Blogging is Dead

There’s an old saying about markets from the Great Depression.

“You know it’s time to sell when shoeshine boys give you stock tips. This bull market is over.”

The idea is that markets come about and a certain point they get saturated.

So is this true for blogging? I think there was a sweet spot, around maybe 2007 to 2010, when if you created a great blog, you had the potential for massive growth and creating considerable cashflow if you kept it up for a year or so. These days the appeal of making money writing and living a freelance life has attracted more bloggers than anyone can count. So is it too late?

I’d say the answer isn’t quite so simple. But I think if you jump into blogging these days you should be aware that there is a lot of competition and the easy money is gone in my humble opinion. These days there’s an abundance of FIRE related blogs. “Financial Independence for Vegetarians that Eat Meat on Weekends and Holidays” and “FIRE on FIRE” a blog about financial independence for people who’s house is literally on fire right now. Ok, I made these up. But still.

Some recent posts on popular blogs share ideas that are similar.

Famed blogger “The Mad Fientist” mentioned Reddit’s FIRE community in a recent post.

Back when I started the Mad Fientist in 2012, I noticed that the Financial Independence subreddit had a healthy number of subscribers (50,000-80,000) and was growing.
This is quite a good test for business viability because it shows that…
There’s a potential audience for what you’re planning to build (e.g. if the number of subscribers is over 10,000)
Interest in the topic is expanding (e.g. if the subscriber numbers are growing at a good rate)
It’s not already so big that you’ve likely missed the boat (e.g. if the number of subscribers is over 300,000)

Mad Fientist

Interesting that he highlights the idea of missing the boat. I’m not sure where the number 300,000 came from to indicate missing the boat. Perhaps it’s tied to some metric that indicates it’s too late.

I saw another post recently about how blogging can be challenging from Jaymee at Smart Woman blog.

What Does this Mean for Bloggers?

I think it means a few things for new bloggers. Some of the supposed old rules you’ll see don’t apply anymore.

  • I’ve heard it quoted in a few places that bloggers need to keep it up for at least six months and then they’ll start to see significant growth. I don’t think this is necessarily true anymore. It is true you may start to get some SEO juice after 6 months but the timeline is longer if you are looking to build a profitable blog
  • It’s possible it might not ever come. There’s simply too many bloggers writing about the same thing.
  • Vlogging is a potential pivot to what audiences are looking for these days.

So Why Blog?

There’s still reasons to blog. And I’m continuing for at least another year or so.

  • You can stumble upon some success. The right article can do well organically and drive traffic to an affiliate ad resulting in a steady trickle of income. Over time this can increase
  • You’re learning a good skill. As you delve into the world of web site development, you’ll learn about e-commerce, javascript, HTML, CSS, analytics, marketing strategies, conversion rates, and much more. Before you know it, you have marketable business skills
  • You can connect with great like-minded people

What are some good tips if you’re struggling with your blog?

  • Don’t write about the exact same stuff everyone else is
  • Niche down. Writing about something specific that you are interested in
  • Solve a problem
  • Tag and title your images for good SEO

So Should You Start a Blog?

Sure why not? It’s relatively cheap and it’s fun. I plan on continuing Getting Canned for the foreseeable future. If you’re interested in creating a blog consider these two hosts which have great price packages and services

  • Site Ground – Great first-year promo price. Great service
  • Big Scoots – Great consistently low month to month price even with no commitment. Great service.

This posts contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission on signups.

Blogger Toolbelt

This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for sales generated from these links. I only establish affiliate relationships with brands I use and believe in and would not support them if I did not use them myself.

If you decide to create a blog and hope to get a following (and make some money), you should understand it is going to take some work. But like most work, if you want to do the job well, there are tools to help make it easier to do your best. Blogging is no different.

Why SEO Matters

So what is SEO exactly? SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. In layman’s terms, it means optimizing or improving your website or blog in a way that the site ends up in the search results for popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Baidu. If your writing shows up in more search engine results, more people will end up on your site and read what you’ve written.

So how do you optimize your site so that it shows up in search results? Well, the question is so complex that an entire SEO industry exists to attempt to improve SEO for their clients. Search engines like Google have very complex algorithms that determine where a page should appear for search results. The complexities of search result algorithms are proprietary and not truly clear, but some aspects stand the test of time to improve your chances of showing up in search results. You can search “Getting Canned” and I should show up on the first page.

The SEO and Grammar Relationship

One is to consider that you should use proper grammar in your writing. If your posts are sloppy and have poor grammar, it’s unlikely that search engines will see your site as a quality site worthy of a high ranking in search results.

So how do you make sure your grammar passes the test? One tool that I’ve found to be very useful is the grammar checker Grammarly. There is a free version of this tool and a paid version.

I discovered Grammarly after submitting my first guest post to the blog Fly to FI. Despite my efforts to manually check my work, I made several grammar mistakes. Blog owner Cody, caught the errors and kindly let me know he made some corrections and let me know how useful Grammarly is as a tool for bloggers. I installed it the same day.

I was so impressed with the free version that I realized at some point, if I’m serious about writing, I should get the paid version. I invested in the pro version to check my work just before I submitted my guest post to

The free version of Grammarly provides critical grammar and spelling checks at no cost to you. Try Grammarly free and if you decide to upgrade to the PRO version you’ll also get the following:

Advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure
Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
Genre-specific writing style checks
Plagiarism detector that checks more than 16 billion web pages


  • Check your writing across the web
  • Access your personal editor via
  • Access your documents on multiple devices
  • Integrate with Microsoft® Office (Windows only)
  • Use native desktop apps (Windows and macOS)
  • See definitions and synonyms via double clicks
  • Catch contextual spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Add words to your personal dictionary
  • See explanations of grammar rules
  • Get performance stats via email

If you are interested in writing that will look professional and be free from grammar mistakes consider install the free Grammarly extension by clicking on Grammarly links or banner below.

World Currencies

The Pay of a Blogger

It’s mid-January 2019, and the current state of the internet is that there’s a lot of bloggers out there. Take a spin on Instagram or Twitter and check out the wave of WordPress devotees publishing everything under the sun. Search “blogger,” or “travel blog” or “financial independence” and take your pick of the blog that catches your attention. I’m considering jumping on “bloggers that blog about bloggers blogging” as a niche site. Meh.It’s probably already been done.

If you look at what’s out there’s there’s quite a range. Some are fantastic. Some are still developing we’ll say. You may wonder why are so many people doing this? You may especially wonder what is the pay of a blogger?

Connection to a Blogging Community

If you do some research into finding happiness, you’ll inevitably end up with one of the answers being about being connected to a community. How can I say this without sounding too kumbaya? If you create a blog and give it a serious go, you’re going to end up looking to other bloggers to understand a lot of things. What is the difference between a page and a post? What exactly do themes do? How do you get these widgets to work? What are bloggers doing to get traffic? How do you get paid? Well like most things in life, you’re going to want to talk to someone who has experience doing it unless you want to try to recreate the wheel.

Starbucks in Taipei
The open office seating of a blogger in Taipei, Taiwan. Or just stay home.

Connecting with other bloggers will generally improve your writing as well. Do a guest post and you may get some good feedback. I remember when Mr. Flexcents made me aware of the fact that I’m putting too many spaces after my periods. I’m getting better at stopping this decades-old habit. I’ve since followed the habits of other bloggers that use Grammarly to ensure their writing has good grammar. Good grammar is crucial if you want to start having good SEO and rank within Google’s search results.

While you’re making a go at blogging and learning all the quirks of HTML, PHP, plugins, marketing, monetizing, networking with other bloggers, it might be worth making a not of something. You’re learning and developing valuable business skills that you could market to others and get paid.

Friend or Foe?

Wait a minute. Aren’t you bloggers all competing with each other? Coke and Pepsi don’t help each other out. Well often in capitalism, it is this way. But I think winning depends on the game your playing.

After my first few years out of college in the work world, I remember comparing the vibe to my college days. College to me always felt a little bit like a utopia. I mean people sort of had common goals and weren’t exactly competing against each other in most ways. The goals were to meet people, have fun, learn, have great experiences and prep for the work world. People were comfortable to be their real self. Then after graduation we entered the work world.

The work world felt like the antithesis of college to me. Now we were no longer able to dress as we wanted but instead dressed in accordance with the workplace policy. Business casual typically, followed by a casual Friday if you’re lucky. Bust out the polo and jeans. Yay.

And then beyond clothes, there were the people. Personally, in the corporate world, I was often met with a certain type of phoniness in some of the people I met. The corporate personality. Someone who knows how to “play the game”. Someone well adept at maneuvering the strange office political climate and knows how to manipulate others to get what they want. It seemed to be evidence that we no longer had common goals, but instead had entered into some type of zero-sum game. After all, only so many people on the team can be promoted or get an exceptional merit increase.

This online community thing seems to be a lot more like college than the workplace. Someone else’s success doesn’t mean your failure. In fact, someone else’s success can be part of your success.

Getting Your Name Out There

A large part of doing the blog thing is getting traffic to your site. There’s a number of ways to do this, but one strategy is to create content for others blogging or podcasting on their sites. You’re helping them, but in turn, you’re also getting your name out. So from this perspective, you have an interest in their success as well.

When you get your name and story out there, you may find some people relate to your story and wish to connect with you. Before you are focused on trying to get rich from blogging, you should appreciate being a content creator as that it gives you a chance to share your story. It gives you access to a medium to make friends and connect with other like-minded people. I recently connected with Adrian over at Clever and Lazy who had a similar job loss experience during the financial crisis that landed him in Shanghai China for a while.

I was recently on a couple of podcasts to get my blog name out there. I was on Choose FI and The FI Show, both great podcasts with incredible content that I highly recommend. A shout out to The FI Show for their work editing a bit of my nervous rambling. (It was my first podcast!) .

Oh yeah. Money.

Ah yes, money. How much MONEY does a blogger make? There’s no one size fits all answer to this question. There are undoubtedly thousands of blogs out there that don’t make a cent. Many don’t intend to make money. And then there are those that make millions and millions of dollars and cents.

If I were to take an educated guess on pay, I’d say the following. A new blogger might make roughly $200 a month of income after maybe six to twelve months of writing. This figure is with the caveat that they do some hard work and have the dedication to create content as well as market their site. But the way the internet scales, this could increase exponentially if your content catches on or goes viral. Your results will vary. If you’re interested in starting a blog, read more here.

I wrote a post about how much I made early on with this blog here. Generally speaking, most of my affiliate links pay me somewhere between $10 to $100 for a sale. I only show links to companies I actively use and truly recommend.

This post contains affiliate links to Grammarly and I may be paid for signups that meet certain conditions. I only recommend products or services I use.