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Is blogging dying?

Is it still worth starting a blog today?

Will blogs soon become a distant thing of the past?

You’d be surprised how often questions like these are asked. As a matter of fact, people have been wondering if we’re approaching the end every single year, without fail. Since blogging first entered the mainstream, people have predicted its demise.

The answer however, is not so clear.

It hinges entirely as what we actually consider to be blogging. In one set of circumstances, a new blogger will never get off the ground. In another, their blog can take them to unimaginable successes.

The difference? How you position yourself in the marketplace.

What Is Blogging Anyway?

The word blogging has changed a lot over the past 10 years.

In the early days of blogging, the format was generally associated with journal like entries. This is part of the reason blog articles have always had dates associated with their posts. The word blog itself stemmed from the phrase ‘web log.’

These days however, anybody publishing content on their website regularly can be referred to as a blogger – regardless of the type of articles published.

Considering WordPress – the world’s most popular blogging content management system accounts for over 30% of the world’s websites, it’s fair to say blogging has truly evolved into something huge.

Is Blogging Dead?

Over the years, the landscape has changed. The way we consume content has changed. The world in its entirety has changed.

However, one thing has remained constant:

If you are able to capture somebody’s attention and engage them thoroughly, than you have something valuable.

The difference between bloggers that succeed, and those that do not, is a thorough understanding of this fact.

Your blog can not be a means to an end. It is simply a platform to capture and direct attention.

In this sense, blogging can never die out, so long as people continue reading articles on the internet. Because if you have that attention, you should be able to monetize it in some way – even if it means pushing people to a more profitable platform.

See this video for more information about this concept:

However, the blogosphere has become a far more competitive place than it used to be.

Publishing articles on its own probably won’t be enough to stand out and truly become memorable among the crowd of others in your niche.

People don’t follow blogs as religiously as they did in the past. There is simply too much valuable content on the internet today, and people are impatient.

Therefore, your strategy needs to extend beyond just your own site.

Instead of becoming a blogger, I ask you to think of yourself differently – as someone building a personal brand.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can move beyond your own blog, and build yourself as a true authority figure in your niche!

1. Get People Off Of Your Site

100,000 visitors a day to your website means absolutely nothing, if all of those people click away and forget about you moments later.

Ironically, blog content should push for some sort of content that is away from your site.

Again, people don’t follow blogs  as strongly as they used to, and chances are people aren’t going to come back unless you are able to get in front of them again.

On my site, you may notice that I strongly push people to sign up to my email list.

It is probably the primary goal of my blog content – at least for first-time visitors. I prioritize email signups even over course sales when it comes to my articles, and typically push towards subscribing to my newsletter much harder.

Why?

I want people coming back and consuming more of my content here… but they’re never going to know about it unless I can connect with them somewhere else. Somewhere they’re already spending time.

My email newsletter encourages people to check out my best posts anyway, which gives me a much bigger opportunity to build connection. It’s only at this point where people typically feel comfortable enough to buy one of my products.

Hoping that people will return to your site just because you have incredible content simply won’t work. People will forget about you by tomorrow unless you’re able to connect with them further.

Hoping that people will return to your site just because you have incredible content simply won't work. People will forget about you by tomorrow unless you're able to connect with them further. Click to Tweet

2. Position The Brand First

Whether this is a company’s brand or a personal brand, you need to ensure that branding remains one of the primary goals of your content.

The dictionary defines branding as ‘marking in a way that cannot be removed or forgotten.’

Are you really doing that?

Memorability is insanely important, which is why it’s important to be unique.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more tips of the day!

Those who do what everybody else does will be easily forgotten.

This is why it’s so important to hold strong opinions, and not be afraid to piss people off. You need people to get fired up about something – whether they feel good about it, or they feel bad about it, they need to feel something.

The world’s most famous and most successful people are hated by a huge chunk of the population. It was these same acts that caused another huge chunk to love them.

You can’t build a connection while being neutral about everything.

Identify what your core values and beliefs are, then play these heavily in your messaging. Let your brand’s personality shine through.

You will naturally attract people that resonate with you, and the people that don’t like your message will naturally shy away towards others. This is okay, and a sign that you’re holding a position strong enough to warrant such actions.

Once you’ve identified your messages, you need to make these known. Often.

3. Be Seen And Heard From Often

You need people running into you when they aren’t expecting it.

This is why social media is so powerful. It gives you an opportunity to get your message in front of people when they otherwise wouldn’t be thinking about you and your company.

In today’s day and age, it could be argued that having a strong social strategy place is almost – perhaps even more important than having a strong blogging or content marketing strategy in place.

There are entire businesses built off the backs of websites like Instagram and Pinterest. While it’s never a good idea to rely too heavily on a third-party platform, this should attest to the power these networks alone can have when utilized correctly.

However, your strategy can’t end there.

In addition to social media, you should consider repurposing the content you’re already writing for other networks, such as YouTube or a podcast.

For example, I utilize each blog post as a script for my audio blog. I take the main points and make them into a SlideShare. These two things are combined and added to YouTube. Key points will be made into my ‘business tip of the day’, which is shared on all of my social networks.

Each one of these things offers further discoverability, and may get in front of people who have not seen the content anywhere else.

Then, you need to get each one of these platforms working together in a complete system.

Get new social media followers to visit your website. From there, entice them into signing up for your email newsletter, which you can use to send people back to your site. In your articles, embed relevant YouTube videos from your channel, and encourage people to subscribe.

Through each one of these, you brand yourself further and can subtly make your audience aware of the products you have to offer. You also ensure that regardless of where your audience spends their time, you will be there, ready to deliver value.

Conclusion

With the internet as large as it is today, you can no longer get by if you are only acting as a blogger.

You need to be out there, showing up wherever your audience is, delivering your message, with whatever medium is best suited for that platform.

Between social sites, YouTube, email, podcasts, forums, and everywhere else your audience is already spending their time – the majority of your content today should actually be off of your website, not on it.

I hope this message has resonated with you. I’d love to hear more about how you plan to shape your content strategy going forward, to ensure you’re better achieving the goals you have for your business this year.

Finally, if you’re interested in learning the exact steps I use to distribute my content as wide as possible, I strongly encourage you to opt into my free, 7-day traffic building email course. For a limited time, I’m also sending a 36-slide master deck focusing on content repurposing, that discusses my exact strategy in detail.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about it!

To your success,

– James McAllister

 

Summary:

Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. Hey James!

    It’s been such a long time since we connect and I’m not so sure you’d remember who I am, let alone what I do. 🙂

    It’s normal right… Well, I have been away for far too long from blogging activities and I’m only now just hitting the blogging road, and so far. it’s been great!

    So I decided to hop on Donna Merrill’s blog today when I stumbled on your 2015 blog post you did for her and guess what, I was curious enough to check what you have been about and o boy, I wasn’t even disappointed!

    You rock brother!

    So speaking of which, I guess this post is for me man.

    A lifetime ago, I was just another blogger… Albeit, I’ve been doing all it takes to build my personal brand and again, so far, it’s been awesome!

    These days, I’ve been making use of Messenger Bot, IG, and WhatsApp to push my personal brand and show people how awesome I am.

    Guess it’s been working fine for me, only that the result is still very dismal, but it will soon take full shape… I know!

    Once again James, it’s really nice to find you again after so many years!

    Do have a lovely day over there.

    Sam

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Sam, it’s so great to hear from you again! How have you been man?

      I took a break from this site for quite a while myself, to focus on other companies I’ve been running. Now that they’re all off the ground and staffed with employees, I’m so happy to return here, and extremely happy we’ve been able to reconnect.

      It’s great to hear of how things have bounced back a bit for you, and surely the results will come soon. I’m about to head over to your site and will definitely be in touch soon as well!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…5 Strategies To Succeed In Competitive Niches OnlineMy Profile

  2. Hi James,
    I love your points.
    It’s not enough to blog, you need to get in front of your audience several times before they learn to trust you and even recognize you amongst the sea of other bloggers.

    It’s getting more competitive by the year, but good news is that building a brand is a way to stand out and get what you want.

    Finally, building a brand requires a strong system and ample organization, or you’re lost.
    (Being organized is something I struggle with but am getting better little by little).

    Publish a post, turn it into audio; make a slide deck; create a video.
    It’s process. It works; but you have to work at it, and be smart about it.

    Enough of this comment:)

    Cheers!

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Nikola!

      You’re so right – many people think that one contact is enough to make a memorable impression. Only in very rare cases is this actually true, especially today.

      One piece of content, regardless of how good it is, probably isn’t enough to build a follower, subscriber or customer. It just isn’t enough time to convey everything you need to really engage somebody.

      This is why smaller content – things like social media posts, Quora answers, being mentioned by other influencers etc. is so valuable. It keeps you top-of-mind and builds a more complete picture of you in the consumer’s head.

      One thing I’m going to be trying out in coming weeks is retargeting article readers with Facebook ads for relevant lead magnets, tailored to the specific post that person read. I’m really interested to see how that’s going to work out, because this is something that could work well even for people who don’t have time to publish a ton of smaller content!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…5 Steps To Building A Better Connection With Your FollowingMy Profile

  3. Good stuff James. I dig when Nikola shared on Twitter because the intro noted a personal brand. 100% of what I did at Blogging From Paradise because it is a simple way to stand out. If you build your friend network of bloggers, no limits to blogging success exist.

    Ryan

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Ryan!

      I’ve always felt that branding was one of your strong suits. You’ve really got it nailed down, across the board. You’re one of the few people whose writing I recognize, even without a name or picture.

      That and you’re freaking everywhere. I can remember more than 5 times while I’ve been gone these past few years that I randomly would Google some marketing query, and I’d find you on the page – be it in the blog comments of an article I had read, a Quora answer, etc. It’s very impressive.

      Agreed that with a strong network, you can truly get anywhere. Thanks for stopping by!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…Multiple Failed Businesses? Here’s What To Do Differently Next TimeMy Profile

  4. I agree completely you should build a strong brand one that has valuable information and engages visitors. You should share over social media and have share button on articles so they can be shared and be seen by people who were never expecting to see it.

      (Quote)

  5. Hi James,

    Blogging is not dead; my friend and will never be. From my research, I found that there are more than 1.6 billion websites globally, and over 500 million of these are blogs. And further survey reveals a steady growth in blogging with more and more people setting up new blogs.
    Nonetheless, I like your idea of “getting people off of your blog” with email capture as a vital tool. If you look at your google analytics results, you’ll see that a higher ratio of your site traffic is new visitors with returning visitors accounting for only a small percentage. Thus, the only way to get them back to your site is to tell them about new stuff via email.
    Thank you for sharing.

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Moss!

      You are right, the numbers show that blogging is on the rise and well, people are still reading blogs every single day. Behavior may have changed a little bit, but enough to panic from.

      You make a great point about Google Analytics showing us that the vast majority of visitors are new to our websites. One visit usually isn’t enough to make any sort of connection that will lead to sales – it’s vital we develop a strategy to retain visitors and keep them coming back. This is the only way to build enough connection and trust with them, for them to buy our products.

      I always appreciate you sharing your insights and expertise here, and look forward to talking soon!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…5 Ways To Simplify Your Business Strategy, To Focus On ExecutionMy Profile

  6. That’s a powerful message you have shared with us, James – becoming an authority in your niche. Being a blogger is nothing unless the blogger has exceptional skills to carry along their audience in a unique and authentic way. With the routine writing style and sharing the traditional advice, it’s impossible to sustain as a blogger, because simply there’s way much competition.

    I strongly believe blogs are not going to die, however, most bloggers are. It is just that as bloggers, we need to focus on shaping ourselves as an entrepreneur and building a personal brand to stand out in the crowd from the beginning. Experimenting, and reinventing tactics to understand what works best for our blog is another good way to become successful in the digital space.

    Social media platforms like Twitter are simply a boon for creators like me to connect with the audience and be engaged with them. Overall, we have now every comfort and opportunity to become an authority in a niche and grow a successful brand – we just have to identify chances around and implement.

    In fact, as a blogger for more than four years, I still find room to make my blog better every single day – be it a content update, cutting the fluff, having a clutter-free design, fixing site errors, and whatnot. Even I had to thrash more than 600 articles of 5 categories a year back, so I can only focus on talking about blogging. Surrounding myself with English writers and quality bloggers made a good difference in improving my overall skills. For me, blogging hasn’t just taught me to research topics and publish articles but it took me beyond – to get into the business, which is also going well for me now.

    It’s been an amazing journey of learning and fun so far!

    After a long time, I loved enjoyed reading a piece of blogging advice. Thanks, James.

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Mudassir, thank you for such a wonderful and valuable comment. I apologize for how long it took for me to respond.

      I like what you said – blogging and blogs won’t die, but bloggers will.

      The internet landscape is so large today and the way consumers are dividing their attention requires us to be in multiple places at the same time. Sadly it is so easy to be forgotten about since there’s so much going on. Case in point, you interact with me often on Twitter (which I very much appreciate!) Each time you do that, it brings you top of mind and several times I have visited your blog after that to see what you’ve been up to, and what you’ve published most recently.

      You are setting a great example and I look forward to see how your site continues developing in the future!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…How Many Blog Posts Do You Need Before Traffic Comes In?My Profile

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