You may have noticed that I don’t just write children’s books.
And I don’t just write adult books.
A lot of what I write is here before you on this site. For better or worse, I’m a blogger. I’ve been at it for almost a decade.
When I started, I was a mom with a newborn, and that newborn turns 10 this winter. She’s not the same, and neither am I. And neither is the state of the blog world.
Here’s my “state of the blogger” analysis of what’s going on in the blog world.
Good news, bad news
The bad news
Blogging is very 2005. When people hear that you have a blog, they run and hide. It’s not a cool thing at all. Hardly anybody under 30 has a blog, it seems. They don’t have time to read anything more than about 175 characters. Go over 500 words and you’re downright long-winded. (Hope I didn’t lose anybody mid-paragraph.)
The good news
Some blogs today are very, very good. Excellent, even.
The bad news
The good blogs are usually selling something.
More good news
Aren’t we all? I am. Notice the ads? I have to do this, and I don’t mind hosting ads. I think of it as paying me to blog. Does it pay a lot? Ha ha ha ha. But it’s not nothing anymore. For years, it was nothing, and now it’s something.
Best news of all:
Great blogs will continue to shine. And because of the long-tail phenomenon, going stronger than ever, we little guys don’t have to compete with the megablogs.
Where’s it all going???
Blogging in 2015 will be more scientific.
Calls to action, clickthroughs and conversion rates were almost unheard of in 2005. In 2005, you could check how many hits you had on your hit counter – that’s TOTAL, like over the life of your site – and were happy with any number over, say, a dozen.
The one on the right is my own blog’s progress over the last year. (Doesn’t it look like a beautiful field of grass?)
You can see it dipping down where I slacked off for the Jewish holidays… and now, starting to pick up again. This kind of micro-analysis will be more and more essential. What kind of posts do readers STAY on, and for how long?
Also: What kind of posts have the kind of content that induces readers to CLICK on ads? I don’t want ad revenues to become my sole reason for blogging (hint: readers are, or should be!), but I’d be lying if I tried to pretend it wasn’t part of the equation at all.
Blogging in 2015 will get better and better.
Sites like Copyblogger, Enchanting Marketing and QuickSprout are sharing tools and best practices to improve the quality of the writing on the megablogs.
Blogging in 2015 will also get worse and worse.
There’s no end to the spam out there, and some of these people are still making money. They won’t stop until the money stops, period.
Why you should give up now
Thinking of packing it in? Worried that blogs are sooooo 2010?
You’re not alone. Here’s my biggest prediction for 2015:
Bloggers will turn their words into books instead.
Many many many bloggers will jump ship – not to quit writing but to turn their words into books.
They already are, and I bet you can see why.
If you have 10,000 words in you on a particular topic, you could turn them into 4 longish blog posts… or one book. Ebooks are getting shorter and shorter, and 10,000 words is a reasonable length for a quick Kindle buy.
My book Writing the Bible for Children started out as a blog post. It got longer, and longer, until I realized I was a quarter of the way to a book. The main difference being that if I stuck it up on my blog, nobody would have paid me to let them read it.
It also wins you a ton more respect. Try telling everyone at a party, “I blog.” Now go to another party and tell the people there, “I’m an author. I write books.”
This, by the way, is known as A/B testing, and it’s one of the scientific things bloggers (and authors) do in 2015 to make sure they’re pleasing readers.
You can probably guess the results. At one party, you’ll be treated as a hero; at the other, like some kind of nose-picking navel-gazing troglodyte.
(Not convinced yet that book-writing is better than blogging? Try Kill Your Blog by Buck Flogging, a coarse but very true introduction to the concept.)
Why you (and I) don’t have to care.
As always, some bloggers won’t care about the trends. They’ll keep on gazing at their navels, writing about their suppers, their babies, their laundry, their small strides towards home organization, their political or religious views. I love some of these blogs, and so do you. I write some of this stuff, and I love it.
Okay, I’ll come clean. The truth is, I love blogging. Love interacting, here and on facebook, sharing and learning from others. If you do, too, then by all means, keep on blogging. Don’t let anything I’ve said here dissuade you.
Ultimately, it comes down to the same thing as writing books: Write with love, about something you’re passionate about.
If you do that, then no matter what the science says, you win. You’re a Super Blogger for 2015… and for the ages.
Thinking of starting up a blog? Click on the awesome scroll-through infographic on the right for a funny look at the realities, courtesy of InfoLinks. If you have a writing blog, be sure to add it to my authors’ linkup.
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