If you’ve been blogging for longer than two days you’ve probably noticed something:
This thing works, then it doesn’t. That thing paid really well now pays pennies. This thing doesn’t send you much traffic, then it does.
It’s overwhelming to keep up with it all. I know from experience.
I also know that overwhelm is almost always a negative emotion that breeds inaction, either through giving up (“I’ll do it tomorrow”) or diving head-first into learning but never actually implementing (“I’ll move forward once I understand it a little bit better”).
It can feel like the sky is falling when you build momentum in a certain direction only to have that momentum squashed by a change in the advertising industry (I’m looking at you, banner ads), a change in your ability to connect with fans (I’m looking at you, Facebook), or a change in an algorithm (I’m looking at you, Google).
But it’s also really important to remember that there are things that will always stay the same with blogging or building a presence online.
So while it oftentimes feels like the sky is falling when things change, I’ve found that it’s usually just that the sun is setting. We don’t have to worry about whether it’ll rise again tomorrow. It’ll be there. It’s just that it might not look exactly the same way as it did the day before.
We’re all familiar with the things that are constantly changing, so instead of focusing on the shifting winds, I’d like to take some time to talk about the things that will always be the same.
My hope is that the points below help to keep you optimistic about the long-term viability of building a blog into a job or career.
Things That Stay the Same
1. Attention is a precious resource
The ability to entertain, engage, or hold someone’s attention will always be important (and rewarded).
Pepsi doesn’t pay millions of dollars for a Super Bowl commercial because they like football. They do it because they know that people will be paying attention.
The same can be said for building a food blog. If you’re able to creatively think of ways to engage with your readers (or viewers) then you’ll be rewarded by brands that recognize the precious resource that you possess: attention!
But the things that people pay attention to online are constantly changing. 10 years ago you have been able to build a food blog without using many photos. Five years ago you could build a food blog with decent photos. Now you need incredible food photos in order to really get people’s attention.
What about five years from now?
The way to get attention will undoubtedly change, but the importance of attention will always stay the same. Attention is and always will be a precious resource.
It’s also worth noting that attention doesn’t always have to be leveraged into brand partnerships. If you have a specific product, you can create content that people will pay attention to knowing that it will increase exposure to your product or offering.
An example of that would be this blog post you’re reading. 😊
2. Companies will spend money on advertising
Companies will always have an advertising budget. There will never be a time when all of the companies in the world decide to spend $0 dollars on advertising. This is good news for you as food blogger, because one of the primary ways you can create an income from your blog is through advertising.
It’s important to know that I’m not talking about a specific type of advertising, but advertising in general. Effective types of advertising will always change, but advertising dollars will always be there, in one form or another.
Do you know how many advertising dollars were spent on Instagram campaigns in 2009? Zero. Because it didn’t exist!
Today there are talent companies whose only purpose is to connect brands with influencers on Instagram.
It’s a perfect example of how advertising dollars aren’t going away, they’re just shifting. The money is still there, it’s just that it’s being spent in different places than it was 10, five, or even two years ago.
3. There will always be people to serve
There will never be too many food blogs…or sports blogs, or finance blogs, or fashion blogs, or any type of blog, really. There will never be “too many” of any type of blog or website.
I know this seems a bit counterintuitive, so let me explain.
First, I’m a big believer in the concept of 1,000 true fans. (<—– Check out that article. It’s a good one!)
I feel strongly that even if every person in the world had a blog, it would still be possible (for those that put in the time and energy) to build a following of 1,000 true fans. I know for certain that you possess some type of skill, ability, or talent that someone needs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are 1,000 (or quite a bit more) of those people in this world.
Second, I think it’s important to think creatively about industry changes and opportunities that arise because of them.
For instance, 10 years ago a website like Food Blogger Pro probably wouldn’t have been a possibility, but as the industry grew (some might say “got crowded”) so did opportunities to serve a new market.
There will always be people to serve, it’s just a matter of figuring out what people need and finding a good solution you can offer them.
4. Food will always be important
This one is specific for food bloggers.
If you’re a food blogger then you’re in luck; Food is never going to go out of style.
Not only will food always be important, but it will become even more important as we learn more and more about how different foods effect our health and well-being.
Food trends will always be changing, but the significance of food itself never will.
What are some other “things that stay the same” that you can think of? Any “things that change” that have you worried?
Great post, Bjork! It’s so important to think creatively and imagine where the industry may be headed next. I already know I want to create an e-book with original recipes, and now I’m thinking I need to start doing some video, too!
Maybe you can add a video series that goes with your eBook? Two birds, one stone!
Great post Bjork..it’s so true..there is always something! LOL But I also love your point that food will never go out of style..that is true too!
There’s a song about that… https://www.youtube.com/wat…
LOL Yep! 😀
This post is rather timely because I have been feeling a bit discouraged lately. Seeing ad revenue cut in half and reading Adam Roberts’ post about not being able to make a living anymore from his blog, Amateur Gourmet, really got me thinking. But you’re right. Some things will change and some things will stay the same! Great post – you always put a spring in my step, Bjork!
Thanks Dee. Really appreciate this comment.