Hey Google—is blogging dead?
A few times a year, I like to do a quick search for that one specific question.
Every time, I get inundated with articles emphatically expounding on the benefits of blogging in the current year. It would almost be enough to remind me of the dictionary definition of denial—if it weren’t for the fact that they’re absolutely right.
See, I’ve always subscribed to the idea that if you’re going to succeed at something, you’ve got to know what people who already do that something are experiencing. It’s one thing for me to look at my own statistics and see proof beyond a doubt that blogging is bigger than ever.
But it’s another thing entirely to know the whole industry’s experiencing the same thing, too.
So let’s talk about it. Why is blogging a bigger deal than ever right now?
It’s more accessible than ever—in more ways than one.
Accessibility goes two ways for bloggers.
On one hand, you’ve got the readers. Everyone with a device can find blogs whenever they want to these days—and usually, they can find those blogs without actually knowing they were there in the first place, through the magic of things like search engine optimization (SEO).
On the other hand, you’ve got the bloggers. It’s easier than ever to start a blog these days—where the hardest part used to be figuring out how to build and design a site, now the hardest part is figuring out which of the dozens of turnkey providers you want to use for that.
And once you’ve built it, a blog can become a trusted source, akin to a news site. Don’t believe me? Gizmodo and IGN both started off as blogs!
People love long-form content.
Trust me. No matter what anyone tells you about the undeniable prevalence of video content and how it’ll take over the world, people still love to read. Heck, what are you doing right now?
Long-form content has a unique value for people. It gives them a challenge that doesn’t come with immediate gratification—one that pushes their minds to consider new points, relate to new stories, and create their own logical conclusions.
Plus, they’re great resources to come back to later. It’s a lot easier to rediscover a specific, vaguely remembered point in a written post (Ctrl+F, anyone?) than it is to try to find the right time in a video.
Blogging gives people an escape.
This year hasn’t been kind to anyone. Many of us have been cooped up for months on end, and I can’t even begin to estimate how many have faced financial difficulties this year because of the pandemic.
For a lot of folks, blogging is a welcome escape—in more ways than one.
For one thing, it brings the world and outside communication back into reach, without forcing people to face the overwhelm that sometimes comes with talking to people individually (my fellow phone-exhausted introverts will understand).
For another, a blog has the potential to become an avenue for passive income—so done right, it can help alleviate the financial difficulty so many have found themselves facing.
Bonus: This year has been full of new inspiration.
Maybe weird to say given the pandemic, but hear me out.
Blogs tend to work best when they’re based on a hobby (or passion, or professional calling, you get the gist). As rough as this year has been, it’s given folks all kinds of opportunities for new hobbies. Remember when we all faced a shortage of flour because everyone had taken up baking their own bread?
New adventures like these are the ideal start for a successful blog, and it gives the writer the ability to teach readers something—which is a big reason people turn to blogs in the first place.
Q: Have you thought about starting a blog this year? Or revamping an existing one? What would you do?