How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually Improved

How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually Improved

Blogging Has Changed!

I have been through some blogging wars

Having been a blogger for the past 8 years I can honestly say that although some aspects of blogging have stayed the same, some of blogging has changed.

It is callblogging has changeded: evolution.

As we grow and learn and adjust, the human race moves toward more efficient, effective models. This is why I fly from New York City to Bali in 23 hours versus taking a boat over the course of 4 weeks.

People grow. We get smarter. Blogging – thank the blogging gods – has not been immune from this growth trend as blogging has changed.

Blogging has changed and evolved in a few key areas over the past 5 years.

All changes have been for the better.

Let’s see how the blogging game has improved over the past half decade.

googleSEO aka “Google”

The #1 blogging change over the past 5 years is Google. No longer can you game Google. These days, you need to create helpful, rich, thorough content that receives strong engagement through either social media or through blog comments – or both markers – to secure a spot on page 1 of Google

If I had to sum it up I’d say…..”You need to work to reach page 1!” I added the exclamation point because this is not an easy task at all. Both careful planning and smart execution play chief roles in getting you SEO game down pat.

A half a decade ago you could be a little sloppy. Maybe you could cut corners and make page 1. In truth, some purely garbage sites from content farms made page 1, position 1 for highly competitive keywords but this no longer happens. Blogging has changed with SEO. 

Google cleaned things up and raised the bar for you to create helpful, engaging content, that needs to be vetted through a few channels before you can see that sweet, sweet Big G traffic.

pluginsTools

Although I am not a huge tool user it seems blogging tools have become more intuitive today as opposed to 5 years ago. Users demand robust, easy to use tools to leverage their presence quickly and seamlessly.

The sheer library of tools, plug ins and apps for us bloggers besiege us at a dizzying rate. Read reviews from trusted bloggers. Take free trials to find the right tool for your blogging needs. Don’t hesitate to pay for premium tools; see these apps as valued investments.

Disclosure

Disclosure is a more prominent topic these days in the United States.

More bloggers are on their toes with the Federal Trade Commission being more stringent in disclosing financial gains made through your blog.

Admittedly, the FTC disclosure has been an issue over the past 8 or so years but I’m seeing top bloggers both disclosing and also advising readers to do the same to cover their hyneys.

If you’ve not yet done so, create a disclosure page on your blog explaining how you benefit financially or otherwise through links and images readers may click on. Share a 1-2 line similar disclosure via your blog footer. Cover your rear end. Please Uncle Sam. Sleep better at night if you are making money through your blog.

Free Platform Blogs Are an Afterthought

A while back it seemed more free blogging platform advice danced around in the blog-o-sphere. These days, I cannot find a top blogging tips blogger who advises or promotes or even shares a peep about how to blog on free blogging platforms.

Blogging has moved from readers tolerating blogs based on free platforms to predominantly accepting only blogs hosted on wordpress.org. Readers are as sophisticated as ever. If you do not pay for a domain and hosting you are not a serious blogger. In an instant, you will lose your reader’s trust and traffic unless you buy your domain and hosting.

Own your online real estate. Don’t be a blogging dinosaur. Blogging has changed and you have to change with it.

Facebook Has Moved Toward Pay to Play

Facebook is pay to play. Point blank.

Facebook is pay to play. Point blank.Click To Tweet

Organic reach is OK if you engage at the speed and with the energy of a greyhound on crystal meth but compared to a half decade ago ya ain’t driving the volume of traffic and sales ya used to on good old Facebook.

This is fine. Facebook has every right to monetize the network. Just like you have every right to monetize your blog. The key is to recognize that creating more on individually owned sites – your blog and your blogger buddies’ blogs via guest posts and comments – is the way to go. Unless your blogging buddies quit blogging these sites are helpful sources through which you can spread the word, help folks and grow your blogging community.

Facebook is fickle. Engage freely on updates. Ask questions. Provide answers. Just realize it’s a different ballgame on FB today that involves….pay to play.

List Building Is as Important as Ever

Since you cannot game Google and Facebook moved toward a pay model to spread your blogging word, list-building is as important as ever these days.

The very act of owning a list of subscribers who receive your latest posts via email is the difference maker for bloggers. Building a list means you have reader interest, on demand.

The very act of owning a list of subscribers who receive your latest posts via email is the difference maker for bloggers.Click To Tweet

Even though it takes some time to build a list going this route to drive traffic and increase profits is easier today than it was 5 years ago because you have so many bloggers offering proven, practical, powerful tips for growing your list.

5 years back folks divided their energies more between driving blog traffic through social media, Google and a few different channels. Now it is all about owning an email list to build friendships and to grow your blogging business on a solid foundation.

Your Turn – leave a comment below

What blogging changes have you seen over the past 5 years?

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, John Chows Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging at Blogging From Paradise.

36 comments On How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually Improved

  • Blogging has changed over the years, I always find myself dipping in and out of blogging on my own site, mainly due to not enough hours in the day scenario, however with the changes it has now given me the chance to write stronger content and more creative articles at a slower pace.

  • Blogging has changed, indeed. But one thing that didn`t chang is providing value with every blog post you put online. Google now rewards value-rich content and not just words thrown on the page.

    The landscape will probably completely change in a few years as well 🙂

  • Andrew M. Warner

    Hey Ryan,

    Great post here. It’s amazing how much blogging has changed in the 5 or so years I’ve been in it. It’s completely different now.

    Things that use to work definitely don’t work anymore. And this means that you need to come up with new ways to get things done..to build relationships..to get traffic..to build your brand.

    This is especially true since Google is always changing and making us stay on our toes. I’m not even going to mention how much Facebook has changed throughout the years.

    Really good post though. Off to start sharing.

    – Andrew

    • Andrew that is a good point; Google changing enough and Facebook changing every few weeks it seems. The emphasis now is on sharing value and making buddies. 2 cornerstones for successful businesses online and offline. Thanks much for sharing 🙂

      Ryan

  • Giovanni Zappavigna

    Great Article! I just started blogging 5 months ago, so I don’t know how it was 5 years ago.

    I’ve heard it was very easy to rank on Google a couple of years ago. Now it’s pretty hard you need to create rich content and have a white hat backlink profile.

    I prefer it like that because people who work hard will be rewarded.

    Once again great article!

  • Hi,I am somewhat of a newbie to internet marketing and blogging. So with that being said, I am very glad that I found this blog post. I’ve heard talk of your site but never really new what it was all about; however, I can say that I understand a lot better now. I plan to stay connected to your blog. Can’t wait to see what you’re going to write next. Thanks

  • A very awesome post as always Ryan,

    Indeed, the saying that “change is constant” also applies to blogging. I agree with you that blogging has indeed changed a lot over the years.

    Coming to the SEO aspect, i remember when you just have to write a few words crappy content, publish it on your blog and then, probably get few spammy easy-to-get links and you will be highly favored by the goddess (Google).

    Today, for you to be able to achieve such an enviable height, you must first work your ass off.

    I believe that as time goes on, it will still continue to evolve, and i pray its the for better.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Ryan,

    Great to see you here on Lisa’s place! Indeed, Blogging has changed thank goodness. Imagine if it didn’t..how boring would that be? In the old days of Google and SEO I didn’t know what the heck I was reading because of the keywords written over and over again. Phew…now it is more intuitive.

    When it comes to Facebook pay to play I love it! I rather pay five bucks to boost a post and reach thousands of people I can target than just posting and crossing my fingers. It has worked well for me when it comes to initiating my sales funnel also.

    Finally and most importantly that email list! Without that, I would have no one to talk to lol.

    -Donna

    • Hi Donna, thanks for coming by on Ryan’s post here. I agree SEO is better for writers today than ever before. Good to know that Facebook pay to play is working well for you. Sometimes you get what you pay for and free doesn’t go far 🙂
      You are the email queen Donna! That’s for sure. Having a list is key today in case Facebook raises their prices way up. Good to own your own real estate. Thanks for your input and have a great day Donna.
      Lisa recently posted…How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually ImprovedMy Profile

    • Donna I definitely need to dive more into paid promoting on Facebook. For like nothing you can generate a ton of traffic and get that sales funnel going. I am seeing solid engagement rates by doing Facebook Live videos persistently; adding in some promoted posts would be a nice little boost for me and the blog. Thanks for the tip!

      Ryan

  • Hi Ryan,

    I do appreciate you for writing an interesting article on change and improvement of blogging. I know you have been noticing each and every change in blogging from eight years ago. Absolutely agree with your views and opinions on blogging SEO. Content should straightforward, relevant to reader for strong engagement.

    Not the same, I’m a huge tool user whether it comes Keyword research, design, write, create, find I often prefer free tools not premium. Sometimes I feel blogging become easy using tools such as for creating, designing, sending mail, advertising, writing and many things.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    – Ravi.
    Ravi Roshan Jaiswal recently posted…13 Content Marketing Strategies Suitable For Even the Smallest BudgetMy Profile

    • Ravi that is a great add for a tool user like yourself; very smart. I use free tools myself from time to time and get great value out of these guys. Thanks a bunch.

      Ryan

    • Hi Ravi, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. Thank you. I agree about content being more straightforward, written for humans and not machines. There are some good free tools out there but every once in a while you have to kick things up a notch and a premium tool will help you with that one. Sometimes we get what we pay for Ravi. Thanks for coming by and for your input on this topic. Have a great day ahead.
      Lisa recently posted…How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually ImprovedMy Profile

  • HI Ryan and Lisa,

    Great blog post and you’re definitely correct, the blogging game has changed. Back in the day it was so easy to rank a keyword if you knew how to game the system. Today, though I am amazed at how many bloggers actually want to help each other.

    It’s definitely made a huge difference on the mentality of bloggers. It’s like everyone believes that there’s enough success for everyone without having fight anyone over.

    I really prefer this mentality than the past one. Where everyone thought they had a ton of enemies they had to beat. We’ll only see how much the blogging game changes 5 years from today?

    I agree, blog commenting and guest posting are two methods that can help someone grow. While I haven’t ventured too much into guest posting, I have a done a few. It’s still a little nerve racking writing a blog post on someone else’s blog. Or reaching out to them and asking if I can guest post for them.

    I guess just like everything else, with practice it becomes easier. You definitely seem to have this down as I’ve seen you everywhere I go.

    Thanks for sharing this information and yes building an email list is extremely important. I am focused on nurturing my email list more as I’ve been known to neglect it in the past.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan

    • Yep Susan; as you practice reaching out it does get easier and easier and easier. Piece of guest posting cake 😉 Thanks much.

      Ryan

    • Hi Susan, thank you. Oh yes that’s the topic of an upcoming post for me Susan. I think “real” bloggers have it in them to help others. That’s why they continue to blog.
      Don’t be nervous Susan, what’s the worst that they can say, NO? Then you try, try again 🙂
      Yes, continue to grow your list. It’s a key component for sure, you never know when one of the social networks will shut down or go out of business.
      Thanks for coming by Susan, have a great day!
      Lisa recently posted…How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually ImprovedMy Profile

  • It was an exciting time when I started blogging in 2005. It was when “Web 2” was taking off and there was always something new to talk about, new sites and resources to try. Twitter and Facebook were just starting up and hadn’t gained a foothold. Video blogging was rare. As I was then blogging for pleasure, I didn’t bother much about SEO and relied on such sites as Delicious, My Blog Log and Stumbleupon which then had good communities for sharing.

    Of course, there are still new tools and resources but now they are not completely original. What’s great is that there is more choice, blogging platforms have many more inbuilt features and are easier to use. There is however much much more competition, so even if you do your SEO the right way there are no guarantees.

    • Hi Sue, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. It is amazing to see those changes isn’t it Sue? You are right about Video – it was rarely done on blogs. SEO was easier and there weren’t as many people and blogs on many of the sites to compete with. It’s definately gotten more competitive and many bloggers never made it past one year at it. I do love the more choices we have today Sue. Thanks for coming by and have a great day. Glad to see you are back at the blogging 🙂
      Lisa recently posted…How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually ImprovedMy Profile

    • Delicious and My Blog Log!?!? Wow Sue, classic days. I do recall Delicious when I started out 8 years ago. Like one of the biggest bookmarking sites out there. Thanks a bunch.

      Ryan

  • Hi Ryan! Hey Lisa!

    The Blogging game really has changed since I started over 7 years ago now. In some instances, the fun of it is gone. There is so much pressure to use keywords and SEO, email lists, and so many more hoops to jump through that frankly, it gives me a major bummer. I lost my thrill a couple years ago when Google spanked my butt for links. I didn’t know! Anywho….that’s when my world of blogging changed.

    I’m sad to see so many Bloggers discourage others about free platforms. They too, have changed over the years. I keep two blogs on a free platform and am moving my other self-host there. They are hobby blogs and I want to keep them fun, without all the pressures.

    When someone inquires about migrating to WordPress.org, I first ask the “Why” they want to move. I make sure they are aware of all the “other junk” that goes along with it (maintenance, financial).

    Blogging has changed so much in 7 years, I wonder if it will even be around in another 7, especially with podcasts and webinars increasingly growing in popularity. Thoughts?

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, Ryan. You are certainly a “pro” in this area and keep it real, which I love most about you.

    Thanks for sharing Ryan with us Lisa!

    Happy Monday to both of you! 😉

    B

    • Hi Brenda, wow, it’s been 7 years huh? We have known each other a while now – that’s for sure! Oh yes, SEO sure got challenging. I got hit with penalties and it took 10 months to fix. I keep plugging along though. The maintenance and technology difficulties can really get to me but I know with help from others I can get through them. I think blogging will still be around but maybe more will be in the form of podcasts. Love to see what Ryan thinks on that question Brenda. Thanks for coming by and I’m glad to say Monday is almost over now! Have a great day ahead.
      Lisa recently posted…How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually ImprovedMy Profile

    • That is a fine point on free platforms Bren; I think when it is solely, 100%, just for fun, it is OK. But I guess I am influenced by all the hundreds of horror stories over the years of bloggers who fell in love with blogging, and wanted to do it as a full time pro, then watched year’s worth of work wiped out when they promoted on a site like wordpress.com or when Google says it doesn’t like what you post on Blogger. Really though if it is 100% non-business and just a cyber diary, those free platforms are A-OK 😉 Thanks for commenting!

      Ryan

  • Hi, Lisa & Ryan!
    Great post, you are very right, blogging has changed a lot
    You have made some very good points here.
    Google is improving everyday and they strive to show the best results for their searchers
    As you said they have made it hard for people to rank with garbage content
    Unfortunately some people somehow still manage to rank #1 with black hat tactics, pretty sure it’s not long term, but it’s annoying LOL
    Regarding tools, it’s incredibly mindblowing how everything is so easy to do nowadays, landing pages, pop up boxes, you name it and there is a tool out there super easy to use, really cool isn’t?
    Thanks for sharing this great post and wish you guys are having a wonderful day!
    Anis

  • Hey Ryan and Lisa,

    This blogging world keeps changing. I remember when I started it and people used to talk only about SEO.

    Bot it’s different now. Bloggers have learned that the quality rich and the long-lasting content is what they need.

    Facebook is really into playing some serious games. First Facebook ads and now Facebook live.

    Adding a disclosure is really important. Whether it’s a page or add a special line for the post consisting affiliate links.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    I hope you’re having a great time.

    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…The Ultimate Guide To Boost Your WordPress Website SpeedMy Profile

  • Lisa thanks so much!

    Ryan

  • Ryan, thank you very much for this post here. You really made some excellent points about having our own email lists and how Facebook is now a pay-to-play platform. Having your blog as your own online real estate is very important too today. You never know when a network may go down but if it’s your own you can get a fix quick and not be waiting on anyone else.
    Thanks again Ryan and have a wonderful day.
    Lisa Sicard recently posted…6 Valuable Ways You Will Benefit Using Twitter NowMy Profile

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