Recently, as you may all know by now, Google decided to shut down its RSS feeds management service Google Reader. For more information you can read Want to save as many RSS subscribers as possible? Before that it also closed down Google Wave which was a rage when it was launched (I remember people were running over each other in order to get an invite). And not just Google, you can find many instances where services closed down because either they didn’t have a revenue model or the couldn’t figure out how to make money out of them.
There are many who claim that since the arrival of social networking and various social media channels blogging is becoming obsolete. Though it is true that fewer and fewer people are blogging, now that they can broadcast their thoughts using Twitter and Facebook, blogging is far from becoming obsolete. But then this post is not about whether blogging is dying or not, it is about why you shouldn’t put all your marketing eggs in the basket of third-party websites and channels.
If you seriously produce content for these services you run the risk of losing all of it, or having to move it to another service in case the present service closes down. Yes, it can also happen with Facebook and Twitter although there is less chance because these services have matured enough and evolved into full-fledged businesses just like Google.com (not one of its services, but the main company).
There has been this trend among many people to write intensive articles and opinion posts and then publish them on services like Google Plus, Tumblr, Quora and other such places. There is nothing wrong in participating in conversations and discussions and writing detailed pieces for that, but if you are putting your entire articles and blog posts on these websites, you are benefiting them more than yourself.
Benefits of publishing content on your own blog
Your blog is a platform. Just imagine, if all the effort you have been making producing content for other websites had been made for your own blog you would have had a vibrant platform by now from where you could have not only spread your ideas extremely fast but could have also promoted your business in front of a loyal audience. Content, especially unique, well-written content, is an invaluable asset and it doesn’t make sense to build this asset on another platform.
Targeted content also improves your search engine rankings organically. It makes your website immune to the various algorithmic updates Google keeps on rolling out one after another, decimating business after business. Valuable content on your own blog encourages other people to link directly to your blog or website rather than to your Facebook or Google Plus posts.
Unlike on Google Plus and Facebook, content on your blog has a longer shelf life. Timelines on social networking websites move extremely fast and no matter how valuable information you have shared, if your target audience at that time is not online and on one of these social networking websites, they will miss your message.
The message on your blog on the other hand is always there. You can share the link again and again from your social networking profiles. It appears in your RSS feeds. You can share it with your e-mail subscribers. It is always there.
Do you think it is easier to share content on social networking websites rather than on your own blog? Not at all. Even a very simple blogging tool these days comes with highly evolved publishing features. Aside from text, you can easily post audio and video clips, create image slides and embed all sorts of stuff.
It’s also a misconception that a blog post needs to be more than 400 words. Well, ideally it does you good to have longer blog posts, even if you can manage just 100 words, something is better than nothing. Besides, you can always come back and add more thoughts later on.
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