Is Blogging Dead? Is it still worth it to start a blog? I get this question all the time when I tell people I blog for a living and I understand, starting a blog is not something one should take lightly.
Creating a blog from scratch requires serious commitment, time, and effort. So, as an aspiring blogger, it is logical that you want to make sure it is worth it and sustainable in the long run.
While some people might want to start a blog as a hobbie or to simply keep their memories, that us not what I guess people are talking about when they ask if blogging is dead.
But instead, I assume people want to use blogging as a way to make money and start an online business, so that is what I will answer in this article.
Put simply, the answer is yes.
However, with the changing landscape of the internet and new platforms competing for people’s attention every day, blogging is changing and adapting to the trends every day.
So if you do the same, starting a blog is still a totally possible and profitable strategy to make money in 2021 and beyond.
Let’s take a look at why blogging is very alive, some statics that support this claim and what you strategies you should implement to make sure your blog is succesful.
Is Blogging Dead?
Yes and no.
The old way of blogging where you could write 10 short articles about your life and rank on search engines is definitely dead.
On the other hand, the amount people looking for answers online grows every day. To be precise, 5.6 billion searches are made on Google daily, and most of those land on blogs.
So, as long as people are searching online, blogs that are able to provide the answers will remain alive and thriving.
Naturally, there is way more competition than 20 or even 10 years ago so starting a successful blog is not as easy. Bloggers who make the most money have a multiplatform presence and work on their marketing as much as on their content.
In that sense, blogging has evolved from a writing matter into a business that requires multiple skills but if you are able to understand it, it can still be highly profitable and well worth your time.
7 reasons why blogging is not dead
We can speculate all we want about wether blogging is dead, alive, evolving or staying the same. But if there is one thing we can not argue is what the statistic have to say.
Let’s take a look at some important data about the state of blogging in 2021 so you can get to your own conclusions:
1. Blogging vs. Content Marketing
If you take a look at Google trends for the last 5 years, you’d see that the interest in blogging shows a steady decline.
However, if we compare it with Content Marketing, the trend is the opposite which confirms that blogging is not dead nor dying, only evolving.
The term “content marketing” was born in 1996 but has become increasingly popular in the last few years to describe all types of marketing efforts that produce content such as videos, articles, and e-books to attract a certain target audience.
In this sense, the term is an umbrella for blogging and many bloggers are now calling themselves content creators.
This shows how blogging is evolving and is now part of bigger marketing strategies for both companies and entrepreneurs.
2. The average monthly salary of a blogger is $8,000.
According to Glassdoor, bloggers make an average of $50,727/year which is more than some college graduates make and blogging takes way less investment than getting a degree.
Additionally, bloggers on the lower end make around 21K/year and those on the higher end, around 107k. This means that you can make a decent side income even with a small blog and if you put in the work, it has the potential to make you a better income than a lot of full-time jobs.
Here are some real-life examples for you to get an idea of the relevancy and profitability of blogging today:
- Pinch of Yum is a food blog making around $60,000/month. It is not usual for bloggers on other niches that are not blogging to share their income but this goes to show that it has the potential to make a great income in any industry.
- The bloggers at Create & Go make around $100k a month from it and their other health-focused blog Avocadu, which are 6 and 7 years old respectively.
- CamperReport is a blog that is only 3 years only and makes around $8,000. An impressive fact about this one is that they only wrote 35 articles and let them “sit” for about a year so it is a great example of what good niche selection and keyword research can do.
3. 84% of companies have a content marketing strategy.
According to Semrush, in 2020, 84% of companies have a content marketing strategy. This is an increase from 2019 where the number was 77%.
One of the main goals behind this strategy is to attract high-quality leads which shows that content remains a valuable and cost-effective, method to attract targeted traffic. Whether you want to start a blog for your business or build a platform to monetize it, the
4. Blog posts remain one of the most effective forms of content
In this survey about the content strategies that companies considered the most effective, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was named the first one.
SEO is directly related to blogging and creating articles that rank on search engines. The fact that companies continue to use the same strategies as the past year, shows that it is generating them some success in both attracting and nurturing potential leads.
5. Increasing number of bloggers in the last years
The number of bloggers keeps growing every day and has increase increased by 10 million in the US between 2014 and 2020 (Source)
Based on the forecast, the number of bloggers is as of 2021 is around 32 millionin the United States and it will continue to grow as more businesses focus more and more on organic marketing to spread brand awareness, and drive organic traffic.
6. Blog posts are still seen as a highly trustable source
According to AOL, 47,000,000 pieces of content is shared every day and 23% of social media posts now include a link to a blog post which shows that readers consider blog posts as valuable and useful resources worthy to be shared with their friends and followers.
7. Blogging provides qualified leads
We know that blogging is a great way to position yourself as an authority and attract high uaulity traffic that is actively searching for your content and the solutions you can provide.
But also, by providing readers with the valuable information that they need, you are able to gain their trust and make it easier to turn them into qualified leads and future customers.
A recent survey by Search Engine Journal asked over 230 digital marketers what they believe was their most effective type of content for attracting qualified leads and 41% cited blog posts to be the best content for lead generation.
As a reference, video content, which is the direction many creators are going, was only voted as effective by 12% of the survey’s, proving that blogging continues to be the best way to get qualified leads.
Whether you want to start a blog to make money or you have a business that needs leads, you can now be sure that blogging will help you get high quality leads that you can then convert into paying customers.
What does it take for a blog to succeed nowadays?
While there is enough data to prove that blogging is NOT dead, we also know that there is more competition every day and it is not as easy as it once was to have a succesful blog.
So, what does it take for a blog to succeed considering the current landscape?
Here are some of the most important factors you should consider:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, is the process of optimizing your blog’s content to make it rank on the top search results of search engines like Google.
Google alone receives 3.8 million searches per minute making it the biggest source of free traffic you can get.
Additonally, people on Google are actively looking for answers or solutions so optimizing your blog for search engines is the most efficenit way to get highly targeted traffic over time.
Compared to other sources of traffic like social media where you need to create content every day or paid ads where you only get traffic while you pay, SEO can get you, readers, for years after a blog post is published, if you are able to optimize it properly.
2. Have a multi-platform presence
Being a blogger nowadays is no longer about just writing good blog posts. People are spending a lot of time on platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok so if you want to stay relevant and have your readers remember you, you need to have a presence in at least one extra platform beyond your blog.
This will help you build trust with your audience and also cross promote your content so you are no longer depending on one single platform.
Let’s say for example you choose Tiktok as your second platfrom. You can use Tiktok to make snippets of your blog posts and direct people to your blog to ind the funn version. At the same time, you can promote your Tiktok in your blog as a way for people to be the first to find out about your new content.
Depending on your blog’s niche, there are some platforms that might work best for you. For example, if you are a photography blogger, Instagram would be perfect. Or if you talk about business, a podcast would complement it great. Youtube and Tiktok work great for almost any topic.
3.Build your email list
If building your email list as a new blogger, is not be on your top priorities, it shoudl be.
A solid and nurtured email list is THE most powerful asset you can have as a blogger an euqalyy as as important as your blog traffic.
It gives you direct access to your readers without having to worring about algorthm changes, backlinks or social media shares. You have a one-to-one channel with your audience, and you use it as you wish.
It also allows you to build a direct relationship with your audience based on their own desire. When someone subscribes to your email list, they are the ones requesting to hear from you which gives you an enormous competitive advantage.
Additionally, with emails, you create customized messages, address your subscribers by name, and send them personalized campaigns based on their behavior which tend to deliver 6x higher transaction rates!
If you still have doubts about building your email list, a study by McKinsey & Co, shows that email marketing is still 40 times more effective than Twitter or Facebook at reaching your target consumer.
4. Include videos in you blog posts
When I tell you blogging is no longer about writing good blog posts, I am serious. And one of the ways in which blogging has changed is related to the importance of video content as part of your blog posts and other channels.
Due to the widespread adoption of smartphones and video-based social platfroms, online video is expected to make up more than 82% of all online consumer traffic. And, it is known that people spend 2.6x as much time on pages with video as they do on pages without.
So, if you aren’t using video as part of your content, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to connect with your readers and increase your authority.
Besides cretaing a better experience for your reader, adding video to your blog will help increase your organic traffic.
Since people spend more time on pages with video, search engine sees them as a more helpful piece of content and in consequence, they tend to rank higher than those without it.
If you are a new blogger, don’t get too overwhelmed by the idea of producing both written and video content. It is best that you focus first on creating a solid base of blog posts and move to video after that. It’ll take a while for Google to start ranking your blog posts anyway so you’ll have time then.
Ultimately, it is best that you add video from other creators when relevant than to not use video at all.
5. Use Multiple Monetization Methods
While there might still be some people that blog for the joy of writing or sharing their experiences online, the type of blogging we are talking about is the one that aims to make a profit and eventually a living out of it.
When creating a blog your goal is to build a platform that attracts free traffic of targetted visitors who you then can turn into paying customers for either your products or someone else’s.
So, it is important that you have not one but multiple monetization strategies in place to achieve these goals and you don’t end up believeing blogging is dead simply because you are not monetizing your blog properly.
The bloggers who make the most money are those who have diversified their income streams and are able to maintain a reliable income even if one of those strategies doesn’t perform that well at one point.
Here are some effective blog monetization strategies you can use:
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is one the most popular ways that bloggers use to make moeny and my personal favorite.
It means that you promote someone elese’s prorducts or services and make a commission for every sale that was made thanks to you.
When you join an affiliate program, you receive an affiliate link that you can use to direct people from your blog to the merchants’ site. At the same time, it allows the company to track where the sales are coming from and credit you the correspondent commission.
A great part about affiliate marketing is that the possibilities are endless and you can continue to tweak your offer repertoire to increase your income even with the same amount of visitors.
81% of brands have affiliate programs so you will have no issues finding adequate products to promote in your blog. A simple Google search for your niche + “affiliate program” is the easiest way to start your research on the best offers for your audience.
Recommended: Bloggers’ Guide To Affiliate Marketing: Easiest Way To Passive Income
2. Place Ads on Your Blog
Display advertisement consists of joining an ad network so they can place ads on your blog while you make money based on the number of views or clicks depending on the network.
This is one of the easiest ways to monetize a blog since all you need to do is join the advertisement network and they will automatically display the ads on your site.
A lot of bloggers worry that the ads will ruin their visitors’ experience but you can customize the placements and number of them so it doesn’t get in the way of your readers. Also, the ads are customized according to your content so visitors are likely to be interested in them.
While this is a pretty easy and passive way to make money from your blog it does require a high number of monthly visitors for the income to be significant so it is best for bloggers with at least 10,000 monthly views. Google Adsense is a good network to join when you are first starting out.
Additionally, the more visitors you get, the more options you have at your disposal since the networks with the highest rates like Mediavine and Adthrive only work with blogs that get 25,000+ and 100,000+ monthly visitors, respectively.
Once your traffic starts growing, this monetization method can make you some good money without any work.
You just want to be careful if you are selling products via affiliate marketing or your own, since you don’t want the ads to distract your visitors from clicking on them.
3. Sell your own products
Yes! Selling your own products (mostly digital ones) is a great way to monetize your blog and increase your revenue substantially.
While selling a digital product might seem more challenging and take more time than other monetization methods, it is also one of the most effective ways to turn your readers into customers and establish your authority.
And selling a digital product is not as difficult as it might sound. You can start with something small like printables, planners, worksheets or ebooks and eventually create something of more value like an online course or membership.
Even if your goal is to sell a high ticket item like a $1,000 course, it is best that you create a low-ticket offer so you can get readers into your sales funnel, gain their trust and make them more likely to buy your more expensive products.
Alternatively, you can also sell services related to your blogging subject. By creating high-quality content, your readers will perceive you as an expert in the field and you’ll soon have businesseses finding your blog organicaly and willing to pay any rate for your advice.
Finally, depending on your niche, you can also use your blog to sell physical products like they do at Survival Life and managed to grow their blog to 6 million in 12 months.
5. Have more than one traffic source
Most bloggers focus mostly on SEO with the goal of getting traffic from Google and other search engines. Don’t get me wrong, SEO is a great source of passive long-term traffic once your posts have ranked and you have build your blog’s authority.
That being said, you should never rely solely on one traffic source no matter which one it is. In the case if SEO and search engines, one algorithm change or penalty from Google could reduce your traffic significantly and, with that, your income.
Like any other business, you want to diversify your income sources and in this case that means diversifying where you get your traffic. Ither traffic sources you could consider are social media, Youtube, a podcast, or one of my favorite, Pinterest.
This might end up representing a smaller fraction of your traffic when compared to SEO but having them as part of your strategy will still protect your blog and make your income more reliable in the long term.
6. Build your backlinks
Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links.” are links from some other websites to your blog. They signal to Google that another resource finds your content valuable enough to link to it so they help grow your blog’s authority and make your content rank higher.
The truth is that building backlink is not easy. According to Google, there are no approved link-building strategies and backlinks should be the natural result of link-workthy content.
However, in reality, most bloggers use what can be consider “white-hat” startegies like guest blogging, outreach and creating “linkable” content like infopgraphics.
Regardless of what you decide to use for your link-building strategy, backlinks are a key factor to the success of your blog so make sure to keep them in mind and start sooner rather than later.
What kind of blogs make money?
Before we talk about what are some of the most lucrative types of blogs, it is important to mention that you can make money with a blog in almost any category if you have a proper monetization strategy.
This means that if you start a blog for something you are passionate about like for example sewing, you might realize that are not many affiliate programs in the category and that ad revenue is not high due to the niche being small. However, if you have a plant to create digital products or even launch your own course, you can make a good income with a small audience.
That being said, there are some niches that will always be the most profitable and are usually divided into these three categories:
- Health and Wellness
- Personal Finance
These relate to 3 basic needs so no matter how saturated they are, you can always find a sub-niche or angle with enough volume and people will be always willing to spend money on these topics.
Other type of blogs that are easy to monetize are those related to hobbies or skills. Something that people are either passionate about or have a problem they need to solve. Since they are already invested in the niche, all you need to do is provide them with the solutions they are looking for and they’ll be happy to buy what you recommend.
For a more detailed list of profitbale niches, check out the following articles:
- 7 Type of Blogs That Make Money & How To Find Your Niche
- Best Blogging Niches: Profitable Ideas & How To Choose (2021)
Why do blogs fail?
While there can be a number of different reasons why some blogs fail, there is one responsible for up to 90% of failures…
They give up
A recent study showed that about 80-90% of bloggers quit blogging in the first 2-4 months which is not nearly enough time to even assess a blog’s performnace or being able to say that it “failed”.
But the point is that most bloggers that say they “tried it and didn’t work” or that “blogging is dead” are probably among those 80-90% that quit before actually starting.
Now, being honest, building a blog is not for everyone, especially if you are unsure, don’t have a clear expectation or are wanting to make some quick money.
For most beginners, it can take around 18 to 24 months to start seeing some significant results. And that if you commit to dedicating some time to publish articles consistently.
If you don’t have the clear expectation that you won’t get any gratification during your first year and a half, you might think that your blog “is failing” but it is simply that you have not given it the proper time for it to show results.
Additionally, if you don’t know what you are doing and are not following a clear blueprint, you might also end up feeling lost and like your efforts are not “worth it”.
However, if you have the right expectations and education, there is no reason why you can not make blogging work for you.
Does anyone still read blogs?
Starting by the fact that you probably searched for something on Google and are now reading this blog, we could conclude that people still, in fact, read blogs.
And outside out anectodical evidence, , people are still read blogs today in record numbers and will continue to do so for many years to come. In fact, 77% of Internet users said that they read blogs regularly, according to the latest blogging statistics.
It might seem otherwise because people are no longer checking the updates of their favorites blog on BlogLovin’ or Feedly because that has been replaced by social media,
Blogs might look more sophisticated than they did 10 years ago and might seem less personal and more “corporate”.
However, they are still considered reliable sources of information, and people still using Google and other search engines like Pinterest to find answers to their questions every day.
Blogging is not dead nor dying, It is pretty much alive and thriving.
However, blogging is not what it used to be 20 or even 10 years ago. There is more competition and more pieces to the puzzle that you need to manage in order to create a successful blog.
The number of social media app that people spend time on every day makes it essential that you approach blogging as a multi-platform business and expand your presence beyond your written content if you want to build your authority and have your readers remember you.
That being said, building a blog is not for everyone and certainly not for those looking for a “get-rich-quick-scheme”. It takes patience, work and especially, the ability to work for delayed gratification.
That being said, if you have the right mindset and work ethic, blogging can change your life, help you quit that job you hate and turn into a long term successful empire.