It is no surprise that I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. There are multiple reasons, one being – I have become lazy and at the same time, I have been enjoying my life a bit more than usual lately.
Let me explain.
There’s something called a knowledge paradox – where you end up binging a lot of content and think that you are learning stuff – where in reality, you are probably not going to retain even 5% of what you are watching/reading/learning. I am in that phase now.
Where I haven’t really done much productive stuff lately, I have watched 100s of hours of Pat Bet David content, read lots of books, and tried to even learn Quickbooks for one of my businesses. My brain is trying to give me a ‘feel’ that I have done a lot where in reality, if you look at actual results (the only thing that matters) – I haven’t really done much.
Hi, I'm Khalid...
I travel the world and try to live a digital nomad life. Want premium goodies from me? For free?
We are a generation of quick gratification and it is a reality – not only with the number of FB likes you get but also with your businesses, marketing activity, and everything else in general. With my FB page now approaching nearly 200,000 followers and YouTube nearing 100,000 subscribers – I think my brain is suffocated with constant need of instant gratification and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I haven’t been blogging much lately.
You see, some tasks don’t result in immediate reward but they are still worth doing – a lot more than you think. Blogging is one of those activities. Do I think I would have had the success I had if I didn’t start blogging back in 2016?
I don’t think so (I really believe it).
There’s no way I would have had a profitable SEO agency, a career in digital marketing, and the life I have now if I didn’t start blogging.
But the value of blogging has dropped for me over the years. Databox recently did a study where they showed the impact of a blog vs a video. About 74% of respondents said they prefer videos over blogs and I kind of agree. I have seen it in my behavior too. I haven’t been reading nearly as many blog posts as I was back in 2018. Is that all because I have been lazy? Not really because I read a lot of books, watched videos, listened to podcasts in this same phase. I think it’s the habit of a consumer-like me – that is changing.
When we run social media ads for our clients now – the first thing we push for is a video-based creative. Videos perform better – often up to 2200X better and written text works as a support system for those videos.
It is evident from pretty much all data that blogging is not as effective as it was before and the numbers are dropping every year.
That takes me to the main question of this article. Should you be blogging? Should you care about starting a blog in 2021 and beyond? Is there any point?
Well, the short answer is YES and the long answer is YES too.
It gives you monetization options (Yes, it still does)
Let’s tackle the first one first. You have your lettuce blog and nobody in their right mind is reading blogs anymore. Should you keep blogging about how to grow those green things? I mean, I get that they are nutritious but really?
Well, you 100% should because you can still monetize using a ton of different ways and as more and more people are buying things online – you have better chances of making money online with a Lettuce blog in 2021 than you ever had before.
We have more monetization opportunities now in the world. Heck, you can even monetize the pixel data of your blog which was unthinkable even a few years ago. Here are some quick and easy ways to monetize your lettuce blog:
- Google Adsense
- Sell info products (think $7 eBook on how to grow a Lettuce tree)
- A gardening course (if they are interested in growing lettuce, a subsection would also be interested in gardening)
- Partner with a seed/gardening company and take 30% of any profit you generate for them
- Talk about sub-topics (what kind of bowls do we need to grow lettuce trees? What sort of recipes can you make using Lettuce) and then send people to places like Amazon.com and get a commission using their affiliate program
- Rent your pixel data
- Start a paid newsletter using something like Memberfuel
I can go on and on – but you get the idea
It gives you Authority
According to me, authority is one of the biggest factor – if not the biggest when it comes to deciding whether a sale will happen or not. If I have two candidates in front of me looking for a job and one of them have a blog on a topic that is even remotely related to the job post – I know who I am hiring even if the other guy has three certificates. Provable authority gives you an unfair advantage in the marketplace which is not replaceable.
In my country (Bangladesh), around 2.2m students graduate every year. We don’t have enough jobs for all of them – and a lot end up accepting a job that is below their potential. Imagine you are a finance graduate in that world. In any given year, you have about 50,000 other graduates (possibly more) competing with you to get the same jobs that you would apply to.
What happens next?
Think if you had 20 Medium blog posts about finance and accounting in general. Think if you had a finance podcast. Think if you had a finance-related YT channel. You don’t have to be an expert to create authority. You just have to be interested. To this day, I am yet to find someone who had authority on the internet but couldn’t find a job using the power of that.
Well, they don’t need a job in most cases which is a different story.
It brings you closer to like-minded people
People don’t put out content on the internet to be celebrities. Well, some do. But they don’t probably create blogs. Think about Instagram as reality tv and blogs as books – when it comes to the internet. People who are into blogs are considered knowledgable, sophisticated, and thoughtful. Don’t you want to be in that league?
When you start putting out anything on the internet, you start getting into the tribe of others interested in the same/similar topic which starts opening up doors for you. How do you think the flat-earthers find each other? Yes, they have a tribe.
It is very likely that your family or friends wouldn’t be interested in the same thing as you are. None of my close friends are interested in marketing or entrepreneurship. But I got my company on the internet. As soon as you start blogging, like-minded fellas will find you. You will start exchanging ideas, your brain will start burning productive calories and you will be in a better place (not literally).
It helps you clarify your thoughts
Journals are different than books. When a writer writes a book, he knows people will read it. Some great ones can forget that and write exactly how they would want to read it but most don’t. Journal on the other hand is different. Journals are all about reflecting your state. They are to help you clarify your thought process. A blog is an equivalent of a journal – if you ask me.
Well, Khalid – people will still read my blog – does that not make it a book in your analogy? Not really.
You see – people change their habits depending on which platform they are on (as Gary Vee would say) and he is right. A person buying your book vs the same person following you on your Instagram is very different. The content he would expect from you from Instagram is far different than what he would expect in your book. Take this from someone (me) who has a best-seller book about marketing in Bangla.
The same is true for blogs too. Whoever is coming to read your blog is actually coming to read your ‘journal’. The journal philosophy makes blogs unique, fun. I think blogs are less of a book but more than just a mere journal you would fill in every night sitting at the corner of your darkroom.
As I grow older, I find writing more and more helpful for me. It helps me to gather my thoughts – it helps me create plans and it helps me to plan the future, how I want it to be.
Even if you don’t end up publishing your blogs – I would still strongly recommend you to start writing.