Earlier in the month, Nancy Wurtzel published a piece on HuffingtonPost.com titled ‘Please Tell Me, Is Blogging Really Dead?’.
In the piece, Nancy talks about how she setup a blog in 2010, but already felt “late to the party”. Believing she’d missed the real height of blogging, her beliefs have been only further cemented by the fact that, as she explains, “only 37% [of companies] even have a blog today, compared to 50% in 2012″.
Throughout the piece, Nancy essentially says why blogging isn’t beneficial on a commercial basis and that blogging should only really be carried out on a personal level. She does explain that she loves it and says she’ll “probably be the last to leave [the blogging party]“, but the overall piece is one explaining organisations aren’t blogging any more and that there isn’t really any need to do so.
Now, whilst we respect Nancy’s views, we don’t agree with them and the following points look at various statements Nancy made throughout her piece and explains exactly why they are wrong and why any organisation should continue to utilise blogging.
It’s only 37% of the Inc. 500 blog – not 37% of all companies
Saying that only 37% of companies have a blog, a decrease on 50% from 2010, is something that can make even the most optimistic of organisations wary of investing in blogging – but these statistics aren’t correct.
Nancy quotes statistics on the Inc. 500, which shows a 13% decrease on the companies who were blogging in 2010. Whilst there’s no doubt there was a decrease, 13% is only 65 companies less than in the previous year.
When you consider budgets are continually changing, blogging is not often fully understood at first and many don’t actually start blogging until they’ve become relatively established in their industry, a 13% variation could be classed as being negligible.
In Nancy’s piece, she “sighs” at a quote from Roger Yu in a USA Today article, who said “With the emergence of social media, more companies are replacing blogs with nimbler tools requiring less time and resources, such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.”
Yet, the piece that Nancy referenced for the Inc. 500 statistics quotes Nora Ganim Barnes, director of Center for Market Research, as saying “but it’s [blogging] an invaluable tool to these companies. It’s the only place where you can really be a thought leader in your field. You can’t do that in 140 characters.”
And in this same article on Yahoo’s Small Business website, it explains that those companies who do have blogs are particularly happy with them, with 92% citing the platform as being a success.
Business requirements change
Explaining that Roger Yu also stated OKCupid.com’s blog was ranked in the top 25 by Time magazine in 2011, but posts seem to have stopped in April 2011, Nancy gives a “Yikes” to this and on first looking at it, it can seem as though OKCupid.com simply gave up blogging.
Dig a little deeper, however and you realise that in February 2011 – two months before their last blog post – the company was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp, owners of Match.com, one of OKCupid.com’s competitors.
Did the blogging stop because IAC/InterActiveCorp wanted to ensure Match.com still remained the most prominent of their companies? Or did it stop as they wanted to focus their attention on the development of the OKCupid.com website before they continued to drive substantial traffic to it, something blogging can do?
We don’t know and we can only speculate, but there is likely to be a very good explanation – linked to the purchase by IAC/InterActiveCorp – as to why they’ve put a hold on their blogging activities.
Blogging can be extremely financially lucrative
After two years of blogging, Nancy explains that she doesn’t believe it could be her main source of income, even though this was her initial goal.
The problem here is likely to be Nancy’s approach to blogging, the optimisation of her blog and her continued progression – aside from the fact blogging can drive highly targeted traffic to your product or service pages, resulting in better conversion rates on your calls to action than many other marketing channels, there are numerous bloggers who make not only very favourable livings from blogging, but extremely enviable sums of money.
For instance, it was reported in 2010 that both Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.com and Pete Cashmore of Mashable.com were earning around $200,000 per month from their blogging activities – and since this time, both blogs have continued to grow and develop exponentially.
Nancy’s piece on HuffingtonPost.com is largely about how she feels blogging has passed her by in terms of missing the height of its popularity, but also how she continues to blog regardless. The problem is, within the piece, Nancy makes some claims that can be seen in two very different lights and here we simply wanted to explain that not everything is as it seems at first, particularly when it comes to facts and figures relating to blogging and social media.