I cringe whenever I see an “Is blogging dead?” headline.
This question seems to come up year after year, yet the blogging industry is said to be worth $400 billion by the end of 2020 (source).
That effectively means this blog post could end right here with a simple, “No, blogging isn’t dead”. But, it HAS changed. And, it’s not for everyone.
That’s right, blogging has evolved with the times and that also means it may not be right for you.
So why would someone (me) whose job it is to teach and encourage people to start and grow their blogs be saying maybe YOU shouldn’t be blogging? Because it’s the truth. And I’ve never been one to sugar coat things.
Not everyone is cut out for blogging. And blogging may not be the best avenue for your marketing. Here’s why.
Blogging in 2020 is Different
Things change. That’s life. Especially in the online world!
Remember MySpace? Remember the very first bloggers? I do!
In fact, back when blogging looked more like the Wild Wild West, it was woefully easy to throw up any shit piece of content up and get traffic. And LOTS of it.
I’m talking posts like “Hey, I had this for lunch and look at this cute sweater I bought this weekend!” could top out at about 150 words and bring in click after click.
Those days are gone. Bye, bye! It’s just not that simple anymore.
My very first fashion and lifestyle blog easily trafficked more than 25,000-50,000 page views per month, on shit content.
Yes, I’m allowed to call my own stuff shitty. Because we all have to start somewhere and in the beginning, it’s usually crap.
Now, I was always a professional magazine editor and writer, so it wasn’t that the writing itself was crap, just that none of the blogging guidelines that exist today mattered.
Things like writing epic, long-form posts, caring about SEO and creating content that’s about the reader and not about you.
Blogging is Harder Now than Ever Before
I watched my traffic dip on that blog as time went on. And it was for one simple reason: I had failed to keep up with the changing landscape of blogging and produce better, shareable, high-quality content.
RELATED: How to Write the Perfect Blog Post
Nowadays, blogging requires so much more for success. Ingredients like:
- Well-researched keywords integrated throughout your post
- Long-form content (at least 500 words) that thoroughly answers a problem for your reader
- Content that helps or inspires someone, not just an online diary of what you ate this weekend (head to Instagram for that)
- Great structure (see how to nail your structure in this post)
- Beautiful imagery (see where to find gorgeous stock photos here)
- Clean design (see the best Premium WordPress themes here)
You can’t just throw up a hideous Blogger blog anymore and expect it to compete. The fact of the matter is, there is SO much content online that yours has to be quality in order to compete.
As soon as I invested the time it truly takes to write amazing blog posts combined with professional photography, I started making more money.
Clearly, that’s no accident.
RELATED: How to Make Money Blogging
And really, those are just the bare minimum basics of what every good blog needs. Let’s add a few extras in as well like:
- Complementary social media posts and a strategy
- A growing email list of interested subscribers
- A regular posting schedule your readers look forward to
- Maybe even a video component as well!
PHEW! I could go on…
Suffice it to say, the laundry list of essential “success” ingredients that goes into blogging nowadays is MUCH longer than it was when people first started blogging.
So no, blogging isn’t dead. It is changing and evolving and different. And unless you’re evolving, you’ll be left behind.
Is Blogging Right for You?
Maybe. Maybe not. As someone who encourages other bloggers to start and grow their blogs, it may feel ironic that I’m saying blogging may not be right for you.
RELATED: How to Start a Blog in 2020
But, it’s true. There are other online mediums to consider, as well as your time, how much you’re willing to invest and what your ultimate goals are.
I still feel strongly that blogging, AKA good content marketing, is one of the best avenues any business owner can have to start and grow their brands.
Building a blog means fresh content in Google’s eyes; it’s an incredibly valuable tool to use to help grow your traffic, bring in new readers and (ultimately) make more sales.
It means establishing yourself as an expert or authority in your field.
It means exercising your creative juices.
And it may also mean creating a community of people who just love your stuff. If you’re savvy, that’s something you can definitely monetize!
But you do have to be strategic about it. Well-planned, thought-out blog posts are where you are going to see growth. And, you have to be consistent.
You can’t just throw spaghetti on the wall and expect things to stick. The blogging landscape doesn’t really look like that anymore.
(Need help with your content strategy? I do that too. Learn more here.)
Blogging may not be for you if:
- Writing more than 500 words on any topic feels like pulling teeth (and you don’t have a budget for a ghost blogger)
- Your audience doesn’t read blogs. If they’re on places like YouTube instead by all means, go make some videos!
- You don’t have a monetization plan outside of something like banner ads or working with brands. These methods should just be a piece of the puzzle, not the ultimate goal. (Read more on how to make money blogging here.)
- You think blogging means sitting at home in your PJs all day, scrolling Instagram and throwing up a post on what you did this weekend.
Blogging could be for you if:
You have something to say and can help other people! Whether you’re teaching someone your favorite gluten-free recipes or trying to inspire someone to declutter their life, by all means share your knowledge with the world! We want to see it, promise.
You provide a service and need to get the word out. Blogging is a GREAT way to establish yourself as an expert and grow your blog traffic. If you are a coach, a graphic designer, a VA by all means, start a blog! Make this part of your marketing strategy to help grow your leads; there is so much opportunity in this space.
You sell a product and want to grow your website traffic. Starting a blog is an excellent way to increase your website traffic, which is essential if you’re selling a product!
You are a decent writer. Listen, writing is a craft and will get better the more you exercise that muscle. But you do need to be a decent writer, know how to create grammatically correct, error-free content and (most importantly) can create engaging content.
Need help with that? Sign up for the Writing for Bloggers waiting list here.
You have a no-failure attitude. Blogging isn’t easy or a shortcut to success. It can take a long time to see results. If you know that, won’t quit and are in it for the long haul, then blogging may be for you.
Is blogging oversaturated?
Probably. But what industry isn’t?
I personally feel there’s always room for one more voice. Don’t let a silly notion like that keep you from starting a blog if that’s what you and your business need!
If you really want to know some fun facts, the number of bloggers in the U.S. is said to reach 31.7 million in 2020 (source).
That’s a lot of bloggers. In fact, I read somewhere that’s roughly one blog for every three people. Wow!
Despite these numbers, this idea that there’s just “too much” is a bit ridiculous.
Are there enough actors, writers, singers in the world? Sure. But we also discover new talent everyday.
There will always be room for new talent, new voices and new ideas to bring into the world.
So the question isn’t, “is blogging dead”? the question really becomes whether or not you want to be a part of it.
But honestly, do people still read blogs?
I’ve been in the publishing industry for more than 15 years and no matter how much I hear “print is dead” there are still waiting rooms and magazines and people reading. It’s just changed, that’s all.
Why is blogging dead? Is there some kind of growing sentiment that people just aren’t reading anymore?
Actually, more than 77% of internet users read blogs (source).
As long as people have questions, and someone is online providing an answer, there will always be blogs.
And as long as people are searching for inspirational content, there will always be blogs.
Just like print, it’s just changing. People are consuming content differently than before.
Maybe one reader just wants the highlights; you can give them that on Instagram. Maybe another doesn’t like to read and wants a video. And maybe your third reader wants to sit at home with her iPad and a cup of tea and cozy up with your latest blog posts.
Those people are still there. And they aren’t going anywhere. You just have to show up and help them find you.
What do you think? Do you think blogging is dead? Let me know in the comments below.
And….if you liked this post, please Pin it! It’s like a virtual high-five for me 🙂