I recently saw a clip of a well-known author who said, “Blogging is dead. People only watch videos.”
This was coming from someone who has sold millions of books and is still selling hundreds of thousands of books a year. To me, it sounded disconnected from reality.
People still like to read. Not everyone is addicted to watching videos. Just look at yourself. You’re reading this blog post.
If you’re like me, you also still read books.
What do people think? We’re all sixteen-year-olds who are glued to their phones, watching ticktock videos?
Give me a break. Blogs are not dead.
In fact, blogging has become an increasingly popular form of content creation and marketing over the past few years because platforms, AI, and other tools make it easier to reach more people.
But still, people who read have always been in the minority. And I think that’s what most people who think that “video is the future” don’t get. Sure, people are getting lazier and they want you to feed them content.
But think about it. Do you really want to serve those types of people?!
The entire reason I started blogging and writing books is that people who read are my type of people. I write because I read. And people who prefer reading are just different.
However, that’s not the reason blogging isn’t dead and will be around in the future. To explain why…
Let’s talk about the history of blogging
The beginning of blogging can be traced to the digital era starting as early as the early 90s. Long before “blogging” was even an idea, communities were already taking shape with Usenet and online services providing a platform for people to get connected.
Jorn Barger was the innovator who first coined “weblog” in 1997, and Peter Merholz made waves by taking that term further when he shortened it to ‘blog’, which became widely used.
Taking things even a step further, Ev Williams created an entire lifestyle centered around blogging with his service, Blogger. He also popularized the terms: “blog” and “Blogger.”
So blogs have been around for 30 years. Here’s why it’s likely they will be around for another three decades.
The Lindy Effect
The Lindy Effect is a concept that states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable items is directly proportional to their current age.
The term Lindy originated from an article written by Albert Goldman in The New Republic in 1964 titled “Lindy’s Law”. The term refers to a delicatessen in New York called Lindy’s, which was a popular gathering spot for comedians. They met there daily to discuss their experiences and analyze the recent developments in show business.
But it was Benoit Mandelbrot and Nassim Taleb who developed the idea into what it is now.
Mandelbrot and Taleb argue that a lifespan can be extended with each passing day since it has already survived past its expected lifespan.
In Taleb’s 2012 book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, he explains the concept as follows:
“If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years.
This, simply, as a rule, tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not “aging” like persons, but “aging” in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy. This is an indicator of some robustness. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life!”
If something survives the most critical stage, you can expect it will continue to exist. This is also true for businesses.
A company that’s around for a year will likely be around in another year, but not in 10 years. A company that’s survived long enough to be in business for 10 years will likely still exist in 10 more years.
Video is not the holy grail
So blogging is established and proven. It’s a robust system. And people still love to read.
“But video is better!”
Says who? A bunch of experts who love creating videos? Of course.
Have you ever heard a traditional butcher saying that meat is bad? Or do you know a baker who says bread is bad for you?
Once again, that’s a bias. The bias of self-interest is the tendency for people to prioritize their own interests, beliefs, or agendas.
This can lead to decisions and actions that are not in the best interest of everyone involved, but rather favor an individual’s vested interests.
So when people overly promote a particular idea, medium, strategy, and so forth, always be skeptical.
This is also true for this article about blogging. Make up your own mind. The truth is; there’s no holy grail. Video is not the answer to every single marketing challenge.
Sure, you want to reach a bigger audience, but that doesn’t mean you must create videos or die.
Blogging changes, but the craft doesn’t
Look, blogging is also changing every year. It’s no longer a matter of writing a few blog posts and putting up ads so you can earn a living.
As a blogger, you must be dynamic. Maybe that means you create videos, courses, podcasts, coaching programs, etc.
I’m all about building a business around your blog so you can earn a living. I’ve done that with books and courses. I even teach that in my course, digitalbusiness.school.
But remember that writing is a craft. The more time you spend doing other things the less time you’re writing.
How do you become a better writer? By writing. Everyone knows that. And yet, so many people get lured by the promise of fame and money from social media or YouTube.
Being a filmmaker and a blogger are two entirely different things. Just because you’re a good storyteller doesn’t make you a good filmmaker.
Whatever you do, pick something you are. What are you? A writer? An entertainer? Filmmaker? It’s up to you to decide.
Simply spend the majority of your time doing the thing you actually are.