Why blogging is no popularity contest

Is blogging really on the decline?

More importantly, does a decline in blogging matter?

Blogging Tips examined data from a study by Pew Internet that found very few people blogging themselves and fewer than half of respondents saying they read blogs.

But a blog is just a type of website. Past surveys have discovered that some people who say they’ve never read a blog don’t realise when they are. After all, it’s just surfing the web and finding content that you like.

And I’m fine with that.  Definitions don’t matter.  Neither does the popularity. A blog is a published part of you and an opportunity to shine.

Writing - photo by JohnONolan

Writing – photo by JohnONolan

What if nobody else is doing it?  The main question to ask is: “Am I making or can I make good use of my time and resources by publishing my content online?”

If the answer is ‘yes’, it doesn’t matter how many other people are doing it. You can still make good use of things, so go ahead and be brilliant.

A blog is a way of building up a portfolio. You don’t even need loads of readers and traffic. Once you’ve written something, you have achieved something. There are all sorts of ways you can flag up those achievements.

Before I started writing on TheUniversityBlog, I didn’t have a huge portfolio of writing on higher education matters.  I hadn’t started publishing advice for students.

Fast forward three years and now I have an archive of articles for all to see. I did it in my own time and in my own way. Not only is this portfolio now visible, it also demonstrates my genuine interest in a particular field.

Before I went to university myself, I was interested in higher education. That interest has never gone away. It only grows. Yet before I started this site, got tweeting, and generally took things public, I was never able to show the true extent of what’s important to me.

Anyone can say they are passionate about a subject. Anyone can feign interest in a topic. But not everyone can highlight a growing example of work as a clear indicator that they care and know what they’re talking about.

You’re not just blogging…

You’re writing. You’re communicating. You’re creating.

In the film Julie & Julia, office worker Julie starts a blog and it becomes a hit. In less than a year, the character is getting offers of book deals, TV shows and the like. In response to her surprise success, Julie tells her husband, “I’m going to be a writer!”

Julie’s husband replies, “You ARE a writer!”

And that really is the point. Even if blogging declined until you were the only person doing it, the decline would be irrelevant.

Do stuff because it works for you; not just because it’s popular.


  1. Whenever I hear someone say that we live in a post-literate age, I just refer them to the blogosphere. I don’t think people have ever written and published so much. In fact, I get more news, opinion and analysis via blogs than I do through the old channels of press and broadcaster.

  2. I agree! Follow one’s passion. Blogging allows one to become a better writer as well as critical reader, and to achieve goals that one could of thought “just dreaming” in the past~ such as making how-to-videos, interviewing people and constructing podcasts. It is great to create something that actively engages others in learning and enables them to meet personal, academic and career goals.

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