How Valuable is a Blog Really?

While Facebook has the highest social media visibility, consumers say that blogs rank higher than Facebook and Twitter for shaping their opinions and purchasing decisions. This makes a blog pretty valuable.

Here are a few reasons why blogs are still one of the most valuable social media tools you have. Blogs:

  • Make you a bona-fide expert or the authority on your issue which is important in our prevailing cult-of-personality media atmosphere
  • Are so great for search engine optimization (SEO) that many for-profit companies value their blogs for this benefit alone
  • Can be a consistent source of high-qualified leads if your goal is to grow your housefile
  • Allow your reader to “know more” because you’ve got three or four paragraphs, an image, and headlines to tell your story or make a powerful call-to-action
  • Can lead to books, for example a book of moving compilation survivor stories pulled from your blog, or an e-book with valuable tips for living with diabetes, all of which are high value ways to reinforce your message or share valuable content (and capture email addresses)

3 Most Valuable Blog Models for You

Here are the 3 most valuable blog approaches to consider for starting a blog, or refocusing your current blog to be more productive for the effort you’re putting in:

Blogging for Content

This is where you are writing a blog with considerable emphasis on search optimization (your keywords) improving your SEO rank on Google and other major search engines by consistently using your keywords in your new blog posts. Likewise you also “drive” traffic to your blog via strategic content creation and keyword inclusion. You measure your blog success through subscribers, shares, and search traffic based on your keywords.

Blogging for Community

Here your blog is looking to build a consistent readership that interacts with both supporters, advocates, and other bloggers on behalf of your issue. In the case of building for community, you’re looking for higher engagement metrics such as comments, shares, and postings, all of which also lead to blog subscriber growth.

Blogging for Housefile Growth

Blogs can be a rich source of new followers. Strongly related to blogging for content, lead generation-oriented blogs are more interested in conversion events than in traffic generation. Funneling traffic from the blog to some other web destination (typically a donation site, advocacy alert, petition, or lead form) is the primary objective. Here, your metrics are leads and conversions. We know today that emergency relief performs well in lead generation and conversion from the blogs. However, there are other “content” driven opportunities that we recommend, such as “downloadable kits” that can also be repeatedly promoted on your blog and drive conversion traffic, and petition call-to-action, photo contests, and other creative ways to collect email addresses.

Want your blog to perform better?

  • Pick one goal, e.g. housefile growth, community, or content. You can’t be everything to everyone. Pick one goal and maximize toward that goal.
  • Write consistent with the goal of your blog, e.g. if you’re writing for community, write copy that encourages sharing and comments.
  • Spend more time promoting your blog than you spend  actually writing the blog build a strong subscriber base. The time invested is worth it because it’s the “right” subscriber base for you: people engaged in your issue.