Is Blogging Dead in 2021?
Pack it up everyone, shut down WordPress and stop sending out 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.
So what is the reality?
Old school blogging is dead
Dooce.com is one of the original mommy bloggers and one of the first bloggers to become famous, making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month and landing multiple book deals.
Her writing is smart, funny and she writes about her life. It’s sort of like a real life soap opera and it’s what drew a massive audience to her blog. It’s this sort of blogging that is dead for most people. 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 want to make money from blogging, and want to know how this business model actually works.
People who want to build large, profitable blogs make a mistake by following boomer blogging advice.
Out dated blogging advice like:
- Click bait headlines
- Posting a lot to get a lot of traffic
- Gust posting with influencers
- Blogging about your personal life and thoughts
Click bait headlines
With blog posts, your headlines need to be clear and specific. They need to directly relate to what the blog post is about, meet the specific search intent and use specific keyword phrases that people use. If you want to rank a blog post for Bluehost Review for example, you need to create a catchy title that has that specific phrase in it.
Just calling your blog post “Bluehost Review” is not going to cut it. It need something like, “Bluehost Review – The Stunning Truth.” At leas that second title is more interesting.
In the past, clickbait headlines were quite effective but as Google as gotten more sophisticated they are now a waste of time.
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 has posted a 300 to 600 word blog post every single day for a decade.
That’s a nice writing habit, but it’s not the secret to blogging success. He made the claim that is was this consistency that made his blog popular.
Maybe back in the early 2000’s when blogs were sill a fairly new thing, publishing a lot of content day after day made a difference. But in today’s landscape it’s a waste of time to publish just for publishing’s sake.
Instead, you need to focus on creating helpful, searchable content. Content that has some specific keyword focused so people are able to organically find your content. Because that’s why you blog today. To get search engine traffic that you can convert into product sales or email signups.
Just posting a lot of mediocre content will not help you get search traffic. Quality over volume is the reality for today.
You need to guest post and work with influencers
Gust posting used to be a very powerful strategy for building up authority and your rankings with a website. Particularly if you were able to guest post on an influencers website. Today, guest posting is a massive waste of time unless you’re posting on a high traffic, high authority website.
Instead, focus on creating quality, keyword rich content that makes sense for your brand. If you do want to gust post, do so on a high traffic, high authority website related to your topic. A backlink from a quality website will make a difference, but it’s a waste of time to be writing blog posts for other websites more than yours.
Blogging about your personal life and thoughts
The old idea behind this was to make your blog more personable to help readers connect with you more as a way to help grow your blog. You can and should leverage personal experiences and stories into your blog post if you’re creating content on personal development, fitness or finance topics.
People need to know why you have the authority to give advice. But just publishing personal updates is not helpful for growing your traffic and may hurt your blog as it’s too off topic.
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 volume 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. Don’t waste your time publishing content people are not searching for because that content won’t be found.
The other 20% 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, we have a how to “create a website” blog post. That topic is way too competitive and our blog post will likely never rank, but Website Creative Pro would be incomplete without it.
Go where you audience is
For most topics focusing on search, YouTube and perhaps one other social media outlet is required for blogging success. Depending on your audience will determine where you spend the most time. Some topics it makes more sense to focus on YouTube with a blog as a secondary traffic source.
Other websites it may be Pinterest or Facebook and your blog. Again, know your topic and go where your audience is.
Don’t pay attention too much to search volume
You need to create content that people are looking for, but don’t focus too much on search volume. As long as people are looking for a specific topic, your piece of content on that topic has the potential to rank for that phrases as well as similar phrases.
Google is much better about indexing and ranking content and driving traffic for multiple search phrases to one piece of content. SEO’s in the past would make a distinction between phrases like “create a website” and “make a website” when in reality the search intent is the same.
Google knows this so you don’t need to stress about search volume. Just create a quality, best in class piece of content and it will get traffic for synonyms.
Build a brand with authority
Google and other search engines love brands and will rank brands that build trust and authority on a given topic over time. For example, the Website Creative Pro blog is about domain names, web hosting, website builders and so forth. It ranks well for these topics but it has a hard time ranking higher against website dedicated to only web hosting or website builders and so forth.
When starting a blog, build a brand with authority. 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.
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 want to start a blog, then now is a great time because long term you can create a profitable asset. If you however want to share your life, then we consider starting a vlog instead. For more, see our best vlogging cameras guide.