Have you considered the shift from PC to mobile? I haven’t looked but if there was a huge uptake in mobile devices in 2011(ish) that could contribute to less comments on blogs that are not mobile friendly - or more specifically - ones with commenting systems that are not mobile friendly. In general, typing anything more than a sentence on mobile sucks. I personally do not comment much on my phone. Food for thought.
Have you considered the shift from PC to mobile?
Ah, that makes sense as a contributing factor. The rise of mobile kills comments but also easy use of RSS subscribing, combined with the explosion in “professional” blogs and full time blogs, content farm (eg “10 amazing things to do before you die, #4 will surprise you”), and facebook becoming a default go-to site for bored people all combined to make blogging less effective. That’s now my premise!
I think a very focused blog @bradt was talking about can definitely still work. I’m starting to wonder if your own blog is really the best place for it though. Basecamp just moved to Medium for their blog and it’s something I’m going to try also. My personal (most abandoned!) blog will remain, but I’m going to be putting more of my software business and general business stuff over on https://fasterhorses.io for a bit (not much there yet! soon!).
I also think for me, having a built in audience on Medium (via Twitter) gives me a bit more motivation to write. Well, that’s my theory anyway. I have a few interesting articles in process, I’ll report back on if Medium seems to help with any traction.
Oh, also that’s setup as a publication. Happy to have people contribute articles to it if you’re interested.
I can’t imagine ever not writing articles. But I’m not sure that writing articles is equivalent to blogging.
Whether blogging has declined in popularity due to the shift to mobile or the death of RSS or something else, long-form content will always have a place in content marketing, even if it’s more as an adjunct to e-mail courses or lead magnets or paid ads.
Plus, it wasn’t all that long ago that podcasting was considered dead, and look at it now. The wheel never stops turning. No idea what tomorrow will bring, and all that.
I’ve been experimenting with posting stuff to both my blog and to Medium. Medium gives me more reach. My blog gives me the ability to capture opt-ins. You would think the former would translate into the latter, but it’s not always so.
I’m just going to keep writing articles and figuring out ways to get them in front of people who need them. Whether we call that blogging or not, whether we call that dead or not, I’m ust going to keep doing it and see how it goes.
Perhaps I ought to try republishing some of my blog articles to medium. Sounds a bit tedious though.
As a reader, (Yes, I do read, folks) Medium is very appealing. I would highly recommend it as a marketing ploy. I don’t read many blogs exclusively, but I do read medium almost daily.
Just today I was reading this:
Mmm, no links allowed, as I’m so shiny new… but anyway, killer quote:
"“You can’t build an audience in 2015 with 400 word posts. You just can’t.”
Yep. I think there’s a lot more noise today (possibly from the puff pieces). Which makes the good stuff actually stand out even more.
Patrick Mckenzie publishes great, pithy Twitter posts. Very high signal to noise on those.
At the very least, I think the goal should be as SHORT as possible (but no shorter). There is WAYYYY too much wordy crap on the internet that has a 400 word nugget of good stuff.
If it’s really interesting and well written, especially if the fluff moves the story forward, then that works. Like JoelOnSoftware. There’s a big difference between telling a funny anecdiote that illustrates your point, and just telling a mediocre random anecdote.
I think Medium looks good on the outside for the same reason ipad apps do:
They do a good job (I think) of meriocracy:They promote the best 1%, which is what we see.
Simply posting on Medium doesn’t get you into that top 1%
However, I think your best articles, Andy, are in the top 1% It’s worth a “lean marketing MVP” try
If you do it, let us know how it goes.
Hmmm… how about a medium article on posting on Medium, for microISVs?
Twitter posts, unless pointing to a blog post, are irrelevant in a discussion about blog posts, surely?
Shorter is certainly a good goal to aim for, but it’ll a well-worn truism, one that keeps defying trendy “updates” by gurus, that the more you tell, the more you sell. Blog posts are not sales copy but they must at least be interesting.
If you HAPPEN to have great, actionable and high quality content that you can cram into 400 words (less than a whole page) then go for it, but how often can you do that?
This was in reply to the "can’t build an audience with 400 word posts"
I read, favorite, and share Patrick’s content on Twitter.
I also think that one should not look narrowly at just blogging, but rather look more broadly at Content Marketing. Twitter is one way to do that marketing.
Now, I will say that it’s crucial that your content:
- Be of interest (and ideally useful) to your target audience.
- Ideally, educate that audience to overcome obstacles to using your service. (E.g., If I am selling UX design, I’d write about success stories with UX, or how important UX is, or how to know if your UX sucks. This has the benefit of particularly targeting that group of potential customers which is lacking some knowledge to use your service. It also establishes credibility with the exact thing you’re selling, and overcomes an obstacle (moves them closer to buying.