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Is Blogging Still Relevant in a World of Social Media? [6 Reasons Why I Think It Is]

“How relevant is blogging for today in a world of so many types of social media?”

I must hear this question – or a variation of it – at least once a week. So I thought I’d open it up for some discussion to the wider ProBlogger community.

What do you think?

My feeling is that blogging is a very relevant option for developing a web presence but as the question states – there are other legitimate options too.

Each option has their own pros and cons and depending upon your goals and your resources (including how much time you have) you may choose to do all of the options available or just choose some.

Why I Think Blogging is Relevant

A few of the main arguments why I keep blogging as opposed to just using social media include:

  1. if self host your blog and use a blogging platform like WordPress.org you retain full control over your blog and what it looks like, how you monetize it and what kind of content you can put on it
  2. a blog allows you a lot of freedom in terms of length of posts (as opposed to Twitter/Facebook which limit length) and the design of your posts (i.e. inserting images, sub heading, bolding etc (G+ does give you some of this control) etc
  3. As long as you maintain it and pay for your hosting your blog can stay up forever and is not there as long as the social network may operate or be a relevant medium for people
  4. For me a blog is a place that I archive and showcase my best longer form and meaty stuff – social is an important place for researching what I write, sharing it and building community with my readers
  5. Much of what is shared and discussed on social media is links to longer form content – I want to be a creator of that
  6. In my experience it is easier to monetize and make sustainable a business based upon a blog over a social media account

Note: there will always be exceptions to the above. For instance G+ does give you some formatting options, I do know some people who monetize social media well etc – but in general I think the above stands up well.

Note 2: I’m certainly not arguing blogging is the only way or that you need to choose between blogging and social media. I use both but if I had to choose just one (which none of us have to) I’d choose blogging.

Why Others Think Blogging is Relevant

When I asked on my Twitter account yesterday for why my followers blog when they could use social media I got some great responses along these lines like:

I call it “share the message own the destination” – from Gavin Heaton

because sometimes thoughts should be developed beyond 140 characters or less – from James Woods

most of the value I get reading anything online still comes from longer format – from Reuben

I blog because it gives my voice and content a home. #SM platforms can delete anything I say if they so choose. – from Jessica Cue

Because the content is owned by me, not subject to the fine print of the legal text of a socmed service.Scott Fitzgerald

I SM to support my blog, I like the fact my blog space is my own to be me in. SM has it’s own rules depending on platform. – by Jessie Reid

Add Your Thoughts

The above thoughts (both mine and others) are just scratching the surface of this topic – I’d love to get your perspective on the relevancy of blogging for today in comments below!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Sminso says:

    It seems to be more and more important to “Be Everywhere” in the web world. Your readers are all over the place and you need to be as well. Blogging, social media, ebooks, etc are all places you need to be growing your presence.

  2. Chris says:

    Blogging will always have the upperhand over social media from a end user point of view. The depth of research and resulting discussions that a blog invokes almost always outweighs any content on a similar topic hosted on a social media stream.

  3. Hey, this was a really great article, thanks for posting!

  4. James Rhodes says:

    Hey Darren,

    I view posting on social media as a type of blogging. These “micro-blogs” have streamlined the blogging process, but I still consider them blogs. At the end of the day blogging is just pushing out content to connect with an audience. Which social media excels at.

    That being said I believe professional bloggers will always keep traditional blogs because:

    Ownership: As you mentioned, you don’t necessarily own your posts on social networks.

    Monetization: Traditional blogs are much more flexible in terms of monetization.

    Experience: You can create better and more customized experiences through a traditional blog.

    Unlimited: You don’t have to abide by Twitter’s or Tumblr’s rules on your own blog; you can post what you want, when you want, without worry.

    Ad-free: Twitter and Facebook exist to sell your audience to advertisers. With traditional blogs it is your decision what you do with your audience’s attention.

    I think social networks are great for blogging. They allow bloggers to be relevant, timely and to discover new ways to blog. However, I would never give up the ownership and control that accompanies a traditional blog.

  5. Definitely think it is important to incorporate social media with your blogging efforts and make sure your blog is setup to properly syndicate out to your social media accounts.

  6. David says:

    Blogging bridges the gap between long-form, valuable content and the more rapid-digest content offered through social. You need a bit of both but for real engagement you need something that people can digest. Essays are not so useful but blogs provide the opportunity for value beyond the short time frame of social.

  7. Anirudh says:

    Blogging would always be relevant in the world of social media. Great article, enjoyed reading it. Thanks! :)

  8. I like to call my blog my home and social media the place you hang out to meet people.
    Yes, there’s lots of fun hanging out with people, but you’ll want to go back home eventually and you kinda’ want to have a home to return to.

    Hey, and if you need some help with formatting your blog posts, I’m here :) It just grabbed my attention that the formatting got a bit wonky on this post ;)

    Thanks for the great reads, guys, I learn something new here every day and I really appreciate you!

  9. I am blogging for my English 101 class, and I came across this article. While I am not the best blogger, or even a good blogger (yet!), I believe that blogs will always be relevant. They give the speaker a voice! And they don’t mask the voice to look like everyone else. It’s personal and unique; just like human beings. We can say what we want, how we want, with the appropriate pictures and videos where we want them, without the confining restraints of categorized social media sites.

  10. courtney says:

    Agree Darren and the research is telling the same story.

    The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2013 ‘Tracking the Future of News’ has some interesting analysis on gateways and how audiences discover news online. Social and blogging both work together to establish authority and point people to content that interests them (often having more pulling power than traditional news brands) http://courtneylambert.co/gateways-and-how-audiences-discover-news-online

  11. John James says:

    I’m finding that I’m following people less and less on social media and more and more on blogs…

    Social media can be fun sometimes, but it’s also full of banality and repetition and lameness…

    Blogs are where you find the “real” person… there’s a “depth” to a blog that you don’t always find on social media…

    Social media is where I go to “veg out” – Blogs are where I go to learn stuff and find quality over quantity…

    :)

  12. Mridula says:

    Blogging requires more effort, only a few will maintain a blog.

  13. Mi Muba says:

    I think there is no match of blogging with social media; you cannot use inforgraphics on most of the social media; you can’t write pillar post, you can’t maintain a fat archive on any social media account and most important you can’t monetize as broadly as you can on your own blog or website; yes but social media is big support for your every online marketing campaign and without it you have to compromise over its slow pace

  14. Martin says:

    Facebook and other social media are changing the rules whenever they want. On your blog you change the rules whenever you want. But there is no blogging without social media.

  15. Good question Darren – in this age of social media FB, Twitter, et al – you could be forgiven for thinking that blogging has had its day. However the attendees at your blogging conferences do indicate that they are lots of people who love blogging. Plus the advantage of writing a long form article is what attracted me to blogging, plus the idea that I had something to say.
    Certainly some might say that in a world of 140 characters, on-line readers won’t take the time to read a 300 word blog, but many topics need that many words (or more) to be fully explained.

  16. Muneeb Ahsan says:

    Actually, Blogging required a lot of hard working, its not easy to go the top quickly. I think blog should be monetize after at least 3 month, that’s what i think about monetizing

  17. Blogging is better in all aspects as I think that social media will evolve and shorter content would keep on becoming popular on social media whilst on the other hand blogs and websites would become encyclopedia of information on the internet.
    To me Social media is like a comic book whereas a blog is like a full length novel.
    Nice post btw!

  18. Darko says:

    There is another great difference between blogging and Social Media posting : the visibility of the post over time. I still have visitors on “old” posts, and I can easily link to those posts in new ones. I can still add “value” to those old posts. This is (still) not true on Social Media.

    Then, I agree, comes the control of your space. On a Social Media, People are less aware of your image, of your brand.

    Now, if there is something I may worry about, that is the move from the web to mobile usage.

    • ed cyzewski says:

      That is a really important point. Social media is all about what you’re doing today, while a blog can function more like an archive of high quality content for the long term and continue to bring in search traffic. I think social media and Tumblr make a lot more sense for the short, quick hit content, especially if it’s a project that’s supposed to be fun.

  19. Chitra says:

    It is a nice article. Blogging is most important thing businesses can do to increase traffic and can be made them find online.Blogs plays a great role in search engine optimization. Social media should be used effectively for a business.

  20. Travis says:

    Blogging is buying the house, Social Media is renting one.

  21. Daryl says:

    I agree with the message in most of the responses – your blog is the platform, and social media (e.g. Youtube, Facebook, Twtiter, etc) are only the medium through which you drive traffic to your blog.

    Also, your blog helps with your branding because of the fact that you can customize both the design and content to your heart’s desire – something you can’t do with a Facebook page or Twitter account. Far from just being able to add more content, the design and style of your blog is what communicates to readers your own personal voice and brand, something that’sfar more difficult to do on a social media site

  22. Blogging will always hold the better pile of cards…

    With that said – there will people that will never like to read blogs. They’re the people that just don’t care. They’re fine living in their world of Miley Cyrus, Twitter, and E! Television.

    On the other hand, there are people that like to keep informed and blogging is a great way to get that information.

  23. Marcie says:

    Your blog is your online “home” where you can be found at anytime. Everyone you want to serve is not on social media sites, so you’ll miss out great opportunities and connections if you rely on those platforms.

    I’m addicted to blogging and I feel that you can do anything you want, any time you want and how you want on your site.

  24. Edson Hale says:

    I think blogging offers vast space for internet marketing with multiple options to sell your products and services while social media is a best tool to support your internet marketing drive. You can not achieve as perfect results as you can do with blogging.

  25. For me a blog show intent. If you’re asked about your writing, your productivity, how long you’ve been writing consistent copy, you either send links to places you’ve contributed, or a link to your blog.

    Hopefully you post your contributor links to your blog, too, so evidence of your blogging greatness is on display.

    Blogging dying down for other hosted platforms? Here comes more digital share cropping.

  26. Mark Eric says:

    Great points. My blog is the center of the wheel. Social media sites are are what’s found at the end of the spokes- they all point back to my blog.

  27. Blogging is increasing in importance as social media platforms proliferate online. They need grist for the mill, and good blog posts provide it. I have used my blog as my ONLY marketing platform for the past nine years and it works.

    Here are two post of mine on why blogging is so important, one from 2009 and the latest from last year.

    http://www.jarche.com/2009/08/blogs-social-medias-home-base/

    http://www.jarche.com/2012/04/how-blogging-changed-my-life-for-the-better/

  28. Blogging is definitely still alive and relevant, no doubts about it. Social media can link us together, but we need a platform to read the minds of great people. However, I’m worried than someday, commenting will disappear, and all comments will be transferred over to social media.

    • Karen J says:

      Commenting disappear from blogs? Lordy, I hope not!
      I find nearly as much valuable content in the comments as in the original post. Plus, delightful new folks to check out…
      (Also, my tricky-attention-span-brain would NOT be happy with having to read *here* and then go *there*, and bounce back-an-forth!)

      As @Marcie said above, not everyone is ever going to be on social media; and platforms keep multiplying – you can make yourself crazy trying to keep up with the latest “everywhere and everything” and their peculiarities.

  29. So many different reasons for different people. So many people blog just as a form of sharing their thoughts, their own therapy, not thinking any one will read it. For business… such a great tool. In many respects it links to social media, but totally different at the same time!

  30. Angie says:

    I appreciate this post because this is a question I had been asking myself lately. I recently started another new blog and have been getting more traction on social media lately than on my actual blog. However, I think the value of a blog is that it can be ORGANIZED to catalog information you want your audience to know. Social media is constantly moving and changing… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen something that I want to remember, only to never see it again. I don’t remember who posted it or where I saw it, and I can never find it again. I think if we keep our blogs updated with the information we want our audiences to have, and most importantly, include a way so they can look at our blogs and FIND what they are looking for again, there is massive value in a blog. If we include advanced search capabilities, ways to pull up posts by categories and/or tags, and generally lay out our blogs so people can find what they need, our blogs become extremely valuable resources.

  31. Matt says:

    The blog is where the original content should be written. Social platforms is where it should be shared. They enhance the blog. It is not practical to share large ideas, with many words, on a social platform.

  32. Hey Mr. Darren. I think blogging will be there till the end of the Internet!!! :) Social media cant sompare I think. When I publish on social media platforms, I fear that they might delete my content for no apparent reason.

  33. Ryan Challis says:

    You can’t convey a point in 140 characters or less (Twitter’s character limit), or in a simple Facebook status update. Blogs are still extremely relevant today. I read blogs all the time particularly technology related so I can keep up with the tech world (in my opinion the major news outlets don’t report enough on tech)

  34. I am blogging for my website and I came across this article. I am not a professional blogger or even a good blogger (yet!),
    I believe blogging requires a lot of effort specially at the beginning.
    Definitely i think it is important to incorporate social media with your blogging and make sure your website blog incorporate with social media accordingly.
    Social and blogging must work together to establish authority.
    This was a very helpful article for me to learn more about social media and its importance and effectiveness in blogging .

  35. A blog is also a natural way to showcase one’s authority as an expert on a particular industry, discipline or subject. Web surfers in search of answers love clear, well-written articles that address their concerns and point the way toward possible solutions. If you can entertain as well as educate, and do it on a regular basis, then you’re well on your way toward building a devoted readership — and if you run a business, devoted readers may either become customers and/or refer their friends and colleagues to you.

  36. There’s no denying the relevance and impact of social media on blogging. As a new blogger (still deciding on a blog niche .. God help me) I’ve read a lot of arguments suggesting ye oldie blog is dead.
    One thing they all seem to have in common is a presumption that everyone engages with social media the same way as they do a blog. I’m hoping they’re wrong and there is still room in the world for a longer blogging format.
    If the delivery of news and opinion were to fall into the mire of social media sites I’d fear for the future of humanity .. try explaining the ins and outs of the Syrian conflict on twitter.

    Of course this view could be compared to the idea that blogging killed or is killing traditional news outlets. But thats’s a whole ‘dumbing down’ argument I’ll leave to Robert Levine and co.

    From a personal point of view there is no way I could’ve learned what I have to date about websites, html, blogging, social media and all things blog without pro-blogger and others and It’s my guess there are millions like me who prefer a fuller explanation on their chosen search topics.

    If blogging does die – so be it – but I for one am betting the next few years of my life it wont.

  37. Blogging allows you take control of your identity and gives you the ability to really exist online. Social media may come and go but blogging remains. You can fully express your thoughts with all the functionality of a blog while social media is almost always selective. I’ve been using social media for years and I’m a newbie blogger. So far, all I can say is that blogging can make a person more creative and productive online. Hands down to all your points on why blogging is relevant. As newcomer, I would say that blogging really rocks! … And blogs such as yours become an inspiration to everyone.

  38. I would say blogging is more relevant than ever. It’s such an easy way to pump out your own content, and I wouldn’t really say social networks are very well geared for doing similar things.

  39. Karen J says:

    Viva la Blog!
    … with conscientiously moderated comments.

    I had to be practically dragged kicking-an-screaming to get a Facebook account in order to participate in a year-long program that I ****really-really wanted****. I’m glad I joined The Group – it’s been incredibly growth-inducing – and I kinda enjoy being able to see what “everybody” seems to post on FB, but I’ll never-ever be “active” (I think I’ve “Liked” 2 other pages).

    This is my first visit here – followed a Tweet (in her blog’s sidebar!) by Susanna Perkins. Glad I came – now I know what folks rave about! :)

  40. Yes, Blogging is relevant to Social Media. If you have good blog posts then you can get relevant traffic from Facebook twitter and other Social media websites.
    Normally, If you share your posts in relevant groups then you can get good traffic.
    Thanks

  41. Manish says:

    I love the way you write Article headings. “6 reasons why I think it is ” was really catchy.

  42. I believe blogging is relevant because it allows one to create a library of information for their readers. I frequently miss things on SM. However, on a blog, I can usually search for the content I am interested in. Also, as Darren mentioned you can get more valuable information in a blog post.
    Thanks,

  43. Creating and owning your own great content will never go out of style. I’m amazing how hard people will work to make their social media sites perfect yet their own sites end up looking horrible and abandoned.

  44. I think blogging is not only relevant, I think it’s a preferred medium for communication. It’s the best way to get an expert point across.

  45. Mike Elgan says:

    The problem with this question is that it doesn’t define its terms. What’s a social network? What’s a blog?

    I would argue that many of the most prominent “blogs” are not blogs at all, but online publications that use what people call “blogging” software as their content management and publishing system. (So does The Washington Post, but that doesn’t make it a “blog.”)

    And what’s a social network? Facebook is. But Google+ is a social network only when you use it like one. It’s an email system if you use it like that, a photo sharing site if you use it like that and a video conferencing system if you use it like that.

    It’s also a blogging platform, if you use it like I do, and the best one imho. As Tim O’Reily said, it’s like Tumblr 2.0 but more viral.

    So, yes, blogging is highly relevant. But blogging is much more powerful if you do it on Google+.

  46. Robyn says:

    I liked your point 5 “Much of what is shared and discussed on social media is links to longer form content – I want to be a creator of that”.

    I originally started blogging on my daughter’s advice: a way to stay sane during a traumatic time in my life. I then decided to write a book (memoir) about that time and so the blog developed into an “author platform”.

    Recently I was linked to by Huffington Post and the article in question has now been read just under 80,000 times. If all 80,000 had bought the book, I’d be ecstatic, but of course I don’t think that has happened! However, there are now all those people who didn’t know my book existed before and now they do. They may come back.

    I can’t see I would have got that exposure from Facebook, Twitter or G+.

    Glad to see blogging is still relevant!

  47. Jason says:

    I agree about blogging here, it’s one of the best mediums out there online today and the fact is that so many templates are rolling around out there that half of the websites I look at are getting more and more professional to the point where they barely look like blogs.