Every year, people ask if this is the year that blogging finally dies. Is this year THE year? Is blogging dead? Let’s poke it with a stick and see if it moves. (Spoiler alert: It’s NOT, though you probably won’t recognize it from what it was 10 years ago).
Here I am, asking about the death of blogging.
In a blog.
Yes, it’s ironic. I’ll give you a moment.
So is blogging dead?
Here are what naysayers are saying this year. Let’s see if they’re right.
There is some truth here, I’ll admit.
Studies have shown that 55% of online users spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. Now, that study was done 4 years ago, and it looks like attention spans have been decreasing.
That’s not very encouraging, is it?
But the truth is that if people are interested in what you have to say and they find value in it, they will read it all the way.
So it’s true that not everyone will click on the link to your post, and not everyone who clicks on it will read your article to the end. But remember that you’re not writing for everyone; you’re writing for a target audience.
It’s on you to hook your target readers on your content and make them read your articles. Craft catchy headlines, promote your articles, write about useful topics, and for the love of Shakespeare, proofread your work!
Yes, video is where the future of the internet is headed. Yes, podcasts are rising in popularity.
But they’ll never take the place of written blog posts.
Video lends images to information, holding down your viewers’ attention and making that information easier to remember. And audio lends personality to black and white words on a screen.
But there will always be nuances and aspects of written language that video and audio will never quite capture. A broad, complex concept can be broken down into a few sentences of text.
Written content forces you to use your imagination to form a mental image and sound of whatever concept you’re reading about, which is then personal to you and makes you more attached to it.
Having additional media does not sound the death knell for blogging; it just means there are now additional means by which people can get information aside from written content. Why else would it be called “vlogging”? Because it’s still essentially blogging, just in video format.
Bottom line: Written content will never be obsolete because there will always be people who prefer to consume written content rather than other forms of content.
There is some grain of truth here, too.
For better or worse, like it or not, social media is happening, and it’s here to stay.
Every blogger who knows what he’s doing is on at least one social platform. Why? Because the audience is there.
Social media is a good way to find your target audience and introduce yourself and your content to them. It’s also a great tool for engagement because social media users are inclined to comment on status updates or reply to tweets.
Social media is a great tool, but it doesn’t mean that it can take the place of an actual blog on your own website.
For one, you don’t own the social media platforms.
Once you post something on social media, you concede control over that content to the platform you posted it on. They can delete that content whenever they want, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
What’s more, social media platforms control your account.
One day you’re happily posting status updates and tweeting, and the next day your accounts could be suspended, or worse, you could be banned from using the platform.
Not saying it happens randomly or a lot, but the point is if the platform suddenly decides to close your account or ban you for any reason, they could do that and aside from appealing the decision, there would be nothing you could do.
Plus, you don’t have control over their algorithms. You don’t know whether your updates or tweets are actually being shown in your followers’ feeds. Even if they’re shown, you don’t know how far down your followers have to scroll down before they see your post or tweet.
It used to be that everything was chronological; now Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have different algorithms to determine which content gets displayed when. These algorithms favor a user’s friends and family above everyone else.
Another thing about social media is that it shows content at a glance, and so there isn’t much room for in-depth information. People craving to actually learn about something will click the link to the actual article.
This is actually the best use you can have for social media: to direct your target readers to your blog where you can hold their attention without all the noise of everything else in their news feed.
The second best use you have for social media is to learn how to present and frame your content in different ways.
Users on different platforms are attracted to different things. Facebook is best for a short paragraph of text + eye-catching visuals + captivating, almost clickbait headlines. Twitter is best for short, punchy quips, while Instagram is best for jaw-dropping images or videos.
Your audience may also have different preferences when it comes to the social media platform they like to browse and get their updates from, and so you’ll have to find this out to be able to get your content in front of them and get them to click your link.
It sounds like there’s plenty to learn and lots of trial and error to perfect, but the potential traffic you get from social media should make it worth your while.
Bottom line: Social media is the BEST way to drive people to your content on your blog, but social media can never replace your blog.
Google’s algorithm has evolved and is apparently still evolving to adapt to internet users’ changing needs.
For those bloggers still using traditional SEO methods, first of all: WHY.
Second of all, this is obviously bad news for you. This means you can’t manipulate Google’s algorithms to find your 300-word, keyword-stuffed articles with its bloated metadata that are full of terms you want to rank for, with images whose alt texts are keyword-stuffed as well that have no relation to the image content.
For the rest of us who are using updated SEO techniques and putting out articles that are informative, useful, and valuable, changes to Google’s algorithm are actually heaven-sent.
The reason why Google’s algorithm changed in the first place is that they want internet users to find the content they’re looking for that’s useful to them, and not content that was rigged to make robots think that they’re useful.
If anything, the fact that Google’s algorithm has changed actually favors blogging because Google bots can read text content better than any other form of content. Thus, to keep ranking in Google search results, creating valuable text content is essential.
Bottom line: Google’s algorithm changes favor excellent, valuable content, so if you continue producing that kind of high-quality content, your blog will be found by your target audience.
The first part is true, but the second? Not necessarily.
Millions of blog posts get published every single day, and this number is only expected to go up. And it’s easy to get intimidated by that number and think “Oh, there’s no WAY my work can stand out among these millions of blog posts. How are my target readers ever going to find me?”
But these blog posts aren’t about a single topic or product; these are about thousands or even hundreds of thousands of topics. This variety plus the improvement of search engine algorithms means that audiences can easily find what they’re looking for because 1) chances are it’s out there and 2) chances are search engines can find it for them.
Knowing all this, you can strategically plan your content so that it can be found by your target audience. Focusing on a specific niche and writing informative content around it will increase the chances of your blog posts being found.
One might then say, “But the competition is too high with all the blogs around, no matter what niche I choose.” To which I say, if you don’t have a blog, then you won’t be able to compete at all. Give yourself a chance to outperform your competitors by getting IN the competition, not OUT of it.
Bottom line: The only way to compete is to join the competition.
Long answer: Ever since blogging was invented, it’s been adapting to the changes in the internet. Right now, blogging is just one of the tools of an effective online entrepreneur to run a successful online business.
Short answer: Blogging is NOT dead.
You know how the old Taylor Swift is dead? She isn’t literally dead; she’s transformed herself.
Blogging is FAR from dead. It’s merely evolving.
So evolve with it.
What do you think? Is blogging dead? Where does blogging go from here? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Do you want to read about creating your own blog? See this article.
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.