In this era, when people expect instant access to information and fast answers to their pressing questions, blogs are more popular than ever. So the answer to the question “Is blogging dead?” is a resounding “Heck no!” In fact, since blogs can deliver so much value to their visitors while often turning a hefty profit, there’s never been a better time to be a blogger.
Blogs Are Not Dead, But They Are Changing
Blogging is not the same as it was just five years ago and is radically different from the blogs of a decade ago. How blogs work, what they look like, where bloggers blog—and what it takes to make money blogging—has changed profoundly in recent years. To be a relevant and successful blogger these days, you must keep up with the times.
Proof that Blogs Aren’t Dead
I’ve been a blogger and business growth consultant for nearly a decade—and spent years as a C-suite executive before that. I’ve worked with countless professionals to help them build their blogs. Yet, even with all my experience, I don’t expect you to just take my word for it that blogs aren’t dead. My claims are backed by rock-hard statistics.
Here are just a few statistics that prove blogging is not dead:
- There are now 31.7 million bloggers in the United States alone. (Source: Statista)
- 80% of internet users in the US use social media and read blogs. (Source: DemandMetric)
- Over 4.5 million blog posts are published daily. (Source: Internet Live Stats)
- There are over 500 million blogs worldwide on Tumblr alone. (Source: Tumblr)
- More than 409 people view more than 20 billion pages each month on WordPress blogs and websites. More than 70 million new posts are published monthly. (Source: WordPress.com)
- 80% of internet users in the US use social media and blogs. (Source: DemandMetric)
- Bloggers are extremely active. Most bloggers write a minimum of two to four new posts a month; blogs that publish daily report the strongest results. (Source: Orbitmedia)
- 54% of Fortune 500 companies have corporate blogs. (Source: UMassD.edu)
With hundreds of millions of blog readers and bloggers in the world, it’s clear that blogging is not dead. Starting a new blog or adding a blog to an existing website is a sound way to make money via content marketing. There are plenty of opportunities to launch a profitable blog as long as you’re armed with a solid blog business plan.
How Blogging Is Evolving
Blogs have evolved in many ways, including content quality, the variety of media used in blog posts, platforms used to blog, and how blogs are promoted. To succeed as a blogger today, you have to understand how to navigate the new blogging landscape.
Blog Content Is Longer & Meatier
Diary-style blogs that focus on the blogger instead of the reader no longer cut it in today’s ever-expanding blogosphere. Keyword stuffing—where you saturate a blog post with relevant keywords—is out too.
Gone are the days when a 300-word post is sufficient to rank high in search results; the average first-page result on Google contains 1,447 words. Some studies show that blog posts that are 2,000 words or longer have the highest share rate.
The quality-bar for blog content just keeps raising. This means your blog content strategy needs to be super-strong.
The User Experience Matters a Lot
Bloggers need to pay close attention to the overall user experience on their websites as well as the user experience within each blog post. Blog visitors expect sites that are easy to navigate and posts that are easy to read on any device. Responsive blog design is a must to create an outstanding user experience regardless of whether visitors are using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphones.
Blog Posts Incorporate More Types of Media
Blog readers are often skimmers, which means yesterday’s dense text posts just don’t cut it. At a minimum, blog posts need to contain great visuals. Adding images to posts can improve reader recall by as much as 65%; articles with appealing images also get 94% more page views than articles without images.
Interactive devices such as quizzes are growing in popularity on blogs, as these increase audience engagement. Video continues to skyrocket in popularity and so bloggers are incorporating more video into their posts—or just skipping the text altogether and blogging via video (vlogging). Many bloggers are now podcasters, too.
It’s all about the audience, which may want to read, watch, or listen to blog content. You must be tuned-in to what your blog audience wants from you and how visitors want to consume the information they seek.
There Are More Blogging Platforms to Choose From
There are more blogging platforms available than ever before. You can blog on social channels, like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can use a microblogging site like Tumblr. You can also blog on online publishing platforms like Medium or Elephant Journal.
The most successful bloggers build their own websites, which allows for maximum control over the blogging environment and offers unlimited blog monetization potential. In my opinion, a self-hosted WordPress site is the best platform for serious bloggers. WordPress powers around 35% of all websites and comes with more themes and plugins for customization than any other blog builder. I also recommend going with Bluehost for your blog hosting provider. Bluehost offers flexible, affordable, and secure hosting services that start at just $2.59 a month.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is Key to Success
Competition for attention in every corner of the internet has never been fiercer. That’s why bloggers can’t just develop great content, they must also master search engine optimization (SEO) fundamentals to improve their odds of ranking higher on Google.
Bloggers must learn how to conduct effective keyword research, which is critical for developing in-demand content. Blog outreach is also becoming more important for both blog promotion purposes and for getting coveted backlinks to your blog (that’s when other sites link to your website) which is a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.
By the way, if you think you can trick Google’s algorithm to rank higher, you’re out of luck. Google favors sites that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT). The search giant’s algorithm is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, which means you need to write for the real-live people in your audience, not algorithms, if you want to have success blogging today.
“Blogging isn’t going anywhere because the internet runs on fresh content. As Google becomes increasingly critical of poor quality websites, blogs benefit from articles that are written for real people, not algorithms.
You can’t game the algorithms anymore, you just need great, fresh content, and blogging is the perfect model to achieve this. If anyone has had trouble in the past I’d say just keep going, as those low-quality sites that have cheated their way to the top of the search results are the ones seeing increasingly poor results.
—Yaniv Masjedi, CMO, Nextiva
Blog Promotion & Marketing Is More Complicated
Blogs that die often don’t meet their end because their content is weak, but rather because the blogger did not develop and execute strong blog promotion and marketing strategies. Publishing a post is merely one step in successful blogging; attracting readers to the blog is essential.
According to a study by Statista, here’s how bloggers promote and market their blogs:
- 97% use social media
- 66% use email marketing
- 18% use influencer outreach
- 17% use paid promotions and advertising
Promoting a blog on social media can be extremely beneficial; it can also be extremely complicated. You have to choose the right channels for your blogging niche, and create amazing content that intrigues readers.
The highest-earning bloggers also understand the importance of email marketing. Building an email list using irresistible lead magnets is one of the most effective ways bloggers build a loyal audience.
The blogging promotion cycle begins in content development and ongoing promotion can go on for months or even longer. Evergreen blog content can be reused and repurposed for years.
How Bloggers Make Money
No discussion about whether blogging is alive or dead would be complete without a discussion on why blogs exist in the first place. The overwhelming reason most people start blogs is to make money—either directly by selling something or indirectly by building their credibility through their online presence. There are a variety of ways bloggers make money online today.
Blogging will be around as long as there is an audience that needs information and there is a way for bloggers to create content that generates a business benefit. In this expert’s opinion, blog monetization opportunities are only likely to expand in the years ahead.
Essentials for Blogging Success
The best way to create a thriving blog that can survive over the long haul is to treat your blog like a business. This involves careful blog niche selection and the development of a well-thought-out and executed business blog plan.
The undeniable secret to blogging success is serving your readers better than anyone else. That means creating high-quality content that solves problems, answers tough questions, and offers tremendous value. That type of excellence never goes out of date.
When Blogs Fail
The main reason blogs don’t survive is because they fail to attract and maintain an audience. Poor niche selection, subpar content quality, weak SEO and promotion strategies, and ineffective blog monetization techniques can all contribute to a blog’s demise. Another reason blogs fail is that bloggers don’t understand the time and effort required to create a profitable blog and give up before they achieve success.
Successful Blog Traits
Ultimately, a blog’s success boils down to offering high-quality content that provides tremendous value to its readers. Quality content alone, though, is not enough to make a blog successful. You need a solid blog business plan complete with a strong monetization plan in place to make money as a blogger.
Blogging Is Alive and Well
As long as there is a business benefit to creating blogs—and I see no end to that in sight—I believe blogging is here to stay. I also expect that blogging will continue to evolve as new technologies and more sophisticated user needs emerge over time.
The drivers of blogging success include creating a strong blog business plan, developing in-demand content, and promoting your blog effectively. Master these essentials and you’re well on your way to building an exceptional blog.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, my advice is to build it on a strong foundation. That means selecting a solid, flexible, reliable platform for your blog. A self-hosted WordPress site gives you the power and freedom to build an extraordinary experience for your blog visitors. Bluehost can provide you with the reliable, secure hosting services you need for as low as $2.59 per month.