Last Updated on April 14, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
There’s no doubt that blogging isn’t as prominent as it used to be. However, it’s long from being a fading trend. And while video content continues to become the most accessed on the Internet, blogging isn’t dead.
In reality, anyone can still start a blog today and succeed. But, it’s not as easy as it once was. Instead, you need to adapt to changing technologies and mindsets.
Today, I’ll go over several methods that will ensure your blog stays alive and well. And these are things that I’ve seen work extremely well for myself as well as my clients.
Proof Blogging Isn’t Dead
First, as of March in 2020, WordPress powers more than 35% of the Internet. Out of all of the content management systems out there, it controls a whopping 63% of the market share!
Why is this significant? Because WordPress is one of the most prominent blogging platforms online.
Sure, you can use WordPress to create anything other than a blog. However, blogging is still one of the best ways to engage an audience on the Internet. Which is why most major corporations will blog about products and services.
Secondly, all of my blogs have grown over time. Now, this growth has been a bit slow, I admit. That’s only because I really didn’t put a lot of effort into developing them.
And yes, I’ve been kicking myself a lot lately.
As you can see, this website has been growing quite a bit since the end of 2019. Which is about the time I decided to get serious about maintaining the site.
And WriterSanctuary.com isn’t the only blog I have that is growing. The gaming blog is also gaining traffic, even though I’ve been a bit lacking in creating content for that website.
My point is that it’s hard to believe that blogging is dead when I see evidence to the contrary.
On a side note, this blog is set to break its visitor record for the 4th month in a row.
Adapting Your Blog to Survive
Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee the tips below will help you adapt and grow your blog. All I can do is tell you what I’ve done and how it’s worked for me. But I can almost guarantee that top “experts” share many of these.
In the end, it all comes down to how serious you want to get about maintaining your blog and what your goals are in the end. Because what you want out of your website guides how much effort you will put into keeping it alive.
Continue Focusing on Your Niche Audience
The most successful blogs are those which center around a specific niche or topic. For example, WriterSanctuary is focused on helping freelance writers and bloggers. My “niche” is writing in general.
I also have a blog focused on healthy gaming and one that centers on losing weight. Those are specific niches which drive a specific audience.
For example, I wouldn’t share a recipe for cooking teriyaki chicken on this blog…because that wouldn’t make sense.
The more focused your niche, the more responsive of an audience you’ll attract. But be careful; narrowing your niche too far can result in a very specific and small audience.
Keep in Mind Voice Searching
Perhaps a key element to avoid blogging going dead is adapting to voice search. This is because so many people will ask Google, Siri and Alexa for specific information. In many instances, results are also read back to the user.
So, how do you go about optimizing for voice searching? Well, to simplify it a bit, you need to:
- Understand User Intent
What is the user looking for and do you have the answer? This relies on knowing your audience well and keeping an eye on search terms in tools like Google’s Search Console.
- Use Long-Tail Keywords
A long-tail keyword is essentially a common phrase people will use to find certain content. For instance, “freelance writing” is a simple key term. But, “freelance writing for gaming blogs” is more focused on a specific audience.
- Making Sure You Have Schema Metadata
In a nutshell, schema tells search engines what an article is about and what searchers can expect. This includes things like headers, meta titles, meta descriptions and even image alt tags.
- Quickly Getting to the Point
Keeping certain answers succinct in your content can help tremendously. An example of how this works is by looking at the “People also ask” segment in Google.
My point is you need to keep in mind how often people directly ask their hand-held devices for answers. Make sure you can answer those inquiries in an easy-to-read format…for both humans and search engines.
Be Mindful of Mobile Device Users
Speaking of mobile devices, you’ve probably heard a million times how optimizing for mobile use is pivotal for success. It’s true, and you’d be wise to do what you can to make the experience awesome on every device visitors use to access your blog.
Having a responsive design means your website adapts to the screen resolution of a particular device. So someone viewing from a 5.5-inch display can read the content as well as someone using a 32-inch widescreen monitor.
However, it goes deeper than that. You need to make sure fonts are the right size, images are optimized for slower networks, links and buttons are easily tappable and much more.
Don’t simply assume that just because your blog is “responsive” that mobile users have a great experience.
I’ve come across sites that had such small fonts and links so close together that it was incredibly difficult to maneuver through the content.
Cross-Promote with Video
Another element that can keep blogging from going dead is the use of video content. Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you can’t have something like a YouTube channel.
In fact, a lot of my blog’s traffic comes from the YouTube channel, and vice-versa.
But you can go beyond YouTube or Vimeo. You can promote your blog and yourself using video on sites like Facebook, Twitter or live streams on platforms like Twitch.
Video is one of the fastest-growing forms of content, and you need to jump on that bandwagon if you want to compete.
And yes, I’m aware of the irony as I haven’t produced a lot of videos as of late. This is why I know that video production is an important aspect for a blog and adapting to today’s online activity.
Usually, I’ll embed the YouTube video in corresponding blog posts so visitors can either read or watch.
Keep Up with High-Quality Content
Success for any type of content, whether it’s a blog, video or image, is the level of quality. The more value you offer to readers and search engines, the more popular your site becomes.
I’m not just coming at this from a grammatical perspective, either. In reality, spelling errors and improper comma usage are forgiven if you offer an incredible amount of information in a blog post.
I mean, you want to have good grammar anyway. After all, your posts still need to be comprehensible. But what the consumer gets from your content is what boosts success.
Awesome keywords will only provide the base. It’s up to you to construct a power-house of material that engages the reader.
Even Evergreen Content Needs Updating
Evergreen content is that which is as relevant in five years as it is today. It’s often the type of content you can publish and then not worry too much about updating.
However, a lot of evergreen content can use a revamp or a bit of sprucing up.
Perhaps you’re a much better writer today than you were five years ago. Maybe you want to add a few more facts that add life to the blog post. Or what if you came across something you wrote that no longer has accurate information?
Updating older posts keeps the content relevant and shows search engines your commitment to providing quality information.
Case in point, we spend at least one day a week updating old posts for one of my clients. In the majority of those instances, we’ve boosted traffic by more than 300% simply by revamping them with today’s information.
The point is that it’s worth the time to go back and make sure the older content is still relevant to the reader.
No, Blogging Is Not Dead
It’s been my experience as a professional writer that blogging is not dead. However, the way you go about maintaining and marketing the site needs to change. It takes a bit more work to build a successful blog, but it’s still worth the experience.
Remember, effort dictates success. The more energy you put into your site, the better it will become.
Just don’t expect it to happen overnight.
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