Why is blogging for homesteaders still a relevant medium for communication? Some will tell you that the only way you can promote your homesteading brand and business is by using social media. Making videos, using TikTok, doing vlogs – etc.
But there are quite a few people – myself included – that enjoy the time and process of writing things down. I’ve started and stopped and started and stopped about 5 different blogs at different times, but none of them were right for me at the time. This is the first blog I have dedicated a lot of time and effort to, and am getting a lot of positive feedback on.
Some articles I’ve read on digital marketing fail to encourage the use of blogs by instead pushing for the fast information that social media provides.
I disagree, and I think that blogging is still a relevant communication medium in the fast, socially connected world we find ourselves in.
More than ever, we are in environment where news travels almost instantly, and there is a million + 1 unique different perspectives on lots of different topics.
As a blogger and content creator, how can you ensure your blog stands the best chance in 2022 and beyond? How can you stand out from the 32 million+ (source: Is Blogging Dead in 2022? 10 Compelling Reasons Why Blogging Is Still Relevant – Indie Bounty) bloggers currently sharing their written prose?
This post is all about blogging and how and why you should utilise it as part of your marketing strategy. According to Optin Monster blogging stats, 53% of marketer’s will prioritise blogging as their primary content strategy. Companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites, and with 77% of internet uses reading blogs, that’s a HUMUNGOUS opportunity to promote your homestead brand and business.
Stats don’t lie
Each month, approximately 409 million people view more than 20 billion blog pages (Source: Optin Monster – Ultimate List of blogging statistics – https://optinmonster/com/blogging-statistics/).
Now if you like that stat, let’s take a look at a few more:
- Business that blog experience twice as much email traffic as businesses who don’t
- Having a hyphen or colon in the headline increased click-through rates by 9%
- bloggers who write articles of 2000+ words are far more likely to have strong results
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering online information
- 95.9% of bloggers promote their blog posts via social media
- Article with images get 94% more view as opposed to those without
- Bloggers who add audio such as a podcast (45%) or video (19%) have seen an increase in followers
- Prioritising blogging over other marketing efforts suggests bloggers are 13x more likely to have a positive return on investment on their efforts
So what does that tell me and you? Well, there is still a huge pie of followers out there who are going to be interested in what you have to offer. The fun is all in working out how you can best do that whilst representing your voice and brand.
As a homestead brand and business, you want to be able to share, teach, learn and evolve. How many recipes or techniques do you know that you want to get down? How many memories do you want to preserve? Blogging helps you do that alongside a well thought out social media strategy.
For many of us – me included – I still work a full time job I would like to leave. And I can only do that when my homestead is bringing in enough money. I have many different avenues of bringing in money, but those avenues need advertising and marketing and how else will I do that, and be able to show up as an expert and someone with experience in that field if I can’t prove it beyond a short vidoe or social media post?
Blogging allows you to spread that knowledge and share your thoughts, experiences and learnings by writing things down, whether it be in a top-10 listicle post, a recipe or a diary like entry.
The blog format
The blog format is much more digestible than other sources of media . Magazine tend not to have much longevity and are skim-worthy, and Wikipedia and academic articles tend to be technical and dry. A blog tends to strike an even balance between being engaging and informative.
Readers know when they go to a recipe blog, for example, that they will most likely get pictures and methods in an easy to read way, that gives them the answers quickly. Blog content is highly consumable and tend to be a lot more fun to capture the readers attention. Whilst many, including myself, complain about recipe blog posts that go on and on talking about the history of why the person want to make that recipe, I think ultimately it gives that personal touch.
And once you find a good blog, you tend to revisit it as a source of accuracy. I certainly have a few I frequent – especially the recipe ones!
Content is relatable
Personality makes things relatable to other humans. And this is where blogs do better than other sources of written media. While writers are likely to have an agenda, or show bias, the deep sense of the person beneath the words allows readers to agree or disagree with them. And both can be good! Provoking a reaction is what writing in this space is all about.
Even companies have started to lean into blogging from a more personal standpoint so they don’t seem so far away and distant from the consumer. An individual will always connect with an individual as opposed to a corporate entity.
Not only that, freedom of expression is important. Blogs are perhaps the one written medium that allows succinct and articulate points to be made by anyone and published for everyone. There is no censorship in personal blogs, and this can be a huge virtue in a world where so many news outlets have agendas. This is something we should cling to, and nurture to ensure it doesn’t ever die out.
Blogs constantly evolve
Blogs came about over 20 years ago and since then have continued to evolve. Initially, they were almost like diaries (or ‘logs’), hence the eventual contraction of the words web and log into ‘blog’. It was only around 10 years ago that they were properly picked up as the form of marketing they’re so often used as today. But they’re still evolving, and it seems unlikely they’ll stop, as long as people find new ways to share information online.
Indeed, some of the biggest influencers are bloggers. Companies use influencer bloggers for several reasons. Mainly, to reach the audience of the influencer, who will have been chosen specifically because of the audience they attract.
But beyond this, endorsements have value in and of themselves. When you’re googling a review for a stand mixer, who do you trust more? An influencer chef who is passionate about the product, and uses it every day, or the company that makes it? Yes, in some instances those company blogs can pay others for positive reviews, and considering this is something we know, its important that the influencer or blog you are reading to get that review is as imaprtial as possible. You’ll know if they have no cons and only pros that they may be getting paid handsomely for making the product seem far too good to be true. So be aware of those types of reviews.
An influencer review blog also comes with the added benefit of the influencers picking up on something they love about the product that might be missed by a marketing department who don’t use it every day. remember, everything has pros and cons, and nothing will ever suit any one person across the board. So use this as your measure when ascertaining the validity of your source.
Blogs aren’t just evolving because of influencers, though. The content of blogs themselves is always changing. Think of how many blogs these days include mixed media (videos, audio, recipes, even unique photos, and artwork).
By following the trends, you’ll notice what others do, and even start applying some of your own unique ideas. You will be part of the evolution of blogs themselves. And where there’s still evolution, there is definitely still opportunity.
Niches are an infinite resource of content
This blog you’re reading right now, or the blog you sourced a recipe from for dessert the other night most likely came from a blog.
There is a blog out there in the internet world for everyone and almost on anything. And if the thing you want to write about is not written about – yet – then use that as an opportunity to develop a new and emerging niche where you can become the pioneer of its development.
Blogs surpass mainstream ideas and thoughts. In fact, you can find entire communities of enthusiasts in niche blogs and the best way to find these audiences or develop them is by writing about what you love. Because if you can demonstrate passion and originality and a ‘voice’ then you will develop an audience.
Of course, it’s also good to remember that, if you’re so inclined, promoting blog content on social media is relatively inexpensive compared to other things. Use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to create a page for your blog, and then sponsor posts or content to draw in readers.
Blogging is still profitable
There is quite a few bloggers who solely get into it to make devent money online. And this is fair considering that you need to see return on the effort you put into writing.
But many don’t get into blogging as the first or only option, and consider blogging as another small passive income stream.
Something homestteaders do really well is diversify. Instead of having that one single job that brings in x amount of salary each year, they usually have a few things going. Anything from growing and selling meat hens, to selling fertile chicken and duck eggs, to selling seeds, market garden vegetables, classes on the homestead for soap making or DIY building or some other craft – I mean, you name it, and its liekly a homesteader is somehow doing a bit of this and a bit of that to get some extra money.
This is what I think blogging might be for many of us, but not all of us.
If we can get to the point that we are able to make some money by blogging, then by all means, we should do so.
Top bloggers in some high profile niches like makeup or technology or sport or travel can easily make from 10-50k a month. This could be a mix of advertising, guest post writing, selling digital content, selling subscriptions or memberships, selling online courses, selling physical products and crafts. This is why us homesteaders fit in here. Because we have a lot of knowledge, experience and skill from previous employment that we can transfer to our blogging business.
In fact, blogging as a business I think is an important part of brand development, especially as a homesteader.
Blogging works great as a content hub
As a modern day blogger, you need to be more of a content producer rather than just a writer. Likewise, your blog needs to be more of a content hub rather than a traditional blog.
The rise of other social media networks has been seen by some to be a threat to blogging, but I disagree. Different media is consumed differently by people. As a neurodivergent person for example, my husband cannot read a thing and it won’t sink in. but give him a video or audiobook and he will not only ingest information but be able to remember it and lock it in his brain. I on the other hand will always prefer to read instructions or guides before viewing thwm, as that is how I process information.
The reality is, your blog should be your home base. You can still make videos on all these different sites and refer them back to your blog. You can embed this content into your blog to make your blog more dynamic. Diversifying your content types will help you with:
- Better communication. Different kinds of information are better conveyed in different ways. For example, it is easier to create a video on how to pitch a tent rather than writing a blog post about it.
- Better user experience. People today want to consume content in a variety of ways (video, images, and short-form content).
- Higher traffic. You can also share the content designed for social media on the big platforms to build an audience and generate traffic.
- Higher conversion rates. Some forms of media like video tend to have a higher conversion rate than plain text.
Blog content is also easy to content into other content. If you write a top-5 listicle post, then you can easily make a video or infographic about it for social media. If you do an interview with someone, you can convert it into a podcast episode.
Re-purposing content from blogs to other mediums is an excellent way to generate traffic and build a following.
So, we finish by asking, are blogs still relevant in 2022? And is blogging for homesteaders important?
Yes. A resounding yes. Blogs will continue to have a place for as long as they continue to evolve. Not every blog will be a huge success, and you may need to try again and again. There is no guarantee that running a blog will get you to where you want to go, and especially if writing is not your strength.
But if it is…
The you may just have a place to call home for your homestead business and brand.
To read the other articles in this series:
- 10 ways to promote your homestead on the internet
- How to use Google Trends and SEO to write the best social content
- Promoting your homestead on Instagram – 5 useful tips to gain followers and engagement
- How to use social media for your homestead business