The future of blogging is up in the air, or is it?
In a recent Twitter (X) Spaces Audio Event, co-host Lisa Sicard of Inspire to Thrive met with me to discuss what blogging today looks like, feels like, and provides for businesses in a digital age.
Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing kindly contributed her feelings for us to include.
But I love Henneke’s latest post defending her right to write without the aid of AI. In this glorious post, she explains what writing means to her, coming from and going to, humans, and how it is part of ourselves in each chosen topic and word we write. Before writing her heartfelt post and proclaiming it’s okay to write (thank goodness) for those who want, and perhaps need to, Henneke let us know her intention to continue to blog.
The caveat she notes is that blogging has changed, and yet despite being harder, it is still quite relevant.
What About AI?
Lisa points out that there’s much more to using AI than merely writing for bloggers and mentions these topics to name a few:
- SEO Info
- Productivity Tools
- Marketing Strategy
- Visual/Video Production
- Text-to-Speech Software
- And more…
She also gives a shoutout to her favorite AI writing tools at Ryan Robinson’s, RightBlogger, offering free-to-use and paid versions. For AI videos, Lisa mentions the helpful video services of Julie Weishaar of newhorizons123.com.
AI for Content Varies
Content at Scale is another AI tool specifically designed for bloggers and claims to be the “world’s most human-like AI writer.” Interestingly, Julia McCoy is the company’s president and a key presenter for CAS, but as a content marketing professional who built a highly successful writing agency, Content Hackers, she was initially completely opposed to AI for writing. Now she’s turned into an evangelist for the possibilities of AI for writers, particularly with her specialty-designed CAS platform.
Castmagic gets my vote for AI genius. I point out how much I love the fact that your own media is fed into their magical software, which originally was podcast-focused but continues to expand its capabilities. Not only do you get instant transcripts of your media files, both audio and video, but you also get an array of other useful outputs with unlimited possibilities for content amplification and distribution. You can customize what output you prefer and you can expand on what you get with further AI features built-in.
I may have gushed a little bit about Castmagic before in a TechTalk video episode for The Marketing Mirror and you can see how I’m using it although it keeps getting better and more interesting as I go.
One of the most important issues in properly using AI for your blogging and blog-related needs is the significance of understanding and learning how to use prompts (sometimes called “prompt engineering”) in a way that improves the output. But also, qualifying prompts save time and increase the chance of finding the right information to commiserate with your intent.
Don’t worry, we share the perfect antidote for you in Andy Crestodina’s post on the Orbit Media blog, giving you 13 prompts for more accurate targeting.
Spotify Podcast Version:
Lisa explains and emphasizes why SEO or search engine optimization remains an imperative element for blogging success. She explains how paying closer attention to SEO in combination with her AI usage has increased her blog traffic significantly— as much as double— from the concentrated effort to work on her blog’s SEO.
Kudos to Poulomi Basu, of the We Ignite Growth blog, from Lisa for all Poulomi helped with and taught Lisa about SEO for her blog. One of Lisa’s pointers in the discussion includes how to keep your content highly targeted and on-topic. She suggests working from Cornerstone Content pieces to hone in on each of your key topics, or blog categories, and then creating tons of content around that subject, all connecting back to the Cornerstone piece and exhaustively covering the topic or subject matter.
But I love Henneke’s reminder to remember your audience at all times and create for a specific reader with your blog content.
“Know your audience. Develop what’s unique about you. Be personal. Have a strong marketing strategy.”
~Henneke Duistermaat, Enchanting Marketing
I think your marketing strategy is one of the top considerations behind your blog and content strategy, but it’s something many bloggers skip or glaze over. Business blogs depend on customers and leads that are generated from their content marketing strategy. Ultimately, connecting your blogging directly to business and clients means taking a strategic and thoughtful approach. And I love that in Henneke’s contributions, she emphasizes this as well.
Update Blog Content Continually
Keeping your content up-to-date and relevant is key to SEO and successful blogs, Lisa explains and strongly recommends that you review your posts to make sure they are current as an ongoing content rule. Here’s what she suggests to keep you on track:
- Analyze Content Performance
- Update or Upgrade as Indicated
- Redirect (301) to Related Posts
- Delete Thin or Irrelevant Content
Ways to measure content can include impressions, clicks, views, as well as deciding if a post fits your into main content topics. Sometimes an underperforming piece will finally get the notice it deserves with some tweaks and adjustments or changes.
Lisa mentions that optimizing your blog and focusing on SEO techniques means more to your business than putting time into any other platform or social media. She highly recommends a clear and pointed focus on attracting people to your property, your platform, your blog to increase your visibility and gain customers.
Don’t Ignore Your Blog for Business
Don’t ignore your blog. It’s today’s business home base/digital home, Lisa emphasizes. I say it’s the content hub for business and the fuel to your content marketing fire!
Your blog serves many purposes, but most significantly it serves visitors by providing useful and powerful information while helping them get to know and trust you. While audio and video content is hot, and also possibly easier for some people to consume, your blog is another way to showcase ALL your content and provide supporting materials or deeper dives into topics. It’s also a way to repurpose audio/video content and keep all your content in one place.
Further, as Lisa mentioned in our discussion, you can use your blog content as the basis for other content, like videos. Yes, video content for bloggers makes marketing sense and serves many purposes to elevate your brand.
SEO Your Brand
Ann Smarty, known as @seosmarty on Twitter (X) is one of my favorite sources for everything related to search engine optimization (SEO). I’ve been learning from her since I started blogging. Lisa and I agree that she’s a top resource for trends and data about SEO, and all things digital.
Ann’s latest Newsletter, Smarty’s Digest, chases definitive information to help untangle how search engines and generative AI are in the midst of fast-paced changes overtaking the digital landscape.
With an eye to the future and a very close watch on AI and its implications on the digital economy, we want to congratulate Ann on the announcement of her new digital agency, Smarty Marketing, a boutique SEO Marketing company based in New York, and alert you to get that Newsletter to learn from Ann with us!
Congratulations to Smarty Marketing!
Putting all of your optimal digital marketing tactics into your 2024 marketing plan means paying attention on a few fronts. Still, your blog is an essential part of the mix for most businesses. Your website is your business card today. Your blog is the content hub to ignite content marketing, spark social marketing, and fire up your digital presence with 24/7 valuable, relevant, and informational content to serve your market.
From SEO attention to continually updating blog posts to authentically, exclusively, relevantly, and reliably serving viewers, your blog is central to connecting with potential customers. Fresh and original content served consistently is a winner for Google, visitors, clients, and your business.
Future Notes About Blogs
With AI out of the wazoo, creating content is suddenly easier for everyone and kind of fun to explore.
But tools like Castmagic.io that are geared to customize, personalize, and “learn” based on your work and not the internet at large, are smart enough to understand platform nuances, not to mention a plethora of creator needs, allow you to expand on your productivity, save time, and fine-tune your content, messaging, and repurposing. Your workflow is about to change if it hasn’t already and your blog’s future is looking up.
Blogging isn’t easy. But it IS IMPORTANT and there are more options for what and how a blog looks and feels, and multitudes of content formats and media you can share. This flexibility allows you to hone in on the formats that fit your customer needs and align with your business objectives and capabilities.
While your blog content can be written, graphical, audio/video, or a combination of formats, creating a favorable UX (user experience) is the main goal.
Your Blog is Your Content Core
As long as you stick with your main topics (or categories) and hone your messaging for your particular market, you can make your content available in multiple formats (repurposing/confetti/boomerang content) to further your reach and engage with people in whatever way they like best. I don’t know about you, but I have digital friends around the world and I know for sure some prefer videos, others podcasts, and others still love reading for consuming content.
With all the digital tech and tools at our disposal, our business blog content goes a long way. Content that starts as one format, ends up as a slew of content types. Our small voices can have a big impact and reach more people than ever imagined!
Your blog is your content core, the red hot fireball at the center of content marketing.
What’s your take on blogging? Love to hear your comments below! Thanks:)
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