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Is Blogging Dead Or Just Behaving Differently?

A lot of the people know me on social media as a blogger. And that’s fair because for the past 15 years or so I have been writing traditional blogs. A while ago I added up the number of blog posts I had done and it came to over 2500.

During the past few years, however, I have had some personal things get in the way of my normal blogging output. So instead, of putting in the hard core time it takes to create credible full length blogs in the 1500-2500 word range, I started experimenting with writing in a shorter format.

Since I did that, I started to notice a real uptick in the number of people who would read and engage with my posts.

Why Would That Be?

The fact that they were right there and you didn’t have to go anywhere to read them. Plus the fact that they were no more than a few hundred words (400 max) and that they were focused on a single issue made it all that much easier for people to take the time to read, absorb and even comment.

My reasoning for doing this was that I was starting to believe that people are generally reluctant to spend a lot of time in any one place when they are on line. It’s a combination of actually having less time, and that ever shortening attention span that social media, by its very form, encourages.

This, as it turns out, isn’t just a personal belief, but a trend that I have had verified by a couple of people I know who analyze these things for a living and a couple others who do a lot of reading on line.

Then of course there is the competition, mainly in the form of podcasts where people can get real in depth exploration of a topic and actually be doing other things at the same time.

What About Long Format Blogging?

As far as blogging goes, my thinking is that people, in their desire to maximize the time they spend on line, would much rather get a slap upside the head or warm hug than a full body massage, so to speak.

Then when I started to look around, I saw that the main social media sites understood this (or maybe even caused it) and increased the allowable limits for text in individual posts. Because their interest was in traffic that’s certainly one way to build it.

It’s A Whole New Ball Game.

What this has done for me is given me a whole new kind of game to play here. So far, on personal and political posts, it has worked just fine. I have managed to hit 50,000 or more views on LinkedIn several times.

I’m still experimenting with how to communicate business ideas in this format, and that’s a little bit trickier because I have to back myself out of the conditioned mode of operation which I incorporated for years, and subdivide multi-faceted explanations into bite sized chunks.

But fear not, I will figure it out and as I have often said about anything to do with communications, half the fun (or maybe more) is getting there.

The bottom line is that I’ve arrived at a place where I no longer feel the need to write long format posts, because the number of potential readers in that areas is diminishing quantity.

Smart blogging sites like BizCatalyst 360°, (where I am a Featured Contributor)  have also glommed onto this, and have not set minimum limits for the posts they publish.

This is not to say that there isn’t a market or a place on line for longer format posts, because I believe there is. But I also believe it’s shrinking and from my point of view, I would much rather be fishing where the majority of the fish are.

Sorry,  I’m a marketing guy and that’s just how we think.

Please note that this post is just my opinion. I would be very interested in yours, especially if you are a regual blogger.

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Jim Murray
Jim Murrayhttps://www.bebee.com/@jim-murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. Early on in my writing career, I discovered advertising. While the other media have drifted in and out, communications writing and art direction have been the constant through a 20-year career senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource to direct clients, design companies, marketing consultants and boutique agencies. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and opened MurMarketing which is a freelance strategic development/copywriting/art direction service for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world. I currently write long format blogs in 4 different streams, encompassing, entertainment, marketing, and communications, life in general, and the renewable energy and recycling industries. These are currently published on beBee.com. I have, over the years, created more than 1500 blog posts. I live with my wife Heather in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life. I am currently recovering from spinal surgery and learning to walk again.

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6 CONVERSATIONS

  1. I am not familiar with these things and, therefore, for me it is not an easy question to answer. After all, blogs can perform very different functions – from improving search engine rankings to offering personal opinions on niche topics – and they still remain widely used.
    Perhaps what is expected of an article today is very different from what was expected ten years ago. The focus has shifted to the content of an article that must give value to the reader.
    To be a bit moribund, perhaps, is the content strategy. And the awareness of why you write, and why the audience should read that content: writing less, communicating better, listening more, can help.

  2. Great article, Jim, and I listen to very few podcasts as well, even though I produce one. I never watched the shows I produced in the 90s, either. If I listen to anything, it’s music while working in my command center. I am particularly aware of how posts of many kinds fall into my viewable feed and often they inspire thoughtful responses and help to imbue my day with enjoyment, even when the topic might not be so enjoyable.

    Ah, you caught me paying attention, Charlotte. Took me a moment to differentiate the ‘mothership’ as I have mothershipcafe.com as one of my outlets. I suppose we grow to adapt and engage as we do from prior experience or learning. For instance, when I studied for test in high school, I’d always have an album on. During the test, I often found myself listening to the album in my head while taking the test. I suppose it was a type of pneumonic process, perhaps. Funny, I go both ways.. listen and not listen. Right now my wife’s piano lessons are happening, so there’s a piano in the background, yet it isn’t distracting.

    • Thanks for the cudos, Zen. Coming for you it means a great deal. Since I got back from 4 months in the hospital, (spinal surgery that took away my balance…coulda been a hell of a lot worse).I have been writing pretty much non-stop. It’s very quiet here as my wife is a social butterfly and is always going somewhere to do needlework or miniatures. Since I have been home I have written wrote a three part mini series on eco terrorism, another series which is about 4 episodes done, adapted several of my feature screenplays to short stories and also wrote short novel. All that activity and the reading I do as a matter of course leaves very little time for podcasts, even most TV, which I used to watch a lot of.
      I think podcasting is a great way to build one’s personal brand or business brand. Maybe that’s why I don’t listen very much. My brand was built years ago. Now I’m just concentrating on writing stories, mostly just for the sake of doing it, since I no longer have to actually work. I also have an inventory of more than 2500 blog posts on various things like marketing, advertising, writing, entertainment politics whatever. It’s alwasy been fun to do, so I never stopped doing it.

  3. Thanks Charlotte. You really did put a coat of logic over my thesis here. I’m like you. Very little podcast listening. Much more short post reading. We only have so much time on this very. I’ll be damned if I wan to share any of it with guys like Joe Rogan. Statistically, a lot of podcasts are listened to while driving.

  4. What an excellent observation, Jim. Guilty as charged.

    I am one of the people who can’t do something else while I listen. My multitasking ability is zero (partly supported by that I know everybody’s multitasking abilities are non-existing; the brain switches between tasks, they don’t run simultaneously if they both require awareness.) My backlog of podcasts I would love to listen to is “as long as my arm” – because listening to a 45 min podcast is literally giving the podcast host 45 minutes of my life; not something happening in the background of doing something else.

    Hence, my typical long form infotainment is watching a TED talk or reading a physical book/magazine.

    Posts on this platform – BC360 – are typically read in 3-5 minutes – more if they resonate and “require” a comment. But they can generally be consumed without prior planning.
    A good solid meals with friends takes planning and dates must be set in the calendar so I can give people the attention they and their work deserve. And that doesn’t fit with running into a blog post by chance. That requires the kind of relationship where one wants to sign up to receive regular mail linking to the blog. And suddenly the target audience shrinks to those to whom the content is very relevant – not just for broadening the horizon for generally curious amateurs like me.

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