Twitter has killed my blogging output, and I’m not proud of it.
Like many of my colleagues whose jobs include regular communication and interaction across social media channels, I’ve been lured into a format that makes content creation a snap (hey, only 140 characters!) and that features near-instant feedback to just about any query, thanks to a plugged-in network of followers. Once you get over the do-I-really-need-to-know-what-my-friends-are-eating-for-breakfast? phase, there are more than enough reasons to get hooked on Twitter.
But when all that Twittering comes at the expense of blogging, it’s worth asking whether you’re making the best use of your time. Because even though blogging isn’t as immediate or trendy as its microblogging counterpart, it has never really stopped being a valuable communications channel for businesses, media outlets, and other content creators.
There are plenty of reasons why a serious return to your more prolific blogging ways of yesteryear still makes sense. Here are four of them:
1. Control of your content
Know what happens if Twitter and its single-point-of-failure setup collapses under the weight of an #IranElection deluge or otherwise goes poof in the middle of the night? All your tweets are gone, and you have nothing on the web to show for it.
But if you publish a blog on your domain, you own the content.
2. The power of search
Twitter isn’t bad for real-time search on in-the-moment topics, but it’s unlikely that your brilliant tweet from two months ago will show up in the search engines. In fact, even hashtagged posts disappear from Twitter search after just a few weeks. Your Twitter account is really only as valuable as what you put into it today.
Conversely, on a blog, the long tail rules. As you publish regularly and attract a steady stream of incoming links over time, your blog becomes more attractive to search engines. The seminal post you crafted two years ago about the top 10 microphones to use for a recording a podcast? It will continue to garner traffic from the search engines.
Blogs are a natural fit for search, too. The keywords in your titles, the permalinks for each individual post, the alt tags you use to label your photos, and the linkable nature of the medium are all music to Google’s ears!
3. A digital home
Chris Brogan often writes and talks about a home base and outposts. Your Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube accounts are your outposts-content locations and points of interaction on external sites and social networks-but your blog can serve as your home base, that digital landing spot of authority for your online work.
As you create media at your outposts, find opportunities to drive readers, followers, and friends back to your blog. Treat your home base as the place for producing media that, as Brogan writes, matches your personality and business goals.
Let’s face it: While you can get mighty creative inside 140 characters, a tweet just won’t cut it when you want to go into any real detail on a subject.
A blog affords you a larger canvas on which to produce a well-thought-out essay or analytical piece (or the occasional off-the-cuff rant); mix media, including images and video; and demonstrate your enthusiasm and/or expertise in your subject area.
Plus, as an unintended bonus, you could discover the antidote you’ve been seeking for your incredibly shrinking attention span!