I’ve read a few people, both on WordPress and elsewhere, say that blogging is dying. To that, I would offer a resounding hell to the no.
A quick Google search shows that people have been talking about this for the last 10 years, and given that I’m here and so are you, I would say that none of it really seems to have amounted to very much.
One of the arguments made by the blogging-is-dying folks is that it’s not a good way to make money. To which I say no shit, Sherlock. While some people are able to make some income from blogging, and a few rare people make a substantial amount of money, for the vast majority of people blogging has nothing to do with money. Anyone who started blogging expecting to make a ton of easy money is probably either greedy or a bit of a doofus, and that particular segment of the population isn’t consequential enough to kill blogging as a whole.
If blogging was in fact dying, where might people be going instead?
Social media is an obvious answer. Some people have essentially a mini-blog on Instagram. Granted, I don’t use Instagram very much, but it doesn’t strike me as being a better way of blogging than an actual blog. I see some people who are extremely active on Twitter, which can kind of serve as a diary-style mini-blog, but without the substance that would normally be found in a regular blog post.
An option that seems to be very popular is Youtube, and I’ve seen a number of WordPress bloggers who have started Youtube channels.
Podcasts are another option. The site Podcasts Insights says that as of 2019 there are over 800,000 podcasts with over 30 million episodes. In the U.S., 51% of the population listened to a podcast in the last year, and among listeners, the average was 7 episodes per week
While some bloggers may have moved over to these other platforms, and others will use a mix of these different platforms there’s still going to be a solid group of people who aren’t going to find them appealing. Social media is a minefield and much more likely to increase stress compared to the WordPress platform. While there can be trolls and drama sometimes on WP, it seems to be way less than on social media.
In terms of auditory formats like podcasts and Youtube, I can’t imagine that I’m alone in feeling like I express myself better in writing than in speech. People have been expressing themselves using the written word for millennia. I can’t see that abruptly coming to an end just because we could record a Youtube video instead.
While Youtube and podcasts allow for people to be doing other tasks while listening, not everyone processes auditory information well. I have a much harder time trying to listen to a vlog compared to reading a blog post. Listening to speech also takes quite a bit longer than reading, which means fewer chances to interact with different people in a given amount of time. It’s a much more efficient use of my time to read blogs than to listen to vlogs/podcasts.
So, to people who say blogging is dying, I say feel free to move on along; the rest of us will be here, still blogging away.