You will find, if you look, no shortage of articles online talking about the death of the blog. Now, if you move in online circles, you may ask around and see what people think. “So, uh, what do you make of the death of the blog?”
Friend #1, a currently successful blogger, will respond, “The what of the blog?” and check his phone to see if his is still there.
Friend #2, a social media ambassador, will say, “Oh yes, I’ve read about that. Well, I don’t know about death. But with Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, there has been a shift”.
Friend #3, who is eighteen and makes gaming videos for YouTube, will say, “Blog?”, and turn back to their PS4.
There is no doubt, the blog has changed somewhat over the recent past, but to talk about its death is to exaggerate the case to the point of absurdity. There are still blogs. Personal, lifestyle, news, promotional, they’re all still there. They have evolved. In many cases, influential bloggers have ceased operations on their own personal blogs and been given jobs at news outlets. After all, mainstream media never saw a threat without wanting to buy it out like a bank employing a hacker to advise them on web security.
Blogging has certainly changed. And if you’re thinking of starting one, or wondering why you’re not getting the same traffic on your existing one, then you need to change with it.
First, Cast Your Net Wide
If you have a blog, then you probably already have social media accounts. At the very least, I’d guess you tweet. If you’re not making every post on your blog shareable, then you’re wasting a lot of time and effort. But it’s worth remembering that because of Twitter (and Facebook), people no longer go to blogs for live, up-to-date reaction.
Think of social media as your 24-hour news outlet, and your blog as the daily newspaper. If you’re focused on a particular topic or niche, and events are taking place connected to that, tweet live reactions. (By all means, have a post which updates every time you tweet, for those who don’t use Twitter). Keep at it until the event has passed. Then consider your analysis of the event, write it up and post it on your blog which you then share on social networks to attract the people who liked your tweets.
If You Won’t Start A Vlog, At Least Make Video Posts
We’ve all met people who can express themselves beautifully in the written word, but struggle to hold conversations. It’s not easy to speak directly to people, but there’s a reason vloggers are getting book deals. It’s more immediate, more intimate and frankly, more lucrative. So every time something happens that is too big to ignore, make a reaction video.
Use visual aids. If someone has written a book that you want to take issue with, have the book there with you and brandish it. Open and visibly read it. Everyone’s awkward at first – sometimes that’s a selling point. But done right, this can be evergreen content. And it might attract paid commissions to go on TV or radio. Other ideas for video posts can be found on this excellent list for aspiring YouTubers.
Hail The Power Of Almighty Pod
One source of media which has attracted a lot of former bloggers is the podcast. It could be argued that they are to this decade what the blog was to the 2000s. Just as print media struggled to deal with the rise of the blog, radio is finding it tough to fight off podcasters. Most podcasts are weekly, but the ease of making and publishing them means you can get one online as a reaction to current events. And there is no reason it need be either/or.
One little piece of advice here is that, if you have a blogger friend who writes on the same issues, you may want to bring them on board. This is a chance to cross-promote your blogs and social media accounts. It has an immediacy and an energy that blogging can’t provide. And having a second (or third, or more) person there makes it easier to do live podcasts – filling for time is hard if you’re alone. Live podcasting is perfect for events like elections, where you can react to events as they happen.
So, no, the blog is not dead. It does have a more crowded marketplace to work within. It also gives you a chance to explore at length issues you can only touch on in social media posts. It’s great for referencing and building a portfolio of writing. If you want your blog to hit the heights, you just need to know how to keep it relevant.
This post was contributed.
Readers, please share so bloggers know the rumor that blogging is dead is just that– a rumor.
Had you heard that blogging is dead? What do you do in these changing times to keep your blog relevant?
I look forward to your views in the comments section.
The death of blogging is a myth.
20 Blogging Myths That Will Make You Blog Worse contains 20 additional myths about blogging.