Blogging isn’t dead: 3 fundamental lessons for blogging in 2016 from Mark Schaefer

Creating content isn’t rocket science and perhaps the biggest barrier for business people is that fact that it takes time, effort and patience to create and build a rich source of valuable content.

Most business people just simply aren’t prepared to do what it takes to build the required foundation over a long period of time.

My hope is that you’re different and you want to embrace content marketing and a better way of communicating.

Here at the CMA we’ve had the pleasure and honour of spending time with Mark Schaefer on our podcast and several private CMA Community interviews over the past few years.

In this article we’d like to share with you 3 fundamental lessons from a recent interview with Mark on why blogging is not dead in 2016.

(Click here to watch the full live Blab interview with Mark Schaefer – Dec 2015)

Mark Schaefer: A short intro…

Mark Schaefer has been working in marketing for over 30 years, and he began blogging about 8 years ago (circa 2008).

His consultancy business and various speaking events is where he gets most of his revenue, and from this he has been able to work with a lot of big companies.

Mark is also a teacher and works at Rutgers University in the New York Area and plans to do more teaching over the years.

Mark has also had the fortune of being able to write 5 books over the years which have all been very successful, and he produces a podcast ‘The Marketing Companion’ with his co-host, Tom Webster.

Mark’s books:

Mark is a teacher in everything that he does whether it’s a blog, a podcast, or a slideshare, and now he feels it’s time to ‘send the elevator back down’ after years of experience and learning.

So in the spirit of sharing Mark’s expertise with the world, here are 3 fundamental lessons and considerations for creating content and blogging in 2016.

1. You can’t compare social media and content marketing to advertising

People are beginning to understand that blogging consistently over time is effective, but they still just don’t do it.

They don’t make the time, they don’t put the effort in. But at some point you have to take a leap of faith or a change in mindset to write that first blog article.

It’s not an instant reaction like you get with an ad or a coupon, which is why some people choose not to do it. But blogging is not the same thing, it’s not the same channel.

Research showed that 80% of the marketers said that they had a boost in the first year, 35% of those same marketers said they had a boost in sales in the first year. It’s not going to happen in the first year, blogging is not going to save you.

3, 4 or 5 years, the full 80% will see an increase in sales and that it’s working.

You can’t compare social media and content marketing to advertising, you need to compare it to the investment in going to trade show, for example. Content Marketing and networking go hand in hand.

“Content marketing is about building trust and awareness that leads to engagement” – Mark Schaefer

If you stick with it for years it can lead to loyalty.

Mark’s writing has become a fabric in some of his most dedicated followers’ life. It’s a result of years of hard work and to Mark it has been completely worth it.

There is an art and a science to it – which Mark talks about in his latest book ‘The Content Code‘.

2. Blogging will be dead when reading is dead

Blogging has become a noisy market place, so how do we create content that is actually going to be seen?

It’s Mark’s opinion that “Blogging will be dead when reading is dead”.

To build a brand and to have the opportunity to establish a voice of authority for a massive reach you have to have a source of rich content.

Generally speaking, a rich source of content is writing (blog), video, audio or possibly visual (Instagram).

The best advice is to start in one place, build your audience, and do it well before diversifying. Many businesses try to diversify too fast due to what other people and businesses are doing.

It was a tough decision for Mark to start a podcast because he did not want to dilute the quality from the Grow blog, he thought it would betray his readers.

In summary, create a rich source of content and commit to publishing consistently for a long period of time.

3. Raise the white flag and embrace other publishing platforms

As social media platforms become more adaptable for longer form content, where should people be putting their content? What are the consequences of publishing on multiple platforms?

It’s getting quite complicated and there is a content marketing myth that needs to be bust, which is the mantra of ‘don’t build your house on rented land’ – meaning don’t create your content on a platform that someone else is going to own, like Facebook.

You should have you own blog, your own video channel, and to some extent this is still true. Mark still believes that you need a home base, with a record, an archive, a community. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to pull people to your blog or your website every day, when billions of people are going to Facebook and millions of people are going to LinkedIn.

The problem is that we used to be able to rely on Facebook and LinkedIn as a good distribution channel to our content. Facebook doesn’t want you to do this. They don’t want you to take people away from their site.

It’s time to raise the white flag and publish in Facebook. The bad news is, it isn’t driving people to your site, which we all need to adapt to and overcome.

In summary…

Mark Schaefer is one of many successful case studies of how you can build your business upon the principles of content marketing. Mark is a thought leader and a practitioner, which means we should listen and learn as much as we can from him.

As business people we need to invest in not only learning about the most effective ways to grow our businesses, but also invest our time into creating a rich source of valuable content for our audience.

Marketing is perhaps the fastest changing landscape in business today and if you’re not making efforts to stay in touch with how things are changing, then you risk being irrelevant in a very short space of time.

If you have been inspired by Mark’s thoughts here on our blog, please take the time to visit his blog – {grow} – where Mark gives away all his knowledge for free!

Mark is our closing keynote speaker at our annual flagship conference – The Content Marketing Academy 2016 – taking place in Edinburgh on 2nd and 3rd June 2016. Click here for more information.

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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.