By @TheMarkDalton

Earlier this year I decided to stop writing posts on both my own blog and on Irish Tech News about what was happening on a daily basis in social media. I made the choice at the time to stop writing the generic boring news clips about Twitter’s new feature or Facebooks rising stocks. My only goal is to provide value in the content I create, I want readers to potentially gain something from reading my posts whether that is tips on Snapchat, learning how Facebook live works or how Twitters diving stock can affect their business.

Pulling the chord on news topics

Why did I stop blogging about news pieces? Simply because you can find that on hundreds of other websites out there. If you want social media news you can get it from Mashable, Engadget, Recode or any of the big players. People get their news from Google search or from the Yahoo homepage.

Starting a blog has become so easy, anyone can do it. Any of you reading this can start a WordPress blog right now and start blogging. However, creating content that sticks and that people want to read? That is the tricky part and that is the space I want to play in. I want to publish content that people want to come and read, content that you can actually take practical advice from. You want to get noticed? Then you need to take the same approach too.

The problem right now is that so many people are starting blogs where we essentially re-blog what has been written somewhere else. Many bloggers don’t get quotes or facts regarding breaking news from source, simply because many bloggers don’t have a source to go to. So what do we do instead? Pull quotes from other articles and the decent bloggers will put something along the lines of “via Mashable” after they insert a quote into their blog piece.

The reality is that so many blogs and news websites that get setup now are just churning out the news which is available through hundreds of other websites already. Still sitting there scratching your head and wondering why your blog traffic sucks? You shouldn’t be. When you throw up content that is so easily available elsewhere you are throwing up content with a depreciated value or no value at all. So why would people pay attention to that?

In order to be different I decided to pull the plug on the news and focus only on the value. As a result the interaction has increased over the past number of months, the feedback is much better and the content is shining. Every blog post published on Mark Dalton Media provides some form of potential value to the reader. The business showcase on Irish Tech News along with reviews and guides is also content aimed to provide value.

Content delivery

Look lets start with this – blogs are still really important and they are going to be important for a long time. People are not falling out of love with reading, the numbers are still there and they are growing so blogging as a form of content delivery is still really important.

However, blogs and news sites need to be smart about how they are delivering all of their content. Video is gaining massive ground and is being made incredibly accessible to everyone. You no longer need to shoot production level videos for YouTube. Of course you absolutely can do that too if you want, but video is being made more accessible by Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat. Platforms where you are expected to show video rough round the edges, it is meant to be raw and very much in the moment.

Blogging is going nowhere, but it is going to start evolving and both the content and the delivery of that content along with the promotion of that content is not going to change – it is already changing. The publication sites and the bloggers/journalists that stand still and don’t change with it are going to get left behind. You think promoting content through Facebook and Twitter is going to be enough? Sure you can get by on that now but it won’t last with good returns.

As content consumption platforms are changing, the promotion and delivery of content has to adapt. Why do you think I push my presence across multiple social media platforms? I do it because my target audience is everybody who has even the slightest interest and those platforms which are not a direct target audience now…well they will be the target audience someday soon so why not get out there and get them as early as you can!

It is no secret now, if you can get their early and get their before the pack then you will have the highest return afterwards.

Will blogs/sites change their approach?

On Monday I read a fantastic post from a website that I check in on every day – iMore. You can read it for yourself at the link below.

The team at iMore are changing how they approach the game. The article boldly claimed “No More News” and talked about how news stories are going to be ditched from the website. You will be able to catch up with the latest news on iMore but it will be in a different form. It is smart, evolutionary and most of all it is ballsy. A news publication website very much taking the decision to step outside of the safety they have known so far so they can do things a different way because the reality is that they know change is coming.

Much like myself, I wanted to talk about Twitter’s diving stock recently but instead of posting a piece which you can basically read on a hundred other sites online I took the angle of writing the story while discussing what it could mean for you as a Twitter user. What should you be concerned about and what should you be aware of. Provide value.

iMore is taking a new approach focusing on providing value through content such as guides and covering new categories like Pokemon Go and Snapchat. Will others follow suit? For the large part – probably not and honestly some of them won’t have to change. That has implications on different levels.

The big players won’t notice a difference, they run from source so they have it before the average Joe blogging at home, they have the reader base and it won’t vanish overnight. The numbers are there and they have a solid platform to drive, they are safe.

The middle ground men, they have good numbers and they are well know but not a big heavy hitter. They will get by for the most part, struggle and find things tough but they will slightly adapt enough to manage. Some of them will embrace changes to content and content delivery and they will see big gains.

The small time players, the blog that you decided to set up over the weekend because you wanted something new to distract yourself with so you set up a blog about Premier League news which can be found on hundreds of other blogs. They will close probably within 6 months or less.

For those who embrace change the new challenge will be a scary one but the rewards could be huge. If you are starting a blog now the big piece of advice I can give you is to think about your content and also think about how you are going to promote and deliver that content. There is a window of opportunity for you to get noticed if you do it right.

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