Blogging Isn't Dead... Yet
Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
Blog - Twitter - Instagram
There's been a lot of chatter recently about the so-called "demise of blogging", with posts on the subject popping up left, right and centre. Maybe you're sick of hearing about it, but here's another contribution to the discussion nonetheless.
The "death" of blogging is often attributed to the rise of micro-blogging, with platforms like Instagram growing in size and popularity every single day. I can see why, to be honest. It's maybe more natural a platform to use when sharing your content, as it's something most people use nowadays, and it's maybe easier to create short-form content for the platform than it is to put together longer pieces for a blog. That's not to say it's easy, not at all, it can be cutthroat and competitive, but it's different.
Social media platforms like Instagram benefit from a huge audience for you to potentially reach, and to some extent, it's easier to reach new people via the app than it is to drive traffic to your own site. I can see the appeal, and it seems to be the go-to place for a lot of brand partnerships at the moment, too.
The thing is, the way we consume content is different now. We're impatient by nature and we want to consume things quickly, on demand and in a seemingly endless cycle. It's easier to look at a picture - and maybe scan the caption if you're feeling like it - than it is to get stuck into a blog post. I'm not always in the mood to sit and read a long blog post, but I spend most of my day on Instagram and Twitter.
But, the crucial point for me is, you're relying on another platform. These platforms can change the way they work at the drop of a hat - just look at Instagram and Facebook - which is the very nature of this digital era. The "next big platform" might be just around the corner, but there's no guarantee it will last. Think about Snapchat, and how quick a lot of people were to abandon it when Instagram Stories came along. Everyone was talking about Vero for all of seven days, and now it's disappeared into that oblivion of forgotten apps. We all saw the outcry when YouTube changed the requirements for their Partner Program, and it could happen again just as easily.
You don't own Instagram and you cannot control the platform. One quick change to their algorithm and your engagement could plummet. Step out of line, and they could delete or suspend your account. You're at the mercy of these big businesses, but you can control your blog. It's your platform.
That's not to say that you should ignore the likes of Instagram, YouTube and the rest - instead, I think we should just be a bit more mindful of putting all of our eggs in one basket. I love Instagram, and I spend hours each day on Twitter, but my blog is where I focus the majority of my energy. These other platforms just serve to promote that platform for me, because it's the one I actually have a say in.
I started blogging in 2010, and there's been a lot of change in the years that followed. I know people that started blogging in the nineties - and it was a different world entirely back then. The way that bloggers create their content and operate has been flipped on its head, and when I started eight years ago I had no clue that blogging could be a viable business.
Change is scary, but it's good. Change forces us to innovate and get creative to stand out. It makes us reassess what we're doing and it should encourage us to strive to be better, learn new things and generally improve ourselves. I've always loved photography, but when Instagram started growing I started really focusing on how I could improve my composition skills to keep up.
I think blogging has to change. The industry is so new and for a lot of bloggers, brands and business it's uncharted territory. Something has to give, but I don't think that's blogging. Blogging as we know it might be dead, but blogging as a whole certainly isn't.