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6 Eye-Opening Reasons to Rethink Starting a Blog in 2023

Traditional blogging vs. the new world


We’re diving into the world of traditional blogs here.

You know the kind — those WordPress creations that you proudly put out into the world, only to be met with resounding silence.

Sound familiar? Believe me, I’ve been there more than a few times. With over 15 years of blogging experience under my belt, the realization of this harsh truth came… slowly.

But let’s not lose hope just yet. Traditional blogging can still work, theoretically. However, the truth is: it’s not going to get any easier. That’s a certainty.

So before you jump into starting a new WordPress blog, or explore other platforms like Ghost, Wix, or Squarespace, take a moment to consider six compelling reasons why traditional blogging might not be the best path to follow.


1. It’s a hassle, plain and simple

Choosing a platform, hunting for the perfect theme, spending endless hours on the look and feel of your blog, buying a domain, and keeping everything up-to-date — these are just a few items on a never-ending to-do list.

And let’s not forget, some of these things can cost a pretty penny. Fortunately, there is a far better and easier way to get started, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Key takeaway: The writing itself is not the major time sink in the beginning. It’s the other tasks like setup, maintenance, SEO, and marketing that consume the majority of your time. I wish I could simply focus on writing!


2. The bitter truth: nobody cares

After pouring your heart, soul, and maybe even hard-earned money into your blog, what do you get in return?

A grand total of zero views.

For days, weeks, or even longer. Welcome to the harsh reality of the blogging life. But hold on, there’s a glimmer of hope just around the corner. With some SEO, it could get better soon. And with AI, it must, right?

Yeah, theoretically.

In reality, though, mastering SEO and AI to bring a new blog up to speed is an entirely new task that has little to do with writing (in the beginning).

Key takeaway: When you’re starting a new blog, you’re starting from scratch with no audience. And building one is an uphill battle — a battle that requires an immense amount of effort across every online platform you can find. It sucks. Literally. It drains your time.


3. Time concerns

Blogging is a full-time job, even if you’re not making a single dime from it… yet.

In the beginning, you give it your all and receive nothing in return. I might be exaggerating slightly here, but let’s face it, the truth is not far off, is it?

I remember starting my first two blogs over a decade ago and ending up with squat. And things were comparatively easier back then.

Key takeaway: If you’re serious about blogging, prepare to treat it as a full-time endeavor, even if you don’t have the luxury of time. Otherwise, the chances of success are slim. That’s pretty much a guarantee.


4. Never-ending updates

It never looks good for long.

Remember that feeling of awe when you selected the perfect theme for your blog a couple of months ago?

Well, brace yourself for disappointment, because that sense of awe will fade faster than you can imagine.

I’ve started numerous blogs, using both paid themes and ones I created myself. And guess what? Most of them ended up looking outdated in no time.

Key takeaway: You’ll forever find yourself tinkering with the design, backend, plugins, security, and countless other aspects of your blog. Once again, it’s a full-time job, and sometimes, it requires more than just one person.


5. The blogging competition

Be prepared to find yourself miles behind the pack. All. The. Time.

That’s the reality of this game. Unless this fierce competition fuels your drive, you might want to reconsider your choices. Alternatively, keep reading, because I have a solution up my sleeve that might just change your perspective.

Key takeaway: Blogging won’t make you rich overnight. You need to be consistent, persistent, and ready to compete with other bloggers in your niche. And let’s not forget about the competition from other content formats such as videos and podcasts, as well as the constant battle against search engines and algorithms.


6. SEO, is that still a thing?

Unfortunately, yes.

Great writing alone won’t cut it. You need to master the art of SEO with every single post. Traditional blogging relies heavily on SEO — getting views through Google and other search engines, climbing up the rankings, growing your readership, and maybe even hitting the elusive jackpot of a viral article. It all boils down to SEO. Well, mostly.

Key takeaway: Nowadays, blogging is all about algorithms. You need to feed them the right way if you want to succeed. As much as I understand the importance of SEO, I can’t say I enjoy the process.


Solutions for 2023

Now, let’s turn our attention to better solutions— the ones you’ve probably been waiting for.

#1

Drumroll, please… it’s Medium! I know, not the most shocking revelation, right? But let’s break it down for a moment:

Medium is hassle-free. It’s as simple as signing in and starting to write. No complicated setup or design work required.

Even if it feels like nobody cares, there’s a massive audience on Medium. It’s far easier to gain views on Medium compared to the arduous process of gaining traction through Google.

While it can still be a full-time job if you want to make it, the focus mainly revolves around writing. You don’t have to concern yourself with design, maintenance, security, and other technicalities. Medium takes care of all that for you.

#2

Social platforms. Nowadays, some of the most successful writers and content creators don’t even own a website, let alone a blog. And if they do, is a secondary project.

Instead, they focus on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and now probably also Threads to write and create. The plus is the same as with Medium: large in-built audiences.

It’s easier to gain traction and strike viral hits on social.

#3

Writing platforms and newsletters.

If you don’t know that newsletters are trending, you must be living under a rock. Everyone’s got an email list. And that’s a major deal for blogging. Platforms like Substack got it. Blogging is easier when you add a newsletter to it.

Why?

Because people will get your new articles in their inboxes. They don’t have to find it through search engines.

Growing an email list isn’t easy. That’s for sure. But it’s a long-term endeavor with great upside. It combines blogging and building an audience that’s truly yours.


The bottom line

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a traditional blogger at heart. I grew up in that world. When I started blogging, Medium wasn’t even a twinkle in Ev Williams’ eye. I still appreciate the feeling of owning a blog.

One argument that proponents of traditional blogging often make against Medium and social platforms is the fact that it’s not truly yours.

You have to abide by Medium’s or Twitter’s or LinkedIn’s rules.

And yes, that’s true. If you break the rules, they can shut down your account. So, don’t break the rules! And grow on two platforms to minimize the risk.

The second argument centers around the freedom to use ads, pop-ups, and other monetization methods on your own blog. That’s an advantage.

However, unless you reach a certain level of viewership, ads will only bring in a few measly cents. On the other hand, it’s easier to build a respectable audience on Medium and earn from your work, or gain traction on social media and build paying business models from there.

In fact, I’ve personally made more money on Medium in 2.5 years than I have in over 15 years of WordPress blogging.The same goes for social media.

Blogging isn’t dead. It’s still going strong in 2023. However, the idea behind blogging and writing online has shifted a little. You can still create a WordPress blog or a Ghost site and blog your heart out. You may find success in the future.

Or you can start with a free Medium account, a free Twitter account, a free Substack account, heck even a free Threads account, and go from there. Dig into those built-in audiences and discover mechanisms, while building an email list on the way.

Now, it’s your turn to decide.

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