Since the lockdown of last year, from making Dalgona coffee and Focaccia bread we have now moved to two things – consuming or creating web content, in its myriad forms. Blogging, micro or otherwise, has also suddenly come into sharp focus and so have many a fly-by-night, click bait reads, such as ‘How to make moolah by Blogging’ et al.
This mandates a revisiting of a few blogging basics and examine blogging as a career. Global internet traffic has grown exponentially and by 2023, nearly two-thirds of the global population will have Internet access states, declares the Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018–2023). Plenty other researches also report a concomitant surge in the number of social media users, clearly a result of the ‘lockdown habits’ – a carry-over form 2020. Does this upping of virtual living time automatically guarantee success as a blogger? A simple answer is ‘no’. Read on to know why?
The most common question that crops up from newly minted bloggers in my workshops is- ‘How do I make it big?’ Thankfully the question gets rephrased ‘by the end of the workshop to’ How to start and sustain ethical blog writing practice? ‘, The rest as is said,’ will follow ‘. With an increased time on and with the screen, undoubtedly the audience has grown but so has the creator brigade. With the increased user friendly ease of creating a blog across platforms, there’s a burgeoning of bloggers seeking eyeball from their readers.
This hurried and headlong dive into the world of blogging may turn out to be counter-productive. This is so because with the ease of creation can make one overlook the pitfalls of the lack of consistency, content compulsions and monetizing the blog, that one may encounter. Coupled with the fast advancing technology and reducing attention spans, blogging could well be a thing of the past as microblogging emerges.
Content, Context and collaboration
A straw poll on Social media will have you know that there’s a very small percentage of people reading blogs. But the fact that they remain is a valid reason to sustain it. The nature and texture of blogging has changed over the years due to the changes in consumer behavior. Therefore, rejigging your blog, creating a visual one across channels like YouTube, catering to different consumptions predilections of say, podcasts for audio et al will help. So will SEO reading and application, analysis of algorithms of various sites and backlinking authentically.
As a blogger you will need to experiment with reader engagement, creator collaboration, brand promotion, for successfully monetising your blog.
Affiliate marketing, ads on the blog and paid collaboration (declared so on the blog), guest posts on your blog and doing that for others’ too are some sources of income for a blogger. Rethinking your blog if an old one, and if designing a new one, keeping an ear to the ground to retain the current-ness and relevance of the blog, is a must do.
Knowing the difference between being an influencer and a blogger will also help. As that seems to be the new kid on the blog! An influencer may be a thought leader who is perceived to have the power of guiding consumer behavior and uses social media platform to engage with her or his audience. A blog could well be one of these. Understanding the differences and similarities will help create a niche with sustained blogging and thereby gain financial independence.
In 2021 as the world goes digital, along with the mobile screen time increasing, the mode of blogging may have changed also. Palatable byte sized videos on social media in various forms if IGTV, Reels on Instagram, Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse conversations are all ways to put out your thoughts in a micro blog / vlog form or promoting your voice.
This diversification as a blogger could also be working as a content creator across websites, Promoting other blogs as an SEO expert and also being recognized as an influencer. Good to remember that celebrity blogging may have now made way for celebrity vlogging and influencing, on visual mediums like Instagram or Snapchat. In the past however, a few big brand names started out as a blog. Miss Malini and Huffington Post by Arianna Huffington, as one of the founders being two of the most famous examples.
Crisper, concise and sharper text, great visuals along with relevance, suitability and an awareness of the context should be the hallmark of any great blog that aims at sustaining for a long time with genuine engagement with the readers and of course, dollops of patience and a unique voice coupled with passion!
As a blogger, there is no quick way to mint the moolah. It’s a slow process and may take one many years to establish oneself as a voice. A good way to test the waters would be to do is along with your main field of work. Not surprising then that many are doing so, however to fully dedicate to the process and upscaling the blog, you may wish to also take it up full time after a few years. Good Luck!