To all the naysayers claiming that blogging is dead in 2020 and that it will become totally irrelevant going forward, I commend you for your service.
While bold, one-sided statements like these are often disregarded by experts, I think they bring up a valid point:
“Is blogging still as relevant and profitable as it was ten years ago, or is the 2020 version of it a mere shadow of its former self (i.e. dead)?”
Well, let’s take a look at a fun graph:
See what’s going on here?
While the terms blogging and vlogging are merging, the term content marketing is clearly rising above both of them in recent years (influencer marketing is also catching up!).
That’s because both of these practices are now placed under the wider umbrella of content marketing rather than personal or corporate blogging.
So, this tells us that blogging is dead, right?
No, not at all!
The core premises of a good blog are stronger than ever. However, the focus is clearly shifting to content as a whole. It used to be that blogs were seen as text- and image-only mediums.
Today, blogging is just so much more than that…
This is the state of blogging in 2020
Opinions are great. They help us see the world from our own perspective and they are great conversation starters. But they are also polarizing by nature.
Saying that blogging is dead in 2020 is just not true, and we have data to back up this statement. Let’s look at two pieces that paint a wildly different picture:
- The number of blogs published in the US is still growing by the day, reaching a whopping 31.7 million blogs by the end of 2019.
- Pro bloggers closed 2019 with average monthly revenue ranging anywhere from $1.5K/month to an incredible $125K/month.
Once again, is blogging dead in 2020? Nope.
I mean, these guys are making serious money out of their blogging efforts. And while these are professional bloggers, there’s no reason to believe that most people can’t do the same.
That’s because the market is still booming with niches that aren’t properly covered, especially in foreign languages (choosing a great niche in an untapped market is key to higher profits).
How blogging is changing in 2020 and beyond
With just two pieces of verified data, it’s already clear that blogging isn’t dead and that it won’t die either in 2020 or beyond. But blogging is changing. Just not in the way most people think…
Take a look at the data from a verified blogging survey below (I highly suggest that you grab your own copy from GrowthBadger themselves):
Here, we see that bloggers value unpaid organic traffic from Google, email, Facebook, and influencer outreach most.
Looking at the data, we also know that social media platforms have gotten harder and harder to get quality traffic out of in the last few years (especially Facebook which once was the holy grail of traffic):
So, what does that leave us with?
Search traffic, right?
Yes and no.
While organic traffic from Google is still highly valuable and key to the growth of any blog (either personal or corporate), former Moz CEO Rand Fishkin has demonstrated that the tech giant is now eager to keep most of that traffic for themselves as well in specific niches.
In his own words:
… fear about where Google’s search traffic goes is […] reasonable. Google has more than 94% of the US search market, they send more than 10X as much traffic as the next leading referrer on the web (Facebook), dominate the online advertising market […], and control […] the livelihoods of millions of small business owners, startups, publishers, and web creators. A skeptical, watchful eye over such a powerful beast is certainly needed.
With featured snippets becoming more and more prominent on search engine result pages (SERPs) and Google outright competing for some blogs’ traffic, blogging is becoming tougher, especially for professionals who’ve seen their traffic tank after one of the many dreaded algorithm updates.
But don’t despair.
There’s still one safe haven for bloggers…
But, isn’t email dead as well?
This is where the rabbit hole begins. The problem with declaring any marketing tactic “dead” is that marketing itself has nothing to do with any specific channel. Instead, it’s all about positioning.
If you can’t position yourself in front of the right audience for the right reasons and at the right time, you’re doing it wrong. Reaching people is one part of the equation, but what about convincing them that your offering is right for them?
That’s a whole new ballgame.
So, why is email so valuable for blogging in 2020?
Because it feels personal.
In a sea of internet noise, people are tired of reading templated messages that just don’t matter to them. They definitely need help, but they won’t take it from random, boring cold pitches anymore.
It’s personalized experiences that do the trick.
And email delivers on that.
That’s why blogging is shifting from chasing lots of traffic to chasing high-quality, targeted traffic.
In 2020, people are increasingly getting comfortable with how algorithms and search engines work, using them to their own advantage. They are now pickier than ever before.
You have to follow suit.
Blogging in 2020 is all about storytelling
Blogging is just as relevant in 2020 as it was a few years ago. But it is changing. With audiences becoming more and more aware of privacy issues and data being collected, monetizing a blog has become more difficult.
This is why the trend is shifting from pure blogging to content marketing.
Creating a business model and attaching it directly to your blog from the get go is the best way to pour every ounce of energy into growing your business.
It’s a much better way to tackle the growth factor compared to sheer numbers (i.e. more traffic), and it’s where the overall industry is headed going forward.
The data tells us that multi-channel storytelling is the way to go, with particular focus given to building a targeted email list.
So, don’t just rely on blog posts anymore; craft personalized stories that resonate with your audience. That’s what will set you apart from the competition.
Originally published Feb 18, 2020 – Updated Jul 24, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
Blogging is still relevant in 2020, albeit in different ways. Today, the buzz is all around content marketing and how multiple pieces of content spread across different channels can benefit your own website. It’s not just about blog posts anymore: it’s about different content pieces.
Yes. The data doesn’t lie here. When you search for anything on Google that is even slightly specific, the first page is likely to show you… a blog post. Also, traffic numbers are up for both news and blogging sites in 2020. People still read blogs, they just use them differently.
Definitely, but they’re changing. It’s not just about sharing information and building an audience anymore. Today, you need a sound business model attached to your blog if you wish to make real money. Blogs themselves cannot make you wildly successful anymore.