Is blogging dead (or dying)?

I’ve seen this question raised a few places recently, particularly on Problogger. The main point raised in most of these suppositions is the marked decrease in activity in the blogging world. There are less active blogs than a few years ago, and less new ones being created by teens and young adults. From this many are assuming that blogging is dying out, but to me it rings more of simply being less noisy. Let me tell you what I mean.

Unloading the blogging bandwagon

For years the common wisdom being thrown around in the marketing world was that having a blog was important for businesses, true for both SEO reasons for for building a fan base. And this, like anything that works in marketing, was overdone to the point that the internet was screaming “uncle”.

In a perfect world every business blog would be filled with interesting facts, info, and stories written by the company. It’d be a great resource for customers, and would allow the business to cultivate an online community of fans likely to spread the word. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have time for all that and end up outsourcing the responsibility. Since blogs have been useful for SEO, most outsourced marketing companies fill blogs with lukewarm material geared for search rankings.

Noise, everywhere. A lot of business owners I’ve talked to took that for granted

Fast forward a few years of this and you have an internet polluted with low end articles that loosely answer the questions people are asking. With Google cracking down on low end content and SEO tactics changing, it’s not as simple as “create blog, post some optimized articles, high five over rankings.”

The long game

So a lot of blogs are dropping off. Rather than being a sign that it’s a dying medium, I think of it as house cleaning. Think of it like TV shows. Imagine if all the poorly written sitcoms and reality shows got cancelled, and only shows that really brought something to the table were left. We could look at only the number of shows cancelled and deduce that TV is a dying medium, or we could instead focus on the good stuff that is left. After all, those shows survived the cut, right?

Problogger points something else out that these figure-gatherers need to consider. The way readers interact with and comment to blogs has changed. There are less direct comments on the blog post itself, with more of the conversation taking place on social media channels. At a glance, the reduced number of blog comments could also be interpreted as blogs dying out. But as long as the material is still being read, enjoyed, and shared, I would say it’s another shade of the same color.