Is Blogging Dead?

Is blogging dead or do people still blog? How can a blog help to earn an online income?


Shani Wilson-Aggarwal

12 min read

Is Blogging dead?

And how to start a successful blog in 2023

Some of the first things I thought when deciding how to share this adventure was ‘Is blogging dead?’. Is it still possible to start a successful blog? Is blogging a legitimate way to share an experience these days? Can I use a blog to help with my online business?

I wanted to use this blog as a platform to share my journey, so I did some research into how to start a blog.

What is a blog?

Blog is shorthand for weblog. Meaning a log, on a website.

What I learnt was that all websites are blogs. And is blogging dead? absolutely not!

It makes sense really to think that all websites are blogs. A website is a page on the internet which shares information with the reader +/- recommending or selling a product. That is exactly what I want to do here. Share an experience with you, my reader, give you information and recommend any products I have used and found useful!

As I want this to be a true likeness to my experience, I have to tell you that I wrote this blog post as well as this one about types of online business, onto a word document first. At the point of writing these posts, I didn’t have a website to post these to! This post is therefore going to be about the research I did on how to write a blog post and optimising it for google. The first step before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!).

Not only is it true that people still read blogs, but people are also still writing blogs. It’s through reading these blogs that I have been able to educate myself into how to write a blog! (does the word blog sounds weird to anyone else now?)

Importance of doing research to optimise blog post for google
Importance of doing research to optimise blog post for google

How to start a successful blog

Step 1. Research

Where to begin! Before I even started to write any of this blog, I did some research into how to build a successful website and how to write blog posts. Little did I know the can of worms I was about to unleash! But, if I wanted to try and make something of my blog and my online business, I had to get it right from the beginning.

It's important to note here that everyone's idea of what a successful blog is, will be different! And that depends on the purpose of your blog. When i talk about success of a blog here, I am generally talking about getting people's eyes on you content as this could therefore lead on to sales, collaborations, sponsors, whatever it is you need from you blog. But step one, get people reading your blog!

I already knew what I wanted to write about, and I now knew that people are still reading and writing blogs. I wanted to write about what I was learning. I’m sure for anyone reading this post, you probably have an idea of what you want to write about, for at least one post anyway! For me the key ingredient I was looking for was how to write it.

As with all good research I started googling things like ‘how to write a blog post’. I read so many articles I couldn’t count them all in one place! Words kept popping up again and again which I had never heard of before. ‘Niche’, ‘SEO’, ‘keyword search’, ‘meta descriptions’, ‘domain authority’ - it can be overwhelming to begin with.

Free Courses

I came across and they were offering a free course called blogging 101. With nothing to lose, I signed up and followed along, as well as joining their online facebook community. This is where I really started to learn some of the nitty gritty of having a successful blog. I would highly recommend anyone just starting out to sign up! The blogging 101 course is aimed primarily at creating a successful travel blog. However, the information and training within the platform can definitely be translated across to other industries and niches.

Through my research and signing up to the blogging 101 course I was able to gain an overall view of what it was going to take to set up this blog and get it to work alongside my business. It was going to take some hard work! I was going to need to learn some new skills, but the potential reward seemed worth it. So if you’re still on board, let's crack on and get you on the way to writing your own blog!

pen near black lined paper and eyeglasses
pen near black lined paper and eyeglasses

Step 2. Finding your niche

This was something that came up time and time again. Whenever I looked into how to start a blog or how to start an online business, niche seemed to be a trigger word. It is good to understand what a niche is and why it is important.

Niche – in the case of an online business or website, a niche is a focus or targeted group of people. Essentially a niche is a group of people who share the same values and beliefs as you.

It is important to narrow down your niche in order to target the right group of people. For example, if you wanted to set up a travel blog the niche of travel is extremely broad and not very targeted. This means the ability to be successful and to reach your desired audience becomes limited. This is where is it important ot niche down and make your niche something much more focussed.

But why wouldn’t you want to target the masses to increase your potential customers?!

Good question, and I asked this too. Let’s put it this way, if you were searching for information about travel, are you more likely to trust an independent blogger, or a blog on a website like British airways? If however you were searching for travel in a specific category such as solo female travel, you might be more likely to read a post from an experienced female solo traveller who shares the same beliefs, values and worries as you.

Not only that, but it would be really hard to rank on google (get your blog post on the first page). This automatically reduces your chances of getting your post in front of the right audience.

Narrowing your niche helps with this. To find your niche you will probably start with quite a broad topic. It is then possible to find subtopics within that which you can focus in on to narrow your audience.

Sticking with the travel blogging example - could you narrow your niche to travel in a specific place? For example South of France, or even further narrow it to specifically Marseille? Or could you make your travel blog specific to travelling on a budget for couples? There is nothing to say you can’t branch out of these areas once you have an established following, but keeping it small to begin with can help you gain much needed traction as you start your blog and gradually increase your ranking with google.

cog wheels
cog wheels

Step 3. Understanding the elements of SEO

What I primarily learnt about through the blogging 101 training platform and from my research was 'SEO', search engine optimisation. This basically means writing blog posts so that google likes you and ranks you within searches. Lets’ be honest, how often do you search something on google and look beyond page 1 of the search results? And that’s what writing for SEO aims to help with. Ranking you on google to enable organic traffic to visit your site.

There are some core components to using SEO:

  • Keyword research – knowing what people are searching for on google

  • Content – ensuring your content is valuable and educating your readers in your niche

  • Internal links – linking to other posts on your own website

  • Backlinks – links from other websites to your website

  • Meta tags - hidden information on your page to help google understand what your post is about

  • Images

  • Page speed – longer page loading time can decrease your google ranking. No one is going to stick around for 5 seconds to wait for a page to load these days!

  • Domain authority – how likely you are to rank on google searches against other websites talking about similar topics

I am going to talk a bit more about keyword research and domain authority in this post. Keyword research is the first step you need to take before actually writing any of your posts. I have also written another post explaining other elements of SEO such as meta tags, page speed and internal links.

google icon
google icon

Step 4. Keyword research for each blog

Here I’m going to focus on an element of SEO, keyword research.

What is a keyword or keyphrase? The difference between a keyword and a keyphrase is that a keyword is a single word and a keyphrase is made up of a few words. Your keyword or keyphrase should describe the content of your post. It is more than likely what someone would type into google to search for your content. My keyphrase for this post for example is ‘Is blogging dead’. This summarises what I have written about in this post. If someone googled that keyphrase and came across this post, I hope it would answer their question and more.

Why is it important?

Keywords are an important part of blogs in order to help google understand what the post is about. For example, if I am writing about whether or not blogging is dead I am likely to use that key phrase multiple times throughout my writing, or at least more times than any other phrase on the page. This therefore informs google that I am writing about 'is blogging dead?'. It is important to then use your keyphrase throughout your blog post. It should also be included in headings, alt image text and meta descriptions. I will go into more detail about those in a future post about SEO.

How do i do keyword research?

The simplest form of keyword research is simply typing your keywords into google and looking at the search results. You can also look at the ‘people also asked’ and ‘suggested searches’ sections on the google search page. That should give you a good idea of the kinds of things people are searching for related to your topic.

In the following section I am going to explain how to take your keyword research a step further.

Keyword tools

I have started using a couple of extensions on my google chrome browser to help with this. I recommend you to do the same. An extension is just a piece of software which adds a specific feature to the computer program. Both of these extensions are free, you just have to sign in with an email address. The two tools I have been using are called SERPs and MOZ.

Moz and Serps extension icons on chrome
Moz and Serps extension icons on chrome
Moz and Serps extension icons on google chrome for enhancing keyphrase research when writing a blog

I know this sounds alien! Bear with me and I will explain what these do and how I used them! I have also included some pictures to help explain these!

After downloading the extensions I simply googled what I wanted to write about. So for example, for this post, I wanted to write about learning how to write a blog post and setting up a blog. That’s a bit long winded so I just googled, how to set up a blog. By using the results shown to me by MOZ and SERPs I could see that this was not going to be a good keyword term for me to use in my blog. Why?

What do Moz and SERPs show?

Serps showed me that 880 people per month search for how to build a blog. That’s great, that would mean people are searching for what I’m writing about.

Screenshot showing SERPs results
Screenshot showing SERPs results
How SERPs can help with keyword research when learning how to write a successful blog

However, looking at the results shown to me by MOZ, I could see that it would be incredibly difficult to rank on google for this key phrase. I knew this by looking at the bar underneath each website. Specifically the blue bar labelled DA (domain authority – you might remember this being mentioned earlier as an SEO component). All of the search results which ranked on google had high Domain authority. This means they have a high level authority in their field. NOTE: the MOZ bar won't show up under any search results which are ads.

Moz bar showing domain authority
Moz bar showing domain authority
Where to find MOZ domain authority results when doing keyword research for your blog

What is domain authority?

Domain authority is ranked out of 100, the higher the number the more authority your site is said to have. Goggle for example has a domain authority of 100. Little old me with my brand new blog with very little on it most probably has a domain authority of 0 at this time.

When I look at the DAs below each website, I can see how difficult it is going to be to rank on google. My chances of ranking on google for the keyphrase ‘how to set up a blog’ against sites with DAs of 94, 99, 86 and 64 would be extremely slim. However, when I search ‘Is blogging dead’ MOZ shows me sites with DAs of 92, 53, 55, 25, 20 and 13. Although some of these numbers are still higher, there is a good range of pages showing and a few with DAs of under 30 - this is what you should be looking for. SERPs also shows average monthly searches of 90 in the UK and 480 US.

The key here is to make sure your key word or keyphrases are:

  1. Being searched for – a good number I think is at least 100 searches per month

  2. Not dominated by sites with huge domain authority - These will be difficult to compete with. I like to make sure there are at least 3-4 pages with DAs under 30.

I also know there are many other ways of doing keyword research but this was a good place for me to start and could be for you too. As I delve deeper into how to make a blog post successful I will continue to add posts about my experiences and learning so stay tuned but this is a great place for you to start if you’re beginning your blogging journey!

Step 5. Finding a name for your blog

Now that I understood that blogging is not dead and had a bit more of an understanding of how to write my own blog posts, I was ready to get a website set up to start sharing with people what I had learnt… ENTER BIG ROADBLOCK.

As someone who struggles with the more creative side , one of my biggest sticking points to getting this show on the road was coming up for a name for my blog/business!! Even though I was ready to get started with website building, I couldn’t do that without a website name. Let me tell you, I went round in circles for the best part of a month!! Trying to come up with something, using the online thesaurus, asking friends and online blogging communities for advice. How did everyone seem to have such awesome names for their websites? Why can't I come up with anything that sounded good or wasn’t already taken!? Is my blogging dead before it's even started!? (maybe slightly dramatic!)

Don't stress it!

My best advice to you, don’t get as caught up as I did with the name. As you can see I became fixated with alliteration, I just think its catchy! I was later told that you can actually change this name down the road if it’s not working for you. But ultimately the name of your website/blog should remain simple and reflect what your blog is going to be about. The reason for choosing a name related to what you are writing about is also partly due to SEO. Google will take into consideration the name of your site when ranking you on search pages. If your name reflects travel and then you talk about recipies, google will get confused and you won’t rank very well. That’s why it was important for me to include words related to travel and making money in my site name.

Think about what your blog is about and the kind of people you want to attract to your blog. I wanted my blog, business and social media to be able to link together to create a wholesome brand. I hope I have captured that with wealth to wander. Creating an online income to enable freedom to travel.

You can of course incorporate your name into your website name. This could be a good place to start but make sure it is also relatively clear what your blog/business is about. For example I could use, Shanihealthandfitness or WilsonTravelsAsia.

No blogging isn't dead!

So now we know that blogging isn't dead, you’re ready to write your blog, and you’ve thought of a great name, how do you build a website for people to see your content!?

This next blog post will explain everything about getting this website up and running and having somewhere to post your blogs!