I don't mind that I'm becoming a dinosaur.
I'm not going to lie and say that I was shocked to read the DigiDay article, Agencies Ditch Blogs, that they published on Monday. "With the rise of social media, businesses are blogging less. That goes for agencies, too, which are increasingly turning their backs on their blogs in favor of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and newer kids on the block like Instagram and Pinterest." The article went on to quote Sam Weston (director of communications at digital marketing agency, Huge): "Nobody reads agency blogs, and there are so many out there it's impossible for people to keep up anyway. We put ours on hiatus while we figure out what we want to do with it. We do use Facebook and Twitter. We've figured out what works for us there."
Please allow me to correct that quote...
"Nobody reads agency blogs"... THAT ARE BORING AND SELF-SERVING. This is what the Internet brought: just because everyone can publish content, it doesn't mean that they should. Let's argue and say that I'm wrong and that anybody and everybody should be publishing content... fine. Then just because everyone can publish content, it doesn't mean that anyone will care. What advertising agencies are learning is that publishing content on a frequent and consistent basis with a compelling voice is not only a commitment, but it is very difficult. Nothing new here. We've been saying this for close to a decade. It has only become more complicated because there are many other, faster and quicker and different ways to create and share content. This is no longer about the Internet grappling for some of TV's viewers. We live in a world where Instagram is biting into Pinterest's usage and Facebook is tackling users away from YouTube and beyond. It's very complex. It's very complicated.
Blogging is about writing.
Here's a dirty little secret: I hope more agencies stop blogging. I could also name some bloggers that I'd like to see stop. Why? Am I being mean? Absolutely not. I see too many agencies and bloggers struggle with their blogs. It's both obvious and painful to watch. They wind up spending too much time writing about themselves or covering the same areas of interest that everyone else is talking about. They're afraid to have an opinion, step into a territory that they're uncomfortable with and - most of all - they're afraid to go "off brand."
Why you should blog...
- Because it's your own space - not another platform or channel that you can't control.
- Because it's good for search engine optimization.
- Because it helps an agency build a community.
- Because it's good for business and helps your company look more human.
- Because it's a great place to share links and advice.
- Because it's a great way to attract clients.
Maybe... but no.
While all of these may sound like a good reason to blog, they're not.
Why you should blog (really)...
- Because you have something to say.
- Because you are passionate about your industry.
- Because you are seeing things that not many people are talking about.
- Because it helps you to think critically about the changes that your industry faces.
- Because you love to write.
- Because you have to write.
- Because if you had more time, you would write even more.
- Because you feel that others out there might connect with the content and the connect to you.
- Because you're not blogging for work. Your working hard to make your blog work.
This isn't about blogging or whether or not blogging is cool. Blogging simply allows an individual (or an advertising agency) to publish how they think in words, instantly and for free for the world to read. If someone (anyone) is abandoning their blog, it is for one reason only: the world is not caring all that much. The truth is that the world can be a cold and unforgiving place. The only way to change that is to create something so compelling that it makes people stop, think, wonder, share and engage.
Maybe the agencies just realized that there are no free lunches?
Some additional thinking on this:
- Chris Brogan - Nobody Reads Agency Blogs- Or Why You Need Skin in the Game.
- Shel Holtz - Agency blogs are like sewers--what you get out of them depends on what you put into them.