Blogging is NOT Dead

There’s a silly claim that seems to be making the rounds — yet again — in the online content creation space. The claim? That blogging as you and I have known it for the past several decades is dead.

Forget about it, they’d say. Use an established platform, they’d argue.

They’re wrong. Very wrong.

Let’s talk about that.

Why do they say blogging is dead?

Over the years, “blogging” as we call it has changed and adapted to a variety of pressures — both from the blogging community as a whole and from external factors like Google and SEO.

The blogging of 1994 and the blogging of 2024 are not the same. Not really.

It’s no secret that many blogs have been hit by the various waves of Google search algorithm updates, causing them to lose much — if not all — of their search traffic. And blogs have stiff competition from the big fish — like Reddit, Quora, and others.

So, many figure, it’s not worth trying to swim upstream to try to take on the giants of the web industry. 

They’ve won. Game over. Time to throw in the towel.

Why bother learning how SEO works or how to manage WordPress plugins or anything of the sort? One writer calls this an “unnecessary hurdle” for content creators.

Or so they would say.

After all, “80% of blogs fail within 18 months” right?

In other words, it’s too hard. Just use something that’s already established.

Don’t bother building anything. You’ll most likely fail. Or so they say.

I say that’s foolishness.

Build a platform you own

Too often, content creators, business owners and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes rely on established platforms and neglect building something they own and control.

Clearly it’s not bad to use established platforms. To a point, it’s necessary.

But should never come at the expense of creating something of your own.

Why?

Simple: Any platform you don’t own could be ripped away from you in an instant.

For writers, there are lots of great sites these days. Medium, Substack, Vocal – just to name a few. But what’s to say those sites won’t want day cease to exist? It could happen. I remember fondly several sites I loved writing on – which no longer exist, at least not in the same form. I’ve seen first hand the results of relying too much on a single platform or foolishly thinking that a site or service could never disappear.

The reality is we have absolutely no control over what happens to sites like Medium or Substack or any other. We can post some of our best work hoping that our contributions continue to breathe life into the platforms, but at the end of the day, we’re not the ones making the decisions.

What’s worse, even if you abide by the rules, accounts can be terminated or suspended with or without notice. While thankfully it’s never happened to me (yet) I know some who have been in this boat. Mistakes happen. Accounts can be accidentally (or even maliciously) terminated without recourse.

You wake up one morning to a heart-sinking email that your account has been suspended and… that’s it. You’ve lost access to that platform. Possibly forever.

It happens, folks.

But who’s going to lock you out of a platform you own? No one. No matter what happens to any other platform and no matter what happens to any of your other accounts, a platform you build is yours to keep.

Most blogs do fail.

It is true, of course, that the vast majority of blogs do fail within 12-24 months. They just do. That’s a fact. A blog started today may not be around in a year or two – or may not be updated.

These blogs don’t make any money, and if they get traffic, it’s not leading anywhere.

The reasons for this are several fold. Some people start blogs thinking they’re going to strike gold and get rich in a few months. Others think the traffic will just start pouring in overnight.

When that doesn’t happen, they give up or lose motivation.

Sometimes people start out with great ideas for blogs and topics but then don’t stick with them for whatever reason. Life gets in the way. Or maybe they overestimated how much content they’d be able to create about a certain topic.

For example, I like drawing, but there’s only so much I could write about that before I started to get very, very bored. That’s just me.

But when a blog fails, it just goes to “prove” to some that blogging is dead – that it’s a worthless hobby and not worth the time and money.

But yours doesn’t have to.

Here’s the thing though. Don’t let the fact that most blogs fail be the downfall of your own. There’s no reason that yours can succeed as long as you’re willing to be consistent and put in the work.

Look, the same can be said for many things in life, can’t it? People who don’t show up to work consistently probably won’t be employed for long. True? Those who want to build businesses but are allergic to actually working probably won’t be in business long – if at all.

If you are willing to put in the time and effort to build your brand and grow your audience, there is no reason at all that your blog can’t be a success, God willing.

I’ve started and abandoned more blogs than most people, I’d wager. After a while, I got discouraged and gave up or got bored and gave up or got distracted and… You guessed it. Gave up.

Before you start blogging, you need to make the decision to work hard to create the kind of content people actually want to read and to do so consistently. If you are willing to work hard, can plan ahead and stick to the plan, I think you’ll find that blogging is absolutely, unequivocally, not dead. At all.

The old, lazy tricks don’t work anymore.

From the dawn of the search engine, there have been those hoping to game the system to get free and easy clicks with minimal effort. 

To be sure, we all want free and easy traffic to our content. But some have taken it to an extreme. Fortunately, the cheap tricks of yesteryear don’t work anymore.

Gone are the days of being able to buy a domain name with your chosen keywords, post junk content, and expect to get traffic.

No more are the times of being able to stuff posts full of keywords with no real substance hoping Google will bless your site with high rankings.

Good.

If that’s what’s “dead” then I say “good riddance” and let’s get on with our lives.

Lazy content creation shouldn’t be successful.

But here’s the kicker: It doesn’t work on other platforms either. To grow anywhere, you’re going to have to put some real thought into what you create.

So if your reason for not starting a blog you is that it might be difficult, reevaluate that decision.

What works then?

As with any form of content creation – which blogging is – it comes down to two things:

  1. Creating the kind of content people actually want, and
  2. Patience

At the end of the day, content creation is about creating what people actually want. It doesn’t matter how many articles you write or how great you think they are – if people don’t want what you’re creating, your efforts aren’t going to have much effect.

That’s true on a blog, on Medium, on YouTube or anywhere else.

But secondly, patience is something that many (most?) people lack. We seem to be steeped in this culture of instant gratification that demands instant results as a way to gauge whether or not we’ve wasted our time. If we hit publish on a blog post and it doesn’t get tons of traffic in its first few days, we’ve failed – or so we think. We start to get discouraged and wonder if blogging is even worth it anymore.

Yet, as my own experience and that of others has shown, it’s those who stick with it that see results. It does take time for a new website – whether that’s a blog or anything else – to be picked up my search engines and for search traffic to start pouring in.

For a while you have to be content to write for an empty room, knowing that it’s very likely that your traffic numbers will be low. Over time, those numbers will pick up if you’re consistently producing high quality human-first content.

When I started writing on Medium, it took me a bit to build anything close to what I would consider a substantial audience. Currently, I’m sitting at just over 1.6k followers and am continuing to grow those numbers. But I definitely didn’t start there.

A well-done blog can do very, very well in terms of traffic. A badly done blog will be largely ignored – both by search engines and humans.

Everything you don’t try will fail.

Bottom line, here’s what I want you to see from this. Many things in life worth doing are difficult. Writing on a third party platform and hoping to make bank is difficult. Building your own platform is difficult. Choose your difficult.

That’s the thing.

No matter what you do, if you don’t work at it, it’s not going to work. Right? On one hand, that’s just common sense. But on another, I think it’s something of which we need to remind ourselves frequently.

It takes time to build an audience – to truly build an audience. But if you never do it, you’ll never be successful.

The same applies here to blogging. You can let others talk you out of starting a blog, or you can just do it and be willing to put in the time and effort.

It’s hard work, and it takes a while, but it’s worth it.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.