Is the blogging market oversaturated?
Is there room in the blogosphere for more bloggers?
What if I want to make money blogging? Am I too late in the game?
Is it still possible for a new blogger to experience real blogging success?
Can I make my blogging dreams a reality?
These are all questions that haunt the mind of new bloggers.
And not just before starting a blog.
In a lot of cases, the doubt actually gets worse after you’ve already started blogging. Especially in those early months when you’re working your butt off, but nothing seems to be happening.
It’s so hard not to get discouraged. You look at the big bloggers and influencers who are years ahead of you, and wonder if you’ll ever get there.
It was these thoughts and feelings that inspired me to write this post.
You see I’m not a new blogger by any means.
I’ve been in the blogging world since 2006. And between 2006 and 2016 I built three 6-figure blogs in the art and paper crafting niche.
But then I shut everything down and took everything offline.
So now, once again, I am starting from scratch.
This blog – Blog to Biz Strategies – is a brand new blog. And it’s in a brand new niche for me.
Plus, I put a TON of work into it.
In fact, six months and about 700 hours of work went into this blog before I officially published it.
Then, just one month before I was scheduled to publish my blog, I had these exact same doubts.
It started when I was having lunch with a blogger I admired and respected. During our conversation she essentially told me that I was too late into the game.
Can you imagine how I felt? After all the work I had already put in?
But… I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you the story from the beginning, and the lessons I learned, that I just knew I had to share.
The Day I Was Told My Blogging Niche Was Oversaturated By A Blogger I Respected…
My heart was racing as I carefully pushed my way through the crowd.
I could see them, standing together, engrossed in their conversation.
Usually, that would be enough to put me off.
An introvert by nature, I’d rather have my teeth pulled (without anesthetic) than draw attention to myself.
But I had paid a lot to join that high-level coaching program.
I was at the kick-off cocktail party for one of the live training events, and I didn’t know anyone there.
We had been strongly encouraged to “network” with as many other entrepreneurs as we could. And in that little group, was a blogger that I really wanted to meet — someone who’s a pretty big deal in that coaching program.
None of the women noticed me as I approached. They were pretty engrossed in their conversation. So I waited for a bit of a lull, and then stepped forward and introduced myself to her.
She smiled, shook my hand…and then turned back and continued talking to the person next to her.
Feeling super awkward, I introduced myself to the remaining women in the group and asked them a bit about their businesses. We chatted for a while, but I felt SO uncomfortable.
Although they were friendly and talkative, I couldn’t help feeling as though I was intruding.
By the second day into the event, I still hadn’t managed to connect with the blogger I admired. So, I decided I needed to take a leap out of my comfort zone.
A BIG leap.
As we broke for lunch, I quickly made my way across the crowded room over to where she was standing. She was gathering her things together, getting ready to leave.
Feeling incredibly awkward (again), with my heart racing, I asked her: Do you mind if I join you for lunch?
Thankfully, she said yes.
Although the food was awful, the conversation was great.
She was open and friendly, and I definitely learned a lot about how she had transformed her blog into an online business.
But then she asked me what my business was.
I told her that I had built several blogs in the art and paper crafting niche, but now wanted to pivot. I went on to tell her that I was starting a new online business showing people how to make money blogging.
When I heard her next words, I felt as though the floor dropped from under me.
I don’t want to discourage you, but that’s not going to work!
I was absolutely speechless.
I had not expected to hear that!
My emotions were all over the place.
Disappointment. Discouragement. Failure.
More than that…I was devastated.
The first thought that crossed my mind was “now what am I going to do? I have put hundreds of hours of work into this idea!”
As I tried to collect my scattered thoughts, she went on to tell me that in the five years that she had been blogging, the blogosphere had changed and that the “make money blogging” space was oversaturated.
I barely made it through the rest of the conversation.
In fact the entire afternoon, I could hardly concentrated. Through all the training sessions, her words kept looping through my mind over and over again.
Later that evening, over dinner, I discussed it with my triad. My triad is made up of myself and two others from my coaching group. It’s like a little mastermind within the larger mastermind.
The more I talked about it, the better I started to feel.
By the end of dinner, I knew that I was on the right track and I wasn’t stressed about it anymore.
So why wasn’t I worried anymore?
My answer, ties into the lessons I learned that I want to share with you today. Because these are lessons that apply to all bloggers. And as you read through these lessons I hope they’ll encourage and inspire you to keep pursuing your blogging dream.
The 5 Lessons I Learned About Blog Market Saturation
Lesson 1: The Blogging Market Is Saturated
Isn’t the whole point of this post to dispel that myth?
Yes and No.
No, because technically the blogging market actually is saturated. In any given niche you’ll find millions and millions of blogs. Blogging about the same things and selling the same types of things.
However, the blogging market is not oversaturated.
In other words, there is still room for the RIGHT kind of blogs.
How do we know what kind of blog is the right blog?
Keep reading, because that’s where the rest of the lessons come in.
Lesson 2: Do The Research & Let Your Research Guide You
A lot of bloggers go into the whole blogging process, blind.
What do I mean by that?
Well, they pick a topic and start blogging.
Here’s the thing. There is a right way and a wrong way to start a blog. This is something that you’ll hear me talk about, a lot.
The wrong way? That’s the way I was just talking about earlier.
Let me give you an illustration.
Imagine that you decide that you want to run a marathon. You’ve never run any kind of road race before, and you’re not even a runner.
All excited and inspired by your new goal, you sign up for the marathon. It’s a year away so you figure you’ve got a lot of time to train.
Your first step is to buy running shoes. You head to the local sports store and find a pair that look great and feel comfortable. The next morning, bright and early, you head out the door, and start running. You run until you’re tired, and then call it a day. You do that day after day, month after month. Until the big day arrives.
The race starts, and you’re off with a bang. About 30 minutes into it, you’ve got a stitch in your side and your legs feel like lead. You force yourself to keep going, but less than halfway through you drop out.
What do you think went wrong?
Well, if you want to successfully run a marathon, you have to plan for it, and train properly for it. There is an actual process for training for a marathon. You can’t just run every day and expect to do well.
Blogging is the same. If you want your blog to do well, you have to plan for it and set it up properly.
Which brings us to the second lesson I learned.
If you really want to know whether or not there is room in the blogosphere for YOUR new blog idea, you need to do research.
Remember when I told you that I had spent 6 months working on my blog? Of that, I spent one month in market research, and once month in audience research.
As part of that audience research, I surveyed several hundred bloggers and spoke one-on-one with about 50 other bloggers.
They were all struggling.
DESPITE the overwhelming amount of information that was freely available online.
What that told me was that somewhere there is a disconnect.
With all that free information online, you’d think that more bloggers would be successful.
And the bloggers I was talking to were actually working on their blogs. They were putting in the time, but they weren’t seeing the results.
So I started digging deeper to find out why.
What my research showed me is that the reason bloggers are struggling is because their needs aren’t being met.
Sure there’s a lot of information out there – BUT – a lot of the info isn’t all that great.
Which brings me to lesson three.
Lesson 3: When It Comes To The Blogging Market, Quantity Does NOT Mean Quality
If you were to simply look at the sheer number of blogs on the web then it would be easy to say that the blogging market is oversaturated.
There are almost 2 billion websites in the world (not just blogs).
And in any given niche there are millions of blogs and websites.
But as I pointed out in lesson one, just because there is a LOT of competition, does not mean that the market is oversaturated.
Quantity is not the same as quality.
Let me go back to my own story as an example.
I’ve been in the blogging world since 2006, and I’ve seen a lot of changes first hand.
And yes, the “make money blogging” space has definitely exploded.
But you know what?
While the number of bloggers teaching people how to “make money blogging” has grown, the advice hasn’t changed.
It’s the same old, same old.
If you’re reading this, you’re a blogger. I’m sure it’s advice you’ve heard a million times before.
If you want to make money blogging you’ve gotta become an influencer…
Post content every single day…
Promote your content like crazy…
Focus on building a huge social media following and driving traffic to your blog…
Monetize your blog using ads, sponsored posts and affiliate marketing (i.e., like Amazon).
Here’s the thing: this advice DOES. NOT. WORK.
At least not for the vast majority of bloggers out there.
How do I know?
While stats vary, they pretty much all point to the fact that the majority of bloggers can’t even buy themselves a latte a month with their blog earnings.
If all the online blogging advice really worked, don’t you think that more bloggers would be successful?
The hard reality is that very few bloggers are “making it” with their blogs.
Do you know why that is?
The popular blogging advice that’s out there is SUPER hard to follow and only realistic for a handful of people.
Do you know how many HOURS you have to put into your blog to be able to use those strategies?
You need to put full-time hours into your blog.
More than full-time hours.
How realistic is that for most people?
I have talked to so many bloggers desperately trying to follow that advice but who just don’t have the bandwidth in their life to put in that much time.
They’re parents with young kids; caregivers; professionals of all ages; full-timers with a job they hate; part-timers juggling multiple jobs…and so many more.
They are stretched to the max. Where are they going to get an extra 40 hours a week to put into growing their blogs?
The answer is they’re probably not.
So is blogging success a hopeless dream for them?
And then there are the bloggers who ARE putting in the time. Practically killing themselves following that advice, and yet they are still not seeing any results.
Because even pouring hours of your time into your blog doesn’t guarantee blogging success or influencer status…
What is being taught about blogging today is not a fool-proof method.
And THAT is precisely why the world needs another blog about how to make money blogging.
So now look at your niche. Have you done the research? Does your research show that there is a need for a blog like yours?
If yes, then look at the quality of other blogs out there.
Do the popular blogs in your niche look like they are meeting the needs that you observed?
In the same way that I saw unmet needs in my niche, there very well could be unmet needs in your niche.
BUT, even if you see that there are blogs in your niche doing a great job, there is something else to consider. Which brings us to lesson 4.
Lesson 4: You Need To Find What Makes You Unique
You may be wondering…is there really something that makes me unique?
The answer to this is YES.
We are all unique.
I don’t say this in a woo-woo way. And I’m not trying to be motivational or inspirational. It’s a fact. Every single one of us is genetically unique.
We all have different gifts and talents. We all look at life in different ways.
That carries through to your blog.
No matter how many other bloggers are in your niche, chances are you have a different way of approaching your topic.
The whole reason I started my blog is because I believe that someone needs to stand up and say ENOUGH.
The old way of blogging doesn’t work in today’s crazy busy world.
You CAN build a successful blog – one that changes lives and makes money…
WITHOUT all of those things that everyone tells you that you need to do…
And without practically killing yourself to do it.
You really DON’T need to post every day.
You DON’T need to have massive amounts of traffic.
A huge email list is NOT NECESSARY.
You DON’T need to be an influencer.
In fact, you DON’T even need to have a big social media presence.
You CAN make money blogging WITHOUT all of those things.
Just because a blog is big and popular and the blogger has a big social media presence, does NOT mean that the blog is making money.
Success and popularity are NOT the same things.
Success and tons of traffic are NOT the same things.
Having a huge following on social media DOES NOT mean you are successful.
There are LOTS of successful bloggers who have a small blog, a small social media presence and a small email list – but they are making really good money.
I was one of these bloggers.
In the last 12 years, I built three separate successful blogs in the art and paper crafting niche.
With virtually NO social media presence and a pretty SMALL email list. Plus, my blogs were relatively unknown.
Despite that, I was generating over 6 figures a year in income from each of those blogs.
In all the research that I have done, I’ve noticed that my way of blogging is not being widely shared online. It’s not the “popular way.”
Most of what you read about is the traditional or what I call, the old way of blogging.
While that works for some, it doesn’t work for everyone.
And I want to show people that there is another way.
The path to blogging success that I followed, is what I want to share on this blog.
I want to help people get beyond the old way of building, growing and monetizing their blog.
I want to hep people get off the blogging hamster wheel and stay off.
Instead of working like crazy on their blog, but never getting anywhere, I want to show people how to make money blogging a different way.
A way that is realistic, and more sustainable.
Plus, WAY. MORE. EFFECTIVE.
THESE are the truths that I felt were not being shared, that need to be shared.
That’s MY unique take on how to make money blogging.
Now think about how this applies to you in your blogging niche.
Do you have a different way of looking at things? A different approach? Are you doing things that have worked for you but aren’t being widely talked about?
Lesson 5: Not Every Blog Will Meet Every Need
And not for any valid reason.
We are all wired differently (as we talked about in lesson 4). We all care about different things.
You’ve probably noticed that there are some people you relate better to than others.
Or there are some people that just rub you the wrong way, but you can’t put your finger on why.
Or perhaps some people have a totally different style, way of teaching, talking, looking at the world, than you.
That translates to our blog and the business we are building with our blog.
There are going to be people who don’t like the approach that other bloggers in your niche are taking. That’s where you come in.
Here at Blog to Biz Strategies, I couldn’t care less about being an influencer. Not that there is anything wrong with it. It’s just not my goal.
I want to work with people who care about changing lives and making money MORE than they care about being an influencer, having a “popular” blog and a huge following.
So for the bloggers who DO care about being an influencer, I’m not a good fit.
Another example is my branding.
My brand speaks to men and women, because I want to work with both. You’ll notice that even though I’m a creative (a mixed media artist) you don’t see that in my branding. If a creative wants to work with a brand that has a creative feel, they won’t be attracted to me.
The point of these examples, and this lesson is that the number of popular blogs in your niche should not determine whether or not you start a blog.
Because there is a good chance, these blogs aren’t meeting everyone’s needs. That’s where you come in.
If there is ONE thing that I hope that you take away from this post, it is this:
There will always be room in the world for another blog, AS LONG AS that blog is providing value & meeting a real need.
Yes, there a lot of blogs out there in the blogosphere.
There is a lot of competition in just about every niche that there is.
Yes, there are millions of blogs out there. And yes, there are probably thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of blogs in your niche.
But I want you to remember ONE thing: appearances are deceiving.
Just because there are a lot of blogs, it does not mean that they are good blogs.
Good blogs are few and far between.
Great blogs are even rarer.
What makes a blog great?
A great blog is one that makes a difference in the lives of its readers.
People are looking for help.
They are looking for solutions to create positive changes in their lives.
If you can give them the solutions…
If you can help them make the changes that they want to make…
Then the world needs YOUR blog.
In my next post, I share the story behind my own journey, and what led me to start this blog.
Read it here: From Peanuts to Profit – How Blogging Changed My Life.