BLOGGING STILL GOOD?
Blogging was a big hit in the 2000s, but as technology progressed, the blogging community seems to have gone quiet today. Just what has replaced blogging?
The rise of social media, video sharing, and streaming (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) seem to have replaced blogging, but that is not the truth – Blogging has only evolved.
So, is blogging still relevant? What is the future of blogging? Should we move away and concentrate on the “popular mainstream media” instead? For the many of you who are wondering about the future of online contents, or planning to start a blog – Let us explore the various sides of it in this guide. Read on!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE NEW TRENDS
By definition, traditional blogging refers to an “online diary”, where bloggers write and share small slices of their daily lives with the Internet. While it is true in the sense that fewer people are writing “dear diary” these days, but the social aspect of sharing daily slices has never died – It has only taken up in various different forms.
1) SOCIAL MEDIA
Who has not heard of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in this digital age? While some people may see the rise of social media as the end of blogging, but I have a different view. People no longer dedicate a specific time slot to write a full-length “daily report” of their lives; They spend several quick minutes throughout the day to share short posts on social media.
That is exactly what I think social media is, casual microblogging in another word. Nope, I don’t think this is a bad direction, and the ability to quickly connect with friends all over the world is more than welcomed – This is something that the traditional blogs cannot do.
2) PHOTOS, IMAGES, AND IDEA SHARING.
So what happens when cameras become very accessible to the young ones? Instagram and Pinterest. People start to take selfies, wefie, groupies, and foodies. Well, not everyone is good with words, so a picture does speak a thousand words after all.
Once upon a time, taking videos is a huge task that requires an expensive video camera, long rolls of film, and a whole production team. Today, anyone with a smartphone can do it. This accessibility to technology has led to the birth of another form of blogging – Video blogging, or more commonly known as vlogging. Well, even though I sometimes think certain vloggers are overly dramatic, vlogging is still more entertaining than blogging.
4) MICROBLOGGING & SOCIAL BLOGGING
In this age of information overload, it is easy to see why people still blog – but very much in an “alternate way” of sharing short posts and pictures publically. Check out Tumblr and Medium if you want to experience social blogging.
IS BLOGGING STILL RELEVANT?
Blogs are not shining as bright, and does that mean we should all shy away from it? Well, people have been saying digital media will kill the traditional publishing industry for ages – We are still publishing magazines, novels, and newspapers today… Both in digital and hard copies. Blogging is pretty much the same, it is still relevant, but has evolved along with time and technology.
NOT QUITE THE SAME
The spotlight has moved away from blogging, but that does not mean blogging is entirely dead. Blogs will still have a special place, just like how traditional media like the newspaper is still alive and kicking. Back in the 2000s, blogging was a lot simpler without any social media and videos. The community was also a lot less demanding with the type of contents that bloggers create. Today, things are a lot more competitive, and the market is over-saturated with tons of media.
So yes, traditional blogging is dead in the fashion that people would rather spend time on social media, and not read the “dear diary” that other people wrote. But at the same time, new technologies have also given birth to a new breed of bloggers called “influencers”; Blogging is still relevant, but it is less writing in the “dear diary” style. It is more about publishing “polished content” that people are interested in.
BLOGS WILL REMAIN RELEVANT, JUST LOOK AT THE BIG BOYS.
The bottom line is, humans have been writing and reading for thousands of years, and that is not going to change until some mad scientists discover how we can communicate telepathically. So before that, as long as people continue to read, blogs that offer great value will continue to thrive. Just in case you have not noticed, a lot of the “big boys” in the industry have a blog:
- Walmart Today
- Coca-Cola Unbottled
- Oh My Disney
- Yes, even YouTube Engineers has their own YouTube Developer’s Blog.
Ever wonder why these big companies still run a blog and have dedicated teams to keep them updated with beefy contents? The answer is simple – Because blogs are still rocking it. If blogs are truly dead, then companies won’t even bother to spend money on it.
LET’S SEE SOME STATISTICS
Still skeptical about the survival of blogs? Well, let Google Trends show you the numbers on the interest in the keyword “blogging”:
Oops, that is an expected downhill trend with the social media storm taking over. But also think twice, Google Trends is showing the number of people who are searching for the keyword “blogging”, which should already be common knowledge. Let us do a more detailed search on the “start blogging” keywords instead. Now, this should paint a better picture, aye?
Yep, it is not as wild as before, but that will hopefully show you that plenty of people are still interested in blogging. If you are still not convinced, here is another one for “how to start a blog for free”, and “how to start a WordPress blog”:
If you are still not convinced, do a search for keywords like “Tumblr blog”, “Livejournal blog”, “how to blog”, and even “free blog sites”. My point being, if you combine all of the search volumes of all these terms together, you will realize that the tsunami called “blogging” is not going to suddenly go flat anytime soon.
THE FUTURE OF BLOGGING
There is a future for blogging, but if you are thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and starting a new blog – Just what can you expect as a future blogger?
MORE TYPES OF CONTENTS & MEDIA
The grandmother Internet age of “text only” is over. Images, photos, podcasts, vlogs, virtual reality, augmented reality, memes, animated GIFs… The future of blogging lies in adopting various kinds of media to create interesting contents.
COMBINING THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA – WILL IT NOT TAKE OVER?
Social media will continue to be a huge influence on bloggers, but it is ultimately not the same as blogging – There are various restrictions on the post length, the types of media you can use, the lifetime of a post, and most importantly, who owns the posts that you make on social media?
A blog is still the best place to house your prized valuable contents. You write good solid articles, and those will be your intellectual property on your own personal blog; Social media is a part of the promotion game, but it will never become your “personal dear diary”.
BLOGGING WILL REMAIN REWARDING
Despite the bleak outlook of a saturated market, blogging can still be very rewarding – Especially when you offer good insights on niche topics. When I first started blogging, it was out of interest in photography. I kind of used the blog to keep notes for myself, and little did I know, it turned out to be an interesting way to learn new things and make money along the way.
As the wealth of information grew on my photography blog, search engines began to reward it by sending free readers to those tips and tutorial articles. Of course, I took the opportunity to put advertisements on my blog. Viola, that is how I turned my hobby into a source of online income.
Although it might become more difficult as time passes but I don’t see this trend changing in the near future. If “blogger and social media influencer” rings a bell for you – Then feel free to pick up the challenge.
WILL BLOGS EVENTUALLY DIE?
Media is forever changing. From cave paintings to writing on paper, to publishing prints, to online websites, blogs, podcasts, social media, photo sharing, video sharing, virtual reality, and whatever comes next. Traditional blogs will undoubtedly face the same fate of becoming obsolete in the passage of time, without any doubts.
But the catch is – The practice of blogging will change, and not truly die. Even now, blogs are no longer “just text” – People have adopted podcasts, vlogs, social media, memes, and animated GIFs. So my personal take is no, blogging will not completely disappear from the surface of Earth. Although the traditional “text only” way of blogging will become a thing of the past.
That’s all for this guide, and if you are still not convinced, here are some extras links to what other bloggers think.
LINKS & REFERENCES
- Is Blogging Finally Dead? – Blog Tyrant
- Is Blogging Still Important? – The Muse
- Blogging Still Worth It? – business2community.com
TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG?
We have come to the end of this guide and hopefully answered your questions about blogging. But one question remains – Is it still worth the time and effort to start blogging? My answer will be a resounding yes. What is there to lose? The Internet may be saturated, but if you have the passion for a certain hobby, there is always a good chance that you can turn it into an unexpected income.
Whichever path you choose to take, good luck, and if you have any thoughts to share, please feel free to comment below.
W.S. Toh is a senior web developer and SEO practitioner with over 10 years of experience in building websites. When he is not secretly being an evil tech ninja, he enjoys doing photography and explore ways to mess around with tech gadgets.