Most of my holiday vacation was spent resting, visiting with family, and reflecting on the past year. I thought about my accomplishments, failures, and intentions. I beat myself up for not blogging enough and wondered what changed from previous years.
Several reasons I didn't blog:
- A change in my responsibilities forced me to focus attention elsewhere
- My travel schedule increased
- I didn’t attend as many events
- I didn’t feel like it
- I stopped following RSS feeds
- Twitter allowed me to get lazy in retweeting
- The latest mobile social media apps (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) have terrible interfaces
- My mobile has given me more headaches than solutions; I spend a lot of my mobile time reading and socializing
- I fell out of touch with several online friends
- Many of my favorite bloggers slowed/stopped blogging
- I didn’t prioritize blogging
In the end, it’s just a lot of excuses.
The benefits of blogging
Even with all the benefits of blogging, I couldn’t get back on track with a regular writing schedule. This is something I’m going to change in 2012.
My blogging has dropped to almost nothing but if my first few posts this year are any indication, I’m going to be writing a lot more in the coming months.
The benefits of blogging haven’t changed from years past:
- Fresh content to promote your message to your audience
- Relevant information that relates to your keywords and industry terms
- Multiple content formats (text, images, video, audio, etc.) that help you rank well in the ever expanding indexes that search engines display to users
- Establishing yourself as an expert and staying current in your industry
- Creating a home for all your social media activities to tie back to
- Embedding images, video, audio, etc. while providing greater context for the media you’ve produced
- Attraction of links by other bloggers
- Comments and community-building
- Shares, Likes, and Retweets that naturally build exponential interest
Shortfalls of social media sites
When Google+ launched last year, I started to appreciate what Facebook had been working toward; groups, community, and multiple formats of content (photos, videos, status updates, etc.). I much prefer Google+ over Facebook. As I’ve added people to my circles and followed the streams of data, I realized that Twitter is actually lacking severely without photos & videos, 140 character limit, groups, filters, and other great features we’ve all dreamed about.
You can only have somewhat superficial conversations on Twitter and Facebook. Getting into deep discussions becomes visible to everyone following your feed and isn’t always what you want. For example: I may not want to follow 100 tweets between two of my friends while I’m trying to check in for the afternoon. Natural limitations keep your conversations splintered among multiple status updates and threads. Blogging allows you to keep an original post and each of the follow up comments together.
Twitter and Facebook can then help you get the word out that a conversation is happening on your blog.
Blogging is different. I realized I write because it’s fun; and an outlet. I write on different subject matters and publish them to different audiences to keep things organized and targeted. Facebook and Twitter are then used to promote posts to the masses, whether they want to read about my different blog categories or not. Google+ solves this problem better than any other platform but it’s far from perfect.
My top 5 list of blogging benefits I missed:
- Author Authority – keeping and building my audience on several subjects
- Backlinks – promotional and SEO benefits
- Social shares – authority, promotional, and SEO benefits
- Guest blogging opportunities – growing my audience as a result of writing on others' blogs
- Creating content in multiple formats that help me control the SERPs (search engine results pages) with pages, posts, videos, social influence, etc.