I think so! (But that’s not why I’m writing on mine).
I am quite aware that as things stand, blogs are dead in the water. People much prefer the quicker and more convenient medium of Instagram. (Facebook is dying a slow death too, in my opinion).
But I think that in the next year or so, we are going to move away from social media sites that are going to encroach more and more on our privacy, and are going to take back control of what we read and when. The drive for this will be from both the content creators and the readers themselves.
Content creators are going to become increasingly frustrated with entrusting their content and sometimes even their brand to third party sites that often make more money from the content than the creator will ever see. To make it worse, hard as the creator will try to gather together an audience (subscribers, likes), the platform will continue to restrict access or distribution of content to that already won audience, unless there is payment involved.
We have to pay to reach our existing fans!
Let’s think about the idiocy of that for a second. A content creator (and it really doesn’t matter if they do this for money or for pleasure) fights every day to collect and engage an audience. Sometimes they even spend money to push out awareness, and gather sign ups and likes in exchange. So they have a select group of people who say “Hey, I like what you are doing, I want to see more of it! I’m signing up using my trusted FB or IG account/platform“.
But then Instagram and/or Facebook (same owner!) play a sneaky game on us readers. They make us THINK they will show us the content that we signed up to see, but in fact…they sometimes only show it to 1-2% of the signed up audience, unless the creator pays them money to reach the audience that the creator has already secured! That’s like….a hell of a cheek!
More and more, the feeds that the social platforms give us are filled with ads and fake news, and do not contain the very content that we signed up to see. So if we tell Facebook we want to receive content, and Facebook (or Instagram, or Medium etc) decides it will not oblige, what are we to do?
I think what we will do is go directly to the content ourselves. And that content will sit in independent, individual blogs. I find myself doing that more and more these days.
That doesn’t make Facebook useless, though
On the contrary, it is still a driver of traffic. This blog got the most visits ever in a single day (245 unique visitors) on the (only) day I posted a link from it to my Facebook feed. So content creators should absolutely use it to drive awareness, but they shouldn’t leave the power of access to Facebook. Creators need to …well, they need to create their own mini platform where they control the access, the rules, the subscription channels and the advertisers (or lack thereof).
I am quite aware that this little blog of mine hardly gets any views on a regular day. But that’s because I have purposefully not linked to it from any of my social media sites and I have not optimised it for Google search (which can be a strong driver of traffic to individual sites). Also, sometimes I post like once a month or even less. Pathetic for a blogger! And I am OK with that. One day, when the blog is more fleshed out and its direction is more clear to me I might start pushing it out more and more. In the meantime, I will spend zero time building my social media counts and rather just write and write here. One day, when the tides turn, I will hopefully have a little repository of posts that is good enough to engage an audience and give this blog a new purpose. (Its current purpose is really to just jot down my Waldenstrom experience as it happens).
If you are a content creator, I urge you to do the same. Control your message, and control your audience. Do not give (up) that power to anyone else, or you might just wake up and find that you have to fight for everything you have achieved from scratch…
(May 2020 update: More relevant than ever)