Blogging is dead. Pack it up everyone, shut down WordPress. Stop giving sending me checks Amazon Associates and Google AdSense. Didn’t you hear? Blogging is dead.
This sort of headline and topic has been in circulation since early 2010. Each year, people talk about how blogging is dead and you should move on to other forms of marketing.
But let’s get into it a bit deeper. Is blogging dead? Yes and no.
Blogging is dead if you just want to write about whatever
Dooce.com is one of the original mommy bloggers and one of the first bloggers to become a bit famous, making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month and getting multiple book deals.
Her writing is smart, funny and she writes about her life.
It’s sort of like a real life soap opera. It’s this sort of blogging that is dead. Writing about whatever you want, hoping and wishing to build an audience.
Don’t get me wrong, if you feel compelled to write then write. Writers write and I would never want to discourage you from doing what is in you to do.
But the overwhelming majority of people who visit Website Creative Pro and the associated YouTube channel want to make money from blogging.
People who want to build passive income web properties through blogging simply waste their time following old, out dated blogging advice.
Out dated blogging advice like:
- Click bait headlines
- Posting a lot to get a lot of traffic
- You need to gust post and work with influencers
- Blogging about your personal life and thoughts
Click bait headlines
Click bait is still important to pay attention to, particularly with you YouTube as your click through ratio is part of how the algorithm will rank your video. But for blogging, clear and specific now wins.
You still need to make your headlines clickable, as your headlines are the most important aspect of a blog post. But pointless click bait that does not directly meet the search intent of a visitor simply won’t work unless you’re trying to build out an entertainment website.
For headlines, like YouTube it’s a balance of paying attention to SEO and creating something interesting.
Writing something like “it’s my blogs birthday” is boring and no one will read that. You are wasting your time writing content like this because no one will read it and it won’t rank for anything that anyone is searching for.
The Verge has reported that the Facebook engineering team is trying to reduce stories that are “sensational, misleading or spammy” because use don’t like that sort of content.
From a blogging perspective, you’re just creating content that won’t rank and no one will read. Stop wasting time writing content no one will read because it won’t be searchable for anything anyone is looking for.
Posting a lot to get traffic
Seth Godin made this type of blogging strategy famous. He originally used a free blogging platform called Type Pad but has since moved on to using WordPress. He posted a 300 to 600 word blog post every single day.
He made the claim that is was this consistency that made his blog popular. His blog is popular because he’s an expert at what he covers.
Maybe back in 2008 when blogs were sill a fairly new thing, pumping out content day after day made a difference. But in today’s landscape it’s a waste of time to publish for publishing’s sake for most people.
Instead, create content that people are looking for, build internal links, and focus on each blog post to make it meet the search intent as best as possible.
For example, my Hostinger review blog post is going after the keyword phrase “Hostinger review” because it’s something people are searching for.
I would rather put a lot of effort into one blog post and one video and then set it and forget it.
Watching it climb the rankings because it’s better than everything else that currently ranks for “hostinger review.” Instead of creating bunch of random short click bait style posts about Hostinger that won’t rank.
Aim and fire so to speak is a better blogging strategy instead of just fire, fire, fire. Like a post titled “why Hostinger is the worst web host ever” and then it’s a 300 word article about how great they are.
Focus on rankings and search and get that consistent traffic day after day by creating content people want.
Seth made blogging 300 words everyday his thing. Just because it works for him, does not mean it will work for you.
You need to guest post and work with influencers
Link building is icing on the cake. Whenever i’m in Facebook groups to see what people are talking about, they always think rankings come from some secret ninja link building technique.
What they fail to understand is that Google wants to rank brands. So a mediocre tech blog on everything won’t work.
Conversely, thinking you need to have your blog posts retweeted or you have to guest post on larger websites to build a popular blog is wrong too.
Getting links from other websites help tremendously obviously, but it’s icing on the cake as I said. Build a brand, once that brand is established then you can go about guest posting and take your traffic to the next level.
A good read is how HerePup.com’s revenue and traffic was increased through non-spammy, SEO friendly promotional activities. But keep in mind, HerePup.com was already a big website making a lot of money.
This is my strategy with any website. Focus for a solid year or two on content, internal links and one other traffic source apart from SEO. Then look for those opportunities to improve your website.
Blogging about your personal life and thoughts
I had a blog on my personal “about me” website. I wrote about everything. Travel, dating advice, cameras, health and fitness.
The end result?
90% of that blogs traffic came from 2 blog posts out of the 60 blog posts I wrote. The rest of the blog posts got no views. I literally created content no one read. Why?
Poor SEO for starters. Blogging about whatever used to work because if your content was long enough you would unintentionally rank for long tail keyword phrases.
Now, Google has a much stronger focus on brands, expertise, authority and trust (called E-A-T for short).
That means me writing a 5000 word article on an eye infection is a massive waste of time unless your website is medical website (I say this because I did exactly this).
It also means your personal development style blog posts that basically act as filler content are a waste of time creating too.
Blogging about your personal life is fine. If you feel compelled to write then write. Just don’t expect to get a lot of traffic. Also, with the rise of YouTube, vlogging is more popular now than personal blogging (see our best camera for vlogging guide).
5 Things to make your blog successful
Want to know why no one reads your blog? It’s because you’re missing five big things with what you’re doing online:
- Quality over quantity
- Focus on the 80/20 rule for publishing
- Go where your audience is
- Don’t pay attention to search so much
- Build a brand with authority
Quality over quantify
Don’t expect to build a high traffic website without content. Too many get excited about starting a website, publish 15 blog posts then abandon their project for one reason or another.
You need a quantity when starting out. I would say focus on getting to at least 50 blog posts as quickly as you can. However, that does not mean 50 lazy blog posts.
You need quality and quality means your content is better or more targeted than what is currently ranking.
Focus on the 80/20 Rule for Publishing
The 80/20 rule for publishing means that 80% of the content you put out is going after some phrase you know people are looking for. Again, don’t waste your time publishing content people are not searching for because that content won’t be found.
I could publish a blog post here about “how to ruin a perfectly good website” and while content like that may be interesting it’s not something anyone is looking for.
80% of your content has to be focused what your audience wants, needs and is looking for. Otherwise you’re not going to have much search traffic.
The other 20%? That is for you to round out your website with content that is required for your topic. Sometimes that means creating content that is on a super competitive topic. Other times it means creating content that is not too popular, but your website would not be complete without it.
For example, I have a “create a website” blog post. That topic is way too competitive, but Website Creative Pro would be incomplete without it. The opposite would be the various posts on domain names here.
It’s just not a topic that has a lot of search traffic. But again, WebsiteCreativePro.com would be incomplete without it.
Go where you audience is (YouTube, Podcasts, Facebook, Pinterest)
Some are going to hate hearing this but you need to learn how to create multi-media for your blog posts. Not only does it help your websites authority, it allows you to take advantage of new traffic sources besides relying on search.
On my ESL website, the audience for that topic is on Facebook and from search. Not so much on YouTube or Pinterest.
For Website Creative Pro, the audience is more tilted toward video than anything else which is why I started creating videos in the first place
Each blog topic is different. So depending on your topic will dictate where you should spend the most time. Sometimes it’s a blog and a podcast or a blog and Pinterest or a blog and a YouTube channel.
Regardless, be open to learning new mediums and don’t get stuck on just creating blog posts.
Don’t pay attention too much to search
You should know your industry fairly well and know what people are searching for or need help with. Sometimes, this may mean going against what SEO tools say and just creating content that you think is helpful.
A great example is on my ESL website I created a guide on how to create a compelling teacher profile. It’s not something that any SEO tool indicated had a lot of search volume but it’s gone on to be one of my highest traffic posts.
The reason is because I know people need help with that topic because I’m involved in the industry.
Also, don’t shy away from going after “low” search volume topics. If a topic has any search volume, there is an opportunity to get views for that specific search as well as related searches.
Build a brand with authority
Authority and brands should be a key focus with your website an how you position it as well as the authors for the site. Here are some questions to answer:
- Are you interested in starting a long term project on this topic?
- Can you easily produce 100+ pieces of content?
- Does your topic have a lot of questions and easy to rank for keywords?
- Are there any similar websites? Ideally websites that are under 3 years in age?
- What is your angle that would be different from the competition?
- Does your topic have any big keywords that could drive a lot of traffic?
Also to take into consideration is this:
1 – What exactly are your skills? What do people ask you for advice on or help with? What do you know how to do that other people don’t?
2 – What can you talk about easily? You’re going to need to create content and outsource content. The best topics are where you can delegate but also check for accuracy.
3 – Money – What do people pay for in your topic? If people are not spending money on your topic, it’s going to be hard to make money.
Your niche is the intersection of those three concepts. Follow this guide for creating your first website.
Is blogging dead conclusion
Blogging is not dead if your intention is to use a blog as a form of content marketing to drive leads, sales and subscribers. It’s more effective than ever because Google has gotten more sophisticated and is simply better at finding and ranking content that deserves to rank.
If you have the authority, work ethic and knowledge to create a excellent blog you can build a highly profitable web property.
Blogging is dead however in the sense of just writing your thoughts and feelings. A journal if you will. The interaction with a small audience that made blogging so unique simply does not exist and has instead moved over to YouTube in the form of vlogging.