To Blog or Not to Blog…

by Lizz Wells

When preparing for a recent job interview, I was blown away when the organization emailed the list of interview questions a few days in advance. This was major, and while working through the questions I was struck by one of the last ones, ”What are two things that you would do to enhance the design of the blog?” I felt confident I could answer this question regarding their social media or email marketing campaigns but aside from font changes and the use of more images, the answer was not immediately clear to me. 

I wish I had heard guest lecturer, Carmen Hill, speak prior to working out my answer.

With so much focus on social media platforms, I was beginning to wonder if blogging was still relevant in 2020. Then up comes a slide where Carmen is referencing a chart from marketing and PR guru, Mark Schaffer, showing the number of blogs written on WordPress has increased by 8,000% since 2006. And that’s just WordPress. He’s even got a podcast all about it, you can listen here

I admittedly had begun to associate blogging with recipes buried under pages of writing about the author’s life but Carmen quickly brought me back when she also reminded us that our website is the only bit of online real estate we may own online as an organization or business. This is where we have access to quality data on how folks are engaging online with us.  This emphasized to me how important it is to use social and other digital marketing as a way to drive traffic back to the website. 

Carmen was also one of two guest lectures this term who have busted the myth of diminished attention span of our audience, specifically digital natives, and attributes a lack of engagement with content to an increasingly sharp filter for online noise. She mentioned that content has eight seconds to break through the filter. That’s not a lot of time.  

So how could I now answer that interview question in a way that would ensure the organization I was capable of making the right choices for their blog?

I would follow their question with more questions.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash
Why- Why a blog? Why would folks care? What are the goals and purpose of the blog?
Who- Who is the audience, what are their interest and needs for coming to the blog?
What- What story are we going to tell on the blog? What is the structure and style they envision? What should visitors of the blog think, feel or do?
When- When does the blog get updated? What is the cadence and how does it fit in with other social media or digital marketing efforts?

Answers to the above would then inform if the blog is Where the content should live.

The key takeaway for me is that blogs are not just for recipes and travel, but are still a powerful tool for businesses or organizations to get and give relevant information and content that can engage, support and meet the needs of guests.

Twitter: @wells_lizz
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Wells


This Article Has 8 Comments
  1. Rhianna Comito says:

    Great post Lizz.
    I love that you used a real example from your life to pull me into your blog post (you only had 8 seconds to get me interested) and I also love the call back to our guest lecture. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jackson Rit says:

    Relevant and interesting post Lizz.
    I hop the job interview went well for you, and way to relate this to one of our lectures. All very good information to keep in the back of my head while social media and online presence gain more and more prevalence in the professional world.

  3. Sarah Lovely says:

    Hi Lizz, I really liked your post. I thought it was a good point that you made when posing the questions of why blogs. I think there is a misconception of blogging sometimes in the professional world that blogging is what soccer moms do in their spare time. When in fact, if done right, they can be short, engaging, pieces of writing that engage the reader in something insightful. I loved your post, great work.

  4. Ramsey Sullivan says:

    Hi Elizabeth! I like that you related it to a real life example. I think blogging is a really hard thing to do if you don’t know how to do it. I don’t have any true bloggers (by that I mean website bloggers) that I follow but I agree that sometimes when I click on a recipe from a blog, I have to get through what feels like pages of writing. I never read through the whole thing.

  5. Sarah Naciri says:

    Hi Lizz!

    This is a provoking blog topic! I have recently wondered whether blogs are effective or not because of this assignment, and having to create a blog in another class. This is because of how much content is on the internet. Social media can often be overwhelming for users; thus, to gain attention it’s important for posts to be captivating. I believe that self-promotion is key when you want your blog to be seen. For example, having a blog on your e-portfolio is a good idea because it showcases your writing skills. However, in the end I agree with you that blogs can be a very powerful tool in the professional world.

  6. Taylor Lancaster says:

    Liz,
    This post was super relatable! As someone who is also going through the interview process right now, I have found that most companies have blogs that they post on daily. With that being said, I have been asked by an interviewer specific questions regarding what kind of post I would make to their website if I was employed by them. In addition, many companies have asked me for my own personal blog. Before going through all of these interviews, I had no idea how relevant blogs still were. I also think that Carmen Hill made some great points about blogging and how relevant they still are today. Thanks for addressing this topic and I think its useful for others to read and get an insight on how they should view blogs!

  7. Tylar Blansett says:

    Hi Liz,

    I like that you used an example that had happened to you before. It was also very interesting to hear about how blogs are not used just for recipes or people who want to travel or already traveling. Blogs can definitely be used in the business world and makes a lot more sense now that you have spoken up about the topic.

  8. Kyra Hanson says:

    Hi Lizz,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post! We have all been in the same situation, where there is an interview question that feels possible to answer with the help of some research and learning. I agree that the Carmen Hill lecture was very helpful in identifying the importance of this online real estate, as well as how to use it best. I loved how you answered that interview question with more questions, because I feel like all of your questions were very important and valid. Through asking those questions, you were aiming to get a sense of who you were talking to, what you wanted to say to them, and when you wanted to say it. Thinking about all of these questions and more helps to utilize the blog platform as much as possible. Thanks again for sharing your insights.

    Best,
    Kyra

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