Yesterday the Saab blog celebrated its birthday. 9 years is quite old for a blog. Stone old, one can say. Comparable pages usually end after three or four years. When the authors lose their appetite, the topic turns out to be unsustainable, or the visitors disappear. So there has to be a secret why the Saab blog is already in its 10th year. And with full health and with increasing visitor numbers. The answer is simple, maybe too simple. It is the permanent change that pages and content are subject to.
The blog 9 years ago
A look back at the year 2011. In Trollhättan the final drama about Saab is brewing. On February 9th, 2011 this is not yet obvious, the Stallbacka is still quiet. Halfway, because again and again indiscretions from the Saab factory are pierced to the press. At the start of the year there are still a few, from spring on it is like a breaking dam. Until then, the local newspaper in Trollhättan wrote primarily about 100-year-old birthdays, runaway animals and diamond weddings. Suddenly it gains international importance and serves bloggers all over the world as the Saab information medium. The soaring will be short-lived, however. In the present, TTELA is what it always was with one interruption. A cozy local medium of a small town in the province.
Back then everything was different. Saab blog projects sprang up like crocuses after the snow. In Germany alone there were three pages that worked on the topic. The Saab blog came at the very end, and in principle it was planned completely differently. I wanted to write about our cars with a friend; we both drove a 9-5. Without any ambition, from the pure joy of the brand. When someone reads it, it's nice, we thought at the time. And if not, it wouldn't be a drama either ...
We actually didn't expect the drama surrounding Saab. In the first month there were already 3.004 visitors, in the second 11.644. The dynamics of events overwhelmed the project, blogging was easy. Up-to-date, because you hardly knew what would be in your mailbox the next morning. The deliberately scattered indiscretions were disloyal and certainly a reason why Saab had no chance of survival. The company recognized this and responded quickly. Saab Automobile practiced the greatest possible openness and involved the most important bloggers.
The Saab blog in 2020
It finally didn't help. Saab disappeared, as did the vast majority of blogs that started in 2010 and 2011. Why? There was simply nothing left to tell.
Everything is different today. There are hardly any things happening every day. Only when something moves in Trollhättan, which is rarely the case, is action required. Otherwise, the blog has changed completely. It has become more conventional, more organized. Inevitable, otherwise he would not have survived.
Spontaneous blogging has turned into organized work. There is a master plan for 2020 and an editorial plan for the coming months. Topics are fixed, contributions are written weeks, sometimes months, in advance. What goes online and when is available. Actions are more complex and require more advance notice. There is no longer a manufacturer who helps in the background, pulls the strings or controls. Nobody who still embodies Saab and who has a strategy for the future of a brand that no longer builds cars in the drawer.
It is definitely interesting. If only because none of our team comes from the automotive industry and we can only guess where the project is going and where it will be in 12 months.
Where do the readers come from?
The change over the past 9 years can best be seen from the reader structure. In the first few years 90% were from Germany, the rest of the world only had every 10th visitor. That changed, slowly and unspectacularly. At the present time, every third reader does not come from Germany; Austria, the Swedes, Americans and Swiss are strong. The Spanish and Dutch are on the advance, but the Chinese are a surprise. On some days they can be found in 10th place among visitors. Saab in China? Everything is possible!
What are the plans for the future? We will continue to work on an interesting mix of different topics. The previous mix seems to be right. The blog grew double digits for the 2020th consecutive month in January 13. More than 80.000 visitors per month are an indicator that our course is right. The project will probably be a little more organized in the future. More conventional and also more commercial, which I would like to see as positive in this context. What has to be done if it is to survive in order to remain exciting and attractive for readers in the medium term as one of the last existing Saab bastions.
There will be several changes over the course of the year. We always have the future of the project in mind. So that the blog 2021 can celebrate its 10th anniversary.