Even though there are more blog posts produced nowadays than ever before, there is a sense that the blog readership is dropping. Stats might not reveal this – after all, available statistics are from the best years for blogging (2001-2012). But, are blogs really as widely read and subscribed to as they used to be?
According to a research done by OrbitMedia, publishers are still posting blogs, but less frequently than they used to. While they used to publish every day most commonly, now they publish weekly or monthly.
Readership is there as well, but in less amount than it used to be – according to an informal research done by Rand Fishkin, most people don’t subscribe to blogs.
Here are some of the most determining factors in this:
Social media and content aggregators
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , Reddit, Pinterest and so on, have all majorly replaced blogs. They are all popular, widely read and viewed on a daily basis and they have all sorts of content, not just niche content – but they are able to adapt to the general preferences of the reader. But this has removed the possibility of new blogs and bloggers thriving like they used to.
How many of the people you know still have RSS feeds? Maybe one?
Because there are no unbiased platforms and algorithms providing a constant feed of content for you, but precisely the opposite, there is no fairness for the new and small blogs.
Gmail and other email services are pushing the blog content that comes from blog subscriptions into tabs other than primary. Even if someone subscribes to a blog, that content that took time to produce gets trapped under all other emails and never gets any attention.
Google now displays the majority of content as snippets of answers for commonly asked questions. There is a big box for an answer at the top and then there are more additional questions underneath which have even more snippets from blog posts. However, this not a good thing because then there is no need for clicking or reading through the entire post – reader has searched and found an answer he was looking for.
SEO has just made the entire blogging experience more competitive. You always have to optimize and adapt to the new algorithms but it can be really difficult to be on the top of the search results.
Blogging used to be something only certain people did but now it’s everywhere. Every site has a blog and most people have had or tried to have a blog at least once. So, there is more noise now on the web.
However, this state of things makes sense – in a way. As platforms online become more popular, they go from being niche to being dominating and this makes it very hard to stand out.
So, is becoming a blogger worth it?
Well, probably, if you are:
- One of the 5% top content producers in your niche or industry
- Willing to work hard on that
- In a niche with a low number of producers
- Have a large and loyal fanbase
Is blogging really the best way to express yourself online?
It’s one of the ways to express yourself online as well as position yourself as a credible expert. However, there are many other ways to express yourself. You could create:
- A podcast
- Videos – though it’s a harder market to enter and succeed on.
- Images and other visual content
- Art – If you are very lucky, your images will gain a wide audience simply because they are great
- Books – self-publishing gatekeepers are almost non-existent, so publishing ebooks can be a good solution
- Research studies, whitepapers and similar
Blogging is definitely not dead yet. However, things are slowly going to go worse. For every one person who is on top of things, producing popular content that has many readers and constant fanbase, there are 100 more who are struggling even after years of work. It may be a luck thing or it’s the amount of effort people put in – but, one thing is certain, blogging is becoming more and more difficult. Other things are taking its place – temporal posts which disappear, podcasts and so on. But everything that rises must fall – at least on the web. We must adapt to the changes.
About the author: Martha Jameson works as an email marketer and writer at AcademicBrits, essay service.