Is blogging dead? Well, dead is a bit of a exaggeration. But blogging is dying. It’s much more difficult to gain traction these days than when I started blogging in 2010. Over the past few years, traffic has steadily declined on Retire by 40. Many of my friends’ blogs also had the same problem. Personally, I think the pandemic accelerated the decline of blogging. Previously, people were stuck at work and they read blogs when they had a few minutes to spare. (That’s what I used to do when I was an engineer.) But these days, many of us are working from home. We can catch up on chores or do other fun activities when we take a break. And we don’t need to worry about anyone looking over our shoulders at home.
The pandemic might have made it worse, but blogging has been on the decline for a while already. Today, I’ll share 3 reasons why blogging isn’t as relevant as it used to be.
Blogs have a lot of competition today – podcast, YouTube, Tiktok, Twitter, Instagram, social media, etc… IMO, the biggest issue with blogs is you can’t multitask. You have to focus to read a blog post. Even skimming an article requires concentration.
You don’t need to focus as hard when you’re listening to a podcast, watching a video, or browsing social media. My son is a terrible example of this. He is always doing 2 to 3 things at once – playing video games, watching YouTube, and chatting with friends on Discord. I guess kids are better at task-switching, but it drives me nuts to see him do so many things at once. The only time he is totally focused is when he’s reading a book. But who has time to read these days? Even I don’t read blogs as much these days. I listen to podcasts a lot more because I can cook, exercise, and do other things while I listen.
2. Google is bias
People are still using Google search to find information on the internet. However, Google is very biased. In the old days, I saw many independent blogs on the search result when I used Google. Today, Google returns the bigger websites first. I rarely see independent blogs on the first result page anymore. My theory – Google makes money with ads so they channel traffic to the pages they work with.
For example, I search for “how to retire early financial independence.” The first result page shows investopedia, fool.com, time.com, nerdwallet, cnbc, ramseysolutions.com, shopify, and other large sites. The result is driven by profit, not usefulness to users.
Have you played around with ChatGPT? ChatGPT is an AI chatbot you can interact with. I tried it a bit and it’s neat. ChatGPT can write a full blog post. The result is generic and doesn’t have much personality. Kind of like the articles on the bigger sites listed above.
For now, ChatGPT isn’t smart enough to write an engaging blog post. However, it’ll improve and produce better results soon. Someday, we won’t be able to distinguish between a human blogger and a chatbot. In fact, I heard you can train a chatbot with a data set. I can feed it with all my old blog posts and it should be able to take over this blog. I’m sure somebody will build hundreds of blogs and populate them with chatbot posts. This process will fill the blogosphere with spam and overwhelm the search engine. I wouldn’t worry too much, though. By then, people can ask the chatbot directly and skip Google entirely. The future of blogging is bleak…
Is blogging dead?
Alright, that’s it for this Thursday’s short blog post. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, my advice is to forget it. It’s a lot of work and you’ll have a hard time gaining traction. It’s probably better to start a podcast or a YouTube channel. However, if you’re looking for personal fulfillment, blogging is still a good way to go. Here is my guide on how to start blogging. 😉
Do you think blogging is dead? Is the whole ChatGPT thing overblown?
image credit: Anqi Lu
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.
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