online. In practical terms, each informative and relevant post is a new opportunity to make use of keywords and phrases that will boost your ranking on search engines. In turn, each boost in search engine rank brings you closer to more people finding your site. Eventually, by publishing consistent and targeted content, that sense that no one is reading will diminish. Blogging, after all, is a marathon, not a sprint.
Remember that content marketing is your heartbeat. Each fresh blog post is a sign of continued life. When people arrive at your site and see a new article, they see how relevant, up-to-date, active, and informed you are. Consistency and relevance improve your reputation. With great content, you can lead people to new ideas or perspectives where your business plays a role, making your website a source of expertise and inspiration.
New Reading Patterns are Encouraging
It’s not necessary for people to read every word that you write. When reading blogs, people tend to scan rather than read every word. They look for nuggets that grab their attention. They look for quick take-aways that will help their own businesses and that tell them something they didn’t already know.
A study of online reading behavior by Ziming Liu at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science found that entire new reading styles have emerged as people spend more and more time online. Modern, screen-based reading is now defined by “browsing and scanning, keyword spotting, one-time reading, non-linear reading, and reading more selectively, while less time is spent on in-depth reading and concentrated reading.”
No one should be surprised that online readers don’t see every word of blog posts. An article by Farhad Manjoo, appearing in Slate, entitled “You Won’t Finish This Article” explains “why people online don’t read to the end.” At the beginning of the article, Manjoo writes,
For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you – 38 percent – are already gone. You ‘bounced,’ in Web traffic jargon, meaning you spent no time ‘engaging’ with this page at all.
Of the 100 visitors left, he explains, five visitors won’t scroll beyond the first screen. Of those left, many will “tweet” a link to the article without ever having read the bulk of it.
The graph of percent of readers versus percent of content scrolled is a statistical-looking bell curve with a couple of peaks at the low and high end. The highest percent of visitors read about 50 percent of the content. There is a peak at the zero content point where readers “bounce.” There is also a peak where visitors see all the content that is on video or photographs.
Take Notes From Traditional Journalism
You might think your blogging troubles are new, but traditional print media have faced the same diminishing interest issues for decades. An article from the Purdue University Owl illustrates how journalism has dealt with it.
One such journalism strategy is the “inverted pyramid.” The “inverted pyramid” has been the mainstay of journalistic style for decades. Schools of journalism teach that the “base” of the pyramid, the most fundamental facts of the story (the “Five Ws”: who, what, when, where, and why) appear in the first line or two of the article. The idea behind this is to get the most important information to the reader before they decide to move on. Non-essential information then appears in the following paragraphs, in order of diminishing importance.
Along the same line of thought, journalists use headlines as a way to relay important information and draw readers in because many people limit themselves to the headlines as quick one-line summaries or to determine whether or not they want to read a story. As a result, writing headlines is considered a high art in and of itself.
Utilizing these journalistic approaches to writing can benefit your blog as well.
Blogging in the Real Online World
As you can see, it is unnecessary for your blog to be read thoroughly by all. What matters is that you continue to blog regularly and stay focused on your content goals. You may not see immediate results (although many often do), but if you stay the course, you will eventually see more and more people visiting your page. When you blog, you keep the community alive and you keep your own little light on in the digital world.
Avocet Communications firmly believes in the power of content creation and blogging. Please contact us to learn more.