You voted in the Reagan-Carter election, you were one of the first people to see Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” video on MTV, and you still have your Swatch. Do you blog? Research by email marketing platform ConvertKit suggests you probably don’t. The majority of blog writers—69%— fall into the 25- to 44-year-old category. Only 23% of blog writers are 45 or older, and this research found no respondents over the age of 65 are blogging.
Don’t Judge Blogging by First Impressions
I gave these statistics some thought—not that younger people dominate blogging and web content production, but that older people don’t. One reason could be that people who were adults in the 1990s when blogging first appeared, may have immediately dismissed it as an activity they weren’t interested in. Early blogs (or web logs) were basically online journals and, at the time, few age 30+ entrepreneurs saw how becoming blog writers could help their businesses.
Through the 2000s, blogging grew like a well-watered Chia Pet. Businesses that realized people searching the internet could find their websites via blogs joined in. Again, entrepreneurs at the time may remember some of the awkwardness of those early days. Some blog writers stuffed a lot of keywords onto a page to get people to click on it. You may have been one of the people who saw little value in that and clicked right back off.
Good Content Prevails
Search engines like Google recognized that some people were trying to beat the system by keyword-stuffing. In response, search engines got smarter. Their algorithms have evolved to award valuable content with top search rankings. After all, their objective is to provide their users with results that most closely match what they are looking for. If your web content answers a question, provides information, or tells people how to solve a problem, it can appear high on the list of relevant search results.
True, there is some strategy involved in writing for a website. You still need to consider keywords so you can use the same terminology people use when searching. (Google has learned, however, different terms can mean the same thing.) You need to pay attention to formatting and readability. You also need to write a good title and an informative, attention grabbing snippet that explains what the content is about. But that’s nothing you can’t handle. Today, good blog writers, regardless of whether you turned in your first high school composition after typing it on an IBM Selectric or by submitting it online, are capable of writing for the web.
How Blogging Affects Your Business and Why You Should Pay Attention to It
A blog on a hot industry topic or a new approach to overcoming a business challenge could be the first introduction a prospect has to your business. There are two takeaways here. First, if you aren’t blogging or posting other types of web content, web users aren’t finding your business. They will, however, find competitive businesses that are publishing web content. The world is increasingly online and mobile: You have to get in the game.
Second, if you aren’t overseeing the content on your website, your business could be making a bad impression on potential customers. Blogs have to be well-written, convey valuable information, and strike a chord with prospects. If you are most senior in your organization, most experienced, most in tune with the industries you serve, blogs should reflect your ideas. They probably should not reflect those of the interns you hired for the summer to generate some web content. You don’t have to be the writer, but you should sign off that the messaging you are putting out there is what you really want to say.
If you’ve been too busy or maybe even a little intimidated by trying to put your website to work for your company, today’s the day to begin. You don’t need a spreadsheet to get started—just your legal pad and that mechanical pencil you got in a gift set when you graduated from college. Do you have ideas on how to solve challenges with the products and services you provide? Can you let prospects know how the merchandise you sell can make their lives better? Are you ready to share your insights on the trends you have identified, or are you interested in producing content that will entertain? Make some notes about what you want to say—and then start blogging.