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Does Blogging Have a Future?

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I’m a committed blogger and I absolutely love blogging here on WordPress. But I am concerned about the future of blogging, because technology is evolving rapidly, and the way in which people consume content has changed a lot and is continuing to change. In this post I’ll be offering a few reflections concerning what I feel is happening. I’d love to get your thoughts on this.

Social Media

Reading blog posts requires patience. While social media apps like Instagram offer gratification in just a few seconds, blog posts represent a greater time investment, which may be less appealing to busy people. Children are growing up addicted to their smartphones, and scrolling through social media feeds requires less concentration than committing to reading a 1000 word blog post, for example. This is one thing that poses a challenge for us bloggers.

The Rise of Video and Audio

YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet (behind Google). This evidences the fact that people are very keen to consume video content these days. The ability to watch videos on a wide range of devices, including of course smartphones, means that watching content is easier than ever before. The experience of watching video on a smartphone is much better than the experience of reading articles, mainly due to screen size. Most blogs don’t look good on mobile devices. Video also requires less intent concentration than reading blog posts.

In terms of audio, podcasts are incredibly popular at the moment, because you can listen to a podcast while going for a run or cleaning the kitchen, and it’s just not possible to do this with a blog post.

Changes in Our Attention Spans

Have you had the experience of seeing a long post and feeling so daunted by it that you simply close the page and move on? The post might contain amazing content, but the time investment just feels too much. I believe that as content consumers many of us are becoming impatient these days.

Quality is Declining

It’s not uncommon to see blog posts where little or no attention has been given to crafting a great piece of content. Many posts are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, and many bloggers don’t even consider such things to be important. The fact that there are so many thousands of blogs of this type may have given blogging a bad reputation. I’m very proud to call myself a blogger, but it seems that many people who call themselves bloggers are not really committed to putting in the time and effort required to craft posts into valuable content. When I say to people “I’m a blogger!”, I think the response is often an internal groan that kind of says, “So what? Haven’t you got anything better to do with your time?”

What’s the Solution?

I’m sure that one of the motivations behind the new WordPress Gutenberg editor is that those in charge are trying hard to keep up with the competition. But from what I can gather the new editor hasn’t had an amazing response. The editor can feel rather complicated to use, and this is another barrier to creating great content.

But what we must do is create great content.

Thankfully, reading and writing remain very popular activities. We may need to consider more carefully the way we write blog posts in a changing world. Incorporating more video and audio might be beneficial. Also, writing our content in a concise way and breaking up the text using formatting and images are some things that could help. Considering how our blogs look to people reading on tablets and smartphones is important.

Three Examples of Great Blogs

If you’re looking for inspiration regarding how you can up your blogging game in 2019, here are a few blogs to check out.

Little Grey Box
This travel blog offers great content and is rich in video and images. Posts are regular and well written.

Retrospective Lily
Lily’s blog posts are always very well crafted and easy to read. They aren’t overly long but always offer value.

YariGarciaWrites
Yari’s writing blog is attractive and well formatted. Her posts are of a good length and are always interesting and thought-provoking.


What are your thoughts on the future of blogging? What are your favourite blogs and why? Please let me know in the comments below!

56 comments

      1. If I’m honest Steven, I don’t believe the future of blogging is good in some respects. I don’t think the situation is that good right now. On one hand, a person can blog all they want. I don’t think there is, or will ever be, anything stopping them from doing so. On the other hand, people only have so much free time and that affects how many readers a blogger gets. There is a lot of competition for our time and attention out there and we can only read so many blogs, watch so many Youtube videos, etc. in a day. That being said, we can blog until our hearts content…the question is, who is reading them? So, if a person blogs because they love to write and they are content with that, I believe they will always be able to do that. However, if having enough readers to “make it worthwhile” is an issue for a blogger, I believe many will drop out of blogging because there are limited viewers out there. It seems that many want to be bloggers (video makers, etc);few want to be the readers/viewers.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Some really good points, thank you for commenting. To me, you’ve highlighted the fact that I need to be proactive as a reader/viewer as well as a writer. We should do for others what we would like them to do for us. I do already read and engage with a lot of blogs, but there’s room for improvement!

          You’re right that there’s a huge range of platforms (and blogs) competing for our attention.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Oh my goodness! Yes yes YES!! I totally agree with you here. All points. I’ve got major issues with those who consider themselves writers but who cannot write, use spellcheck, or proper grammar. It’s unimportant. My reaction is, if I, the reader, am unimportant to them, they in turn are unimportant to me (not as a person, mind you, but as a “writer”). A lot of times I feel like people are raised hearing “you can be whatever you want to be” or the Burger King motto of “have it your way”… fact of the matter is, just because you WANT to be an astronaut doesn’t mean you CAN be one. Same with writing and like everything else in life. I am increasingly frustrated myself seeing these terrible, not-well-thought-out blogs “succeeding” while others that are genuinely great sit idle because of length or improper tagging or some stuff like that. And yes, I am aware that there are all type of writing and opinions. But still. I know a blogger who straight stole one of my poems and her blog is doing quite well. It makes me wonder if ANY of her content is authentic. Of course I want people like that to fail because they are dishonest and thieves. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. Karma doesn’t exist. Neither does Santa Claus. People don’t get what they deserve. Same across the board for writers. The market is flooded with terrible self-published books (and some awesome ones too!) but the market is flooded. So when one great one comes along, it’s lost or overlooked or disregarded. Tough breaks all around. I am disheartened by the way of the world and what social media is doing to us as a society. What we are ALLOWING it to do to us. I don’t see it getting better. Should we quit writing then in futility?? I say no. I say keep writing. Just…. don’t pin all your hopes on it either.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Wow, some really good points here, Tara! It’s true what you say about self-publishing. There are so many millions of self-published books these days. People will just throw something into a Word document and then upload it to Amazon. I don’t want to be a prude about it but it is certainly leading to a massive devaluation in books. The same thing has happened with music. It’s got to the point where many people won’t even pay for a book or an album. So how are creative and hard working people supposed to generate an income?

      I love technology and the fact that I can make my writing available to a global audience, but there are lots of downsides to the digital revolution, too. I agree that we shouldn’t quit, we should try to support the work we love and believe in, and keep striving for excellence in our own work.

      (Just as a side note I don’t know where the spell checker is in the new WordPress editor, which is frustrating me!)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Steven. Great blog. I agree with you on every point. For me, a few factors affect my thinking regarding blogging. First, blogging is not my livelihood, so if somehow it falls off, I’m not affected in that way (i.e., paying bills) by it. Second, you made a great point when you wrote, “Thankfully, reading and writing remain very popular activities.” Therefore, there will always be a market for some kind of thoughtful writing, it’s just a matter of writers being satisfied with their own small little community (i.e., instead of thousands, perhaps hundreds, or even dozens, of readers). Third, I 100 percent agree with you that blogs need to change with the times, incorporating audio and video.

    Also, “amen” to everything you said about grammar and spelling, and another “amen” to keeping blogs shorts (I try never to exceed 750 words). And yes, if I open a blog and it’s really long, I just won’t read it, even if the content is great.

    And speaking of great content … this blog on blogging you wrote is excellent!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha thank you, David 🙂

      It would be interesting to know how many bloggers out there generate a full-time income (or any significant income) from their writing. I don’t think blogging alone could achieve that, it would have to be part of a wider strategy. Thinking outside of the box is important, I suppose.

      I hope you’re right and that there will always be people who want to read and write. And I agree that concerns about audience numbers depend on what each particular blogger is trying to achieve.

      Thank you for your thoughts!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey, what a nice surprise to see my blog here! Thanks so much for sharing, my friend 🙂 I’m definitely glad you’ve been enjoying my blog!

    I think blogging has a specific audience that enjoys the longer, thought-out style. I come to blogs because I find them much more interesting than a quick Tweet, a FB meme, or an Instagram photo. The people that leave comments and interact usually have the patience to read an entire blog, and take their time commenting. It’s definitely a different online atmosphere, and I really enjoy that.

    Thanks again and take good care,
    Yari

    Liked by 6 people

  4. You have made some great points, Steven! People’s attention spans are definitely shorter. How ironic is that Victorian novels about the adventures of fictional characters were once considered low-brow, yet reading anything at all is considered commendable now?

    I don’t think blogging has to die, but it does have to change. We should use the popularity of social media to our advantage to promote ourselves. We should keep our posts brief or break them into parts (I go into the 750+ range sometimes, but my goal is to stay around 500-600 words). We should break up formatting with images, lists, section headings, etc. We should strive to genuinely make good content–WordPress has always recommended this as a big factor in search engine hits. I’m hoping the new editor improves SEO.

    People claim to not have time, but I don’t really buy it. How many hours do people spend binging Netflix? How many blog posts could you read in the time span of a 15 minutes YouTube video? I’m not kidding myself that video content will decrease in popularity, but I think people have time to read blog posts–they just need a little pursuing (social media) and convincing (authentic and aesthetically-pleasing content). I need to quit being lazy and make an Instagram account for my blog. Gah, work.

    Thanks so much for mentioning me, btw! I love reading your posts as well. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. 🙂 I genuinely believe that blogging is going to be around for a very long time.

    Why?

    Because people will always have an appreciation for the printed word.

    And, there are many YouTube vloggers who have blogs of their own.

    Typographical errors and grammatical errors can be avoided by the blogger doing a bit of proofreading and editing.

    The good news is that there are still a lot of blogs with high-quality content in the blogosphere.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Love the way you have put your points and I couldn’t agree more.
    Yes As you said one still struggling where to find the spell checker in Gluten berg editor.
    Since our blog content is a drop in the ocean ,my experience is better you keep total words less than 200,even then no body gives a s***.
    As far as audio is concerned again the voice should be crystal clear since accent makes a big difference.
    My guess even video content can’t be more than 2 minutes !
    So much of restrictions since everybody claims no time to read or listen or watch! Crazy world going too crazy !
    Your posts make one really sit and think .

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I do not think much about the future because I am a pessimist, or realist or existentialist if you prefer, so I do not worry much about future and how it is gonna be (like Epicurus). I concentrate on today because with worrying so much my energy will vanish pretty soon and I wont be able to write and read at all, and I love writing. And reading. So if something happen like war or somebody die I’ll be worrying than. Now I read and write, and I like to read creative, artistic and dedicated bloggers.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Hi Steven,

    Thank you for taking the time to write and give to the world valuable information. Unfortunately, there is so much of information so we all miss out a lot… But then again, I hardly read lengthy blog posts myself, but I read some… So I believe, if the content comes from a heart, it will find it’s way to anther heart one way or the other….

    I only skimmed through your article, so I’m sorry if you’ve already spoken about this, and I’ve missed it… But I have since recently changed my “blog” method (or content method) to be short, sharp, sentences…. say wouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to read… Only difference I see is, I don’t use different social media to do so. I’ve started using apps like “Textgram” and share it via Insta and FB. Hopefully I can share via WP as well… coz I’ve been slacking a bit there…

    Good luck with writing and giving… You definitely gave to me…

    Cheers,

    Nim

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Steven, let me begin by saying that you are an excellent writer…in my humble opinion. I agree with the points made in your post. It is a fact that audio and video are generally more attractive in this day and age. Truth is, I believe there will always be a place for great writing and useful content shared via that medium. I think a delicate balance among audio, video and text would be great to appeal to the preferences of a wide cross section of people who are looking for information for edification, education or who just want to be entertained.

    At the end of the day though, I don’t think I want to live in a world where the only thing people want to do is watch videos and listen to audio. I still believe that reading is important. Take the Gospel for instance. When the message is translated to a movie, so many important details are watered down to make it more “suitable for Hollywood”. But when we read for ourselves, the message is at its strongest then. Mel Gisbson’s Passion of the Christ came closest. But for years, many were unaware of the depth and extent of Jesus’ anguish because of how the movies portrayed some of the details.

    Keep writing! Even if blogging is going out of style, we’re not there yet. 😇

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Many thanks for such a thoughtful and kind comment.

      I really hope that the written word does have a bright future, and I hope that blogging will remain relevant for a very long time! I certainly have no plans to give up any time soon 😁

      God bless!

      Like

  10. As a former English teacher, the reality is centennials are not reading much–and they are the future (scary thought). What I think may happen is, blog posts will have fewer words, more videos, and pictures. I see it happening now.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Love this piece you wrote here, Steven. I happened to post yesterday about blogs back in style because of the backlash against social media and aggregators. Serendipitously, one point you and some commenters make can be summarized as bad ‘signal-to-noise ratio’, which is the name of the blog site, “Signal V Noise,” that pulled out of Medium to blog independently again. They wrote that blogs may return to vogue. Here’s my short post on it:
    https://jasonjournals.com/2019/01/18/blogs-back-in-style/
    Also, your point about attention relates to today’s “attention economy” and how social media is in business to profit from distracting people with the promise of good signals but the reality of much bad noise.
    Thanks for blogging!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Great points here, Steven.
    Although there’s an increasing rise in the popularity YouTube videos, Social media, Podcasts, etc. I believe there’s still hope for bloggers as long as we, writers know how well to keep the attention of the reader (just like you did here). I like to think of it as having to choose a book or two from say, a library of random books written by unfamiliar authors. The choice of any individual would be one which catches his/her attention, no matter how big the book is. No one would pick a book with errors in grammar and punctuations and having a great hook (or start) matters a whole lot.

    Blogging/Writing properly and effectively takes a good amount of time and creativity and I don’t think it’s something technology can easily take over, taking Newspapers for an example.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. This is a great piece, and certainly gives us bloggers something to ponder. And, it has me thinking… why not have my cake and eat it, too? I can write articles that address your points above, and then read them on YouTube to hit that audience there. Most of my blog entries would run five minutes or less if read on a video. Keep up the great work! While many blogs lack professionalism, giving the form a bad name, your blog is a working argument to the contrary.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m taking much the same approach, planning a YouTube strategy as well as a blogging strategy. It’s a lot of hard work, but makes sense. Thanks for your kind comments about my blog! Yours is very cool, too 🙂 Peace and blessings, Steven

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I tend to make sure my blogs are not very long and try to put in several pictures to help illustrate my thoughts. I’ve had comments from some people adding MUCH to what I’ve written; my “musings” are meant to muse, not to delve deep into a subject, although I do often do several weeks on one topic to try and cover deeper. I get about a dozen blog pages in my email on Monday mornings and I know it takes me about a week to get through them all! NO, I don’t always find time to read EVERY one to the end. Keep sending out your thoughts and questions; I enjoy interacting with you!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Steven, you make some very valid points. The one that made me laugh was the comment about lengthy posts and the subsequent urge to refuse to read them. My wife would certainly agree! She’s been consistently critical of my own posts on that point (lol). As for the future of blogging? I imagine there may be changes along the way on how people approach them, but I doubt they will altogether disappear. People enjoy hearing themselves speak (or in this case the continual clicking of the keyboard) and promoting their opinions, thoughts, concerns, aspirations, etc. out in the world for others to consume. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a blogger per say, but I do enjoy dabbling in it a bit. Btw I look forward to reading your books, which I plan to do sometime in the future. Great post.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Kristafal! Great to read your thoughts about blogging, and I think you’re right, people do love to share their thoughts and ideas and blogging is a great way for people to do that. Will look forward to exploring your blog in greater depth, too. Thank you and best wishes! Steven

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m a huge fan of the American poet Walt Whitman. Through my interest in Whitman, I learned a great deal about the newspaper industry in that period of American history. Most of the newspapers of the period were weirdly similar to the blogging of the last ten years. Whitman had his own. In fact he edited and wrote for several newpapers over the years. Most of these had circulations in the hundreds and maybe a thousand. They were wild, outrageous, and I suspect, a whole lot of fun to read. Eventually the industry matured, and what it became had little resemblance to what they looked like then.

    I think blogging is the same. You really nailed it in your analysis. My outlook is very hopeful. I think social media as we experience it today, will probably flame out gloriously. My metaphor is that it is in the process of supernova. Life would have been impossible without supernovas. The availability of gold would be impossible without supernovas. The planet earth would be impossible without supernovas. Good blogs are sort of like the gold being flung out from the heart of a star going nova. I have no idea how this industry will evolve, but I hope I live long enough to see it, because I think it’s going to be pretty neat.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Definitely valid points, though I’m not entirely sure why blogs should try to compete with social media. You’re 100% right in that Instagram, Facebook and the like are much easier to consume, and they are probably taking attention from well thought out prose like your post. It’s really the consumer’s loss though. As a blogger myself, while the reader is firmly at the front of my mind, I do also write for myself. Writing is a great way to clarify thoughts. Blogging, in particular, has the benefit of having thoughtful people to bounce ideas off. Just like this. While of course I’d like more people to read my blog, I don’t think it’s worth worrying about those that don’t. My target audience is the people who want to invest time in their thinking, through reading content of substance.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. I am a tentative new blogger and have been going for about 2 months. The reason I started is the need for a platform to share what I am learning paired with the ability for more time to think through my thoughts. Maybe it is about the person. What 10 people in my life will read almost every blog, see my life in general and engage?

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Hi Steven,

    I just wanted to reach out and personally say thank you for following my blog and your support. I am working really hard to deliver good daily content despite its difficulty. It’s not always perfect, but I try my best. If you ever have any feedback on the site, don’t hesitate to reach out.

    Also, I am happy to follow you back. I’ve Pocketed this page to come back and check out your recommended blogs and the rest of your posts, including your books.

    Warm regards,

    Kyle

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Kyle! Grateful for the follow back 🙂 Always happy to dialogue, and the same goes for you — comments and feedback and welcome. I’ll let you know if I have any feedback. Best wishes, Steven

      Like

  20. Very true, patience is a virtue for a reason, and sadly, many are not accustomed to it. Lily’s blog is definitely a good choice for structure. She is amazing at headers, thought process, and depending on content, making the most difficult topics more relatable.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I feel ya on this. I used to actively blog for several years, before blogging was even cool. I put a lot of thought into my content, and originally wrote somewhat long posts that people would actually read. But since the advent of Facebook, bloggers were increasingly fighting against shorter attention spans. As a result, it’s become very difficult to say anything meaningful and thoughtful, as most people simply are not going take the time to even read 500 words these days. I feel blogs must now be micro blogs, and if you have anything meaningful to say, you must say it through a podcast where people can at least listen passively while doing something else. Unfortunately some really gifted writers simply do not have the ability to put together a decent quality podcast. They can write, but not give a speech or conduct an interview well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jimmy! I think you make some excellent points, especially about podcasting. It’s amazing how many different hats one has to wear these days when being a writer. We’re certainly facing changing times, but hopefully longer content will remain relevant and enjoyable for many people 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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