I won’t lie. Surveys have reported a huge decline in blogs for the past two years. So, the question remains; “Is Blogging dead?”. For me, the answer is both a “yes” and a “no”. Read on.
IS BLOGGING DEAD?
According to this source, blogs have “declined from 50% of the Inc 500 in 2010 to 37% in 2011, while it’s remained constant at 23%”. A couple of years ago, everyone and his brother had a blog. All companies, brands, big and small had blogs. Now, if you check the old blogs you frequented, you’ll find that most of them have either closed or remained stale due to the lack of updates.
What has contributed to this decline?
- Facebook - Facebook continues its aim to dominate the world. Zuckerberg and crew can’t seem to do anything wrong. Facebook has allowed companies and individuals to do their “blogging” there. It’s so easy to maintain. And since everyone checks it daily, you’re sure to get more hits and return visits than old blogging sites or blog-based services. For now, there isn’t a way to monetize the traffic (yet). But brands have relied on Facebook via the “Page”. A couple of years ago, I wrote an article on why it was important for brands to make their own brand pages instead of profiles. It seems that I don’t need to explain myself again.
- Twitter and microblogging – Want to share your sandwich? Your coffee? It’s easier to just Tweet it rather than spend a couple of minutes on the blog platform. Twitter has allowed a lot of bloggers to capture their targeted audience and still maintain their presence in the Internet.
- Greed – bloggers who look up to successful bloggers tried to join the bandwagon and attempted to make blogs to make money. It doesn’t work that way. A lot failed. That’s why there was a surge of bloggers 2 or 3 years ago. Today, only the true blooded bloggers remain.
- The debate on who should be a journalist – There’s a huge rift between bloggers and journalists. And they have their own “camps” too. Even laws were passed to either merge the two or “divide the line”, so to speak. Old school journalists do not recognize anyone with a laptop, a digital camera and a smartphone as a real journalist. The debate goes on.
Meanwhile, blogger and web entrepreneur Jason Calacanis said in an interview “”The concept of journalism is going away. It is not enough to be a writer. You need to be a writer and an expert.” Calacanis goes on to say that there is a new “Web 3.0″ and it’s going to be “The Age of Expertise”.
For me, I think he’s on to something.
Blogging will still be here but only those who remain true to blogging’s ideals will prevail. They will retain their followers if they cater to their own communities and provide fresh, new and relevant content. Content will still be key. But now, content is easily devoured via Facebook, Twitter and all those other micro-blogging platforms. Our iPhones and Android phones can give us news and content anytime, anywhere and it is devoured fast. Your news could be stale in a matter of minutes. Before, you could still afford to be fresh even if you posted it a few days later.
In the end, blogging will have a lot more opportunities in terms of monetization because only a few are doing it now.
That’s why us bloggers, need to hone our skills and become experts rather than just ordinary “sharers”.
Keep the flame, burning!
image via Gettyimages (royalty free)