The Future of Blogging

The blogging world has changed considerably in the last couple of years. The techniques that worked 10 or even 5 years ago may not work today and the techniques that work today may not work tomorrow.

Where is blogging headed and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead?

In this article, I will examine the major internet trends that are driving changes in the blogging industry. I will also look at how to navigate the challenges that these changes bring.

What changes are on the horizon?

There are several crucial shifts that are happening in the blogging industry (and content marketing in general). You can see these changes when you study internet trends reports (such as the Mary Meeker reports [1]).

  • Changes in the internet landscape due to faster speeds, cheaper internet and higher penetration rates.
  • Changes in the way people consume content especially with the move towards videos and social media content.
  • Increasing concerns about privacy leading to use of ad blockers and concerns about tracking cookies.
  • Changes in the Google algorithm as it attempts to ensure that the best content ranks on the first page of the search results

These changes have been the main drivers of many of the trends that I will examine and they will dictate how we blog in the future.

If you are a blogger, content marketer or small business owner, you need to be aware of these changes and take appropriate action to prepare and adapt to these changes.

Let us examine, in detail, the trends that are shaping the blogging and content marketing) industries.

1. The Significant Increase in the Number of Blogs and Websites

Competition in the online space has become fierce.

As of 2021, there were 1.19 billion websites online. Over the last 5 years, the number of active websites has increased by about 9% [2] (Blogging Statistics).

The number of blogs and websites will continue to increase in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic for example, forced many people to take their businesses online in a bid to survive.

Is it too late to get into blogging?

With all the competition in blogging, does it make any sense to start a blog today?

There actually many reasons why blogging is still a great opportunity even with the high competition. For example:

  • Many people who start blogs will not take it seriously. For example, of the 1.2 billion websites online, only 22% (263 million) were active [2] (Blogging Statistics).
  • Most of the people starting websites have no clue on how to leverage them correctly, so if you are willing to work hard and learn, you can overcome most of your potential competitors.
  • Many bloggers give up before they make it. If you are willing to grind through the initial challenges, chances of success are quite high.
  • There are still many niches with low competition which are wide open for exploitation.

I have gone into greater detail on why blogging is still one of the best opportunities in my article: Is blogging dead?

If you have not yet started your blog and you are not sure how to go about it, check out my beginner-friendly article below. It will take you step-by-step through the process of starting a blog and help you avoid the common mistakes most beginners make.

How do you stand out and thrive in a competitive blogging environment?

If you wish to do well in a competitive blogging environment you need to adapt your blogging strategies to account for this increased competition. There are a couple of strategies you can use to do this including:

#1. Conducting proper keyword research before writing a post

If you have a new blog with low domain authority, you should consider avoiding competitive topics and keywords at the beginning.

Competitive keywords will take you longer to rank and you will have to work extra hard to beat the big brands that have massive budgets for content creation and SEO.

You can find topics and keywords that have low competition using a keyword tool like Semrush (expensive) or Keysearch (affordable).

Keyword tools will give you the estimated number of people searching for that keyword and the difficulty of ranking for that keyword.

As your blog becomes more authoritative and you gain skills in blogging, you can start targeting more competitive topics and keywords.

#2. Building an email list

It is becoming harder to get traffic from sources like Google and you need to make the most use of the little traffic you get. An email list will help you do this because:

  • You can capture departing visitors. About 68% of visitors to your blog will leave and may never return (Blogging Statistics). By signing them up into an email list, you can start building a relationship with them and keep them coming back to your content.
  • You can protect yourself against Google algorithm updates. A Google algorithm update can wipe out your web traffic. If you have a list, you can survive by marketing to people in your list as you rebuild.

Building an email list is not complicated. You can use a service like Systeme.io (which is free for beginners) or Convertkit (which has powerful features for pros).

#3. Creating content in your local language.

The majority of blogs (61%) are still in English yet only 26% of the world’s population use English (Blogging Statistics).

If you blog in English, you will be competing against some of the biggest brands and some of the best SEO experts in a particular niche.

You can sidestep this competition and gain a competitive advantage by blogging in your local language. For example, in 2021, India had 540 million internet users yet only 0.1% of blogs in the world were in Hindi (Blogging Statistics).

You can also opt to have your website translated into different languages. A service like Weglot uses A.I technology to automatically translate your blog into multiple languages.

The big drawback in blogging in your local language is that you may find it difficult to get into some premium ad networks and some affiliate programs that specifically target an English speaking audience.

However, with a bit of creativity, you can find ways to monetize your audience.

2. The Increase in Information Overload and Information Pollution

There is a mind-boggling amount of content being created online every day. In 2010, former Google CEO, Erich Schmidt revealed that every two days, we create as much information as has been created since the dawn of civilization [3].

In 2021, on just one blogging platform (WordPress.com), there were about 87 million blog posts created every month (Blogging Statistics). That is over 2.9 million blog posts a day.

Unfortunately, this explosion in content creation has led to information pollution where useful information is contaminated with inaccurate, irrelevant, out-of date, and redundant information.

This makes it difficult for people to extract useful information that they need to make appropriate decisions. To deal with information overload and pollution, people have developed various strategies to find the information they need.

For example, 73 % of blog readers skim through the content. On average, 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a post (Blogging Statistics).

Strategies to get people to read your blog content

The information we put online will continue to increase exponentially in coming years. This means that bloggers will find it difficult to attract and keep hold of an audience.

You can get people to read your content by:

#1. Creating content that is easy to skim through

When people come to your blog post, they don’t want to be met with a wall of text. You should optimize your posts to enable your reader to easily find sections that are most important for them.

Use the following strategies to optimize your posts for skimming.

  • Use of headings and sub-headings.
  • Use images (photos, infographics or design art).
  • Use tables, charts and graphs.

You can use a graphic tool like Visme to easily create beautiful infographics, charts, and graphs.

#2. Increasing the readability of your blog posts

Your blog posts should be easy to read, especially if you are targeting beginners or the general public.

Aim to have a readability score of 60 or higher for your posts. Your post should be easy to read for most people with at least an eighth-grade education (that is, the average 13- year old).

You can improve the readability of your post by:

  • Using correct grammar and punctuation.
  • Using active voice instead passive voice.
  • Having the correct sentence length.

You can use a tool like Grammarly to check the readability score of your posts as well as fix grammar and punctuation issues.

#3. Improving the user experience for your visitors

To keep people on your site for a long time, you need to ensure that they can interact with your content without annoying distractions or frustrating experiences.

There are certain steps you can take to ensure that your visitors have a good user experience. For example:

  • Ensure that your site looks good on mobile. Many people (Roughly 55%) access the internet on their mobile phones (Blogging Statistics). To improve the mobile experience, use a mobile-friendly and fast-loading WordPress theme like Kadence Theme.
  • Ensure your site loads fast especially on mobile. Check your speed on mobile using the Google page insights. If your blog loads slowly, speed it up using a speed optimization plugin like WP Rocket.
  • Ensure that Ads and pop-ups do not interfere with the browsing experience. Minimize ads and pop ups on your site. If you need to monetize through ads, consider using a premium ad network like Ezoic which has speed optimization technologies (it pays better too).

3. The Increase in Zero-Click Searches on Google

A zero-click or no-click search is a search that does not result in a click to any of the search results displayed in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). 

For example, if you search for a term like ‘Convert pounds to kg’, you get Google’s own convertor at the top of the page.

According to a study conducted by Sparktoro and Similarweb in 2020, 64.8% of Google searches resulted in a zero-click. This was an increase from 43.9% in 2016. Zero-click searches were higher on mobile (77.2%) compared to searches done on desktop (50.8%) [4](Blogging Statistics)

Google also sent about 6% of search traffic to Google owned sites (YouTube, Google Maps, Google Store etc.)[4].

Impacts of zero-click searches

Enhanced search results are great for user experience, but they are also great for Google because they keep users longer on the SERPs. The longer users stay on the SERPs, the more ads can be served to them.

For bloggers and content marketers, zero-click searches can be a problem because a searcher has no motivation to click and read the pages ranking in the results page if:

  • Their questions are adequately answered directly on the results page.
  • The above-the-fold section of SERPs are dominated by Google properties (such as YouTube videos).

How to leverage zero-click searches to get visitors from Google

There are several tactics you as a blogger can use to take advantage of these zero-click searches to drive traffic to your blog or website.

#1. Avoid wasting time answering questions that Google can easily answer

There is no need to create content answering questions that Google can easily answer using their AI. Examples of such queries include:

  • Time in New York.
  • Convert cm to inches.
  • Calories in milk.

Most people will be satisfied with the answers that Google provides.

Where Google cannot answer the question directly using their AI, they will usually take an answer from one of the websites on the search results page and place it in a featured snippet at the top of the page. These snippets will have a link back to your blog.

Winning the Google snippet is great because it means your blog can leap-frog over all other blogs that rank above it.

You can win the snippet by providing clear and concise answers to questions that people are looking for.

#3. Create enticing headlines

Winning the featured snippet is half the battle.

You need to get people to click to your post from the search results. If someone is able to get all the information they need from the snippet, what incentive do they have to click to your blog or website?

You have to have great headlines that promise more relevant information. This requires that you clearly understand the searchers’ intent and present the benefits clearly in the title.

# 4. Create content on Google properties

You need to start creating content on Google properties like YouTube and Google maps.

As more YouTube videos and map results start popping up on the search results, you want your video or map to be among them.

4. The Growth of Video Content

It almost seems like video is taking over the world. Video platforms such as YouTube and Tiktok are on fire right now, attracting content creators and users.

Is video the future of content marketing?

For a long time, written content in websites and blogs have been the major driver of content marketing but video is now touted by many as the new king of content marketing.

As a blogger or content marketer, you cannot afford to ignore having video content as part of your content mix.

Video is going to keep increasing in popularity because of the following reasons.

  • Increased use of smartphones. Almost 50% of all people in the world now own a smartphone and this means they don’t have to use a laptop to watch videos on the internet.
  • Fast internet speeds. The global average internet speeds are now 48.4 Mbps (Download on mobile) and 98.7 Mbps (Download on fixed broadband)
  • Cheaper mobile internet. The global cost of mobile internet has fallen to $4.07 USD for 1GB of data
  • Changes in SERPs. Google is pushing YouTube videos to the top of the search results especially for some keywords. For example, in the US, 23.6% of mobile searches contain a video in the SERPs.

Check my article on blogging statistics for more statistics on video

Benefits of video in content marketing

Video can have a powerful effect on content marketing. According to a 2021 report by Wyzowl, many businesses had positive results from adding videos to their websites. [5] For example:

  • 86% of businesses saw increased traffic to their websites.
  • 78% of businesses had more sales.
  • 94% of businesses found that their users understood their products or services better.

How to leverage the power of video to enhance your blogging

You can incorporate video into your blogging by:

#1. Creating videos for snackable content

Sometimes people want engaging content that they can quickly consume without too much effort.

Short-form videos seem to do especially well with younger audiences. If you want to target this audience, consider creating short videos for Tiktok, YouTube (YouTube Shorts), or Instagram (Instagram Reels).

You can then use these videos to direct visitors back to your blog.

#2. Creating videos for content that requires visual input

Some content are better served as a video rather than a blog post. Or a video can be used to supplement a blog post. Such content include:

  • Content in highly visual niches such as travel, food or fashion.
  • Product reviews.
  • How to videos,  for example, how to pitch a tent, how to fix a flat tire.

#3. Create videos for content for products or services that are hard to convert

If you want to sell high ticket products or services, video is a great way to increase conversions.

Videos have a higher trust factor than a general blog because your potential customers can see you and judge your personality.

5. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Generated Content

In 2020, a college student at University of California, Berkeley, Liam Porr, created an entire blog using GPT-3, a natural language processing A.I from Open A.I. The blog got 26,000 visitors within two weeks and one of its A.I articles even made it to the number one spot on Hacker News [6].

The success of the blog goes to show just how good AI has become at creating convincing content.

But will AI take over blogging?

Language processing A.Is like GPT-3 and its future iterations will soon be capable of writing content that will fool most if not all humans. But will they replace human writers?

At the moment, A.I writers cannot replace a good creative writer and it will probably take time before A.I can match a good writer. They can however replace cheap low quality writers. They will also be important where relatively decent articles are required quickly.

Over time, A.I will probably take over much of the mundane tasks related to blogging (such as writing first drafts, inserting SEO keywords, or crafting headlines).

Many reputable media outlets such as Washington Post and The New York Times already use AI to create content. The Press Association, for example, uses AI software that can write over 30,000 articles in a month [7].

How to avoid being outcompeted by AI in blogging

As the capabilities of A.I writers continue to grow, it is important to figure out ways you can leverage the power of A.I. without being completely replaced by them. Here are some ideas.

#1. Make use of A.I content creation tools where it makes sense

There are now several tools on the market that leverage GPT-3 to create articles. One of the more popular ones is Jasper.ai.

Although these tools cannot, at the moment, completely replace a human writer, it is amazing to see what these tools are capable of doing. You can take advantage of these A.I tools to:

  • Overcome writer’s block. AI tools can quickly come up with a decent first draft that you can then fine-tune.
  • Come up with great headlines. A.I tools use copywriting frameworks to generate headlines that have been proven to convert in the past.
  • Help you write in English if it is not your first language. You can come up with a fairly decent article using these A.I tools especially when you pair it with an A.I editor like Grammarly.
  • Replace low quality writers. A good A.I writer can now write better quality content than cheap low quality writers. If you regularly hire cheap writers, do a head-to-head test of an A.I writer like Jasper.ai versus your writers before making a decision.

#2. Leverage creativity to solve people’s problems

It will take time before A.I tools can mimic the creativity of human beings.

At the moment, A.I tools don’t seem to be capable of coming up with original solutions to problems but this may change in the future.

If you can use your creativity to help solve people’s problems or connect them to products or services that can solve their problems, you can gain a loyal following.

There is a danger of proliferation of generic A.I. content spam and the best way to counter this is to infuse your writing with originality and creativity.

#3. Make use of storytelling to powerfully impact people

Storytelling is a powerful tool for driving home a message. Although A.I tools can write stories, they are still not match for what a human can do.

You can get stories from:

  • Personal experience. For example, if you have battled cancer and overcome it, your story can be a powerful inspiration to others.
  • Other people’s experiences. If you don’t have first-hand experience in something, you can interview other people who have gone through the experience and share their stories.

Storytelling is a powerful skill if harnessed correctly. Stories bypass people’s logical brain and access their emotional core. However, writing good stories takes time and practice.

You should check out writing classes on MasterClass to learn how to write from successful storytellers like James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman and Dan Brown.


For more on writing well, check out my collection of over 170 quotes by famous writers. These quotes are packed with tips and advice that you will need to become a powerful writer.

6. The Rise of Voice Searches

The popularity of smartphone assistants and smart speakers has exploded over the last couple of years. This trend is likely to increase as A.I powered personal assistants like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant become more advanced.

According to Google, 27% of people worldwide were using voice search on mobile in 2018. According to eMarketer, 118 million people in the US (39.4% of US internet users) used a voice assistant at least monthly in 2019 (Blogging Statistics).

This presents a shift in the way people search for and consume information. If you are not optimizing for voice search, this may impact your blog’s ability to keep generating traffic in future.

How to take advantage of the shift to voice searches

There are several ways you can optimize your site to take advantage of this shift to voice searches including:

#1. Optimizing for phrases rather than keywords

When people do voice searches, they are more likely to ask questions or use phrases rather than keywords.

For example, when using voice search, one may ask ‘How old is Jeff Bezos?’ When doing the same search by typing on a keyboard, someone is likely to use a shortcut like ‘Jeff Bezos age’.

When doing your keyword research, it is important therefore to target conversational long-tail keywords.

#2. Optimizing your site for local searches

If you are a business, you need to optimize your site for local searches.

According to a survey by Bright Local in 2018, 58% of consumers had used voice search to find local business information such as phone numbers, addresses, directions and opening hours (Blogging Statistics).

You can optimize your blog or website for local searches by claiming your Google My Business listing and by ensuring that your contact and location details are easy to find.

#3. Optimizing your site for mobile phones

The increase in smartphone use has contributed to the increased adoption of voice searches.

According to a survey by Adobe in 2019, 47% of consumers used voice assistants on their smartphones while a further 7% used it on their tablets [8] (Blogging Statistics).

It is important to give the best user experience on mobile. You can do this by ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly and loads quickly by using a responsive, light-weight theme like Kadence.

7. The Rising Popularity of Ad Blockers

Advertising has long been a reliable way for site owners to earn a reliable income online. However, the rising popularity of ad blockers threatens this method of monetizing a blog.

About 27% of US internet users use an ad blocker. Worldwide 257M desktop users use ad blockers. This number is even higher for mobile users at 586M (Blogging Statistics).

The situation is likely to get worse as some browsers now implement ad blocking by default and others offer support for third party ad blocking tools.

The use of ad blockers is estimated to cost the digital advertising industry in the US almost 12 billion and 78 billion globally every year (Blogging Statistics). This loss of revenues trickles down to bloggers who rely primarily on ads for monetization.

How to overcome the effects of Ad blockers on your blog’s ad revenue

How can you future proof your blogging against loss of income due to increasing use of ad blockers?

#1. Diversify income sources

A long term solution is to diversify how you make money from your blog. 

Although ads are an easy way to monetize a site, they are not necessarily the best way. They provide a bad user experience and may chase away some of your visitors.

Ads also tend to one of the least profitable ways to monetize your blog unless you are using premium ad networks. There are much better ways to monetize your blog such as affiliate marketing, selling your own products and services or offering subscription services.

#2. Ask to be whitelisted

You can ask your visitors to disable their ad blockers when visiting your site or add your blog to a whitelist. When a visitor whitelists your site, the ad blocker will allow ads from your site.

A lot of the big news networks that depend on ad revenue regularly use this method.

You can use an ad management plugin like Adsanity to detect ad blocking activity and display messages asking visitors to disable their ad blocker (see their pro add-ons).  

If the visitor is unwilling to disable their ad blocker, the ad detector may also prompt the visitor to:

  • Pay for an ad free experience on your site. This can bring in some additional revenue for your site.
  • Sign up to an email list before they can access your site. This can be a great way of building your email list.

#3. Explore other advertising models

You can explore other ways of serving ads such as native ads which fit naturally into the content in which they are placed so that they look like part of the content.

You can approach local businesses and develop partnerships where they pay you in exchange for inserting their banners on your site. An ad management plugin like Adsanity can help you to insert and manage these ads.

You can also work with premium ad network providers like Ezoic, Mediavine or Ad Thrive. They can advise on the best way of dealing with ad blockers.

8. The Increasing Prioritization of Brands in the Search Results

In his 2016 article, Glen Allsopp demonstrated how 16 companies dominated Google’s search results especially for competitive and lucrative keywords such as ‘best antivirus’, ‘best dishwasher’ and ‘ground beef recipes’ [9].

If you repeat the same keyword searches today, you will find that the same big brands still dominate.

Many big brands, including top media houses, have realized that they can make good money from affiliate marketing. In the lucrative niches, they are now targeting long-tail keywords that small bloggers used to rank for.

Why are brands dominating Google’s SERPs?

These big brands dominate Google rankings, not because they necessarily have the best content but because they are able to effectively leverage all their advantages. For example:

  • They are trusted. Big brands, media houses, celebrities have an edge over small bloggers because they are seen as trusted sources of information. In Google’s eyes, they have more to lose by peddling misinformation.
  • They have the resources to hire experts in particular niches to do the writing (especially in YMYL niches).
  • They are good at getting backlinks. Google still puts a lot of emphasis on backlinks as a measure of authoritativeness and these big brands have the resources and expertise to increase their domain authority.

Hopefully as the Google algorithm improves, it will be able to identify and rank great content without relying too much on backlinks.  

How to deal with competition from brands in Google rankings

So, what can you, as a solo blogger, do to survive the stiff competition from the big brands?

#1. Avoid competitive topics and keywords as a beginner

If you are a beginner blogger, it is best to avoid going after highly competitive keywords or topics. These keywords tend to be the most lucrative but they can be quite difficult to rank for because they attract big brands.

Before you write a post, check for the keyword difficulty of a keyword using a keyword tool like Semrush or Keysearch.

A keyword difficulty score will give you an indication of how competitive that particular keyword is.

As your skill level grows and your blog gains more authority, you can start to target more competitive keywords.

#2. Be careful with YMYL topics as a beginner

YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics are topics that can significantly affect people’s quality of life in relation to their health, finances or happiness.

Topics that may be considered YMYL include those dealing with medical conditions, financial information or legal advice. You can read Google’s evaluators guidelines for more on what they consider YMYL [10].

For YMYL topics, people generally want the most accurate and reliable information. Google does its best to provide the most reliable information from highly reputable sources such as big news outlets, universities and top medical sites.

Therefore, as a beginner, it can be difficult to rank for some of these topics.

#3. Work on building your brand

To get traffic from Google, especially if you are in the YMYL space, you need to build your brand. You can do this by ensuring that your blog has a high E-A-T score.

E-A-T is an acronym by Google that stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. You can check Google’s evaluator guidelines [10] for more information on E-A-T.

Some of the things you can do to have a high E-A-T score include:

  • Writing high quality content with references from reputable sources.
  • Having articles written by experts and authorities in your field, for example, if you have a medical blog, you want to have doctors on your writing team.
  • Having an about page that provides details on why you are qualified to provide advice.

9. The Decline of the Web’s Importance

In the last decade, we have seen the impressive growth of the internet but we have also witnessed the decline of the web. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they are different.

Why the web is slowly dying

The rise in smartphone use has made it more convenient to access the internet through apps rather than through the web (i.e. through webpages or websites).

When people go to the internet, they are more likely to go to a property owned by Google (Youtube, Gmail, maps) or Facebook (Facebook app, messenger, Instagram or Watsapp).

According to a report by Sandvine, Google and Facebook properties accounted for 58% of all mobile internet traffic. YouTube alone accounted for 25% of worldwide mobile traffic [11] (Blogging Statistics).

Why should this worry you as a blogger?

The free and open internet could end up being replaced by an internet that is controlled by a few major tech companies. This can have several consequences:

  • Exclusivity and fragmentation. Access to information could be fragmented as you have to sign up to a platform to access the information in it.
  • Pay to play. Getting traffic from these platforms is going to be increasingly difficult unless you pay.
  • Censorship. Censorship online will become more common as companies will have the power to kick you out of their platforms.

How do you survive in an era of a gated internet?

As a content creator, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure that you survive or even thrive in this era of a gated internet.

#1. Use these platforms strategically

You need to be on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Pintrest or Tiktok. These platforms are great for building an audience and engaging with them.

However, you have to realize that you do not own the audience in these platforms. You could get shut down any time. You are also always at the mercy of these platforms’ algorithms, policy changes, restrictions and demonetization.

Building your entire business on a platform you do not control is risky.

To protect yourself and your business, use traffic from these sites to drive visitors to your website or blog (preferably a WordPress blog) and sign them up to your email list. These are assets you own and control.

If you don’t have a WordPress blog, check out my article on how to start a blog on WordPress.

#2. Create content that can be shared on such platforms

You can create engaging content that can exploit the specific strengths of these platforms.

You do not need to be on all the platforms as that would take too much time and effort.

You need to target platforms that are suitable for your niche. For example, if you are a food or a travel blogger, you can do well in visual platforms like YouTube, Pintrest or Instagram.

You should also have a social sharing plugin (like Social Snap) that will automate the sharing of your content to social media platforms. This will help you avoid wasting time on social media.

#3. Pay to play

It will keep getting increasingly difficult to drive organic traffic from many of these social media platforms, especially if you are a business.

These platforms have realized that they can profit by limiting organic reach. This forces businesses to pay for access to their audience.

If you need to increase your reach on these platforms, you will need to learn how advertise in a way that will bring you the best return on your investment. As advertising costs increase, this is going to be a skill that can make or break your business.

10. The Increasing Regulation of the Internet

Over the last couple of years, there have been increased attempts to regulate the big tech giants such as Google and Facebook.

Such efforts accelerated after the 2016 US elections, amid allegations that some of the platforms were used to spread misinformation that may have influenced outcome of the elections.

Laws targeting these big tech companies tend to filter down to individual bloggers, small businesses running websites and small e-commerce stores.

Impact of internet regulation on small content creators and businesses

Laws regulating activities on the internet are nothing new and many are necessary for the protection of the general public. However, over-enthusiastic law-making may stifle innovation, growth and diversity of thought on the internet.

Small content creators, start-ups and businesses are likely to be hit hard should this happen. As a blogger or content creator, you may have to:

  • Censor your thoughts and opinions.
  • Incur heavy fines for violating an obscure law.
  • Jump through several bureaucratic hoops to operate.
  • Fight frivolous lawsuits.

How to deal with increasing online regulation

Given that these laws are likely to become numerous and more punitive in future, you need to keep abreast of what is happening regarding online regulation. You need to:

#1. Understand and keep the privacy laws

Privacy laws seek to protect against misuse of people’s personal information.

As a blogger, many of your activities will require collecting people’s personal information. These activities include signing up people to an email list, installing Google analytics or signing up to an affiliate program that uses cookies to track referrals.

There are many privacy laws all over the world. Some of the more common privacy laws include:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)- EU [12]
  • CAN-SPAM Act [13]
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)- US [14]

Ensure you have a privacy policy page explaining how the data you collect is used. You also need get consent from your visitor to collect their data. You can do this with a popup plugin.

Copyright law protects the intellectual property rights of individuals. These include written works, images, music and software among many others.

The two most common ways that you, as a blogger, can find yourself breaking the copyright law are:

  • Using copyrighted images. To safely use images, seek permission from the owner, use images that are marked as creative commons, or buy from licenced stock image vendors.
  • Plagiarizing blog content. Do not copy content from other people’s websites. Run outsourced content through a plagiarism checker like Grammarly to confirm that your writers have not copied someone else’s work.

#3. Understand and keep the advertising and endorsement laws

Advertising and endorsement laws such as the FTC Act chapter 5 in the US [15], seek to protect consumers against deceptive practices in commerce.

As a blogger, you should not mislead your readers or customers regarding products or services you promote.

You can comply with the FTC act by:

  • Disclosing that you may receive a commission when promoting affiliate products.
  • Indicating that a post is sponsored if you are writing a sponsored post.

The FTC has a user-friendly guide [15], on how you can conduct your blogging without breaking deceptive advertising laws.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem like it is getting harder to be a small blogger, if you do things the right way, you will not only survive but thrive.

However, you cannot keep blogging like you did in the past. You have to be ready to adapt to any changes that occur. This requires that you keep learning about the best blogging strategies.

The future of blogging is going to get brighter but only for those who are willing to take advantage of the opportunities.

In my article ‘Is blogging dead?’ I discuss in detail why this is the right time to be in blogging.

If you are not sure how to start a blog or feel intimidated by the process, check out my beginner-friendly guide below. It will take you step-by-step through the process of starting a blog

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