Is blogging dead? How many times have we heard the term ‘blogging is dead’. Almost as many times as the old saying ‘content is king’.
I’ve been blogging since 2012. Since around 2014, there seems to have been a decline in the number of active bloggers, but why do I think this is?
Instagram was created in 2010, two months later it had a million users. In under a year, that number increased to 10 million. Now, it has more than 1 billion active users and is one of the most popular social media networks in the world.
I kept hearing that blogging was dead and also terms thrown around like microblogging.
It seemed that long-form content was dying off in favour of shorter content. Image heavy content. Easily consumed content.
When Instagram started out, it was to be a place for sharing everyday content. A photo of your dinner, a snapshot with the girls in a nightclub toilet. That sort of thing. But over time it seemed to change.
Instagram started to be used alongside blogs. Most bloggers did want to use it as a way to promote blogs, like on Twitter. But with Instagram not allowing clickable links in captions, that never seemed to happen successfully. You can use the phrase ‘link is in the bio’ but it’s just not the same as clicking a link there and then.
Now Instagram has turned into something that feels like an unstoppable force and now we hear of Instagrammers, Influencers and content creators more than words like bloggers, vloggers or YouTubers. Instagram feeds are no longer snapshots of peoples Sunday roast, but highly curated images, many have images that look like they are straight out of a magazine. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I am often guilty of getting lost in a beautiful Instagram feed.
What I do think is a bad thing is that some bloggers have stopped using their blogs altogether and have migrated over to Instagram completely. I love reading blog posts, you just don’t get the same feel from an Instagram post!
Did you know that in the first quarter of 2019 TikTok was the most downloaded app from Apple’s iOS app store? TikTok seems to have come out of nowhere and is everywhere.
It’s even infiltrated Instagram – every other food post I see is of a ‘TikTok recipe’ such as baked oats or feta pasta. Not to mention Instagram Reels – which seem to be a rip off of TikTok. Don’t get me started on how Instagram prioritises accounts that use Reels, but that’s for another post.
Growth is hard on Instagram, but the way in which TikTok works means that anyone can go viral, even if you don’t have thousands of followers.
Why have these platforms become so popular, is blogging dead?
Microblogging is more accessible.
Joining Instagram and TikTok is simple. You simply sign up and you are ready to start publishing.
You don’t need to mess around with a DNS server, buying a domain, paying a host then installing WordPress. You don’t need to find a theme and fidget with widgets.
Ease of use
All you need is a mobile phone and you are ready to go. With apps like Lightroom and VSCO cam, you can edit photos taken with your phone and create a beautiful Instagram feed all on your phone.
TikTok has a simple way of editing videos within the app – no need to learn how to use Final Cut Pro and subscribe to access Adobe’s programs.
There is a potential for a bigger audience.
As Valentina Chirico says, every influencer wants to grow more. On Instagram and TikTok there is the potential to get your content in front of millions of people.
The audience is already there, you just need to get your content in front of them. But with blogging, unless you have already built that following or are a hit on Google, Pinterest or other search engines, your blog can be a bit lonely. You have to work hard to get traffic to your blog, either through SEO & keyword research, email marketing or networking before you can start to make money.
Shorter attention spans
Blogging is all about long-form content. To rank well in Google, you need to write long articles that are keyword rich.
But that goes away from how people are using social media and the internet. Now, it’s a lot more mobile-based. We want to quickly scroll, consume and move onto the next thing. This is why Instagram is the go-to for looking at beautiful photos and TikTok is the best place to get short, entertaining videos.
Brands are looking to Instagrammers and TikTok
One thing that isn’t helping bloggers is that more brands are wanting to work with Instagrammers and TikTok influencers. I was a bit frustrated the other day as I wanted to apply for an opportunity that was a perfect fit, but I couldn’t because the brand wanted the influencer to post on their blog, Instagram and on TikTok. Though I have a TikTok, I don’t use it. I don’t create content on there apart from a few videos I’ve done for fun.
So, is blogging dying?
No, blogging is not dead! People will always read blogs and there’ll always be lots to blog about!
But the people who consume blogs is changing and the way they consume them is changing. Blogs now need to be more focused on solving a readers problem and sharing information. List posts like this still do well, as do how-to posts. And the audience? Well, this mostly comes from search engines, making SEO more important than ever.
Blogging is now part of a whole content marketing umbrella, where the idea that content spread across all platforms is the way forward. So while marketers are looking to work with Instagrammers more and more, being able to work with them across multiple platforms, including blogs, is a massive plus.
We also can’t forget the fact that Instagram and Tiktok could ban or delete your account. With a blog, you have total control (self-hosted). It’s never smart to put all your eggs in one basket. Once you have a successful blog or website and an email list you never have to be worried about that being taken away overnight.
What are your thoughts? Is blogging dead?