I sent this blog’s very first email newsletter way back in 2016. That’s seven years ago!
A lot has changed in the blogging world since then. In fact, it was just around that time that video was rising in popularity, and people were beginning to ask whether blogging was dying.
Funnily enough, Vine (the popular short form video platform at the time) did end up dying. But short form video did not. Instagram reels, Tik Tok videos, and YouTube shorts have become all the rage.
So, seven years later, is blogging dead?
I have to admit that I’ve worried over that question. It has seemed that people have been losing interest in blogging over the years. Many of the bloggers I knew back in 2016 have long stopped blogging. Even I started creating YouTube videos in addition to my blog posts.
However, over the past year or so I’ve sensed a shift.
Substack, a hybrid blogging and email platform, has been growing in popularity. I noticed that many of my friends were no longer posting on social media as much and some were even starting Substacks. Medium also continues to be a popular platform.
Last year, I cut back the time I spent on blogging because I was focusing on other writing projects and also working with more clients at my brother’s digital marketing agency. But by December I realized I missed blogging and decided to devote more time to it in 2023.
I optimized the post for Google search and hit publish. It ranked high in Google search several days later, and much to my surprise proved to be a hot topic. Google even promoted it as a suggested article on Android.
The post brought a flood of new people to the website, and I received 501 new email subscribers in January. (If you are one of those people, thank you so much for subscribing!)
I think that definitely shows that blogging is not dead. It’s very much alive and well and still a fantastic way to spread your ideas and find your audience in 2023.
However, I do think blogging has evolved, especially with the continued improvement of AI content generators. Now anyone can write a prompt into a content generator and have a blog post delivered in seconds.
What does that mean for us writers who have an important message to share? Will we be lost in the deluge of content written by computers?
Well, I think that most readers will be able to tell that the AI generated content is generic. At least, for now. Those who aren’t looking for quick tips and Wikipedia-like articles will want blog posts that have a human perspective and are infused with personal experiences. It’ll be more important than ever to show there’s a human behind your website.
And maybe creative writing and fiction will stand out more. It seems that AI doesn’t yet know how to come up with an original story, though you might be able to use it as a co-author. But I think this means that creative writing and fiction with stories that are well-written and masterfully crafted will be more important in our world than ever.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on AI and the future of blogging.
With all that said, what does that mean for this blog and my email newsletter?
Here’s what I have planned for the blog and email newsletter in 2023, God willing:
1. Share more behind the scenes of writing and marketing
This past year I’ve been enjoying reading blogs and watching YouTube videos from people who document their creative journeys. I’ve found it inspiring to see their creative process and all of their hard work to achieve success. But I’ve also learned a lot when they share their failures.
One specific video has stuck with me. A film student shared his journey to try to teach himself hand drawn animation in just thirty days for a certain project. At the end of the thirty days, he had learned a lot and had completed an animation. But it wasn’t as grand as his initial idea. He decided that he wasn’t going to use the animation in his project after all.
On the surface, it seems like the film student’s experiment was a failure. What was the point of sharing it?
But on a deeper level, the experiment wasn’t a failure at all. There are so many things you learn through the creative process, even if the end result doesn’t live up to the ideal of perfection in your head.
Sharing a project like that and your experiences can inspire others. And it can inspire you to keep trying and never stop experimenting with new ideas.
This year I’d love to experiment with creating content like that where I document various projects I’m undertaking, take you behind the scenes, and share more about the creative process. Together, we can learn what works and what doesn’t.
I wrote last year about a novel that I wanted to indie publish. I didn’t have the time to devote to it then, but I’d love to get the ball rolling this year and share what I learn about editing, self-publishing, and marketing a book.
Additionally, I’m currently working on a sequel to that novel (I’ve reached 30,000 words total so far). I could share more about what apps and other resources are helping me with the plotting and writing process.
I also do want to continue sharing fiction and creative writing on the blog that will uplift and inspire. But I probably won’t dive back into that until I finish the first draft of that second novel.
2. Continue creating resources with writing tips from famous authors
One of my passions is to help as many people as possible become better writers. Tips and strategies from famous writers have helped me immensely in my own writing journey, both as a fiction writer and a copywriter. So I definitely plan to continue creating more of these types of resources, like my recent video about Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Writing Exercise or my article about Jack London’s advice on how to become a bestselling author.
3. Create resources and blog posts about the creator economy in 2023
I’d love to explore more about what’s working and what isn’t working for writers in 2023 to build an audience and create online income streams.
If you’re interested in starting a blog or any type of writing based business (even self publishing novels), I believe having an email list is still as important as ever. Social media channels rise and fall in popularity and often limit your ability to be seen by all of your followers unless you pay for ads. But an email list is completely owned by you and gives you a direct line of communication with your subscribers.
I’ve recently updated and expanded my course How to Grow Your Email List that shares all of the strategies I used to grow my email list to over 6,500 subscribers, land paying writing and web design clients, and sell digital products. Among the updates to the course, I added a special section all about SEO and how to get a blog post ranked high in Google and bring in new subscribers.
And I’ve also lowered the price from $99 to $55. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it at this price. The course is packed with tons of valuable, in-depth step-by-step guides. But I wanted to make it more accessible right now to more writers around the globe who want to start blogs and email newsletters at the beginning of the year. You can check it out here.
Thank you so much if you decide to purchase or have purchased it in the past! That helps to support the blog so I can continue making free resources for you too.
With all of that said, I do want to note that this blog post is a bit of an experiment itself. I often tweak or completely change my goals and projects several times throughout the year. So we’ll see what the upcoming months bring.
But January is a great time for dreaming big! I’d love to hear what projects you’re working towards in 2023 and also what topics you’d be most interested in reading here on the blog or watching on the YouTube channel.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it on social media or with a fellow writer who you think would enjoy it too. And if you’d like to support the blog, you can buy me a virtual coffee.
Thank you! Wishing you much success with your writing projects this year! God bless.