Almost ten years ago I started a blog. It was a new concept. There were people who built an audience from scratch and had thousands or millions of readers of their blogs.
I started one as a way to publish resources for religion teachers. It was free. There weren’t any editors to convince to publish my work.
Social media was around at the time, of course, but there weren’t many people using it for business or as their primary platform. This was in the days before Facebook offered business pages.
The idea of a blog was to share personal and professional updates and resources that people read online. There are still a lot of popular blogs, of course, but nowadays readers spend most of their time on social media sites without visiting and reading blog posts for long periods of time. It is an unfortunate change for those of us who remember the old days of digital publishing.
Yet, media has evolved. People consume more visual and audio content than ever before.
I’ve spent the last month or so really studying what works on Instagram. When I first started using Instagram, it was a place to post photos with filters to make them look professional. Now, it has become something totally different. It has, in my mind, officially replaced the blog for a new generation of influencers.
(“Influencers” is a term that has almost completely replaced “bloggers.”)
I think the biggest reason for the rise of Instagram prominence is actually its limitations. You can’t send people away from Instagram with your posts. Facebook and Twitter have always been places where influencers went to send people back to their websites to read their longer-form content. Instagram, on the other hand, is a destination in itself. Likewise, people are vlogging on YouTube not to send traffic to their blogs but to be the home base of their online content.
It is fascinating to see this transition and it is amazing how difficult it is to make the mental switch from blogger to vlogger or “Instagram influencer.”