My thoughts on blogging…the future of blogging

12th November 2015

My thoughts on blogging...the future of blogging

I think bloggers often avoid the topic “the future of blogging”. I’ve seen the question arise in Twitter chats and many people are optimistic, seeing the blogging world as a place that will continue to grow and thrive.

Then I step in with my not-so-optimistic outlook, which of course isn’t taken well.

I don’t think blogging as we know it is sustainable. I don’t think it will continue to grow or thrive. I think there will be a tipping point and people who depend on it for an income may have to rethink their plans.

When I say “blogging as we know it” I am referring to the current situation of blogging where brands are working with bloggers and some bloggers are able to turn their blog into a full-time job with a regular income.

This, of course, is not how blogging started out. Originally, nobody made an income from blogging and if you said blogging was your full-time job then people would laugh at you, because it wasn’t possible.

Times have changed, and new people have joined the blogging game. Many people now start blogs with the intention of working with brands and making money, and while this isn’t every blogger, it has now become accepted and the norm.

Blogging has now become a desirable job. The youth of today are growing up reading blogs and idolising the stars of YouTube, believing that one day that could be them.

But, in my opinion, I honestly don’t think blogging as an income is sustainable.

Full-time bloggers make the majority of their income from advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate links. As more and more people start blogs, the market becomes saturated. The competition is high, and brands are going to become much more selective over who they work with. They will also be able to pay less for product placement and advertisements because they know that if one blogger won’t except the deal then they will be able to find another one who will without too much difficulty.

When I say this, a lot of bloggers disregard my opinion. “Oh it’s just Holly and one her crazy, out-there opinions, again.” but I know for a fact I am not the only one who believes this to be true.

Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge spoke about how she doesn’t think blogging will be around for ever in this podcast, and it’s well worth a listen for anyone who believes that blogging is a sustainable income.

In addition, you may have noticed bloggers branching out to launch their own range of products, both physical and digital, or to sell their services. Why? Because they know that making an income from ad revenue and affiliate links is not going to last forever.

Obviously, if you are able to make an income from blogging through ads and affiliate links alone then I say make the most of it while you can. But honestly, I don’t think that in 5 years time people will still be making money in the same way they do now.

So, what do I think blogging will be in the future? Like 5 years time?

In 5 years time, blogs will still exist, that’s for sure. Bloggers will still be able to make money from their blogs but the majority of it will not come from advertising and affiliate alone. They will have to suplement their earnings in other ways.

We bloggers who don’t blog for money will continue to plod along, as we have been for years, doing what we do best and enjoying it.

I’m really interested in seeing what will happen to blogging in the future, and I will be watching very closely. Perhaps I will be completely wrong, and full-time bloggers will go forth and prove me wrong. Perhaps there will be a huge dramatic change that none of us expected. I don’t know what this might be, but things change a lot and they change fast.

If you had told me 5 years ago, people would be making thousands of pounds from writing blog content, I would not have believed it. Yet, it happened. The future is very much unknown.

What do you think blogging will become in the future? Will it remain a profitable, sustainable business model, or will it revert back to its old ways?

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  1. Susanne

    Very interesting post, actually I haven’t thought much of the future of blogging but rather the future of the internet, which I think, looking at how things are developing, with people monetising ANYTHING on the internet and that whatever site/service is made possible to monetise on.. And that the majority of the people you find online these days are people who show off their professional talents, and treat their sites as businesses, and that it’s very hard to find just ordinary people on the internet anymore. People use social networks as business promotion sites, and there is very little space for ordinary people, who just happen to have certain hobbies and interests, to share, chat and connect with each other.
    When you look at Bloglovin, the majority of the sites there are commercial sites, and you aren’t even able to look for smaller sites with few followers. I know that there are still lots of personal blogs around but they are usually not searchable or something you come across unless you find the link somewhere in a comment section or something like that. Kya’s sites are very unique in this matter, but outside of that clique it’s almost impossible to find new blogs to read because personal sites drown in the sea of the commercial sites.
    I’m thinking that the internet of the future will mainly be a commercial place where you go to find businesses and services. However, my hope is that people who write personal sites like you and me will continue and that maybe people in general will get sick of the commercialism on the internet and that personal sites will rise again. It feels very unlikely, but .. we’ll see.

    • Holly

      I’m always amazed at the ways in which people make money online, and the amount of money they get for doing so little.

      I definitely think there is a need for more networking sites for smaller, personal blogs so that we bloggers who do it for fun and blog about what ever we want can easily find like minded people.

  2. Jamie

    I’ve actually thought about this quite a lot. I have also noticed that more bloggers are going towards the “I”ll place your ad here and hope people will click on it to make me money.” I kind of think that’s a little redundant and tacky. I don’t think I will ever blog for money. If you blog for money and make it your job, you’ve just basically taken the fun out of blogging. That’s what I think anyways. Though, I do agree with you, that’s where blogging is heading. Though, with me, not so much. I will continue to blog just like I am.

    • Holly

      I do have Google AdSense but I’ve never made any money from it. I’ll probably be getting rid of ads altogether next year.

      I definitely wouldn’t want blogging to be my full time job because I’m sure it would cause me to fall out of love with it.

  3. An interesting post, I’d not really thought about the future, I guess I can see the big super-star bloggers staying up there and making millions, but for smaller bloggers I think things will become harder, with more bloggers and only finite opportunities to go around. Blogging is not an easy way to earn a living, but it can be a very fun one.

    • Holly

      I think for the big bloggers it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. In many cases their content isn’t that good, especially compared to what I see on smaller blogs. But these smaller blogs will always get overlooked by the likes of Bloglovin and so will find it much harder to grow. I wouldn’t like to be a new blogger in the blogging world today.

  4. I think if you’ve got *it* – big youtube type – you will be fine forever. The marketing powerhouse has you and you’ll retire happily after a few years of “blogging.” There is then a big step down to the next set of people who earn from their blog as it’s definitely not hundreds of thousands, and it is those that need to maybe think of a back up when it all runs out… Although in America people have been earning lots from blogging for years now, so it could go either way! It’ll be interesting to see where it goes though.

    • Holly

      Fortunately I think bloggers have many useful skills that will help them to get employment if things go downhill.

      Oh yeah, if blogging/vlogging dies in the next few years, the likes of Zoella will never have to “work” again.

  5. I don’t think about it. I started by blog as a diary and it’s the best way to describe it. I like working with brands, it’s fun. Maybe I think it’s fun because I only accept offers that I like. I also don’t consider it as a job and I say no to brands or offers I don’t like. I should be making £1-2,000 a month to consider it a job.
    Maybe in a few years bloggers will not make money, for me it will not be an issue, I will still blog 🙂

    • Holly

      I also like working with brands, but in order for me to want to work with a brand I have to be really passionate about them and their products/services. I’m definitely not interested in making money that way though.

  6. I don’t know if blogging will ever stop being this monetary kind of thing. People are obsessed with being able to travel and just do stuff while their job is just sitting on their computer with a lot of freedom, getting writers to write for them, etc. I am wiling to bet that something new will rise, something that is easily an occupation and that is just as ‘easy’ as blogging. Then perhaps blogging will die down back to have a personal sort of element.

    I don’t think many people will disagree with what you’ve said. I think that some people who started out embedded in the blogging-as-a-job thing will see it like that all the time and may never understand the personal blog thing. I have a hard time telling people that I have a ‘personal blog’ because they were never familiar with blogging before it was widely considered a job. We just gotta keep getting our voice out there.

    I’ve yet to blog about this but I’ll be doing a talk for a Girl Geeks group in Sydney and I’ll be talking about blogging and for sure I will share some of my personal experiences and definitely NOT market it as some kind of job/earning-money thing. I think you will find that a lot of designers and developers blog about their work so in a sense it is a lot for personal and professional growth. NOT MAKING MONEY OR HAVING IT AS A JOB! 😛 :DD

    • Holly

      I’m interested to see what that “something new” will be.

      I think that when people start a blog nowadays they usually have some idea of what direction they want to take it in straight away, and people hardly ever start a blog for personal reasons anymore.

      I feel exactly the same when I say I write a personal blog. People just assume the only thing bloggers write about is makeup.