I published my first blog post a long time ago, but it's long gone because it looks terrible.
That article contained about 500 words, no images, no external links, and didn't offer much value, but at that point in time, it was actually pretty good.
In those good old days, there were only tens of millions of websites in the world (only a small percentage of which were blogs), but in 2011, that number was 346 million, and by the end of 2017, it was over 1.7 billion. You can see the real-time statistics here.
In other words, my first blog post was probably pretty good because there was hardly any competition, something was better than nothing, and people were happy to get some information, even if it really wasn't very good.
What was once a blog
Once a blog was just a blog where you could share your personal experiences with the world: from the tourist spots you visited to the delicious food you tasted, even about your personal family life...
A decade ago, social networks were not popular; Facebook was launched in 2004, followed by Sina Weibo in 2009, and WeChat in 2011. With the rapid growth of social networks, it is easier for people to use various tools than to write an entire blog post.
Every day hundreds of millions of users share their personal lives on various platforms, all it takes is to say a few words or watch a few seconds on your phone, it's really easy. That's why people prefer to use social networks rather than updating their personal blogs.
Why people keep creating more blogs
There are many reasons for the growing popularity of blogs, and as I mentioned above, the Internet now has over 1.7 billion different websites.
One of the main reasons, is that you, as the end user, consistently provide valuable content through blogs. Another reason, is that people want to read blogs, so Google has no choice but to rank them. The results of the study show that the average length of articles on the first page of search results is over 2,000 words:.
There are many reasons why you might want to create a blog, but for us, the main motivation lies in the following.
Control your own destiny Paid advertising is expensive Marketing has shifted to omnichannel
Social networks limit the number of visitors you can have, depending mainly on the number of your friends or followers. With blogging, you have better control over your destiny, such as collecting emails to attract users back to your site, building subscriber lists, ranking pages on Google, etc. Overall, getting traffic through blogging is easier and more permanent than social media because you won't be dependent on just one traffic source.
Google generated $6 billion in advertising revenue in 2005, and that number was a whopping $95 billion in 2017. With the rising cost of advertising, you may have a hard time choosing other channels for your business, and blogging is an obvious free solution because Google likes to rank for text-based content.
There are now over 1.7 billion websites on the Internet, compared to just under 0.65 billion in 2005, which equates to a 2,627% increase. This means you have more competitors and more choices for consumers, so why would customers choose you? Branding plays an important role, if you can get consumers to see or hear your brand 7 times, then they are more likely to become customers.
Your blog is not just a blog, it's a business
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is becoming more competitive as more and more websites come online. While more people are using Google, they are looking for the same popular terms.
The number of people going online is increasing all the time, but that doesn't mean they're searching for brand new keywords; the real story is: terms that are already popular are becoming even more popular. On the other hand, it's harder for potential customers to come to your site because you're getting those eyeballs with more competitors.
Please note that as SEO becomes more competitive, you have no choice but to consider it as a business. It takes time and money to produce content, and it takes time and money to promote it. Then, once you have a lot of visitors, you can turn them into more time and money.
In other words, since SEO is so competitive, the results won't be as good unless you put a lot of time and effort into it.
I'm not trying to convince you to start a blog, but I believe most companies and individuals should have one. If you don't have one, please follow this guide to get up and running.
If you want to do better, then you should not treat your blog as simply just a blog, but as a long-term online business. In order to achieve this, you need to take several important steps.
- Focus on writing amazing content
It's not just about writing one or two great articles, you have to be consistent. The market is so competitive that you can't just write 500 word blog posts like I did many years ago. If you don't have the time, hire a writer to help you.
- Promote your content
After having enough quality content, you can start to promote it, but this step is not necessary, search engines will bring you a lot of visitors.
- Focus on profitability
Most bloggers face a problem: as website traffic increases, revenue stays the same. Just because you have more visitors doesn't guarantee that revenue will necessarily increase, and you may need to look into more advertising affiliates.
- Don't forget about voice
After following all three steps above, it's time to start thinking about voice. Nearly half of all users use voice search on a daily basis, so this is a huge source of traffic, follow this guide to make sure you capture your share of the voice search market.
How do you feel about your blog? Will you start taking it seriously? With some effort, you can turn it into a long-term successful online business!
The only question is, which side are you going to pick?
Let me know in the comments.