The online world moves quickly. What was once the hottest thing since sliced bread quickly becomes last year’s iPhone. No one in their right mind would likely start a MySpace business today, right? And while blogs may have once been the burgeoning backbone of emerging opportunity, that may no longer be the case.
Sure, there are some hugely successful blogs out there, making a lot of money, but the vast majority of them have been around for a number of years. They’re not new. If you had to start from scratch today with a brand new blog, would you? Should you? There are many reasons why you might not want to start a new blog.
1. SEO Is a Fickle Monster
Discoverability has always been a big challenge for online entrepreneurs, regardless of the type of Internet business they run. If you have an online store, you need to attract customers to your website. But that’s a big reason why so many e-tailers also sell their products through bigger, more mainstream channels like Amazon, eBay and even Best Buy. The small-time crafter would likely find more success on Etsy than with their own website alone.
Blogging is much the same way. If it was hard getting noticed before, it can feel like it’s practically impossible today. The signal-to-noise ratio is overwhelming, and it can be remarkably difficult to break through and attract those readers, especially on a consistent basis. Search engine optimization can only get you so far, and what might land you some traffic today could put you in Google’s bad books tomorrow.
2. You Actually Hate Writing
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Blog posts, generally speaking, consist of words. Like, lots of words. Ideally strung together in a manner that’s interesting, engaging, entertaining or informative. And someone needs to write those words. When you’re a business of one, chances are that “someone” is you.
If you’re like me, and you’ve always enjoyed the written word, both as a reader and a writer, then by all means, create a blog and start typing away. However, if writing has never been your strong suit and you generally avoid doing it at all, you probably shouldn’t try to be a blogger. Writing is a rather large part of the shtick.
3. No One Really READS Blogs Anymore
Hey look! A castle! If you’ve made it this far into today’s blog post, congratulations. More likely than not, you’re in a relative minority. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back, and leave a comment below declaring that you’re one of the select few who are actually reading these words.
Now, this doesn’t mean that written blog posts no longer hold value. Of course they do. But we also have to recognize that the vast majority of netizens have the attention span of a goldfish. They might read the headline, quickly skim the headers, and move on to the next thing. Many people also prefer to consume their media in other forms; that’s why YouTube videos, social media posts, podcasts, and other alternatives are all a part of the mix these days.
4. Go to Where Your Audience Already Is
If discoverability is such a challenge, why not eliminate one of the biggest hurdles in your way? Why not meet your potential audience, followers, and readers halfway, so it’s far easier for them to find you and your wonderful content?
When you have your own blog on your own domain, it’s very unlikely that someone will accidentally type that domain into their address bar and find you “accidentally on purpose.” But all these other platforms have discoverability built right into them, so that if you create great stuff and it gets noticed by a few, it’s more likely to get noticed by more people.
Instagram has one of the highest engagement levels around. YouTube is hugely popular and it’s easy for users to fall down the rabbit hole of suggested videos. Facebook, Medium, podcasts… these are all seemingly “easier” alternatives to a fresh blog.
5. A Landing Page Might Be Better
A few years ago, I asserted that you shouldn’t build your Internet business on rented land. By this, I meant that you should always have your own website. That’s your home on the web, regardless of what else happens in the world of social media and other platforms.
I still subscribe to that philosophy. However, your home on the web doesn’t necessarily need to be a blog, especially if you don’t feel like writing blog posts on a regular basis. No one wants to read another post that starts with “Sorry I haven’t updated in a while!”
So, what’s the alternative? A branded landing page may be much more effective. Use it like an online business card, highlighting who you are, what you do, and where people can find you. Are you primarily on YouTube with weekly vlogs? Showcase that. Keep creating content elsewhere and use your website as a way of showing off the best of what you do and what you’ve done.
With all of these reasons above, it might sound like you’d be stupid to start a new blog in 2019, right? Well, maybe that’s not completely the case either…