Future of Blogging in 2021 and Beyond
The increasing popularity of social media and YouTube has started a debate whether the future of blogging is promising or not.
The simple and sweet answer is that blogging has a bright future. Blogging is here as long as search engines like Google are here.
While a lot of people use social media and like to watch videos, it doesn’t mean they don’t use search engines to find stuff online.
Plus, although most people prefer video content over text, there will always be people that like to read at their own pace. Videos don’t offer that privilege unless you keep a finger on the stop/resume key.
WordPress has made creating a blog quite easy. You can create a blog within 5 minutes even if you are not tech-savvy.
However, there are a few things that you need to practice if you want to compete with other bloggers and make good money.
Let’s get into the details.
Do People Still Read Blogs?
The question “Do people still read blogs”? implies that blogs are losing their popularity.
But that’s not the case at all. People still read blogs and will continue to do so in the future. Statistics show that about 77% of internet users regularly consume blogging content.
However, the way they like to consume it is changing. Bloggers will have to create skimmable blog posts as readers don’t like to read long blocks of text.
They just want to get the answer to their question. So, when people land on your blog post, they should get the answer they were looking for easily.
Plus, there are a lot of people that prefer articles over any other form of content.
So, as a blogger, you won’t have to worry about your audience. You’ll just have to produce great content they would want to read.
Is the Future of Blogging Bright?
With social media, email, and YouTube taking up digital space in the recent years, there have been concerns about the future of blogging.
While people are preferring to consume video content over text-based content, mostly because our attention span has reduced to a historic low, written text isn’t ineffective either.
Video can’t replace a reading enthusiast. And, although video content is easier to consume, written content appeals to our senses differently. As long as there are people who like to get information at their own pace, blogging will keep on growing.
Plus, you can now integrate visual content into your blog posts. You can add videos, gifs, images, and even audios within your blog posts, giving the content consumers the best of both worlds.
While we can’t deny how quickly YouTube has gained popularity as a video search engine, Google has kept its first position firmly. People still search for information on Google before making a decision.
So, yes, the future of blogging is promising. But, you’ll have to evolve with user demands and technological advancements to make it drive desirable results for yourself.
Advantages of Blogging
A blog doesn’t only let you make good money, it offers multiple other benefits as well. Let’s discuss all of them briefly.
With a personal blog, you can build your online presence and identity on search engines. Your blog gives you credibility and visibility.
It gives you an opportunity to get people to know you and build yourself as a brand.
Learning While Teaching
Needless to say, before writing a blog, you need to do good research on the topic. While you are educating others on a topic, you get to learn a lot of new things as well.
Plus, running a blog also requires some marketing knowledge. When you take blogging seriously, you have to learn the art of online marketing.
Given that you write your blog posts yourself, putting out well-written content in front of business owners can land you a job as a content marketer.
Good, search-engine-friendly content is a need of almost every business. So, it opens new opportunities for you as a service provider.
Blogging as a Full-time Business
It’s easy to assume that most people who leave their jobs for business aren’t very happy with their salaries.
Once you start getting results, blogging can be enjoyable and rewarding source of income. So much so that you can leave your day job and make more money with a single blog.
That said, as more and more people take an interest in blogging, some industries like health have become quite competitive for new bloggers. However, there are a lot of niches that you can target to make a solid amount of money every month.
An established blog can make more money than most jobs out there. Plus, you don’t have to work in an office under a boss. You become location-independent.
This gives you the opportunity to work from anywhere. It gives you more freedom to do things that you really like and spend time with your loved ones.
Most of all, you are not financially dependent on anyone. You are your own boss.
Is Blogging Still Worth It?
Yes! Blogging is still worth it. And the future of blogging is stunning. You can create a blog right now and make a lot of money from it. Search engines like Google still exist. So, why wouldn’t blogging be profitable?
People are searching for information on Google. They trust the ranking system of Google and make decisions based on the pages they see on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
While video content, social media, and our reduced attention spans appear to pose a threat to the future of blogging, the real picture is different.
It just means that bloggers need to evolve with the content consumers and make their content more absorbable.
There are multiple ways through which you can make money with a blog. We will discuss all of them in detail later.
What Will Change in Blogging in 2021 and Beyond?
The future of blogging and its profitability isn’t going to go downhill in the coming years, there are certain trends that are catching on. These trends will only make blogging advanced and user-friendly.
Let’s discuss them in a little detail.
The fact that the visual search is getting popular in generation Z shoppers indicates that it’s going to affect how blogs will show up in search engines.
For bloggers, if they want to keep up with the future of blogging, they will have to visually optimize their blogs to get better visibility in search engines like Google.
Computers can now read the text behind images. Screen readers are already using image alt texts to recognize images.
When you type text into the search bar looking for images, it’s important to note that “image search” is different from “visual search”.
The development of computer vision and machine learning is making visual search possible.
Computers can now “See”. The development in artificial intelligence allows computers to not only understand what they see but what they should be doing with that knowledge as well.
That said, visual search (images in particular) is at the seed stage of its lifecycle. But, the trend will only grow from now on.
This is especially important for bloggers in the ecommerce space as searching a product visually is easier.
How to optimize blog images for image search?
- If you are targeting a product, upload multiple of its images at different angles
- Find out long-tail keywords and add them in image title and description
- Use the primary keyword in the image alt tag
- Upload high quality and small-sized images (large images increase website load times)
Optimizing your blog images will attract the people searching for your product/service using image search.
You can tell by the increasing demand of smart speakers and software like Alexa and Google Home, that people are using voice commands to surf the internet.
The growing popularity of smart home devices makes voice search optimization necessary for every blogger. It’s easier to ask a virtual assistant to find information for you than to type it yourself.
As a result of this growing interest, voice search technology is only going to grow in 2021 and beyond.
This is strongly backed by the fact that 20% of mobile searches are “voice searches”. And, it’s not like smartphone usage is going to decline either.
So, if you own a blog or want to get into blogging, not optimizing it for “voice search” would be a mistake.
How to optimize your blog for “voice search”?
According to Backlinko, Google prefers shorter answers to voice-search questions. Typically, a voice-search results in only 29 words in length.
The research also shows that easy-to-read content performs better in voice search. And, long-form content is more likely to be fetched by Google in response to a voice search.
Moreover, make your websites fast-loading. Speedy websites tend to rank better in response to voice searches.
Automation and SAAS
In addition to visual and voice search, blogging will see a rise in automation and SAAS (software as a service). More and more people are adopting automation as it makes the workflow efficient.
The best way to keep up with the changes is to follow authority sites and gurus. Making updates in your blogging strategy as the digital space evolves is the only way to keep your blog on the success path.
How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Blogging?
Unlike what most people would tell you, and despite automating of most repetitive tasks, artificial intelligence isn’t going to replace human bloggers completely.
So, you’d still be writing your blog posts, helping your potential customers make decisions, but with lesser effort.
For instance, SAAS platforms like Ahrefs make keyword research and competitor analysis an easy task, eliminating the need for manual research.
Benefits of AI for Bloggers
Let’s see how you would be benefitted from AI as a blogger in 2021 and beyond.
Identification of Profitable Topics
Certainly, the most important part of search engine optimization is keyword research. Keyword research tells you:
- Which terms are being searched by people?
- Which terms have low competition
By optimizing your blog posts around those keywords, you can improve your search engine visibility, which can bring you more conversions.
Even if you are not selling anything, search engine visibility will bring relevant traffic to your website, providing multiple possibilities for monetizing your blog (I will discuss more on monetization later).
After all, more traffic means more revenue, whether it be in the shape of ad placements or sales.
Whatsmyserp (WMS) is a great free tool if you want to generate keywords related to a particular term. For instance, “SEO”.
Improving Grammar Automatically
Artificial intelligence has also changed the way bloggers produce their content. With AI tools like Grammarly, you can write with peace of mind. The tool takes care of pointing out mistakes.
This lets you focus on creating new thoughts rather than getting bogged down by typos. Without AI, a single blog post would take so much more time. This is on of the best parts of the future of blogging.
Types of Blogs that Will Work in 2021 and Beyond!
Blogs that will concentrate on people’s pain points and add value to their lives will remain in business in 2021 and beyond.
Let’s see what types of blogs will work in 2021 and beyond.
Health and Fitness Blogs
No matter how the digital space changes, people can’t ignore health. Especially health-conscious people will keep themselves updated with the developments in the health industry.
Plus, fitness supplements are quite popular as natural food becomes insufficient. People tend to prefer supplements instead of eating non-tasty healthy foods these days.
So, if you are willing to write on health and fitness topics, your blog is going to be lucrative in the future.
However, with more and more people taking blogging as an income source, many niches have become saturated. The health niche has certainly taken the most dent.
But, if you are a healthcare professional, educating people will not only be a favor to them, but you can also make good bucks while helping society.
With the increasing trend of small business ventures and entrepreneurs, it’s safe to assume that business topics are going to be quite popular in the blogging industry.
If you are passionate about financial freedom and being your own boss, you can help others gain financial freedom.
But, even if you are not a businessman, running a business blog will help you understand different business models. You’ll eventually learn a lot by educating others.
Americans spend more than $50 billion on their pets annually. And, as more and more people keep pets, this trend is only going to increase in the future. So, there is a huge potential in the pet niche.
And, if you like pets, chances are you will progress pretty quickly.
A great way to monetize your pet blog is affiliate marketing. As people love their pets and buy different products for them regularly, you can promote those products and earn affiliate commissions.
Personal Brand Blogs
More and more people are establishing their online presence. Service providers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and those who want to establish their own brand are going online.
Having a personal blog will pay off in the future doesn’t matter what you do. Digital identity is important if you want people to easily find you online.
Plus, once you get traffic to your blog, you can monetize it through different methods.
The future of blogging looks promising as people are trusting online sources of information. Blogs are helping people make decisions. You can replicate that as well.
If you are thinking of creating and monetizing a blog in 2021 and beyond, make sure you take your time to research. Create a blog that can add value to people’s lives and choose a popular topic so that you can monetize it.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start a Blog?
If you want to start a blog, you just need a domain name and hosting. While the prices vary, you can get a good domain name within $15. A good hosting company like Bluehost or Hostgator will start around $2.95 per month.
According to estimates, you’d probably need around $65 per year to start a blog in 2021.
In addition, if you want to improve your blog, you can buy themes and plugins.
How to Monetize a Blog IN 2021 and Beyond?
The best thing about blogging is that it offers multiple sources of income. Below are a few ways you can generate revenue with your blog.
- Displaying banner ads (Google AdSense, Ezoic, Adthrive, MediaVine, etc.)
- Driving traffic to affiliate products (Amazon affiliate, JVzoo, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate … )
- Selling eBooks
- Selling courses
- Selling physical products
- Selling digital products
- Writing sponsored posts
The choice is yours. You can make a lot while focusing on only one of these strategies if you do it right. Just don’t target all of them in the beginning, you will be overwhelmed by all the work you should do. But in the long run, you should consider applying more than one income strategy to maximize your revenue.
Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2021 and Beyond
I already talked about how amazing the future of blogging is. But you have to be careful to keep up with the competition.
Thanks to AI and machine learning, Google is evolving at a rapid pace. Things that helped bloggers rank in Google a few years ago don’t work anymore.
There are a few mistakes that you should avoid during your blogging journey.
- Choosing a niche that is too broad (google prefer micro-niche blogs)
- Choosing a complex domain name (an easy name to remember is always a good choice)
- Not doing proper keyword research (don’t just write about things you love, write about researched topics)
- Not knowing your audience (knowing your audience helps you optimize the content for them)
- Ignoring user-experience
- Being inconsistent (this is a long winning run, so you have to be consistent)
- Skipping editing
- Writing boring content without visual appeal (add images, videos…)
- Not formatting the content
- Ignoring link building (link building is a must for SEO, just build it wisely)
- Using black hat SEO techniques
Avoiding these mistakes will keep your blog on the right path. It’s imperative that you avoid any black hat SEO techniques if you want to take blogging as a long-term income source.
How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog?
Choosing a blogging niche is certainly the only major step that prevents people from getting into the action. Don’t get too critical of what you choose to blog about.
It can get overwhelming to finally set on a topic. But, overthinking can only lead to unnecessary delay. So, keep it simple.
What’s a Niche?
Let’s first demystify this term. A niche is not only your blog topic. But the approach you will be going to take to write about the topic. For instance, if you chose to talk about traveling in your blog, your “niche” would be “traveling”.
A niche can be as broad as traveling or it can be as narrow as a traveling pillows. Your goal and preference will decide how broad you want your niche to be.
A broader niche takes a little more time to rank in the SERPs (search engine results pages), while a narrow niche is comparatively easier to rank.
A broad niche allows you to write on more topics, while in a narrow niche, there are fewer options to write about.
What Topics Are You Interested In?
The first question you should ask yourself before starting a blog is “what am I interested in?”.
Because blogging is a long-term deal. Unless you are outsourcing your content writing work, you will have to produce high-quality content regularly yourself.
And, if you don’t like what you write, it’s easy to assume that you will get bored or frustrated over time.
So, it’s a good idea to brainstorm ideas before getting into action. And you should also keep in mind to choose a niche that will be suitable for the future of blogging.
Start with a Micro-niche to Build Authority
Even if you want to write on a broader niche, I’d suggest starting with a narrow niche. Target a specific audience. Build your authority in a smaller niche and then scale from there.
Focusing on a small niche builds your authority quickly. Once you build authority with Google on a smaller topic, expand your horizons and absorb other topics in that same niche.
For instance, if you want to start a digital marketing blog, write about email marketing first. When your blog starts getting traffic, expand into SEO, SMM, and so on.
How to Find Profitable Topics on Your Selected Niche?
As I mentioned previously, finding a profitable niche is a little tricky. You need detailed research of the market in order to know which topics are getting traffic. And, traffic is what makes you money.
Without a doubt, the most important part of the blogging process is “keyword research”.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
You don’t want to produce content that no one wants to read, right? Keyword research allows you to find profitable topics for your blog. Topics that people are searching for and want to read.
What’s Keyword Research?
Keyword research is a process where you find “keywords” or “phrases” that people are searching for.
How to Find Keyword Ideas?
Let’s say you want to start a blog on “Digital marketing”. The following topics should come to your mind.
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Pay per click ads
- Email marketing
- Search engine marketing
Go to Google and type any one of these.
You’ll see a list of suggestions by Google. Google auto-complete is a great way of finding out what keywords are being searched by people.
Another cool way is to hit that enter button and go to the bottom of the page.
You’ll see a list of keywords related to your searched keyword. Add them to your list and use them in your content to improve on-page SEO.
A great free tool for keyword research is “Google Keyword Planner”.
Go to “Discover new keywords” and type in a search term. A list of related keywords will show up.
You’ll be shown the average monthly searches and competition for those keywords. Add the keywords that have good search volume and low competition to your list.
Another awesome keyword research tool is “Ubersuggest”.
Let’s say you want to get a list of keywords related to “email marketing”. Ubersuggest will fetch a long list of keywords with information like search volume, SEO difficulty, and CPC (cost per click).
What’s Keyword Difficulty?
Experts classify keywords into three broad categories.
- Head: Single-word keywords with high search volume
- Body: 2-3-word keywords with a relatively lower search volume
- Long tail: More than 4-word keyword with the lowest search volume
Head and body keywords are difficult to rank for. They are highly competitive. If you want to rank for those, you’ll have to put in more work and be more patient.
How to Evaluate a Keyword’s Competition?
Go to Google and type in your keyword.
If you see high-authority websites like Wikipedia and branded sites, chances are, you’ll have a tough time ranking that keyword. So, it’s better to stay away from those.
However, if a keyword fetches niche-sites or low-authority sites, getting your website on the first page of Google will be a whole lot easier.
Before choosing a keyword, also look at its potential click-through rate. Keywords with multiple Google ads and a featured snippet don’t have much potential. Even if you rank, your page won’t have good visibility.
How to Start a Successful Blog?
Now that we have talked about the most important parts of blogging (choosing your niche & keyword research), let’s see how you can start a successful blog.
Choose a Domain Name
First, choose a domain name for your website. It could be your own name or your business name. You can use a tool like Namemesh to get creative ideas as well.
Choose a Hosting Company
Hosting is the home of your website. Hosting companies provide space where your website can be “live”.
Bluehost hosting is a great option as it is reliable and has top-notch customer service.
Connect your domain name with the hosting. You’ll be able to easily install WordPress from within the Bluehost cpanel.
Set Up Your WordPress Website
After installing WordPress in the Bluehost panel, enter www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin in the web search bar.
You’ll see the WordPress dashboard where all the magic happens.
Your first step should be to choose a good theme for your website.
One of the best theme in the market is Astra theme. You can go for the free version.
Search for “Astra”, install and activate it. Then go to “customize”.
You can easily change the appearance of your website to a certain extent from there.
Install Essential Plugins
Plugins add functionality to your website.A couple of important plugins for your website are YOAST and MonsterInsights.
YOAST helps in Google rankings while MonsterInsights connects your Google Analytics account with your website.
Congratulations! You have your own website/blog now. You are now ready to go with creating content.
Write User-friendly Content to Drive Traffic
Start with creating the basic pages of your website. These may include:
- About Us
- Home page
- Terms and conditions
- Any other page you want to create
The next step is to provide high-quality, valuable, SEO-friendly content to your target audience.
Create content that’s easy to consume for readers and easy to rank for search engines like Google.
Remember the keywords you made a list of? Use those keywords to come up with content ideas for your blog. Sprinkle those keywords in your articles.
Write grammatically correct, engaging, easy, keyword-rich, and visually appealing content to retain your visitors.
Keep in mind that keyword stuffing will not help your Google ranking. Distribute the content naturally, meaning, the reader shouldn’t know that you are targeting a specific keyword.
Add images, videos, gifs, and emojis in your articles, if possible.
How to Promote Your Blog?
Search Engine Optimization
One of the best ways to make your blog visible to your target audience is effective SEO.
Search engine optimization factors include, but not restricted to:
- Targeting profitable keywords
- Creating easy to read, keyword-optimize content
- Using internal/external linking
- Designing user-friendly website
- Making website easy to crawl (connecting Google search console)
- Optimizing images (adding alt tags, keeping their size small)
- Posting consistently
- And more
In addition to SEO, there are few more ways you can promote your blog. These include:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Guest blogging
- Forum posting
The future of blogging is quite promising. As long as people are searching for stuff on search engines, blogs will continue to be an important source of information for them.
However, as more and more people are creating their presence online, the future of blogging seems to be a little competitive in 2021 and beyond.
That said, if you are following white hat SEO practices with consistency and providing valuable, high-quality content to your audience, there is a high chance you’ll outrank your competition.
Don’t worry about the future of blogging. There are a lot of benefits of it. Financial freedom is probably the most important one. So, follow the steps discussed in this article to kick start your blogging journey and earn passive income online.