Is blogging relevant in 2018?
Starting a blog in 2018. is it worth it?
Is it wise pursuing blogging as a side hustle right now when Instagram, Youtube, Podcasting sound more promising?
A lot of first-time bloggers have these questions. Let’s dive deep into Blogging’s relevance in 2018 and for the next few years ahead.
We are nearing the end of 2018 and before we know it, 2019 will get rolling. Major social networks of the previous decade – Myspace and Orkut are gone. Blackberry and Nokia together have a negligible market share in today’s scenario while they clearly ruled the 2000s.
As humans, we embrace ‘the shiny object syndrome’ where we celebrate the new things and let go of familiar / old things. If a product or a trend is good enough and constantly innovating, we stick to them for more than a decade. Everything has an expiry date.
Enough small talk. Let’s get into our topic of whether if blogging is relevant in 2018. The short answer is ‘yes’ and the long answer starts below. Here are the factors that influence the relevance of blogging right now.
1. Blogging is just a medium
Not to be confused with Medium. Blogging is a form of expression just like an audio or a video or a book. When you express your thoughts in text on the web, it is a blog.
If you have got something to say about something, you can write a blog post about it. Every industry has gone through innovations and blogging is no different.
If your goal of blogging is not to make money but just to express yourself and share your story with the world, it is never too late to start a blog.
2. Competition from fellow bloggers
It is true that there is a whole breed of newbie bloggers trying to get into already crowded niches looking to make a few bucks from their blog.
Just like any other business, competition is inevitable in blogging as well. And the best blogs will always win.
Readers can smell an honest blog post from miles away. When your readers relate to your writing, they become your fan and will closely follow your works
As a blogger, even if you build an army of just 100 fans who will read every blog post you write, it is good enough to make enough money to sustain your blog.
In the sea of bloggers who are churning out content just to sell products which they are an affiliate of, your blog will be different if you concentrate on just one product and cover a-z about the same.
3. The Niche Situation
A famous Norwegian quote that I heard in Canada about the winter season.
There is no such thing as the bad weather, it’s just bad clothing
Similarly, there is no such thing as a bad niche, it is just bad content. It is important to identify what you are great at before you zero down on your niche.
Even if you have zero clues about an industry, you can start a blog in that domain, provided you spend hours to know the basics strongly.
Think about cryptocurrencies or blockchain. They are not truly mainstream yet and only a fraction of the fraction are into it. Even if you are new to these industries, once you spend time and cross the learning curve – you will be way ahead of the majority of the bloggers.
4. Competition from established media houses
When you rely on organic traffic from Google, your competition not only includes your fellow bloggers but also reputed publications/media houses like Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Huffpost etc.
Their websites will have a stronger domain authority and thousands of backlinks. Readers would always like to see an individual behind a story/experience.
For them to relate with an experience/review, it has to come from someone in their league and not from a brand. There is a reason why brands pay billions in influencer marketing instead of promoting their own marketing collaterals.
There is also the fear of making decisions based on a paid campaign. The views of a major publication will definitely factor their affiliations and ownership before they write an honest article.
Let’s look at the opportunities here instead of threats
1. Become a good blogger in your own capacity and be considered by these publications as a trusted authority to provide ‘quotes’ on a trend in your niche.
2. Write free high-quality original articles in exchange for a juicy backlink. Most of the modern day writers and influencers do this. You can flaunt the publication’s logo on your website building even more credibility.
3. Go through the comments of their posts to understand what’s missing and create content that answers them in detail. Given the credibility of the publication, there will be a lot of interaction from the readers that can serve as a reference for content creation ideas.
Even if you do one thing from the above three in your first year of blogging, it is a good win.
5. Blogging for Personal Branding
When you have a blog, you have your own space on the internet to express your thoughts, ideas, and experiments with the world.
Even though you can express the same on your social media profiles which are free to signup and use, there are millions sharing their stories every day which makes the platform super crowded.
Here is an example
Let’s say you have written 25 articles on Email marketing and you share them on your social media profiles whenever you publish them, you will be known in your circles as an expert in email marketing. You might get invited to present a session on the same in your local startup community. You put together a cool deck and ace your presentation. Few startups may reach out to you to help them in mentoring their Marketing team in Email marketing. You do that as well. Now you are established as a blogger, guest speaker, resource person as well as an Email Marketing consultant. With this profile, you can create your own course/e-book as well. Your personal brand is built.
Remember, blogging was the start-point.
Suggested Reading: How to build a strong personal brand?
6. Lifetime value of a blog post
If you are into products, you will understand the importance of Lifetime value (LTV) of a customer. This is a very crucial metric that helps to arrive at the revenue projections for any product/service that has monthly subscriptions or any form of recurring payments in their pricing.
The lifespan of a single blog post, when compared with the lifespan of posts in other popular social media platforms, reveals a big surprise.
The lifespan of a post is directly proportional to the lifetime value of a post. Two years is a very long time and when you keep updating the content of a blog post relevant to the changing trends, it can go even longer.
7. Jack of all trades
Most of the bloggers fly solo. This means every aspect of the blog has to be managed by them.
Server hosting, designing images, content writing, on page SEO, off-page SEO, content strategy, lead magnets, email capture, email marketing, social sharing, social media profile management, social media marketing, affiliate marketing are some of the topics every blogger would be familiar with once they take blogging seriously.
Some of these are solid and hot skillsets to have in the current market. If you can scale a blog without any product, you can be confident in doing the same for a product-based startup or a services firm.
When you treat blogging as a business, you tend to learn all aspects of running a business through the practice of blogging.
8. Truly Passive Income
When you publish a long-form blog post about a specific topic, you have a chance of ranking on the search engines if your content is good.
After hitting publish, there is not much to do on a blog except for updating the blog post will relevant data once in a while.
It is ranking on Page 1 Link 4 for the main keyword ‘100-day blogging course review’ (screenshot below)
I published the blog post on June 27, 2017. I had placed affiliate links but I did not update the blog after I published initially. Yesterday, I was surprised to get an email about a purchase made through that link.
1954 INR was sent to my account as someone had purchased through my affiliate link. If I rank as the first link on Page 1, I could make even more as there would be more people clicking the first link than the fourth one.
When you have written multiple blog posts, you will keep getting surprises like these and all that is required is producing good quality content. The money will follow.
Verdict – Is blogging relevant in 2018?
So, the question – is blogging still a thing? Yes
Is it worth starting a blog in 2018 or 2019? Yes
Have you made up your mind to start a blog? Read here to find how much is it going to cost you.