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Click to view full size. Source: Hubspot.com[/caption]The 2014 State of Inbound report has been released by HubSpot and thousands of marketers agree---blogging works.According to the research, blogging is the number one way that marketers get their content and companies found. In fact, marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to generate positive ROI than marketers who haven't prioritize blogging. Among high performing marketers, blogging ranks as the most important inbound project.In fact, blogging ranked on top among B2B and B2C companies as well as among marketing practitioners and leaders. As the chart at the beginning of this article and the chart below show you, the only activity that ranked close to blogging in terms of importance is improving SEO and organic discovery. Blogging plays an important role in growing SEO and an organic presence, so it's importance is probably even greater than what these charts reflect.[caption id="attachment_9150" align="alignnone" width="610"]
Click to view full size. Source: Hubspot.com[/caption]Any way you look at it, blogging is far from dead. The stigma of blogging of five years ago has mostly eroded. Audiences understand the difference between Authoritative Content bloggers and low quality blogs. Bloggers and the blogs they publish are so far from dead that they've been granted first amendment protections just like journalists and courts have recognized bloggers as media.Furthermore, companies aren't trying to cleverly rename their blogs as "Insights" or another irrelevant name just so they don't have to use the word blog. Today, audiences actively look for company blogs, media blogs, and trustworthy blogs from a wide variety of sources. In other words, they want to see that "Blog" link in the top navigation bar of the websites they visit.One out of three Fortune 500 companies (31%) maintain active blogs in 2014. That's a significant increase over 2008 statistics when only 16% of Fortune 500 companies published public facing corporate blogs. With the recent changes to Google+ Authorship and Facebook's search algorithm, which make it harder for companies to ensure people see their content on those networks, you can bet that the number of Fortune 500 companies with active blogs will go up even higher in 2015.Blogging has evolved. Today, people seek out trustworthy blogs before they visit news sites! Bottom-line, blogging is far from dead. In fact, it's more vital than ever.