Forget social media – why quality blog content is the most valuable

Forget social media – why quality blog content is the most valuable

It’s easy as a blogger to find yourself chasing your own tail scrambling to keep up with the latest social media platform and focusing on your follower numbers. Amongst all the live broadcasts, Snapchatting, Instagram and Instagram stories it’s easy to forget the power of quality blog content.

For bloggers it’s not just about being a skilled writer, social media expert, photographer or videographer. It’s increasingly about having skills in all these different mediums and being able to bring them all together to produce a superb piece of content.

It’s Not All About Numbers

Brands, PR’s and clients do look at numbers, they are important, but in the world of social media with many people manipulating numbers via Virtual Assistants, bots, sharing/liking groups, it’s increasing difficult to know who is the real deal. By focusing on the quality of someone’s blog content it’s likely that eventually in time the content will shine through and they’ll build a decent following and engaged audience.

Search Engines Devour Quality Content

Quality content usually always wins, especially in terms of driving traffic from search engines. On a basic level, if you’re producing stunning definitive articles on a subject that hasn’t been written about in as much depth, there’s a very good chance that it’ll rank well in search engines (providing they’re optimised). Search engines attempt to surface quality articles providing the best answer for a user’s query (read more about how Google assesses quality ratings).


Brands, PR’s and clients should be aware that these articles will be indexed in search engines and have the potential to influence people’s decision making. Users are increasingly seeking original and authentic views from real people, not just press releases and glossy official photos. Think about it, why are unboxing videos so popular? People want to research a product before they purchase it, they want to see what it’s really like not just how it’s been marketed by the brand themselves.

The Rise of the Millennials

A segment of consumers that’s growing in purchasing power, Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites, as research suggests from Marketing to Millennials. These consumers will be searching for answers and opinions with Google, so there’s a huge opportunity to serve them with original authentic quality content.

In fact, research has shown that Millennials use search engines as the first port of call (55%) to learn about products, followed by using brand websites (27%). Therefore if you have an official brand or destination website but haven’t got any other sources of information such as blog posts written about your product or destination (and indexed in search engines) you could be missing out on influencing this increasingly powerful consumer group.

Quality Blog Content Has A Long Lifespan

Blog content can have an extremely long lifespan. You’ll find high quality blog posts ranking well in search engines many years later (even 10, 15 years and beyond), especially if the content is tweaked and updated to remain up to date and relevant. A post on most social media platforms however is much more fleeting, although a post is technically there forever its impact is relatively short lived due to the nature of the platforms algorithms.

For example, A Facebook Post’s Lifetime Is Even Shorter Than You Thought, on Facebook 75% of your audience see your message in less than 2 Hours!

According to Simply Measured who carried out a study, high-performing posts on Instagram take 13 hours to reach 50% of their comments, but most of the top brands comments receive 50% of their comments within 6 hours.

And with Twitter, Tweets have a median lifespan of just 18 minutes according to Moz.

Due to the potentially infinite lifespan of a blog post it can reach a larger number of consumers for a much longer period of time.

So What Can We Do?

For Brands, PR’s and Destinations

Of course we all know social media and blog stats are important but sometimes it’s worth looking beyond the numbers to judge the quality of a blogger’s content. There are a lot of great bloggers out there that may not have a gazillion Instagram followers (or have a high domain authority) but can produce high quality blog posts with stunning imagery and even video. There’s a value in that even if they aren’t already firmly established, if they’re creating quality content now it’s likely their blog will grow going forward.

It’s time that blog content was more highly valued, more than a fleeting Instagram post… even if those Instagram post may rack up a thousand or so likes (real likes or not). The lifespan of social media content vs blog content should be a factor that’s taken into account.

For Bloggers

So what if you’re a new blogger? What can you do to help your chances of getting a campaign or some work? Well, you can start by striving to create the best content you can that’s useful, informative and potentially answers a question that many people are asking around your niche (and searching for in search engines).

Eventually you’ll build up a body of work that builds a high quality website that will naturally be linked to and referenced by others. In the meantime you should look at improving some of your blogging skills. Perhaps your photography needs some work, or it could be your WordPress skills or writing ability. No one knows everything about blogging even if they claim they do, everyone is constantly learning, improving and becoming better at their craft. You should try and invest in your own skills by attending conferences (Traverse of course!), courses, and of course, learning by doing.

But I Only Do Social?

If you’re a Youtuber or Instagrammer it’s well worth building a hub for your work, your own platform that isn’t at risk of ever being shut down (unlike vine). Your own spot on the internet that highlights what you do and hosts all your great content, otherwise you’re relying on building up someone else’s website with your work.

With the scramble to work with the next big social media influencers, we should never forget the long lasting value of quality blog content and its potential to influence today’s modern consumers. It’s worth investing in.

Some examples of people doing awesome blog content:

Jellyjourney’s: comprises of Joe and Elly, hence “Jelly” and they produce some epic articles with top quality photography and vlogs supporting the written article. It’s difficult not to be jealous of their awesome design, photography and video skills!

Along Dusty Roads: are Andrew and Emily who also have epic photography skills and write about their travel adventures. Alongside travel features they also have more practical travel guides to destinations, reviews and travel tips.

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Paul is an award-winning travel blogger who focuses on solo adventure travel. Based in London, Paul is an experienced digital marketing professional and also the co-founder of Traverse, a conference and agency working with digital content creators. His next project is all about learning to surf and blogging about it .


  1. Kristel says:

    Hi 🙂 I really loved your article, it’s so true what you said. Nowadays with plenty of famous instagrammers with millions of followers clients, Tourist offices or PR are just focusing on numbers. And they don’t always know that some of this accounts has fake followers. But, as you said, there more than that. Being a blogger, writing articles takes a lot of time and you need to be passionate if you want to do it in a good way.
    So bloggers, keep it up 🙂

    • Paul Dow says:

      Thanks Kristel, totally agree… there’s something quite wrong with platforms like Instagram at the moment yet they are getting a lot of attention.

  2. Spot on! Provide quality content and people will visit your site. I was part of a team writing non-SEO travel content. As I often write humor, I was hired to bring more fun to the blog section of the cruise wholesaler’s website while also including information. I also come from working inside the travel industry my entire life. My pieces received the most hits of anyone on the team. When a new person was brought in to commission content, the concentration became SEO and I was asked to remove the humor. The SEO terms were often grammitcally incorrect and made for poorly written articles. The blog team was eventually let go and the company went out of business.

    On the consumer end, I found some great articles which provided valuable information for my trip to India. I soon realized these articles were part of a “fixer’s” website. I contacted them and they assisted me on my journey.

    Quality writing will bring quantity in readership.

    • Paul Dow says:

      Thanks Carole!
      I agree, it’s certainly a balance between quality content and a little bit of SEO. The SEO isn’t going to work very well unless you’re publishing quality content.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with your points re blogging – also when you have limited resources and time this seems to be the best way to go – we’re not there yet but still trying !



  4. Well said! The brand owners should understand the drawbacks you’ve mentioned. Of course blog has longer time span. Social media has a short attention span also their algorithms are not going to favour you. Good content is the future. We are going to keep the link of your post in our media kit to educate the brand owners on these issues.

  5. Janine Marsh says:

    Though you wrote this in June, it was shared by WTM today – if anything your words are even more relevant 6 months on. With Facebook and other social media platform owners able to influence who sees what we share, content on your own website is critical, we only have to consider how Facebook’s constant changes to squeeze us to pay are affecting audience reach not just for non paying bloggers like me but for those who paid in the past and are realising that juice doesn’t last long. Longer pieces with more indepth research will pay off with a longer lifespan, the days of the 50 word and picture and then click here to go page after page won’t last for ever especially with Google who want “clients” to land on your page and stay because its quality instead of bouncing off because it’s fluff.

    • Paul Dow says:


      The lifespan of social posts including Instagram are fairly short lived, I think it’s great to support blog content with social media but using it on its own is only part of the puzzle.

      There’s also a lot of noise on the news streams of various platforms, it makes it difficult for longer form content to be found.

  6. Crystal Le says:

    Blogs can provide unique and honest opinions that many publications won’t because they’re trying to sell a destination. The problem is there is a lot of noise to sift through when reading them. As a blogger myself, I have so much appreciation for sites where the writer has taken the time (usually in their free time) to put forth as much valuable content as they can to help others plan their trips. Authenticity still has a place in this world!

    • Paul Dow says:

      I think Google does a fairly good job of surfacing the quality content pieces and there has been an increase in the number of bloggers creating such content. It’s good to see this kind of content rather than just writing a couple of paragraphs of basic text without any depth of research etc. Authenticity is definitely a key aspect of this!

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