20 Reasons Why You Should Blog Before You Twitter

Blogging oct 22 I recently wrote an article on my blog  “How Many Social Media Channels Should You Be Using?” and one of the comments was

“I would advise people that if they are new to social media to start with twitter, and not a blog. It’s much easier and quicker to get into. Blogging well can take time and for many businesses out there can be difficult to come up with relevant blog articles, and put aside the time to frequently write well written articles”.

At first glance this makes a lot of sense as Twitter is easier and quicker and staff and management can be tweeting within a very short time frame.

A blog does take effort, time and commitment and along with your website is the foundation for your content and social media strategy that will be read for years and will help you establish you as a “thought leader” that will get people coming back again and again.

Brent Britton is a Lawyer that uses his blog as his “core branding and content anchor site” and if you read about his experience you can see why he treats his blog with such importance. My experience is is very similiar and the content of my blog continues to permeate and spread virally with over 1,500 inbound links generated in a 5 month period. I find content from my blog… like an article titled… “Report Reveals:15 Best Practices of Social Media Implemented by the Top 100 Brands” at websites at Universities such as  UCLA “Teaching Social Media Marketing” . If you are creating and distributing unique and valuable content that helps companies and individuals solve problems and provide answers it will spread and be used as a valuable resource. 

Darren Rowse at “Problogger” says that “You should make a blog your “Homebase“.. your online home and consider Twitter as an “Outpost” (a place where you have an online presence out in the other parts of the web that you might not “own” such as Twitter, LinkedIn and  Facebook.


At Future Buzz  Adam Singer gives a great list of reasons why Blogging should be given priority over Twitter and given the attention it deserves.

He says “Twitter is popular because it is easy.  It is easy to setup, easy to copy-paste links into, and easy to write 140 character bits.  But, having your own blog remains the strongest platform if you’re serious about sharing ideas and having a continued dialog with the world.  Blogging is the antithesis of easy, however it is far more rewarding. I’m not saying Twitter isn’t a useful and interesting service, because it certainly is.  But it does not negate the real opportunity that is actually made more useful by the popularity of microblogging:  having your own blog. Are you just using Twitter but not blogging?  

So here are the list of reasons “Why You Should Blog before you Twitter”

1.  Blogging demonstrates true commitment and passion to your industry that you really can’t fake long-term.  Most won’t be able to sustain it over long periods of time with frequency, but those who do so are rewarded in spades and stand out from the crowd.

2.  Old articles are valuable and still read years later, given infinite life by the engines.  Old Tweets live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.

3.  Remember, you’re essentially contributing to someone else’s network on Twitter – certainly there are returns, but make no mistake they profit from your attention.  I know you might not have a problem with that because you gain something too, but it’s good to be conscious of that fact.

4.  A compelling link in a blog entry will be clicked; links in Twitter are noise that in aggregate make up signal, but the reality is links in your stream aren’t the same as a post with a compelling link.

5.  Secret everyone knows:  most of Twitter is just linking to blogs and content on the open web.  Being the end product people are actually interested in and focus their attention on is where your ideas will be studied carefully, not in the cacophony of Twitter.

6.  You own your work in a self-hosted blog and are in total control over how it is presented.

7.  Twitter is in a sense social sticky notes, or the SMS of the Internet (however you want to consider it).  It’s snack-sized content.  Are you or your business interesting enough to provide the full course?  It’s telling who engages deeper vs. those who simply choose to engage 140 characters at a time.

8.  Cumulative results over time from blogging, each post incrementally adds value to your site as a whole.  Not necessarily true on Twitter.

9.  Full analytics with a blog.

10.  Multiple touch points to readership and interaction (email, RSS, on-site, etc.).

11.  Plugins let you add pretty much anything you want, can even integrate microblogging within your blog itself.

12.  Flexibility with layout.

13.  140 characters is often more than necessary – but also it is often less than necessary.

14.  Everyone on Twitter is looking for the next big thing or most interesting piece of content to link to.  Wouldn’t you rather be the big thing than merely another person pointing at it?

15.  These are all just tools to share content and ideas, no more, no less.  You need a cohesive strategy for all of them to drive conversions in one spot.  A blog is the perfect place for that if you want focused attention and to build an interested community.  What if any one network you don’t control falls out of favor or changes the rules?  At the end of the day, self-hosted blog owners control the vertical and the horizontal, whereas on Twitter or any external network you’re at the whim of someone else.

16.  I don’t even know why some people consider for a second that Twitter and FriendFeed will kill blogging, these ideas are pure linkbait and show a lack of understanding of the motivation of people on the open web.

17.  Careful of how much time you devote to Twitter instead of contributing to your own channel.  Spend the most time nurturing that – time spent in Twitter comes at the opportunity cost of fresh content to your blog.  You can use Twitter and other micro networks to draw subscribers and interest, but the premier value is in working on your own material in a unique space.

18.  RSS is alive and well – Steve Gillmor and the TC gang know how to write a great piece of linkbait, but that’s pretty much all it is.  Remember, they are in the business of generating buzz, links and pageviews through opinion pieces that ruffle the feathers of tech bloggers, and they’re good at it.  It’s entertainment value but I wouldn’t put too much stake in anything one person or site says, always look at the situation and landscape objectively.

19.  You are in control of when your blog goes into maintenance mode – not so with Twitter or really any free service.

20. On outpost sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn you can be “turned off” or “banned ” or terminated with no comeback for breaking their terms of service. On a self hosted blog, its on your terms.  

Is a blog important for you? What benefits has it brought to your business?  Look foward to your insights and feedback.


  • http://tdhurst.com Tyler Hurst

    A blog or personal website should be anyones home on the internet. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are completely secondary. While the news today that Google will now search Twitter is great, no social network should ever replace your self-hosted blog as your online home.


  • http://nettorious.squarespace.com/ crocuschronicles

    Great article! Thanks.
    I’d like to post it as a link on one of my blogs.

    Cigdem A. Kobu

  • http://www.businessesgrow.com/blog Mark W Schaefer

    This is a compelling case for blogging, but the real issue is not need or value, it’s capability. The ability to blog in a consistent and interesting way is not part of the DNA of most people. If you claim that blogging is the cornerstone of a social media presence, this implies that most people are excluded from having an effective SM strategy.

    I’ve read 100 articles about blogging tips and “simple” approaches but in the real world, even the brightest people just can’t stick to it.

    I’ve built a community at {grow} but I benefit immensely from a) being a former journalist who can write quickly b) having my children grown (more time for writing) and c) having 28 years of experience to call on. I was built to blog.

    My clients, and most people, don’t have that luxury and that’s the real story here. For 99% of the world, Twitter is the answer.


    • http://thefuturebuzz.com Adam Singer

      You’re right. But no one said the best approach would be easy :)

  • http://www.sofiahogan.com Sofia Hogan

    Each person has to find their cornerstone in their marketing and business development strategy. Some people can write clear, concise, valuable information and others can have a social presence that makes you want to join the party. The point is, we each bring something unique to the table. As a former tech writer for 14 years, I can write a line or two and do it consistently every day. A colleague of mine said she would rather eat a bug than write a paragraph – ad it is great she has acknowledged that. Why? Because her focus is on video and YouTube where she can talk up a storm!

    Thanks Jeff! Your article gave me pause to think.


    Sofia Hogan

    • http://www.twitter.com/garagebob Andrew

      I’ve been trying countless times to setup or run a frequently maintained blog but failed to do so, so now i just blog whenever i have the time but tweet more often as linking to online photo tool like Twitpic can be useful as well as the description on Twitpic is not limited to only 160 characters but only limted when published to Twitter but then again when visitors click on the image link they’ll be able to read the full description. Just my 2cts.

  • http://www.themarketingsurvivalist.blogspot.com Melissa Paulik

    Your experience is my experience. Without a blog (or a really good, dynamic website) Twitter doesn’t do much for you. It’s like email marketing with no call to action.


  • http://alonzojunior.blogspot.com alonzo byrd

    You make a compelling case for spending more time blogging than on Twitter. After all, I see Twitter, and all media, as a conduit — they take you somewhere to get something: information.

    I think you’ve just given me the spark I’ve needed to place more time on blogging. Mark Schaefer is right, though; blogging is not easy and it takes a consistent effort. I found this out once I began my blog, only to go months without posting an article.

    Thanks again for the info, Jeff; your posts lead my line up of Twitter favorites.


  • http://mygreenergrass.wordpress.com/ jason melone

    Pretty poor timing to put out an article bashing Twitter, no? Within the last 24 hours they’ve inked deals with Google and Microsoft (little company called Facebook joined the tea party, too) to start including social media updates, discussions, posts and tweets in SE results. Suddenly, all those “silly, link-happy tweets” just became a whole lot more powerful in the space of inbound marketing.

    Decidedly settling yourself in the Blogging camp seems irrational. Like others have commented, not all like to sit and exhale their thoughts out paragraph after paragraph. Some would rather market themselves and/or their brand with the myriad other social tools available to us. As long as you’re not spreading yourself too thin, no harm in exposing your brand via Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Digg, and, sure, blogs, too.

    • http://www.mr-omneo.co.uk Mr Omneo

      I don’t think Jeff is saying *don’t* use Twitter, as the title of his piece suggests, use both but perhaps have more emphasis on maintaining a blog as your ‘home base’.

      There is of course no one size fits all solution and what works for some people won’t work for others but I personally don’t think an over-reliance on a third party site is a good idea.

      In my opinion using sites like Twitter to drive traffic to your blog can only be a good thing.

    • http://ondeckcircle.wordpress.com raindog63

      I read the article. I would hardly call it “bashing Twitter.” It was a reasonable argument for goal-oriented, rather than process-oriented, social media. Regardless of whatever present-day success Twitter enjoys, this is not about choosing an either / or approach here. One size does not fit all, but Twitter is a billboard; blogs are where you go when you get off the exit ramp.

  • http://www.ericsiegmund.com/fireant/ Eric

    I disagree with the premise of #4 (or, perhaps, how it plays out in practice). Twitter for me is all about the links. I follow people based primarily on their ability to provide links to resources that I probably wouldn’t find on my own. Usually, I’m not interested in their commentary on those links; I can figure out the relevance on my own.

    That’s not to say that the folks I follow don’t have interesting or informative or entertaining insights; they often do, and it’s amazing how well some of them display that in 140 characters or less. But for me, the value of the tool rests elsewhere.

    Still, good article, especially for those who use social media for business purposes.

  • http://www.janniefunster.com Jannie Funster

    Hey, I’m on the right track with something on the Internet, for once!! I am so slow with Twittering. But my blog is my baby, my pride and joy.

  • http://www.HostingImpact.com Stephen

    It’s like all things in life, Moderation is the Key. Personally, I believe that you need to have your own unique, relevant Blog and or Website available and then utilise the Social Media Outlets to assist in highlighting your brand.

    Write and compile a Post and then Twitt about that and direct interested Twitterers back to your specific page or do as a number of us do and utilise Twitter and others for obtaining links of interest that We may not be able to locate.

    End of the day, it is a personal choice and We elect to develop our websites with relevant up to date information first and then we promote and Brand it on Twitter and others.

  • http://www.wordsellinc.com Brad Shorr

    Interesting post and discussion. I’m all for blogging, but I think there’s a lot to be said for starting on Twitter before launching a blog, at least a company blog. Because it’s so easy to connect with people on Twitter in a targeted way, tweeting can help build up a network of followers who may become part of the future blog community. Twitter is a way to hit the ground running with a blog, rather than wait months (or longer) to build up that blog community. Twitter and blogs are both useful marketing tools. We could debate all day on the relative merits, but both serve a purpose, and a good marketing strategy will use both as efficiently as possible. Twitter and blogs as complementary media. Long term, using either one without the other is a bad strategy.

  • http://www.terrancecharles.com/blog Terrance Charles

    Good detailed post. Blogging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, blogging will still outlast twitter years later, a blog is more of a long-term branding and content management system, while twitter is more of a short-term branding and relationship builder. Twitter is powerful though, but the best thing to do is combine both and add in email marketing to the mix 😉

    • http://www.nwcouncil.org Carol Winkel

      I agree with Terrance. I wonder how a website fits into the new media mix, too?

  • http://jethro@gizmotastic.com Jeff Manes

    You summed it up with #1 – A blog shows commitment. Keeping a fresh blog demonstrates that the person is passionate about their field and their ideas never stop.

  • http://thecommunicationsstrategist.wordpress.com/ Deni Kasrel

    Good reasons all. While it’s hard to say if any one matters more than the rest, I do give added weight to #5.

    I use Twitter to publicize my own posts, as well as those of many other blogs (including this very fine one here) but also, some people will do a bit of sniffing around when they are deciding whether or not to follow you on Twitter. If you have a blog that they can read, then the person can get a better sense of what you’re about. It’s another frame of reference to establish common interests (or not).

  • http://matthewkeane.com Matthew Keane

    Another great article Jeff!!!! Thanks!!!

  • cuchullainn

    There was only one Mohammed Ali. There were lots of “I could’ve been a contender”s all sitting on bar stools across the world telling their beers and their barmen what could have been. The bloggers are the Mohammed Alis of the web. The only-twitters are the “could’ve been”s.

  • http://www.brightstreetmedia.com scartier

    I think Jeff is on-point… blogging is about you and your opinions or experience. Twitter, FB, Linkedin etc are all channels used to get “you” out there.

  • http://www.jacobstoller.com Jacob Stoller

    Great post – the blog as your home base makes a lot of sense. If people like what you have to say, they need a place where they can be alone with you.

  • http://www.conceptology.org Karri Ojanen

    Great article! I agree completely that while Twitter can be “easier”, it makes for rather an outpost than a home base like a blog.

  • http://www.magic-man.com Wedding magician

    As far as I’m concerned, Twitter and Facebook are the best ways to get people to your blog! I completely agree with the post stating that your blog is the end product. I DID actually use facebook and twitter before starting my blog and never knew what write. Now I have a blog, 95% of my tweets and fan page updates are linking to my blog page, and thus gets people reading what I’m about.

  • http://www.x--factor.co.cc anaexixtuse

    i definitely enjoy your own writing type, very attractive,
    don’t quit as well as keep creating simply because it simply truly worth to follow it,
    impatient to view more and more of your articles, regards!

  • http://www.giochi-casino-it.com/ FrozenSun

    Rather interesting site you’ve got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

    Sincerely yours

  • http://www.antiagingutopia.com Nikki

    Jeff, I think you are 100% correct in that time spent tweeting (twittering?) is time taken away from where the real value is, and for me that is my blog.

    I’ve only had my website/blog up for a month and started using twitter a week or so back. Maybe I am missing the whole point of twitter, but so far it seems to me a little like putting a sign up on a road that people only wizz by on their way to other roads, never really noticing or caring enough to stop and look.

    I did find your post from following you on twitter, so it’s not all bad, but it seems to eat up loads and loads of time and effort that I know I can spend in other ways.

  • http://www.joannecapella.com Joanne Capella

    Thank you so much for this great article. I’m working with a non-profit that is addicted to Facebook. I’m having trouble convincing them that a blog should be the centerpiece of their social media strategy. You’ve provided me with plenty of good arguments here.

  • http://twitter.com/kathrynpless Kathryn Pless

    As always your posts are full of wisdom. I use my blog to attempt to draw people to my website and I’ve been trying to educate readers, if I have any, of the value of SEO, social media and killer content. It also gives me a chance to form my thoughts and get organized. By seeing what others are blogging about I can tap into any current trends and hopefully attracts some readers of my own.

  • http://fatgayvegan.com/ FatGayVegan

    I am not running a business but I appreciate the ideas underpinning this article.

    I write a vegan lifestyle blog and my site works as my hub. On days when I don’t tweet, I can still receive a significant amount of visits thanks to search engines and regular readers. I think there is something special about having a place for people who feel connected to what you are saying (or selling) to be a part of.

  • http://twitter.com/themnsue Sue Sturos

    Thanks for sharing, I agree. To use blogging is like the tree trunk and the other forms are like branches reaching out to others that can bring them back to the tree trunk (your blog). Awesome read!

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    One way to think of your Facebook page is as an extension of your website or blog

  • Anonymous

    Excellent points! As a blogger and blog writer for others, it amazes me how often smart businesses make dumb mistakes by avoiding blogging. It’s search engine fodder, social media fuel and name making. No brainer! 

  • http://twitter.com/onlinetaxpros OnlineTaxPros.com

    Don’t forget stumbleupon.com! It’s a great way to get your page(s) seen by another set of eyes! It’s rapidly building and a great way to see other people’s sites to get ideas for your own.

  • http://twitter.com/AlishaBenn Alisha Benn

    You are so right! Blogging is more difficult, but in the end you will reap the benefits. Producing your own content definitely sets you apart from the competition. I hope my blog can provide valuable information to others like yours does!  

  • http://lincdk.wordpress.com/ Lincoln De Kalb

    I’m not sure who said it but the more time spent on social networking (in this case I mean FB, twitter etc etc) means less time actually doing something. Whether that be out enriching you life through experiences or creating content that will enrich other’s (contributed to by your own experiences). In this regards, #14 is really important to me, if I had a choice I’d rather be the contributor than the consumer.

  • http://twitter.com/WebAddict4Hire WebAddict4Hire

    “Old articles are valuable and still read years later, given infinite
    life by the engines. Old Tweets live in archive purgatory where a
    majority will never be seen again.” Amen! excellent article.

  • Brian Eckley

    Comment #2: old articles read years after they have been written. Look at me I am reading an old article and gaining great knowledge from your post. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/PTheWyse Praverb.net

    I appreciate this post. I have actually combined the Twitter experience with blogging. I conduct Twitter Interviews every week with authorities within my niche. I capture the conversation via Storify and post the embedded conversation on my blog. I try to make sure of both resources.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreasJankeEU Andreas Janke

    I don’t give in completely. 1.) Consuming is the beginning of producing. Most writers need to read a lot. If Twitter would be a secondary outpost, tweeting links to blogs was stupid. It is, however, a source. 2.) Learning how to write needs the small form for practicing. I don’t know anybody who starts with a 600 pages book before he has written a one page short story. If the mountain is too high, most people won’t start stepping it upwards. Tweeting is a good practice to precisely think and write and to get familiar with publicly bringing out your thoughts. I, therefore, think that we need both blogging and tweeting in a balanced relationship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iyonline Ibrahim Yilmaz

    Apparently blog post can be read after 3 years and even more as I have done just now :) Thanks a lot for this insightful and profound post that helped me to clarify uncertainty about priorities and importance of blogs and social networks.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Old doesn’t mean bad and new doesn’t mean good. I use the 80/20 principle of creating evergreen content most of the time. it gives your content longevity and endurance.