I thought this would be a great introduction into my digital marketing career on a blog about blogs and business software. That’s a lot of blogs in one sentence…anyway…when I told my family and friends a year ago that I wanted to create a website and become a blogger, one of my friends asked “are blogs still a thing?”.
Isn't Blogging Oversaturated?
To find the answer I already went ahead and found some crazy statistics:
- There are currently 70 million new posts being published on WordPress every single month on average by bloggers, writers and everyone in between. (WordPress)
- Total number of websites at the time of writing. 1.795 billion!(Internet Live Stats)
- The number of bloggers is expected to top 31.7 million in the USA alone by the end of 2020. That number could now have skyrocketed thanks to Coronavirus and people looking to make money from home. (Statista)
Now based on those figures alone it would appear on the face of it that you could say yes it is oversaturated. In fact, every single venture that I tried to start I had no shortage of people telling me the same thing:
Amazon is oversaturated.
Blogging is oversaturated.
Dropshipping is oversaturated.
Digital Marketing is oversaturated.
You get the idea. And for the record yes I have tried all of those businesses (and in fact still do some of those listed above despite it being oversaturated and I’m still making money with them).
But let’s look at it another way.
If you were to break down all those blogs into their different niches, how many blogs would there be in a field you would potentially go in? I can guarantee you it will be a much smaller number and definitely not as daunting.
As an example, if you have a look at how many Chinese restaurants (or another cuisine of your choice) there are in your country, you’d be crazy to try and compete with all of them right?
But now let’s break that down further. If you have a look at how many restaurants there are in your city, it’s a smaller number right? How about your suburb?
So the number gets better every time you niche down your target market. Now if you think about it, why do you have a favourite restaurant when there’s so many others out there? Do they have that secret sauce?
Maybe it’s the customer service? Maybe it’s what is on the menu that you love so much.
The point is, not everyone will want to read your posts or want to follow you on social media, and that’s ok! You just need to concentrate on the ones that do read and do engage with you.
Why Do People Still Blog Then?
- To make money online.
- To promote the business.
- Just for fun!
The thing you need to understand when you start a blog is how will people find me? Usually if someone wants to know an answer to something they’ll just “Google it”.
They then click on a link that will take them away from Google (or other search engines) and over to another website looking for that answer. Usually it is a personal blog that someone has written with that particular question in mind.
What Can I Do to Stand Out?
When blogging first started it was all well and good to just have some plain text and write maybe 300 words. Blogging has evolved over the years.
Because there is now so much content out there it’s now not enough having just text on the page. It needs to be more engaging.
Unfortunately(?) for us as bloggers we now need to write more and include eye catching images/videos/infographics/gifs into our posts to keep the readers (i.e. you) engaged.
It’s now more than ever about quality over quantity. It’s about building relationships with not just your readers (although I love you all for reading this) but also with other bloggers. Play the long game. It will take some time to get traction.
This is the exact principle that I am going to be using on this blog. Providing value, value and more value. Not convinced of how providing value works? Let’s look offline for some inspiration.
Real World Cases
Suppose your customer (reader) has just gotten to work at 9:00am on Monday morning and just sat down. Then all of a sudden you appear at their desk and just say “hey, buy my stuff” and then you disappear.
Next Monday comes around and there you are again at 9:00am just waiting for them, and all you say is “buy my product” and then disappear again?
Now how annoying is that for your customers, right? (Let alone the fact that it’s just weird)
Yet we continue to see this in the online space. It’s time to change, build conversations with your readers. Engage with them. Create high quality and original content and I guarantee it’ll be worth it.
Another perfect example of this is bloggers not answering to the comments their readers have left them. This is the perfect opportunity to keep the conversation going.
Also, if someone comments and you just reply with “thanks. :)” do you think that they will be compelled to leave another comment in the future?
I doubt it. I will always ask my commentator what is troubling them the most? Or how I could help them more? If they choose not to reply then that’s on them but you’ll be seen as the one who is engaging with them and will lead to more people jumping on.
Same thing goes if you’re in the e-commerce space and people leave you a review both the good and the bad. I respond to all of my reviewers. So far I’ve gotten 125 reviews off of one product and 105 of them have been 5 stars on Amazon.
I had a lot less at one point and lots of 3 star reviews because people didn’t understand the product. When I replied to them and told them exactly how it should be used, they went in all by themselves and changed the review to 5 stars!
Doesn't Blogging Take Ages to Make Money?
Look, if you have a business, you’re in it to make money right? Even if you’re a charity or not for profit you still need revenue to exist. The truth is it will take time yes, but there are a few strategies you can use to accelerate that and start seeing an income in 6 months and not 2 – 3 years.
Treat your blog like a business and not a hobby.
According to Traffic Generation Cafe once you publish around 24-51 blog posts you’ll see around a 30% increase in traffic to your site. Once you go above 52 there will be a 77% increase in traffic.
But wait! You need to be writing quality content. If want to do the writing yourself you can do the 52 week challenge and write one blog post every week for 52 weeks and watch your traffic grow.
If you’re more serious about committing to starting a blog and build a real business, not just as a hobby, then I would recommend outsourcing some of your blog posts to other writers (more on this later).
This will take the ease off of you and allow you to concentrate on generating links and guest posting on other websites which is something you’ll need to focus on as part of your overall content marketing strategy.
Just make sure you’re proof reading the posts coming in before hitting the publish button and loading it straight to your blog. I’ll cover outsourcing more in another blog post.
So I guess the answer to the question is blogging dead? NO!
Do people still read blogs? YES!
My recommendation is that blogging has evolved and as such we must continue to evolve with it in the future if we want to be competitive with articles are still relevant to someone’s search intent.
It is evident people still prefer the written word (Google isn’t going anywhere), but you may need to come up with ideas on how to make your content much more engaging (think videos, gifs, etc).
Don’t just go for the sell every single time you create a post either. Create some value for your readers and then the money will follow naturally.
There are definitely people who have made blogging a career for themselves and there’s no reason why you can’t join them too.
Yes it will certainly be a challenge and you will make mistakes along the way. I’m still making mistakes along the way trying to set up this blog to be the fastest it can be.
But I believe it will be so rewarding to see my readers (that is you!) succeed and when you do, let me know so I can share your story here.
Blogging is a great community to be a part of and I’m thankful I’m here. The only thing I ask of you is that if you’ve ever thought about starting your own blog and want to make money online the question is, why haven’t you?
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It’s time to be the pilot of your life and not the passenger.
Chris Bournelis is a blogger, search engine optimization, and content marketing specialist. He has been working in the online business since 2015. Join him here at ChrisBournelis.com for the best SaaS reviews and tips to get the most out of your online business.