Is Blogging Dead?
Guest Post by Damien Riley. Find his stuff at damienriley.com
I will note here at the beginning that people blog for many reasons. I hope this article shows why I think one form of blogging may be dead already. You might say that “successful” blogging has a new definition which I’ve tried to provide here in my guest post. Thanks for reading!
The question has come up in my Google Reader quite a bit lately: people are asking and speculating if blogging is dying as an art form.
It is a question worth pondering since Technorati and other blog “hangouts” of the 90′s and early 2000′s have either gone out of business or completely revamped the way they make money. I have found that not as many blogs are publishing new content. There can be a number of reasons for this, the strongest I think being that it’s rarely instant gratification. I remember reading articles online circa 2007 that would cite enormous numbers (like in the millions) of blogs that were started in a given year. I found that exciting because it seemed the power of disseminating information was more in the hands of the people (not the newspapers). Notwithstanding, based on the death of so many blogs I once read, those blog numbers cited were most certainly not of the “staying power” genre. Instead of eliminating dead space blogs from search, Google has found a way to apply an alogrithm that sorts the dead from the living automatically. Usually this is based on the number of posts in the last year (but not always). Google applies its normal algorithm to all webpages (yes, every blog post is a webpage all its own). But these are just a few random scatterings of what blogs are to Google and/or to the internet reading public.
No one really knows why some bloggers give up and others stay at it. I do know however that “just staying at it” is also not always a precursor to having success in the search engine rank placement (SERP). It’s kind of like first round at American Idol: just because they have sang since they were babies doesn’t mean they will make the cut. Some bloggers have dropped out because they didn’t like the friends that were thumbing them up or down anymore. Others never really got a vision for what they do and so when it got difficult, they just stopped producing content. Make no mistake, blogging is not like publishing a book. Most that gets read has the life span of an ice sculpture.
Occasionally a blogger makes a name for her/himself and he/she attract a follwing that way but usually, blogs are only read piece by piece by random readers based on search engine traffic.
I never know what is going to be read on my blog yet I continue to write because it’s fun, challenging, and rewarding. For me it is like building model Corvettes. No one may ever see all of my collection but I have them on display and every once in a while someone comes in paying admission by clicking on Adsense. When I am okay with NOT being read is when I publish some of my best stuff (Ah the truth and irony of using the FORCE). I don’t think blogging (serious blogging that is) is dying. My reason is simple: I keep getting blog posts when I am searching for things online. The fact is, at least one webpage returned on the front page when I am looking for a home remedy or whatever is from a blog. I think bloggers who want to make something of their work need to branch out into promotion on Social Media and making a name for themselves through Tweeting and Facebooking. Everybody seeks to do that so all the more reason for bloggers to. I think modern successful bloggers need to read books on SEO and SERP and WordPress and social media. It’s no longer a time when we can expect to languish in quiet anonymity until we become DOOCE. Impossible. The new blogger success stories must know how to use keywords and other strategic tools (and there are some cool ones on WordPress.org!) to get their posts to the top of their topics. Oh, and don’t forget they must be proficient at writing and at creating posts of reader interest. Of course blogging can and should always be a way to gather ones thoughts, reflect, share photos and the like. Unfortunately, though, Facebook and Twitter do that much better. Blogs that truly get popular are going to be written by people “in the know” who are SEO savvy and have a more clearly defined voice or purpose than the minions (like those who have started free blogs right now as you have been reading!)
In short: To blog with authority, you must develop your skills behind the dashboard. If you prefer to post photos and statuses etc in hopes of gaining blog celebrity, this genre is now relegated to “social media” … Blogging for this crowd is the type of blogging I would say is dead (insert TAPS.mp3 here).
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