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 called: 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.
SEO 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.
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 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.
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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.
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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?