As the saying goes, change is inevitable and it is will forever remain one of the most volatile concept in any area of endeavor. This has been the case with the world of blogging which had been the talk of the town all the way from 2000s to the recent past. Actually, in the year 2000-2012, blogging was highly prevalent amongst the youths and it was considered to be the most popular approach of sharing information. This act of writing content and sharing it freely to the rest of the world attracted a lot of attention leading to the upsurge of blogging activities. It was during this period when the search of the meaning of blog-related words happened as well as hosting of many blog sites. However, things have started to change and the future of blogging is slowly taking another turn in this article, I will discuss the big question as to whether the blog is dead with specific focus being on change of the readership culture as well as the rise of media content.
Not all that long ago, I knew way too little about blogging. I was searching for a creative outlet and a new way to acquire more customers, but I had no idea where to start. It would have been so nice to have someone come alongside me and say, “Here it is. You should start a blog. Here are all the benefits a blog will bring to your business.”
I believe blogging is one of those things people continue to put off — some even put it off for the rest of their life. Some put it off because they consider they don’t have anything to say, but I think it’s actually a chicken/egg problem: You don’t have anything to say because you don’t have a blog yet.
It’s similar to the old but true cliché line that states: “the best way to succeed in business is to be in business.”
If you’re still thinking if you should start a blog, but you’re not sure if you have what it takes to be successful let’s go shortly through the change in readership culture.
During the rise of blogs, the reading culture of many people across the globe was outstanding. Actually, many people were willing to read contents since that was the main source of information. This resulted to development of an extensive reading culture to almost all subsets of age groups. However, with the rise of social media channels as well as the Rise of media content, the reading culture began to fade slowly. Many people opted to utilize social media as the source of information they required with majority of them depending on microblogs such as Tumblr and twitter. Facebook also became the source of information which majority of the audience required. It is worth noting that majority of information shared via Facebook and twitter is precise and direct to the point. This has lessened the culture of readership amongst many people. However, presence of audio-visual alternatives such as YouTube for the source of information has also lessened the popularity of reading. This can be attributed to the entertainment aspect which is associated with audio-visual source of information. Therefore, the general readership culture has highly declined amongst many people especially the youths who are the main audience of various blogs.
As social media evolves, it’s normal that the channels and platforms evolve, too. Some continue to grow in popularity, while others tapper off. But one thing is sure: Blogging is not a fad.
According to the report released by the digital news report in 2016, the number of people preferring to get contents via social networks is increasing. Majority of these people were specific to the online sources which they preferred with the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter topping the list. This basically shows that the rise of media contents is getting more popular however traditional blogging should not be treated as being outdated. Actually, some media channels such as the Huffington Post, CNBC, and other channels have launched their newsfeeds which they are more like blogs but they are not regarding them as blogs. Others have also come up with mobile applications which facilitate the spread of contents across the internet. With such upsurge of media contents, consumers are also going for media-based information.
From the above analysis as pertained to the readership culture as well as the rise of media contents, it is evident that the future of blogs is not such bright. Many people are slowly shifting their focus from blogs and consuming more of the contents which is being provided by the media. From our friend; Google Trend, the search on the interest of the term “blogging” shows a decreasing popularity from the year 2006. The peak was between the year 2006 and 2008. This trend shows that the blogging industry is dwindling slowly and something might be happening underground. Although this trend cannot be 100% certain but it gives some light on what is currently happening
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Gee, I hope this article has a FEW GRAPHS to support the data!”
You’re in luck!
Here is a graph featuring the number of searched of the term “blogging”
In another graph, as generated from the Google Trends( shown below), when we decide to go deeper and introduce another term “start a blog”, the results also show a decreasing trend all the way from the year 2006. These two graphs show that something is going on in the world of blogging. I believe we should refocus on the approaches of blogging considering times are gone when the contents consumers were highly interested in gluing their eyes to read lengthy theoretical contents without any form of attraction to keep them interested.
The major contributor in the decline of blogs is due to the rise of social media and the decreased readership culture of people. Nowadays many people prefer to listen and watch instead of reading theoretical contents from blogs. This audio-visual alternative is readily provided by media contents leaving blogs to be of less interest to many people. This has left the internet with a big question as to whether blogs are becoming dead. The answer to this question is not a direct “yes” or “no” considering there are many factors which have to be considered.
As I stated at the beginning that change is inevitable, bloggers are supposed to incorporate the concept of change within their blogging activities so that they can remain relevant in the ever increasing competitive market. With the basic understanding on the reduced readership culture of the target audience and the rise of media contents, bloggers should customize their blogs as well as their blogging approaches to fit the needs of the target audience. This means that, all materials in blogs should be tailored to accommodate the audio-visual needs as well as preciseness which have become the major areas of focus when it comes to consumption of contents. Therefore, the death of blogging is coming to those blogs which are rigid and they are not ready to accept the change and respond appropriately. Introduction of audio-visual aids is also be of key importance in order to compete effectively with the media contents.
Blogging is losing ground and becoming less important than it was a few years ago as alternate forms of content consumption like audio and video are finally catching up. People are becoming choosier and now they have the opportunity to shift to their favorite form of content.
Video and audio consumption are increasing but the content consumption eco-system will be soon reaching a balance.
Nowadays, investing in multimedia content such as eBook, infographic, and videos is a great way to get your audience even more engaged. Writing in-depth How-to guides and Case studies or publishing expert round-ups and podcasts are one of the best ways to bring authority and to improve your brand’s visibility.
Did you know that more than 90 percent of consumers access video content on the web or that over 500 million people are watching videos on Facebook every day?
For example Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer included video in their marketing efforts. They have produced over 250,000 product videos and they now feature a product demo video for each and every one of their product pages. This initiative has led to a major increase of their conversions rates from 8 to 30 %.
There are numerous posts being published, titled “Blogging is dead”; I would say these posts are only instilling fear in the minds of internet marketers and bloggers. From the 7 years I’ve been in this industry I’ve learned that good content will always find an audience, whatever format it happens to be in.
If you want to stand a chance at remaining in touch with your customers, you should probably get creative about the way you present content on your website, learning how to post an Instagram story now and again won’t hurt you either. This doesn’t mean that you will have to completely ditch your passion for writing, and just step into a video-only world of production. You should just start to reassess your influencer strategy.