I have been writing for Tiny House Blog for almost 4 years now. Some months have been more off than on but I have contributed for some time nonetheless. I’ve seen audiences swell and shrink. I’ve seen comments at a high and then at a low. All of it has caused me to stop and reflect on how we, as writers, appeal to you, the loyal audience. I’ve been thinking about how we position ourselves in your lives as well as brands, events, and even full houses, to you, in order to keep Tiny House Blog the world’s foremost daily authority on tiny houses as well as keep you in the know regarding trusted information. In short, I’ve been thinking about whether or not blogs are still important.
I am asked most frequently if I think the blog (and by “the”, I mean blogs in general…not just Tiny House Blog) is still relevant. The world has added Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, etc. Brands are flocking to those platforms to deliver content.
SO ARE BLOGS STILL IMPORTANT?
Blogging has evolved certainly. But it has a future just as much as a website does or an email account does. They have both been around seemingly forever but they are still just as relevant as they have ever been.
GETTING MY FIRST GMAIL
When I was an undergrad at Florida State University, I was assigned my first real email address. It was somewhere around 1997 and we were given the email for “school correspondence” more than anything. Social media didn’t exist yet and we certainly did give our email as a point of contact for anything important.
Do we still use email and still need email all these years later? Absolutely! As much? In some ways. We are asked to put our email address down on a form the way we were once asked for our home phone number. But now we are asked if we are on Facebook or if we have an Instagram. Email is still the primary way we conduct the bulk of our business though. Many of you reading this knew the post was live because you received an email calling you to read it!
The first fsu.edu email address was my starting gate for the world. I could correspond with people at any time. I was online! When I started blogging in 2004, I gained a second starting gate and I was no longer talking to people via email or on forums, but rather opening myself up to anyone that visited my site and read the words I had written. I was a full-time missionary, traveling across the United States and documenting my experiences. It was exciting and terrifying, all at once.
Blogging really is no different from that first email account. It may not be the only way I can share my ideas on tiny houses or perhaps provide inspiration or thought, but it is still how we can present our work in the most personal and creative way.
You want to get from Point A to Point B. A car isn’t the only way to do that. Neither is a train, plane, bike, or skateboard. They are all perfectly acceptable methods of travel. We would be simpletons if we thought back in the late 90s that communicating online wouldn’t somehow evolve. Cars evolve. We are no longer driving around 4-door, steel, sedans, with big chrome bumpers. That doesn’t mean our cars don’t still have cylinders, fuel pumps, radiators, and timing belts.
Blogs are evolving. Tiny House Blog is evolving. It is more robust, more beautiful, more user-friendly, smarter, more savvy. Yet blogs don’t need to be replaced by something totally new. As a channel of communication, they work!
The blog is a foundation to everything else being done. In the case of Tiny House Blog there is a Facebook page, and Instagram account, a Twitter account, etc. But the blog? That is the mothership. Everything links from it. Through it you can find the very best content on tiny houses when searching on Google. It’s posts tell stories, share experiences, highlight videos, outline building projects. In short, it is robust! Blogging allows us as writer to combine visual content with words and action.
THE VOICE OF AUTHORITY
As readers – information consumers – we are looking now, more so than ever, for reliable sources of information. We are looking for that voice of authority that is spoken loudly and with confidence but with truth. We want to read a blog that developed a reputation of delivering content in a truthful, trustworthy way, that is both fun and educational.
When it comes to the blog space, so many other content creators are relying almost entirely on platforms where visual content is king, and a version of the truth can be manipulated with a toolbar. We long for a space where educational and inspirational content lives. We want our eyes, our hearts, our hope, to be touched. We want authentic voices telling authentic stories.
Personally, I’m a writer, so I write blog posts that allow me to further develop my craft. I try to write pieces that inspire and challenge me to paint pictures with words. I try to express myself through paragraph and be me, without the filters, vignettes, and tilt-shift options.
True blogs and Tiny House Blog specifically will continue to be at the top of the leaderboard providing relevant information, honest words, and a host of things that as readers, we find important. What we have to say matters…but only if you are listening.
What are your thoughts? Do you still believe in the blog? Do you still find it to be a top source for your information?