I'm thinking of launching a blog, but I wonder: Is staring a blog in <year> still worth it? Are people still reading blogs, or are they rather reading on social media and platforms like Reddit?
There will always be a market for good content. What is gone are the days you could post what sandwich you had for lunch and have people read it because of the novelty. Creating a new content site as a way to make a living though is challenging. There are lots of things you need to do to have your site cut through the background noise.
Most certainly. Like the saying goes… "The best time to start a blog was 2005. The second best time is right now."
One of the tenets of capitalism (and evolution, for that matter) is that if you have intense competition for something, then that thing is probably pretty lucrative. It's markets where there is little to no competition that you should consider risky.
The easiest way to answer your question is to Google "is blogging still worth it in <year>?". Notice that all 10 results that you get back are people addressing that topic on blogs, with most of the articles being published in <year>. None of those results are social media posts (except one on LinkedIn, which was published on their blog!), nor are they Reddit posts or some other aggregator.
There may be a study out there somewhere indicating how many hours were spent reading blogs in <year>, but I'm sure you can find it if you look hard enough, but just using that logic I feel pretty confident spending my resources addressing the blog-o-sphere world in <year> and the foreseeable future.
*Edit – Spelling
It depends on what you mean by 'worth it.' Blogging itself can be a great creative outlet or place to share new ideas, but when it comes to the money side of things or making a living from it there's a lot of challenges. From what I've seen a lot of people give up on blogging within the first year when they realize they aren't going to get rich quickly from it.
Looking back I think one of the only reasons I succeeded was because I enjoyed the writing side of things, meeting like minded people and sharing stories. If I had started a blog as just a way to make extra money I probably would have given up because there's (almost always) nothing quick about it. I don't want to discourage anyone from blogging, I just want to point out that it's not a 'easy' way to make money. Unless you have the money to outsource everything you're going to be putting in a ton of work. There's a lot of effort involved, and most bloggers get discouraged because they don't see much of a profit in their first year. But if it's at least a topic you enjoy writing about that can help get you through that rough first 6 months – year period.
Yep. I second this. It's definitely not easy if you're trying to make a living off of it. Though the payoff around year 3 or 4 is where that 6 figure a year income everyone's always talking about is likely to happen if you meet certain criteria…
And for that reason, I heavily lean toward "write what your passionate about" side of things.
You can start an ecommerce store selling dish towels and see profit in 6 months (though not always!) if you want to. Surely don't have to be passionate about towels to sell them. But writing for a year straight with next to no income produced can be demoralizing if that's what you're in it for.
That being said. The math is pretty simple. If you can generate 100,000 people a month to your site, and produce $1 of revenue off of 1% of that traffic, that's $12,000 a year. Generate $2 of 1%. Generate $1 of 2%. Generate $3 of 3%. Generate $3 of 3% with 175K pageviews. You can see how those numbers start to get big…
I'm mostly about blogging just for fun, not the money. I would think it's close to impossible to compete today when huge corporations pour millions yearly into a bunch of different blogs covering all the big lucrative topics/niches.
You're starting out with the right mindset, and it's hard to come up with a reason not to start one as long as you have realistic expectations. I've learned so much over the past 3 years since I started blogging. It's improved my writing, photography skills, I learned about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing & design. And as far as hobbies go or finding something you enjoy it's pretty inexpensive compared to other interests if you stick to the basics like hosting & a domain name (as long as you're not buying a ton of courses, subscriptions, tickets to conferences etc).
And if you're writing about something you're passionate about or care about some of the people you meet and comments you get can be invaluable.
And even though there's a ton of competition out there it's not impossible to rank for some pretty nice keywords now & again. It didn't happen for me until after a year in, but it does happen.
I asked myself this question for many years before I decided to start my own blog. What got me started was the realization that I personally didn't care about becoming popular or the money; what I wanted was a medium to express myself and I wanted to share it with other people, regardless of whether they would see it or not. I also wanted a "playground" to learn about platforms, code and webdesign.
I've been blogging for almost a month and having a lot of fun at it. I share my posts here on Reddit and sometimes on social media but promotion is kind of secondary for me. I love tinkering with pages and fixing little things in it. I love writing. It's worth it for ME.
So the question that you have to ask yourself is this: how do you define something as "worth it" for YOURSELF? If it's "monetary" or to drive a big following your definition of "worth it" then, as many people have mentioned, you have a long road ahead of you. If you just want to get some sort of personal satisfaction out of it then I would say you will probably see the return the minute you start.
If you publish your writings on Facebook, twitter, Reddit or wherever, you hand over control of your writings to a faceless corporation somewhere.
My personal blog has been going since about 2001. It's not that popular, but it's been around for so long that hundreds of thousands of people have read my writings (well, at the very least 500k — my WordPress stats don't go back all the way). (I have a more nerdy blog which I only started in <year>: last year it pulled in 100k+ reads)
All of my posts are still accessible and editable to me. I can see from the stats that people regularly stumble upon and read oooold posts via google.
This is in contrast to Facebook, where I have trouble finding stuff I posted even a few years ago. I also have no idea if people (can) still read them, and there's no way for me to really check stats. I'm still on Facebook, but I've really stopped posting anything of substance there.
My blog was there long before twitter and Facebook started, my blog will probably still hang around and grow, under MY control, for a few decades more.
In short: If you're considering blogging as a long-term platform for publishing your thoughts in written form (something we humans have been doing for a VERY long time), it's definitely worth it.
A rookie blogger here as well. I decided last week to start writing more about what I like to do and drives me, that kind of things, in order to know myself better. I thought that finding the thing I most love to do will help me to start a small business by just doing what I love. I usually write on Medium, but from now on I think I will post on my website first and then on Medium. IMO is totally worth it to blog nowadays because like many said before me, quality content will always be in demand no matter what. If you decide to start a blog then I wish you all the best!
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