Is blogging dead?
Well, let’s go back to basics and look at general trends.
Let’s start by typing in “blogging” on Google trends, from 2004-present (2020).
That doesn’t look promising at all!
How about “blog”?
These statistics seem alarming, but we can’t come to a conclusion based on Google trends alone.
So, is blogging dead?
Blogging isn’t dead. It’s evolved, just like everything else from the early 2000s.
Traditionally “blogs” were seen as opinion pieces. People would use them as an opportunity to write about everything and anything they wanted. With the rise of social media and improved search algorithms, the way we consume information has changed.
Video is more powerful than ever, and podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. Old practices aren’t successful today, and today’s practices may not be successful tomorrow.
Social media has swallowed personal blogging. That said, blogging as a content marketing method is still viable and profitable for businesses, especially when it comes to SEO.
While social media has gained a lot of popularity, Google is still the most popular search engine, and it continues to grow by 10% each year (1). You won’t find a Tiktok in Google search results. But, with a solid blog SEO strategy and the right content, you could find your blog posts on page one.
Blogging used to be a lot easier. There was less competition, less impact from social media, and easy to cheat search engine algorithms. Many of the strategies and practices bloggers used to increase traffic in the past will yield quite the opposite effect today. Take this list as a quick guide on what not to do.
Sometimes a headline is too crazy not to click on. While enticing, these posts rarely deliver on their promises. Clickbait titles will drastically increase your websites’ bounce rate, damage your search rankings and customers’ trust.
The early 2000s were a simpler time. People didn’t mind reading lengthy blog posts; in fact, these were standard. These days, text alone just won’t cut it. From videos to podcasts to infographics, there are so many ways to present your content.
This one’s obvious. If your posts are too broad, Google won’t understand what your website is about, so it won’t index properly. In this case, you won’t attract the right audience if you aren’t posting what they want to see.
Just as Google rewards good posts, it penalizes spammy ones. Don’t treat blogs like social media. You don’t need to post everyday. If you prioritize good, quality content, it’ll continue to provide you with sustained long-term growth.
Blogging has evolved, but many bloggers have not. Now that you know what not to do, here are some practices that you should incorporate for a better blog in 2021.
If you aren’t publishing content that your target audience wants to read, who are you writing for?
People use Google for information and social media for entertainment.
If you want to direct more traffic to your blog, you have to become a resource. Providing your audience with high-quality and unique content encourages them to stick around and take the next step.
Think of your blog as a strategy. Each new post needs to bring value and attract the right users to your website.
The more relevant your blog posts are to your target audience. The more likely they are to click on them.
For example, suppose you run a business selling cannabidiol (CBD) products. In that case, your target audience might include those struggling with pain, so you could create a blog post based on the effectiveness of using CBD oil for pain and more specific types of pain such as arthritis.
Traffic from multiple posts like this will ultimately direct more readers interested in CBD to buy your products.
But it’s essential to ensure the topics you write on have a sufficient search volume and aren’t overly competitive for your website (meaning, your topics are viable from an SEO perspective).
In recent years, blogging audiences have been swallowed by social media. It’s no surprise, either. Social media is so much easier to consume. Why would anybody waste their time regularly checking your blog when they have all the entertainment they could ever want readily available in one central feed?
People turn to social media when they want entertainment and search engines when they want information. Utilizing social media channels helps you connect with your audience on a more personal level.
Social media should be taken advantage of as an advertising platform and a way to create brand exposure. It should be the thing that drives traffic to your main website. What it should not do is replace your website entirely.
If there’s one thing we can learn from social media, it’s to take advantage of video content.
Video has now become the most common form of content marketing and has overtaken blogs and infographics. Not to mention podcasts that are quickly catching up (4). While blogging is not dead, it’s only natural that its overall popularity has decreased. Video and podcasts have flooded the internet, and yes, they’re incredibly engaging.
Email may not sound as sexy as social media, but hear me out.
It’s one thing to get traffic, and it’s an entirely different thing to get returning traffic. The majority of conversions come from return traffic.
Most people who visit your blog for the first time most likely won’t visit again. This doesn’t mean your content is terrible. It just means that they already got what they came for, and you haven’t provided them with a reason to come back. If you want returning visitors, you need to routinely remind them that you exist and tell them why they should revisit you. This is where email lists come in.
Everyone visits their emails every day, so you’re targeting them at the perfect location. You also have full control over your email list. You might have 1,000,000 likes on Facebook, but those numbers mean nothing when the average post reach is only 6.4% (5). When you send an email newsletter, no social media overlords decide who can and cannot see it. Everyone in your email list receives the email, no matter what.
Blogging isn’t dead.
Blogging has evolved. Traditional blog practices are dead, but Blogging is still alive and will continue to thrive in 2020 and beyond.
Like all types of content, written content is continuously evolving and changing, and so to create a successful blog, you must continue to adapt to trends.