Blogs are dead. Long live blogging.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard or read this statement.

Everything is video now. No one reads blogs anymore. As such, everybody needs to start a Youtube channel.

That’s the word on the street. The numbers, however, tell a different story.

In 2019, there were over 600 million blogs in the world.

In this context, bloggers publish over 5.7 million posts every day, according to Internet Live Stats. Every month, 78 million new articles see the light on WordPress alone. And these numbers will continue growing, especially since much of the developing world is only discovering the phenomenon.

So, if there are still so many people blogging, why do people say that blogs are dead?

Well, blogging has changed a lot over the last 20 years.

I started my first ever blog — now defunct — around 2012. I experimented with various niches, bought and sold several blogs, and built a total of ten websites in the last few years. I’ve made a living with blogging and freelance writing for three years now, and I can safely say that traditional blogs are dead.

In other words, 2010 blogs are dead. If you want to get traffic and make a living blogging, you need a blog for the 2020s.

On this basis, here is what the future of blogging looks like.

Straightforward and helpful content that answers questions

The first primary shift concerns the content that works these days.

When I started blogging in 2012, people were just discovering SEO. Ranking techniques and keyword research were mystical concepts that only a select few bloggers applied. Most bloggers focused on producing fun and fascinating posts, but they didn’t worry much about answering the internet’s questions.

Today, SEO is part of any business model — no matter if it’s a travel blog or a restaurant. And that’s no surprise. Google is trying to serve a record number of users an exact answer to a simple question. Google has also gotten much more sophisticated in showing the best possible matches.

Consequently, traditional blog posts like “my three days in Amsterdam” are dead. If you write a post that doesn’t provide a razor-sharp solution to a clear-cut question, your article will float in endless internet nirvana.

Do this instead: invest in an SEO tool like Keysearch right from the get-go. Before blogging randomly about yourself, focus on having lots of blog posts that answer your niche’s burning questions. The more helpful, well-optimized content you have, the more Google will see you as an authority and push your blog up the ladder.

Niching down until it hurts

The days when you could make money with a generic travel, fitness, or pet blog are undoubtedly over.

Today, you need to niche down as far as possible to stand out in an overcrowded world. Nevertheless, you also need a balancing act between an excessively broad and a super narrow niche.

As an example, if you create a travel blog, backpacking is too broad as a niche. The same applies to traveling with kids.

Backpacking with kids, on the other hand, might be a niche with enough potential readers but reasonable levels of competition.

In the words of Create And Go,

“Generally, the more specific you get with your niche, the more passionate your followers will be. […] The flip side is that if your niche is TOO specific, you will reach fewer people.”

When choosing your niche, always keep that balancing act in mind. If you want to make money blogging in 2021, you need to niche down until it hurts, but also remain in a space with enough potential readers.

Multimedia Blogs

One of the most substantial changes I’ve witnessed in the blogging world concerns multimedia.

Ten, five, or even three years ago, it was possible to make six figures as a conventional blogger who only writes blog posts. Some of the most successful bloggers didn’t even use Instagram, and their audience was purely blog-based.

Today, the world is shifting toward multimedia bloggers who are active on multiple fronts. You’ll see many bloggers inserting podcasts and Youtube videos into their posts, and they communicate with their readers via Instagram. As such, the community aspect is becoming more and more crucial.

But how can small beginner bloggers manage so many aspects of blogging by themselves? Well, that’s the tricky part.

The best course of action is to start building one channel at a time. Once your blog is up and running, focus on creating a great Instagram feed. When that’s providing you traffic, start podcasting.

The critical point is that your blog doesn’t remain a block of text with a few images. The blogs that succeed today have loyal communities behind them, and the blogger is more than an anonymous internet writer.

Media companies vs individual bloggers

Another shift in the world of blogging is that media companies are taking over conventional blogs’ tactics.

As such, many large corporations now write blogging-inspired travel guides, fitness programs, and personal growth stories.

If you want to read a “top places to visit in Milan” article, you can head to a million different travel blogs. Or, you can consult the New York Times. That wasn’t the case in 2010, so individual bloggers need to adapt.

If you are writing generic, bland, and uninspiring content — no matter how informative it is, you’ll not just compete against other bloggers, you’ll also compete against multinational corporations.

That’s where the community aspect comes into play. Individual bloggers will never have the resources of media companies, but they do have much more passionate followers and tightly-knit communities.

How blogging works in the 2020s: if you want to succeed, you need a loyal audience that consults your blog for two reasons: clear-cut answers and your personality. Focus on providing insightful content that answers straightforward questions while letting your personality shine through to build a community. Those elements are essential to thrive in the crowded modern blogging world.

The bottom line: the end of the beginning of blogging

In 1942, the British Army won their first-ever victory against Nazi Germany in El Alamein, Egypt.

A few days later, Winston Churchill said the following:

“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Blogging was never dead, and it won’t die for some time.

The beginning of blogging, however, is over. The days of generic bloggers in broad niches who make money as anonymous personalities are over.

Blogging is now in a different stage. People want a combination of information and a relatable personality, complete with an interactive multimedia experience. That’s how you can make money blogging, and that’s how the industry will evolve in the coming years.