Is Blogging Dead? What To Do About It?
Blogging is out there for a long time already. And after doing some research on the topic, I confidently can say that this is not gonna disappear any time soon. However, blogging is not the same as it was 5 or 10 years ago. It’s constantly changing on the creator's and consumers' sides.
In this article, I will share what has changed so far, how we can efficiently use it for our business, or even just as our personal therapist, and why social media and video blogs are not going to replace blogging any time soon.
The harsh reality is that a lot of blogging is dead, and by this, you understand that not all of the blogging is completely done. A lot of old strategies and practices that were done until this day are simply irrelevant. So if you continue these practices, the death of your blogs is inevitable.
I’ve got some good news for you! The blogging isn’t dead; it’s just changed like everything else is changing. There is a possibility to start from scratch and make $1000, $2000, or even $35000 in a single month just blogging.
Moreover, blogging can even be more efficient for you than it was 10 years ago. According to some surveys I found online, at least about 70% of buyers used blogs when making a purchase decision. This is 5% more than it was in a survey the previous year.
Is blogging dying?
The first question that comes to mind is: “Do people still read blogs?”.
Here are some interesting facts:
- There are approximately 1.8 billion websites on the internet — about 500,000 of those blogs.
- On average, Google has 3.5 billion searches per day.
- 77% of internet users are still reading blogs daily. And what’s even crazier is that 70-80% of people skip over the google ads to click organic post that makes to the top of the search.
- Google’s volume grows continuously by 10% year after year. Blogging is still a thing!
Every blog has a style of content, writing, niche, and it doesn’t make sense to generalize blogging as one type of website. Certain blogging styles are dying, that’s true, and you can easily see what’s happening on the internet these days. For example, the idea of the blog as news is no longer something people want to visit and follow. It’s no longer that common to follow a blog and check frequent updates in the form of short posts and basically have it as a news source.
Long-form content and specialized expertise are not going to die any time soon. This is also related to books. Yes, people still reading books even tho it’s the longest form of content, and it takes time and focuses on reading the whole book on a topic.
Blogging Practices That Work
People are always looking for people to connect with or looking for solutions to specific problems. We don’t want generic information. We want specific answers to our questions.
The more specific you are about who you are writing for, the deeper your connection with your audience. So if you blog about design in general tries to niche down to specific areas of design like Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, or even deeper like Real Estate Startups Design, Medical Services Design, etc.
Avoid Blogging About Personal Stuff
Another thing that’s becoming less relevant is personal blogging, where people write about what’s happening with their lives, families, what they are eating in a day, and so on. The main reason is that this kind of content moved from blogging to social media. It’s a lot easier to scroll through news feeds to check life updates than reading blog posts that initially almost do not bring any value to your business or your life.
Education vs. Entertainment
In your blog posts, instead of entertaining, you need to educate. This is actually much harder to do in a single small post, let’s say, on Instagram. Believe me, I’ve tried. People pay much less attention to the content itself, and the main reason is they’re going to social media when it’s boring, and they want to be entertained. When people go to Google, they are looking for answers. They want to be educated. Of course, there are exceptions in both cases I described here. However, you can reach the same idea just using common sense alone.
Posts Have To Stand Out
Google and Pinterest looking for long-form posts that captivate people's attention. Instead of posting random small posts, it’s better to create a really high-quality extensive blog post.
That’s right, it goes against social media strategies, and you actually need to focus on posting what’s actually awesome and high quality, not posting frequently, and trying to catch as many people's attention as you can.
Another practice that is becoming irrelevant is those clickbait headlines. If you use titles like “Start blogging in 10 minutes wearing your pajamas and earn 6 figures in the first year,” you’ll get a lot of clicks to your blog posts. However, the next thing that will happen is that you’ll lose your audience as quickly as you grabbed the attention, and you’ll get many bounces.
Strategies for Short and Long Term Success
Become the subject matter expert. The more you become this expert, the more real results you have, the more true testimonial you’ll receive. The better you’ll be able to write real posts that help real people, the more results people will have. People will truly read your content because you, as an expert, have to say something on a particular topic.
Blogging is Not Internet Marketing
This is actually bad news for internet marketers who initially don’t care about their audience and just throw a bunch of content online to see what sticks and then grow following, clicks, likes, fake engagements, etc.
People actually get used to the Internet and technologies nowadays, and those robotic marketing tactics don’t work as they worked before. It’s getting much easier to understand whether an author is an expert that’s truly passionate about the topic and wants to help others or just a sleazy marketer that pushing things online. It’s a question of time.
This is a simple truth that works for ages. Be honest with the stuff you post. Write about your experiences, what obstacles you had, how you overcame them, and what results you achieved.
These strategies are actually not new at all. I started my first blog in 2010 and wrote about some generic stuff that came to my mind, including healthy food recommendations and some philosophical thoughts I had at that time. I remember I even used Blogger for this, and it seems like it was in another life. Anyway, the one important thing I understood at that time is that people care about reading your blog only if you care about the topic. So even if you’re not the best expert in the world, but you do research, you set your own experiments and write from your own experience, you care enough about the topic, and it feels right to write about it. The same goes for readers. It feels right for them to read the stuff you posted.
Repurpose Your Content
Even tho social media is more oriented on entertainment; you still can use it to share some snippets of information and highlights from your blog. Another way I’ve heard many people do is converting your blog posts to podcast audio and video or the other way around. Of course, it depends on your audience and the places they hang out the most. So if it’s pure entertainment, perhaps a blog is not the most important thing you should do. I’d rather focus more on other mediums instead.
I’ve noticed in my experience that I have way better feedback from people who find my posts organically searching in Google or those who come from links on my posts in niche websites (referrals). At the same time, I get many drop-offs from those who visit my blog on Instagram.
Optimize your posts well enough, but do not overthink them at the same time. Search Engine Optimization is something that’s been around all this time when people started blogging. Again, be honest and write content for people, not for machines and algorithms. That means focusing more on the content itself and the way you write it, then trying to include relevant keywords to your topic during the editing process to help more people find your post. Not the other way around.
As a designer, I must say that design of your blog matters. Even if you’re not a designer yourself, you can still do a great job with your blog. You can use various templates and ready-to-use blogging platform solutions that have a great efficient design that works right from the start.
Focus on several key design principles:
Make sure you have a reasonable width of your content area and leading – the space between lines of text. It significantly improves readability if done right, which means fewer drop-offs and the best reading experience.
Leave the black text on a white background and use an easy-to-read font. Sometimes sans-serif works well, and sometimes serif works even better. It doesn’t make much difference with the high-density screens we have on nearly every device we use these days.
Try to use high-quality graphics and your own photo materials if possible. Unsplash is great, but I’ve noticed that people often don’t bother and get the first photo they found on Unsplash by a relevant keyword. As a result, a bunch of articles on the same topic has similar photos even as covers. That leads to the next point.
Be creative with your blog. Even using black text on a white background like almost every blog out there doesn’t mean you can’t stand out. Your own media materials make the difference. Small touches like a logo, text highlights, categorization of blog posts, organization of content, blog grid or feed layout, blog posts layouts. The layouts for a blog post of a different category might be different as well. Some interactive blocks like comments (still working on this one), maybe chat widget, a subscription on updates form, user friendly and compact menu. All those things matter and often require an individual approach.
It’s been there all this time, and now we pay even more attention to consistency in the content we produce.
Consistency matters, and not only in the posts you write on a specific topic. If we go back to design tips, you can see that you can do much creative stuff with your blog. This is where consistency is also important. For example, it’s better to use just 2-3 colors and perhaps some of their shades throughout the entire blog site. The same goes for graphics and photos you’re using. Make them in a similar style. Your blog should have a solid feeling as a brand.
As you can see, blogging is still alive, but how you do, it matters. Honestly, it’s not easy to build a decent blog, and I don’t mean technical aspects. There are many challenging tasks on figuring out what to write about, who’ll be reading it, how to monetize your blog, and be consistent all the time. I’d even say it’s got harder to start a blog or even transform your existing blog to the one that performs well, taking into account the latest trends and emerging technologies.
However, I truly believe that blogging is great for your business, and even if you don’t want to monetize, it’s a great way to systematize your thoughts and what you are doing. Moreover, it’s your own platform, and you control it 100% of the time, unlike social media and 3rd party platforms.