Blogging and blogs have been around forever now. And with the advent of podcasts and YouTube, many people are wondering the same thing: isn’t blogging dead? Isn’t everyone just accessing information via video now?
The answer to the question, quite simply, is no. Blogging is not dead. Not yet, anyway, and there are so many reasons why now is the best time to launch a blog.
If you’re wondering if the blogosphere is oversaturated, I want to put your mind at rest.
There are an estimated 500 million blogs on the internet. But don’t worry if you’re new to the blogging game. Not all of these blogs are active. In fact, approximately 95% of these blogs are abandoned. Essentially, that means that there is still plenty of room in the blogosphere for you.
What is blogging?
Blogging is the term given to a blog. A blog is an information website, where posts are often displayed in an order with the newest blog post first.
Blogs can be professional, or hobbies. People can make money from blogging, or they can keep them as a side-hustle.
Starting a blog can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, giving many a creative outlet for their writing. You can even start a blog for as little as $50.
Can blogs still be successful?
In short, yes. Blogs and blogging can still be successful. In fact, in 2022, 77% of people surveyed stated that they read blogs. That’s a whole lot of people still looking for information and answers to their problems via blogs.
If you measure success in monetary terms, there are still plenty of people who make a full-time income or even a supporting income through blogging.
Whilst not every blogger will make six figures per year, almost 80% of bloggers do make some money from their blog.
Does anyone still read blogs?
Yes! As I just said, in one survey 77% of people read blogs to find the answers to their questions. In fact, many people read blogs probably without even realizing that they are reading a blog.
Many companies now have blogs on their websites. Why? Because blogs help the company to share information and stay relevant with their audience.
Blogs provide such a wealth of information on the internet, that when you type in a search term into Google, you’ll be hard pushed to not find a blog on the first page of results!
Blogging practices that are dead
Whilst blogging itself isn’t dead, there definitely are some blogging practices that have been put to bed. If you’re just starting out in blogging, the following practices are dead and you’ll likely not see any blog growth if you use them:
Dairy blogs/personal blogs
Back in the day, this is what blogging was all about. People set up their personal blogs to keep in touch with others and document their lives and adventures.
Blogs have moved on and quite frankly, very few people want to read about you enjoying your morning coffee on your morning commute.
Instead, people want blogs to have information in them. They want your blog to solve or answer a problem they have.
That is why blogs that have some sort of authority do well now.
Blogs with no niche (i.e. writing about everything)
These days, the most successful blogs tend to sit in niches.
A blog niche is simply a specific topic that your blog and blog posts focus on. It could be on anything, but the point is that your niche is specific enough to help an intended group of people.
Blogs at one point might have been able to focus on everything and anything. However, this approach now doesn’t help Google understand what your site is about to rank you and recommend your posts.
It’s vital that your blog is niched down and is focused.
For example, my niche is people who are new to blogging and creating online courses. Some would argue that this niche is too wide, but it works for me.
This niche is focused. For example, I haven’t focused on the wider audience of people with a blog. Instead, my focus is those people who are new to blogging. The sub-niche (although you don’t need one of these and some might argue that you shouldn’t), is growing your blog by creating online courses.
But again, my niche is all about the beginner.
Therefore, all of my articles focus on those starting out in these areas. You won’t find me giving out overly technical information because this doesn’t suit my target niche.
Niching down can be hard. But having a target audience means that you know who you are targeting and aiming your blog posts too. And this will ultimately help you with your keywords, which in turn helps Google to rank you.
Quantity over quality
There was once a time when you could churn out hundreds of poor-quality posts on your blog and rank highly purely for the quantity of content on your site.
Those days are long gone.
Google is smart and it can figure out if people aren’t getting the content they want or need from your site. If people go onto your site and immediately click off (giving you a high bounce rate), Google notices.
And Google doesn’t like this behavior.
So it simply won’t rank you highly and drive traffic to your site.
Quality over quantity.
Nowadays, it is important to focus on articles and posts which answer people’s questions and provide solutions. This might mean fewer blog posts on your blog, but ultimately, fewer, high-quality articles drive more traffic than hundreds of poor-quality articles.
We still see so many websites with clickbait headlines.
The difference between clickbait headlines now versus a few years ago is that we’ve wised up to them. We know that clicking on clickbait headlines will most likely not give us the answers and information that we want and so we don’t visit the sites. And if we do, we likely click off again quickly because we didn’t find the information we needed or wanted.
Google notices this behavior and simply won’t rank your site with clickbait headlines.
This goes back to my original point which I’ve made a few times previously. You need to focus on good-quality blog posts that answer problems that your reader might have.
Successful blogging practices
Blogs these days need to be focused on. And you need to establish yourself as an authority in the subject you’re writing about.
That’s right, people searching for answers want to know that there’s credibility to what you’re saying.
You don’t need to panic that you don’t hold formal qualifications in what you’re writing about. Plenty of people blog based on personal experiences which have proven success. People are interested in this type of authority also!
Being an authority also means that your blog posts are well researched. You could even include external links to show where your evidence is from. This helps build credibility for both you and your blog.
Niching down can be difficult for people to do.
To niche down, I suggest starting with your overarching topic or subject. What is your blog ultimately going to be about?
Within that subject, pick who you’re aiming your posts at. Is it at a beginner in your subject? Is it for someone more experienced?
This information is important as it will help you write your blog posts when you know who you’re aiming your information at.
For example, you will write a how-to guide about WordPress for a beginner very differently from someone who has been using WordPress for years and wants more advanced techniques to develop their blog.
Good SEO is what makes blogs successful.
Again, gone are the days when you would write a diary-style blog entry, hit publish, and wait for the views to come. Blogging is now way more competitive than that and SEO is how you will drive traffic to your site.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is essentially a host of practices that you can apply to your blog and blog posts to help Google rank your content.
New to SEO, or not sure how to improve your SEO? Check out this FREE SEO masterclass from Mike Pearson who created and runs Stupid Simple SEO.
Offering something additional for readers
People want additional content from blogs. Be it in the form of an online course, workbooks, worksheets, stickers, how-to guides, the list is literally endless! You can create and giveaway these additional offerings for free, or you can monetize and sell this additional content to your audience.
Fancy making an online course to complement your blog? Check out my top suggestions for online course platforms:
Recommended Online Course Platforms
This post was proofread using Grammarly.