The short answer to that question is: No, blogging is not dead. But it has evolved, and to make blogging profitable, you have to adopt newer tactics that are relevant to the present day and age.
I have provided a detailed response to the question – ‘is blogging dead in 2022’ – below. But before we go into the details, let me get into a bit of storytelling.
Evolution of blogging and my blogging journey
As you probably may have read in my bio, I began blogging in 2007-2008, albeit accidentally. My first post was a rant about my professional life at that time, and since I wanted to share it with friends, I had posted it on WordPress. (The other choice for a blogging platform was Blogger, but I chose WordPress since it was arguably more popular)
I enjoyed the process of writing and how it helped me release the negative energies in me. So I continued writing blog posts – mostly about life around me, embellished with my sarcastic humour. (The title of my blog site was ‘Bemused’).
I gained some readership, and people started commenting on my articles. This encouraged me even more, and I kept writing.
I then started following other blogs (remember blogrolls? 😊) and realised that many of the good ones I followed were ‘self-hosted’ sites using WordPress.
So I decided to get a domain, buy hosting and set up my shiny new blog. This time, I titled my blog ‘Lungi Guy’. (You will still find some old articles on this site referencing Lungiguy.com).
This was sometime in 2009, and by then, blogging was on fire. People were making a living out of blogging and showing off their income reports online. ProBlogger was the rockstar for bloggers those days (he still is, I think) since he wrote helpful articles.
Since I had got into blogging for the love of writing, I wasn’t giving much attention to critical aspects required to monetise my blog.
I didn’t bother learning how these other bloggers were making a killing from blogging.
But I had started checking out avenues through which they were making money blogging. I embedded Google Adsense and Affiliate marketing into my blog and began tracking metrics.
Circa 2012 – I had become a WordPress expert, having set up several sites using WordPress, editing themes, configuring plugins and teaching friends how to do all these.
In a parallel world, India gave birth to many blogging superstars raking in millions from their blogs. (Search for ‘Top money-making blogs India’ and you can find them). Organisations and events built around bringing bloggers together were flourishing too.
While this was happening, the advertisers and affiliate marketers too kept doing their thing to squeeze more out of the ecosystem. Newer models of making money out of blogs were evolving. More recent social media sites were growing.
Somewhere along the way, I lost interest in writing. Too many things were happening in my life, and some failures were pulling me down. I switched to putting up motivational quotes to pep myself up and keep the site active.
I took up a side-project to interview some people treading down different paths. While I was involved in this, one of my friends suggested changing my domain name from Lungiguy.com to something more…for lack of a better word…decent.
So I did another switch. I changed domains. I was tired of thinking up domain names and lazily booked a domain with my name. And that is how we got to the site you see now. (This was back in 2016, and by the way, the question ‘is blogging dead’ had started popping up back then).
Cut to today: As we ride 2022, we are seeing an explosion of free content – content in different forms, on various form factors. There are now a gazillion blogs out there, with hundreds of new ones starting up every day.
With that, let us get back to our original question.
Is blogging dead in 2022? Is blogging still profitable?
One way to answer this question is to check if the creation of blog sites is on the decrease.
- A lazy internet search informs me that approximately 600 million exist today (One-third of every website in the world is a blog), with about six million posts uploaded every day!
- If you look at the Google Trends report for ‘blogging’, you will see the search trend has remained steady over the past five years. (If you widen the search to begin from 2004, you will see the trend has come down compared to 2009, but it has remained relatively steady for the last decade.
This means that the hunger for content has only increased, and people are spending time across different content formats available.
People today rely heavily on Google search to find information. When people search for keywords, they will see that many of the top results are coming from blogs. This shows that bloggers have evolved their strategies to remain relevant to changing times.
Here is another powerful statistic: As per a Semrush article (https://www.semrush.com/blog/blogging-stats/), 46% of people use recommendations from bloggers/vloggers for their buying decisions.
So, No; Blogging is not dead.
But, Yes; Blogging has changed, and the strategies you need to adopt for blogging success are vastly different from those of 2009. Here are some considerations:
- You will need to create a mix of content for the various platforms (longer videos for YouTube, short ones for Instagram, answer posts in Quora, helpful articles on Linkedin etc.). Your blog can include your articles plus links to your other content.
- To get better traffic to your blog, you will need to ‘niche down’, scout the web for what people are searching for, and write long-form articles that answer some of these queries. Since blog discovery mostly happens when people search for information, you must make sure your content is search engine friendly.
- Many of the other guidelines for a successful blog are still valid today, including making sure you have interesting content and consistently publishing posts.
Now, the all-important question that you probably have is: ‘Should I start a blog?’
Should you start a blog in 2022?
My answer would be a resounding ‘Yes’. Here are a few reasons why:
- A Blog is the best way to build a brand (this is valid for a person or a company)
- It is a means to collaborate with like-minded people
- It helps you grow as a person
- It opens up doors that you never in your wildest imagination thought even existed, and
- If all goes well, it can create an alternate source of income for you
What’s next with this blog?
I have ignored my blog for a long time. In the last fourteen years since I started writing, I have experimented with this blog, made tons of mistakes, and learned from them.
I have decided to re-focus on this blog. I will be writing on three broad areas:
- My travels (including high-quality photos and videos I take) – Like this one: https://sampathmk.com/things-to-do-in-mexico-city-part-1
- Side hustles, Side gigs, Blogging, Software reviews and ways to create online income streams – Like this one: https://sampathmk.com/best-side-hustle-ideas
- Life (products I like, Finance and self-improvement) – Like this one: https://sampathmk.com/how-to-learn-spanish-easily
To begin with, I will write a series of posts that can help you get started on your blogging journey. While doing this, I will also highlight the mistakes I made so you don’t have to go through the same pain.
I would love it if you send me your feedback or let me know topics I need to elaborate on further to go on this journey together. I want us to dig our way to gold.
So, cast off all Lines – let’s go already!