True or False: There Are No More Successful Blogs, Only Successful Blog Posts.

“There is no such thing as a ‘successful blog’ now. There are only ‘successful blog posts’.”
This quote is from noted content marketer Jay Baer. It comes from Orbit Media Studios’ latest blogging research, which was summarized in our last post.
And when I first saw it on the infographic, I was shocked.
I actually Googled it to make sure it was correctly attributed.
Because… what?! Is this true? Are blogs themselves over? Is it impossible to build loyalty around consistent content, and instead, should we strive to produce singular posts that catch fire or “go viral”?
True or False: There Are No More Success Blogs, Only Successful Blog Posts.
Jay’s quote continues:

“We are no longer in the albums era, where people will read everything you post, fed to them through RSS and email. Instead, we are in the singles era, where the key is to create the definitive post on a particular topic, enabling it to break out from your historical traffic and sharing norms.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Too much.
And my thought is this: maybe a “successful blog” was never, or should never have been, the purpose. The actual entity housing your content – the “album” is not what you want people to be loyal to.

It’s not the blog you build that’s important. It’s the community.

My favorite blogs – the ones that I do read everything they post, fed to me through RSS and email – are the blogs that are not only content publishers, but also community builders.
The Nectar Collective. Being Boss. She Takes on the World. Content Marketing Institute.
These communities begin with an individual, or a brand. The content they produce is the tool they use to create a community around a message.
I was talking to a fellow creative professional this week about inbound marketing. About how one popular inbound marketing platform has a baseline equation for content creation: Create 11 posts per month. Which comes out to almost 3 per week.
He told me that his small business clients struggle to meet this quota. They can’t produce that amount of content themselves, so if they want to work that equation, they end up using what I would only guess are content farms, which charge as little as $30 per article.
The focus of that content? A key word. Driving traffic. SEO.
But what we forget about is what happens when that traffic arrives. Why would they become loyal to this blog? What’s there for them?
True or False: There Are No More Success Blogs, Only Successful Blog Posts.

Community. Community building is perhaps what’s replacing blog building.

With all this content online, people are trying to find their own little corners – their own trusted sources of inspiration, and collaboration, and conversation. And once they find their communities, they become fiercely loyal.
Like most things in online marketing, shifting from blog building to community building is just a shift in mindset. If you start to think about your blog as a community instead of a publication, you can start making modifications that will create more loyalty.
I believe in community, and in the power of content to create that community. If you do too, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I creating an environment that welcomes and encourages interaction?
  2. Is my content creating conversations?
  3. Am I connecting with other people in my industry? Am I part of the existing community?
  4. Do I have any personal walls up that are stopping open communication? Am I being authentic?
  5. Am I focused more on my audiences’ wants and needs than my own agenda?

I don’t believe that there are no more successful blogs. I believe that, perhaps, we have to reframe what we think of as ‘success’.
Because if you’re helping people … if you’re putting amazing energy out there in the form of smart content … if you’re creating a caring and thriving community … you’re successful, dammit.
Sound off! Do you think blogs as we know them are over? We want to hear from you in the comments. (And if you liked this post, please consider sharing!)


Tell us what you think, or ask us any questions. We’re here to help!

  • I totally agree! Traffic has never been an important metric in my opinion. If we have to put importance on just one part of the funnel, it has to be retention – how many people you’ve kept around. And this is why the mailing list is the holy grail and a tribe makes all the difference for bloggers, coaches, etc. Community-building is tough, but it’s also fun.
    Good article. I shall spread this far and wide. 😀

    Violeta Nedkova - November 12, 2015 at 6:57 am
  • Thanks so much for your comment, Violeta! You are right – retention is and always will be key. Creating a tribe! Thanks for sharing.

    Emily Cretella - November 12, 2015 at 8:21 am
  • Great article. This is something every marketer should ponder on.
    Although I don’t believe that the quote is entirely true – because, without a doubt, there are still successful blogs – I believe that the successful blogs are there because they have posts that build a steady community.

    Renee Teller - November 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm
  • Completely agree, Renee. Community is key. Thanks for the comment!

    Emily Cretella - November 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm
  • Thanks for being nice to me.
    Here’s my article from last June regarding the 11 post threshold- I’m torn because numbers rarely lie, especially with a sample size of 13,500 customers, however, your quality over quantity approach makes way more sense to me. Is the answer to write 11+ high-quality posts per month? Is that even feasible for most SMB’s?

    Michael Hurczyn - November 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm
  • Haha, thanks Michael. And I totally agree — it’s interesting because I’m sure those numbers are correct! But there has to be some balance. I bet 11+ high-quality posts would of course make the most sense, but that is a tough order! Thanks for reading and responding.

    Emily Cretella - November 16, 2015 at 5:53 am
  • Emily, first of all – FANTASTIC read. It created almost as many questions as it answered, which – in my book, is the sign of an awesome, must-be-shared, article.
    You brought up numerous points about content and community that I think we must address with each post, every time we publish, in order to create the kind of content that really resonates.
    This is getting shared far, wide and frequently!

    Mallie Hart - November 23, 2015 at 4:00 pm
  • Mallie, thank you! Appreciate that so much. I agree about the questions — questions I definitely still have! Writing about it always helps me sort it out. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    Emily Cretella - November 24, 2015 at 6:52 am
  • Wow, thank you for this! Bang on!
    Like you, I don’t think it’s about non-successful blogs. Blogs can be very successful, but it all depends on the community you have built around yours. And the numbers don’t really matter that much.
    Actually, I wrote a post around the same topic, if you are interested in reading it: At the end, I say pretty much the same thing as you:
    “Yes, Google Search matters. You want your content to rank highly in result pages.
    But, you also want more than visitors. You need subscribers, customers, and advocates.
    It won’t happen if people stay away from your content.”
    Thank you again!

    Cendrine Marrouat - November 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm
  • Love your quote, Cendrine! Completely agree. And thanks for sharing your article and your perspective!

    Emily Cretella - November 24, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Set Your School Marketing Up For Success.