Is Microblogging the Best Way to Get Started as a Blogger?
Finding time to blog is a dilemma many people face. Whether you’re a business owner or working full-time, a stay-at-home parent or a student we all have commitments that take priority over producing content. Many people get into blogging with the best of intentions. They think they’ll be able to commit to uploading content on a regular basis. The realities of running a successful blog, however, are more time consuming than most people expect. That's where microblogging comes in…
There are plenty of individuals who have successfully made their mark on the internet through microblogging – take the President of the United States, for example. With the help of social media, many people who never would have considered getting involved in an online discussion now regularly voice their opinions on the Internet. Microblogging allows individuals to hone their own online voices, without the time commitment of running a traditional blog.
Many successful fashion bloggers have also jumped on the trend and now use microblogging (i.e. social media) as their primary form of interacting with their following (as opposed to the comments section on their blog.) They post more frequently on Instagram and put just as much effort into capturing content for their social media, as they would for their respective blogs.
So, what is microblogging, anyway? Is it the best way to get started as a blogger? How much time does it take to microblog?
We’ve got all the information about microblogging below…
What Is Microblogging?
Microblogging a hybrid between blogging and instant messaging. Microblogging platforms like Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram allow users to post short messages (in Twitter’s case, under 140 characters) or images, for the purpose of being shared with an online audience. Videos, audio and links can also be shared on all major microblogging platforms.
As many platforms are now available in mobile app format, microbloggers can produce content and interact with their followers from the comforts of their smartphones. Therefore, microblogging is much easier to commit to than running a blog. Content is less time-consuming to produce (especially written content), and the gratification of developing an online narrative is instant.
According to lifewire.com, “. . . the trend [of microblogging] evolved around the later end the Web 2.0 era after social media and traditional blogging merged to create a way that was easier and faster to communicate with people online and keep them informed about relevant, shareable information at the same time.”
You’re Probably Already Using It…
Chances are you’re probably familiar with two of the biggest microblogging platforms on the web: Twitter and Instagram. Nowadays, individuals want to be able to share content frequently and easily with their friends and family (and followers.) Smartphone apps, that facilitate microblogging, allow us to do so while we’re on the go.
You may even be microblogging without even realizing it. If you use Twitter to consistently voice your opinions on trending affairs or share images of your Outfits of The Day with the fashion community on Instagram, you’re technically microblogging.
Here’s a detailed list of the most popular microblogging platforms of 2017, and the features they offer…
Twitter is probably one of the most obvious social platforms that can also be classified as a microblogging platform.
While a user is limited to 140 characters per post, they are still able to share links, videos, text, etc. Microblogging with Twitter is an excellent way to hone your voice online, especially if you’re passionate about a particular topic. Many journalists, politicians and comedians have built up strong followings with the help of this platform.
Nowadays, it’s possible to amass a large following and become an influencer without ever publishing a single blog post – and that’s all thanks to Instagram.
While this microblogging platform may be used as a personal photo journal for most people, for many fashion and beauty bloggers this app is as important to their livelihood as their respective blogs (if not even more.) Many put just as much efforts into curating their digital narratives on Instagram, as they do with their websites.
Instagram is very easy to manage – especially on the go. A user isn’t obligated to upload more than one photo per post (although Instagram now allows it.) Nor are they pressured to type up lengthy, SEO-friendly text to go alongside the image. Captions are limited to a few sentences and hashtags, and images can easily be edited on the fly. This microblogging option is best for an individual who doesn’t have time to run a full-on blog, yet still wants to be part of the online fashion, beauty or lifestyle community.
Although it might not be a popular as Twitter or Instagram, Tumblr has more features and fewer limitations than the other mentioned above. Overall, Tumblr offers more flexibility – especially for those who aren’t certain whether they’re ready to make the plunge into running a full-on blog. Most Tumblr users enjoy uploading lots of posts, typically containing visual content and GIFS; however a user is also able to share a lengthy blog post if they so wish. Overall, it’s a good hybrid platform for an individual who isn’t sure whether they’re ready to make the leap to managing a full-on blog.
Microblogging Vs. Blogging
There are plenty of reasons as to why an individual would choose microblogging, over running and managing a blog. Here are a few listed below.
When it comes to microblogging, it takes seconds to create solid content – as opposed to minutes (or hours) when it comes to running a blog. If you’re pressed for time, but still want to develop a presence as an online influencer, personality or guru microblogging is the better option.
As well, if you’re planning on sharing information that is time-sensitive or urgent (i.e. anything in relation to the news cycle), microblogging enables you to do so. Microblogging platforms were created so their users can get in touch with their following instantly. Therefore, if you’re planning on commenting on current affairs, you’re better off putting more efforts into your tweets than blog post.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it makes consuming media and information very easy (especially so on mobile devices.) Users are able to quickly get the gist of an idea, opinion or current event without having to browse through a long article or pause to watch a lengthy video.
Frequently posting on a microblogging platform, especially one like Twitter, is the norm. Regular blogging involves longer, but less frequent posting. If you’re someone who enjoys being consistently active within your community or niche area of interest, microblogging is the way to go. You save time on each microblog post, and therefore have more time to post more frequently.
Microblogging is the most direct way to communicate with your followers. Period. It also allows you to cultivate community interaction directly surrounding your online brand. A user can easily do this by interacting with their followers through commenting, retweeting, reblogging/posting, liking posts and much more.
In order to be a successful microblogger, all you need is a smartphone and your microblogging apps of choice. With mobile web browsing becoming more popular than its desktop counterpart, microblogging is the easiest way to leave your mark on the web. Most readers nowadays would consume short Tweets or Instagram posts, than read a lengthy blog post. Millennials have short attention spans, so if you’re creating content geared towards that demographic you’re better off microblogging.
Another excellent aspect of microblogging is that you can easily do it anywhere, providing you have a smartphone. You can be interacting with your followers and reposting content from the backseat of an Uber.
Have an idea for a blog? Uncertain how it will be received? Try microblogging! Don't know how much time you will have to dedicate to promoting your brand online? Give microblogging a go! Want to create a following for your company, but can’t allocate resources to developing a website? Commit to microblogging!
You can quickly set up Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr account and they cost nothing to run. Pressed for finances and can’t afford the time to run a blog? Work on developing your brand’s identity through a social media platform. Take it one step further and commit to use that platform as a microblog. It’s possible to take orders and promote products on all of the platforms listed above, while also cultivating a community and interacting with a following.
If you’re looking to test the waters of a concept, idea, topic of interest or even selling a product (there are entire online stores that use Instagram to market their inventory) give microblogging a try first. The you can decided whether your want to commit to managing a traditional blog or website.
Is Microblogging the Best Way to Get Started as a Blogger?
The short answer is yes.
Uncertain how much time, money and energy you can devote to blogging? Give microblogging a try before committing to blogging. It will allow you to build a following and brand identity, without all of the other stuff that comes with managing a blog. It’s a good way to test the waters, without having to immediately commit to a topic or niche market.
Developed your voice and online following first with microblogging. Then consider whether you would like to go ahead and start a traditional blog.