Some folks think that in this visually driven era, blogging – the good old, text-based form of expression – is a dinosaur, ready to fade into oblivion. However, just like my parrot Cockles that wakes up every morning yapping about breakfast with as much gusto as ever, the essence of blogging continues to thrive. The medium might have evolved, but the core need for meaningful storytelling remains. You wouldn’t believe the number of times my little girl, Blair, has pleaded, “Tell me a story, Daddy” as opposed to “Show me a story.” Therein lies the magic of words. They allow readers to create and visualise a unique narrative of their own, making the content-customer relationship far more participatory and personalised.
A common perspective today is that video blogging or vlogging has hogged all the limelight, leaving traditional blogging behind. Like Ellis, my second kid, who insists that Batman can beat Superman because he has "cool gadgets," many believe vlogging is superior due to its apparent tech-savviness. But is it really that black and white? No. Both formats are kings in their own realms, much like our heroes. The trick is to understand where each shines, aligning their strengths to your content strategy. Just because Batman has fancy gadgets doesn’t squarely tip the scales in his favour, does it? After all, Superman can fly!
Do you know who loves a well-written blog more than anyone else? Search engines! Google and its ilk have a soft spot for text, and nurturing this relationship can do wonders for your blog’s visibility. And who wouldn’t like to be spotted amidst the maddening digital crowd, right? Take Ginger, my pet fish as an example. Amid all the bubbles and waves in her tank, whenever she sees me, she quickly swims towards the glass, as if trying to communicate, "Hey, look here!” Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is your blog’s way of reaching out amid the digital clutter.
Building a readership for a blog might feel as challenging as teaching Cockles to sing "Waltzing Matilda", but trust me, it isn't rocket science. With a little effort and persistence, one can cultivate an engaged reading community and the process can be as rewarding as hearing Cockles finally warbling that Aussie classic. Blogs offer an open platform for dialogue, encouraging readers to share their ideas in the comment section, creating a vibrant community of readers and contributors.
What do you reckon gives a blog that extra oomph? It's the power of details. With writing, you have the luxury to dive into the nitty-gritty of things, while video content can often skim beyond the surface. I recall how Blair got fascinated with Mars and bombarded me with a zillion questions. Showing her a video of Mars didn’t satisfy her curiosity, but weaving a detailed narrative did. Same goes for blog posts. They act as the microscope to the telescopic view offered by videos - both present the same thing, but in different magnitudes and strengths.
Can blogs open up avenues for monetization? To answer this, I remember the time when Cockles got out of his cage and ended up in a neighbour's bird feeder. Pandemonium followed. Now tie this up with advertisement placements in and around your blog content. Attracting traffic to your blog works in the same way. The more visitors you attract, the higher your potential to monetize through ads, referrals, affiliate marketing, or through selling products and services. My wallet thanked me, and my neighbour too - thanks to Cockles' wild adventure, they discovered their love for parrots!
Is it worth investing time and effort to start a blog when you could just create a video blog instead? As a dad watching his kids, Blair and Ellis, learn to make voices and sounds from Cockles, the parrot, I learnt that it's about creating a connection and telling a story. Video may seem instantly appealing and exciting, like Ellis's toy train set, while blogging, much like Blair's love of paper and colouring pens, allows for an in-depth and personal engagement. You may ask, "Can’t I have both?" Yes, you can! But never underestimate the power of the written word. Sometimes, it’s not about choosing but understanding how each tool can work best for you. Remember - Superman needs Batman just as much as Batman needs Superman!