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October 30, 2021

The Future of Blogging | Will Blogging Be Viable in 5+ Years?

If you ever visit a blogging Subreddit or something of the like you’re inevitably going to come across a new blogger telling you that the sky is falling. They’ll say something along the lines of…

  • Google is going to take all of the traffic for themselves.
  • Artificial Intelligence is going to put bloggers out of business.
  • Established Websites Will Consolidate All The Traffic.
  • A regular guy can’t compete against a business with a team of writers
  • Video is going to replace blog posts. etc.

Do they have a point? Let’s tackle each of these issues then I’ll give my personal thoughts on blogging as a long-term business venture.

1) Google is going to take all the traffic for themselves

Worry-Meter: Mildly Concerned

In the past few years the number of zero-click searches in Google has been skyrocketing. This is because Google simply puts the answer directly in the SERP and so the user has no reason to click-through to your website.

Google Snippet Example

I think bloggers are overestimating how damaging these snippets are to their business. First, if you get the snippet you’ll get tons of clicks to your website with users wanting to know more. Second, how valuable is a visitor when a one word answer solves their query?

Bloggers could definitely sell me that this is a net negative for the industry. That said, I’m not worried about blogging disappearing entirely because of it.

2) Artificial Intelligence Will Put Bloggers Out of Business

Worry-Meter: Not Concerned Yet, Ask Again in 5 years.

I wrote an entire blog post about GPT-3 where I did a deep dive on the tech and how it could be valuable for bloggers.

My takeaway? AI isn’t ready to destroy the blogging industry as we know it. You can’t simply tell GPT-3 to write an entire blog post for you and get a fantastic result back. GPT-3 will pump the article full of falsehoods and the whole thing will be a meandering read. Anybody who thinks that’s good content that will stand the test of time is an idiot.

Instead, the AI is currently reasonably good at rewriting a paragraph or title that you wrote to have better sex-appeal. That said, that’s an extremely time consuming process and you need to write the original text. That’s not exactly something that’s going to help you mass-produce articles at a rate that you couldn’t before.

3) A Regular Guy Can’t Compete Against More Established Websites

Worry-Meter: Extremely Concerned, Already Happening

Forget the future, this is a problem right now in the blogging industry. If myself and Neil Patel wrote a blog post on any subject, his post will rank higher faster regardless of how much better my post is.

Worse, I’m fairly convinced Google is implementing site-wide traffic caps on smaller websites. And this trend is only getting worse as more players enter the market and Google gets more and more concerned about mis-information spreading online. Why should they trust a regular guy over an established brand in the search results?

And so this one really does concern me. And I think if anything kills blogging from being a profession a regular guy can enter in the future that this one would be it. That said, I still feel like a regular guy can get into blogging and find success with a long enough time horizon and a mild amount of talent.

4) A Regular Guy Can’t Compete Against a Team of Writers

Worry-Meter: Not Concerned At All

One of the most frustrating things a new blogger experiences is when they realize their niche is filled with bigger companies that hire writers. These companies can churn out 500 articles in a handful of months, meanwhile it’d take you 5 years at two posts per week to hit those numbers.

When you see that it feels defeating. Like you can never win.

That said, I think this worry is completely overblown. The reason it’s overblown is because you don’t understand how hard it is to find good writers until you start trying to hire writers. Particularly cheap writers where English isn’t their 1st language.

In the future there’s going to be so much blog content available online that every post will need to compete on quality. And that’s a world where hired writers are actually in danger rather than the solo blogger who puts a lot of care into their articles. I think bloggers have this worry backwards.

5) Video Will Replace Blog Posts, Nobody Reads Blogs Anymore

Worry-Meter: Not Concerned At All

Video results are coming back more and more often in the SERP. And while that isn’t necessarily going to help your blog traffic, a surprisingly large number of people will choose to click the blog posts over the video results. I have proof of this because I rank #1 for many queries with video search results and the click-through-rate are fine.

And I don’t think that’s likely to change. Sometimes video is helpful, but oftentimes I don’t want to sit through a 10 minute video. It’s easier to just skim a blog post and see if I can pull out what I want in 2-3 minutes. Because of that, I don’t think this is likely to change and I think this fear is way overblown in the blogging community.

My Personal Thoughts About the Future of Blogging

We’re in a situation where the number of content creators increases each year while the overall size of the pie (number of total searches) stopped exponentially increasing several years ago. If anything the overall search traffic pie is shrinking with video and snippets eating up more and more of the clicks.

I think because of this we’re looking at the industry becoming dramatically more competitive over the next decade. But, that’s true of almost any industry. They always get more competitive as it becomes more established. I could say the same thing of YouTube, TikTok, or whatever the new hotness is each year.

I think the real question is can you compete? Search traffic isn’t going away completely and it’s only going to become more valuable with time. The real question is will you be able to outperform established industry players in the future?

I obviously believe that I can (otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this). But, that’s not true of all bloggers. This is no longer an easy game that everybody can win at, we’re all going to be blogging in competitive niches in the future regardless of which one you chose today. So welcome to blogging on hard mode!

Shaun Poore worked as a professional software developer for 15 years before transitioning into content creation and digital product businesses. Shaun's currently focused on providing as many people as possible with actionable advice and tools they can use to succeed online, without the fluff or BS that too often plagues this industry.