Is Blogging Dead in 2021?

“Blogging is dead.”

“No one really reads blogs anymore.”

“You’ve got to be an influencer to make money online.”

“It’s just too late to start a blog.”

Whether it’s the little voice of doubt inside your head telling you that you’re too late to the party, or an actual headline that you read somewhere, those self-defeating proclamations that blogging is no longer a “thing” have actually been around for years.

But to really understand whether or not blogging is actually still relevant in 2021, you have to first understand what blogging actually is—and the purpose it serves for your online business.

You see, blogging—which is also known as content marketing—is the act of producing and publishing any form of content online for the sake of establishing credibility, building rapport, and expanding your customer base. And it’s not just limited to blog posts. It can also include video, podcasting, all forms of social media, email, and even SMS messaging. It’s really all the same thing, just delivered differently.

And so, if your only point of reference for “blogging” goes back to that rambling travel diary your cousin Gwendolyn started on Blogspot back in 2004, then it is time to level up your understanding of what we’re dealing with here. Because blogging, in the context that we use it here at Elite Blog Academy®, is a powerful tool for marketing your online business. It’s the vehicle you can use to grow your audience and establish a loyal customer base of people who know and like and trust you.

Of course, it still begs the question….is blogging still relevant in 2021?

Here’s the short answer: Yep.

In fact, I’d argue that in 2021, blogging is more relevant than ever before because there has literally never been a better time in human history to take your business online.

There’s never been a better time to be a blogger than right now.

But the longer answer is that blogging is still relevant to growing a predictable and profitable online business, as long as you understand exactly what purpose your blog (or your YouTube channel or your podcast or your Instagram or TikTok or whatever other content-creating platform you happen to be using) will play in your overall business.

And to be totally honest, that is exactly where a lot of bloggers and influencers and online business owners get it wrong.

So let’s talk about all the reasons you should still start a blog in 2021 (and a few good reasons NOT to start a blog).

Why You Should Start a Blog in 2021

1. It’s the lowest risk way to start a business

When it comes to starting any sort of business, there’s no better business model than blogging.

To understand why, let’s first take a look at the traditional business model. Say for instance you wanted to open your own food truck. First, you’d have to buy or lease a truck. Then you’d have to stock it with everything you need to do business: food, supplies, paper plates, whatever. Then you’d have to either hire some help or plan on giving up every weekend for the rest of your life, plus either drop a ton of cash on marketing just to get the word out or pay a bunch of money for a parking space at the biggest events and festivals. And that’s all before you’re even open for business! Then, once you get a few customers trying your food, it’s a mad dash to get to know them, figure out what they want, and tailor your menu accordingly. You’re basically looking at a minimum investment of $100K or more before you even sell your first meal.

And even if you want to open a different type of business, say some sort of retail store or service franchise or even developing your own product line, the level of investment you’ll have to make is high.

That’s because with the traditional business model, you have to invest a crazy amount of time, energy, and money into getting your business off the ground without knowing a.) who your customers are, b.) what they want and how to give it to them, and c.) whether your business will actually connect with those customers.

That’s a risky endeavor and, for most traditional business owners, it’s not one that pays off. In fact, the statistics are pretty scary—more than half of all small businesses will fail in their first five years, and more than 80% will fail by year 10.

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Starting a business is RISKY.

But if you really look at the data, it becomes clear that the two biggest reasons that most small businesses fail is either a.) a lack of cash or b.) a lack of felt need—their product wasn’t something their customers actually wanted.

But the beauty of blogging and starting an online business is that this new business model essentially avoids those two problems altogether.

The framework we teach within the ACTIVATE coaching program here at Elite Blog Academy® basically flips that traditional business model upside down, and in the process, makes it better. It’s a model we call the Customer Superhero Path™, which we affectionately call the CSP for short.

So what is the Customer Superhero Path?

It’s a business plan that puts your CUSTOMERS first and focuses on creating the right core offer to meet their needs. That way everything else in your business—your blog, your podcast, or even your social media—can lead people to that core offer. It’s simple and effective, but also far less risky.

We don’t start by pouring thousands of dollars into research and development or opening a brick & mortar location or hiring a bunch of people. Instead, we start by developing a relationship with our readers and customers. We work first to figure out exactly who we are talking to, what their felt needs are, and what problem we’ll be helping them solve.

And while figuring out what your customers really want does take an investment of time, it doesn’t take a lot of cash. It’s pretty risk free. Because if something isn’t quite resonating, you can change it and hone it and refine it until it does.

2. There’s never been a better time to be online

If the global pandemic of 2020 taught us anything, it’s just how much LIFE can actually happen online. For better or worse, the unprecedented shutdowns and quarantines forced the entire world to figure out how to function remotely, from behind a computer screen. Where we used to shop, work, connect, worship, meet, and learn in person, we now do all those things—and a whole lot more—online.

And while this might be bad news for the world, it is actually great news for anyone in the online space, because there are now more opportunities online than ever before.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, people already spent an average of 10 hours a day online, thanks largely to the invention of smartphones, which keep us “connected” 24 hours a day. In 2021, that number has risen to more than 12 hours a day—literally HALF our lives is spent on the internet.

And again, while we can debate whether this is actually a good thing, you can’t deny that the increased usage and availability of the internet means there’s never been more opportunity or potential for bloggers. And as long as the internet keeps growing — which it will — those opportunities and the potential for bloggers will continue to grow right along with it.

So while there might be more blogs than ever before, there are also more potential readers than ever before too! The internet is so incredibly vast that it is almost unfathomable, and it continues to expand at an unprecedented rate.

3. People do actually still read blogs

Case in point—you’re reading one right now.

The content that blogs—along with other content marketers like YouTubers and podcasters—provide makes up a fair portion of all the content you’ll find online. That means every time you do a search on Google or look for a new recipe on Pinterest, you’ll likely end up on a blog. Content is what makes the world go round, at least online. In fact, according to WordPress, over 400 million people read more than 24 BILLION blog posts each year.

What people are less interested in these days is “following” a particular blog or blogger, or waiting with baited breath to read the next post that gets published. Gone are the days where the masses are entertained by “mommy bloggers” publishing their mundane musings about life on a daily basis as a form of entertainment. That sort of “influencer” content has primarily moved to social media.

Blogs, on the other hand, are a primary source of what can be considered “content on demand”—providing posts that help answer a question, explain the world, provide instructions for how to something, an interesting or inspirational insight, a recipe or tutorial, or anything else a reader might find useful.

So what’s the point, you ask? Well that brings us right to reason #4…..

4. Blogging is still one of the best ways to get found online

If you’re going to start a business, whether online or not, you’re going to need customers. So how do you find those customers? And how do they find you?

For bloggers and online business owners, the answer is through your content.

You see, if you’re putting high quality content out into the world that people find useful and helpful and interesting, you begin to build trust and authority and rapport with people who previously didn’t even know you exist. They take notice of who you are and what you have to say, and because of that content, because you answered a question or solved a problem, they begin to believe that maybe you can actually help them.

Your blog content is basically the equivalent of the food samples they hand out at Costco—a delicious little morsel that convinces people to try more.

Of course the key to making this work for your business is making sure you have something more to offer. But we’ll talk about that a little bit more in #7, so for now, just keep reading!

How to Start a Blog in 2020 - How to start a blog in 5 easy steps - Step Three Set up a Self Hosted Blog on WordPress or Squarespace
5. It’s never been easier to start a blog

I would be remiss if I didn’t pause to talk about technology, and the fact that today’s tools have made blogging SO much easier and more accessible. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a tech genius or graphic designer or web developer to start a successful blog. With the technology on the market today, you can get started — even if you have minimal tech skills and minimal cash to invest.

Today, you can do things online that used to be reserved for big companies with big budgets, like building a custom website from scratch or building an email campaign. Thanks to the new tools on the market, things that used to require a ton of time and a ton of money can now be accomplished in less time, and for less money.

You can get your website up and running in less than an hour, you can use tools like Upwork or OnlineJobs.ph to find amazing, affordable support overseas, and you can get invaluable insights on the performance of your posts and emails with the click of a button… Seriously, it’s amazing!

All of these tools make it so much easier to get started with (and succeed at) blogging. And these tools? They weren’t available even a few years ago.

And, if the technology piece of the blogging puzzle still feels overwhelming, that’s where Elite Blog Academy® comes in. The comprehensive support we offer in our ACTIVATE coaching program offers a step-by-step process to building a predictable and profitable online business, a process that has been honed and refined by teaching more than 12,000 students how to use blogging to grow your business over the past eight years.

6. The income potential (and profit margin) is a whole lot higher than most small businesses

Not only is starting an online business far less risky than starting a traditional small business, the payout and income potential is actually SO much higher. And not only that, the profit margins inside an online business are significantly better than most traditional businesses, simply because the expenses are so much lower.

Not quite sure what I mean by that? Let’s go back to the food truck example. So let’s just say your food truck takes off and starts doing really well. Everywhere you go, there’s a line, and most nights you even manage to sell out of all your food. You’ve managed to keep your expenses to a minimum by only hiring one employee, and while you typically see most of your business on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you’re typically bringing in about $7,500 per week (at least as long as it doesn’t rain). Sounds pretty good right?

So what’s the problem? It’s not really scalable. You only have one truck, and there’s only one of you. You can only work so long and so hard. Not only that, of your $7,500 in revenue each weekend, $3,500 is going to food and supplies, $300 is going to parking fees, $300 is going to your employee, $250 is going to pay off your truck & insurance, $50 is going to gas, and another $300 is going to all your other miscellaneous expenses. When all is said and done, you end up with a profit of $2800.

And while $2,800 a week certainly is nothing to sneeze at, it is the absolute BEST you can do. You have just bought yourself a very nice job. But if you ever want to take a weekend off or hire more help, you’ll either miss out on revenue or lower your profit margin. And we won’t even talk about what happens if it rains. See the problem?

An online business isn’t limited by the number of customers you can serve on a Friday night, or the number of hours you can work. Because it is online, it is infinitely scalable. And not only that, because it is online, you don’t have to worry about expenses like paying the rent or maintaining inventory.

Here at Elite Blog Academy, we’ve literally helped thousands of students successfully build 6 and 7-figure businesses online. In fact this year, one of our students will even hit the 8-figure mark! Pretty crazy right? And not only that, these days they’re doing it faster than ever before! Students within our ACTIVATE coaching program here at Elite Blog Academy® typically make their first sale within 18 weeks of starting the program, and can expect to be earning a significant income by the end of their first year.

But that’s because they’re following the Customer Superhero Path model and avoiding all the BIG mistakes that so many bloggers make.

Which of course brings me to….

7. Most bloggers are doing it wrong

They spend hours and hours creating more content, optimizing for search and pinning like crazy, all for the sake of more page views. They exhaust themselves trying to keep up with social media, posting story after story because that’s the way they think it’s supposed to be, wondering when all that “engagement” is going to turn into cold, hard cash. They think blog income is supposed to come from ad networks and affiliate links, because that’s all anyone ever really talks about. And they set themselves up for long-term failure by focusing only on short-term gains.

So why is that a good thing? And why would that be a reason for YOU to start a blog in 2021?

The fact that SO many bloggers are doing it wrong is actually really good news for anyone willing to do it right—it means, once again, the opportunities are actually endless.

The reality is that having a clear, proven path to follow in your business—along with an experienced guide to lead you—is a game changer, one that will not only give you the clarity and confidence to know you’re moving in the right direction, but lead you to more profit and predictability in less time than you ever thought possible.

The Customer Superhero Path™ model that we teach here at Elite Blog Academy in the ACTIVATE Coaching program is a complete game changer for most bloggers and content marketers, because we teach you how to use your blog content as a marketing tool FOR your business, instead of allowing you to believe that your blog IS your business.

Because here’s the cold hard truth—your blog is NOT your business, it’s the tool that helps you grow your business. It’s literally just the tip of the iceberg. It is the face of your business, the thing that draws people in and allows people to discover you exist.

Your BUSINESS, on the other hand, is what you sell. It’s the product or the service or the value you provide. It’s how you actually HELP your readers and customers and enhance their life in some way. You can’t have a business without selling something, because that is, by definition, what a business does.

The bloggers that are doing it wrong are the ones who haven’t figured this out yet.

Luckily now YOU know the truth, which immediately gives you a gigantic advantage over 99.9% of the bloggers who are out there doing it wrong.

Of course, with that in mind, there are also a few very strong reasons you should NOT start a blog in 2021.

3 Reasons NOT to Start a Blog in 2021

1. You want to be an influencer

Believe it or not, having a successful online business does not require you to be an “influencer.”

You don’t have to share every detail of your existence, or spend your life taking selfies.

In fact, “influencing” might actually be the DUMBEST business model I’ve ever heard of. What kind of ridiculous business plan is more concerned about the number of likes, and followers and “engagement” then the actual DOLLARS in your bank account.

So let me say this again very, very clearly.

You do NOT have to be an influencer to build a successful online business. You don’t even have to be on social media if you don’t want to be (though you can if you love it).

What you DO need is a business plan that puts your CUSTOMERS first and focuses on creating the right core offer to meet their needs. That way everything else in your business—your blog, your podcast, or even your social media—can lead people to that core offer.

Simple and effective. Oh and WAY more profitable.

And if you DO want to be an influencer? Then get on Instagram or YouTube or TikTok and prepare yourself for a life of trying too hard for not much money.

2. All you want to do is write

Maybe you want to start a blog because you just love writing. If so, that’s super nice, but don’t expect your blog to break 6-figures anytime soon. In fact, if you want to make money solely as a writer, you’re better off getting a job as a freelancer and working for someone else.

If you want to make money as a blogger in 2021, then you’ll need to know how to use your content strategically, as a tool to draw people in to your orbit and get them to know and like and trust you.

Luckily, you’ll still be able to use all those writing skills every day—in your email content and also in the products or services you provide to your customers. Just don’t put it all out on your blog!

Dare to Break the Rules
3. You still think blogging should be free

Basically, you want to start an online business, but you’re not willing to invest any money into the right tools and education to get your business off the ground. You think that because there are many free resources out there for bloggers that everything should be free, and that you shouldn’t ever have to pay for anything. You’re not willing to take a single risk.

I can tell you right now—don’t bother. I’ve watched it for years, the “toe dippers,” who come for all the freebies but aren’t ever willing to go all in.

And you know what? They’re still dipping their toes, still not making any real progress.

It’s actually so sad to watch, especially because I see what happens when my students DO go all in. They get results.

If you want to blog as a hobby, as something fun to do on the side—fine. Then let it be free. But don’t ever expect to make a living at it. You can’t dabble and expect to get any real results. Life doesn’t work that way.

But if you want to blog as part of your business, then you’ll need to be ready to invest in yourself. (The chart at the top of this post will help you figure out how much.)

Are you ready to get started? Here are a few posts to get the ball rolling:

How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps

The New Blogger’s Guide to Goal-Setting

How to Find Your Voice as a Blogger

Brainstorm Brilliant Blog Content

Keeping Your Focus as a Brand New Blogger

Avoid Getting Stuck

When to Monetize Your Blog

As the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.” So get out there, plant your blogging seed, and watch it grow!

WHAT TO DO NEXT:

Check Out Our Best Blogging Resources

Get Your Free Copy of How to Blog for Profit (without Selling Your Soul)

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