The economics of blogs plunge while millions die of boredom
Web logs or later coined, ‘blogs’ came about in the 1980’s and today, a new blog is posted worldwide, every half-second.* Saturation is well upon us and the future economics of blogs needs close examination, as does the issue of boredom and disengagement.
The cost of a routine blog is a case-by-case measure. My calculations show that businesses can produce 750-words for between $200 and $2500+ AUD per blog. The individual blog cost is not the issue; it is the accumulative cost week after week against mild readership and underwelming sales attribution.
Blogs can be tremendously successful if the article quality is consistently high and the promotional channels are extensive. If these two things are sub par, businesses are entitled to ask whether the blog agony is actually worth it.
Putting a dollar amount next to time spent planning, multiple personnel, stakeholder approvals, external resources, images, promotion, publishing and distribution, replying to comments, analysis and reporting…is just the start of it.
Hard cost figures for example do not take into account the opportunity cost of diverting senior, thought leaders from more profitable tasks or indeed the cost to the business if the blog is jargon heavy, regurgitated guff.
Broad disillusion from poorly written articles, along with flashing ads, pop-ups and headlines like, ‘27 surprising reasons to chew your food’ is scattering blog engagement. Readers have learned to fly over articles for keywords, spending only seconds with your brand’s valuable or not so valuable insights.
The hey day of blogging has certainly passed, but people are still information hungry, more social than ever and armed with mind blowing technology. Therein lies the opportunity for brands to differentiate and even leap frog more established blog rivals with clever tactics and greater authenticity.
Simple tactics any business can apply immediately are ones I have applied in this blog for example the use of a non-stock image, uncommon headline, facts in the opening line, bolded keywords for skim readers, external links, plain language and brevity. But, brands need to dig deeper than this.
Judging by The Top Earning Bloggers In the World (The Richest, 2014), great writing and valuable information is still cutting through. The national benchmark, Australia's 20 Best Business Blogs 2015 (Smart Company) is a fair place to check local standards and Best Australian Blogs (The Writers Centre, 2014), showcases leading Australian lifestyle, parenting, food and business blogs.
While it is helpful to examine what others are doing, the onus is on brands to respond to market conditions in a way that is unique to them and the unique market forces in play. Re-imagining the blog formula across conception, production, placement, promotion and distribution most certainly has commercial merit, but garden-variety blogs have run their race.
If your business would benefit from an independent blog strategy review, please feel welcome to be in contact.
* Source: http://www.wpvirtuoso.com/how-many-blogs-are-on-the-internet/ (last accessed 4 August 2015)