For decades, blogs were the Internet’s currency—if you had one, you could command an audience, if you didn’t, gathering a digital following was much harder. Bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, Seth Godin, and the personalities behind Boing Boing used their digital platforms to launch online empires that engaged millions. But with the growth of social media as an alternative, blogs have lost some of their cachet, as finding an audience online became faster and easier. We’ve tracked down three glimpses at what the future might hold for blogging. Summary: they’re not dead yet.
From travel blog to travel agent: More and more travel bloggers, who chronicle their adventures around the globe, are monetizing their pastime by becoming travel agents. It’s part of a trend of bloggers looking to use their digital presence to develop a professional presence, too, whether it be fashion bloggers looking to enter the industry or parenting bloggers looking to develop a marketable product. [Read more at Travel Weekly]
The new rules of blogging: For years, companies and thought leaders used a plethora of blogging tactics to help raise their profile, including guest posting on popular blogs. But according to writer Mike Templeman, the rules have changed for blogs, driven by a desire for high-quality content across the web, as well as Google’s new guidelines for high-ranking content. Templeman’s advice? Write well, choose your blogging outlets carefully, and know how to promote yourself wisely. [Read more at Forbes]
An unlikely book reviewer: According to an interview in the New York Times, Bill Gates has become the web’s most unlikely book critic, drawing in a web-wide audience for his musings on his latest reads. It demonstrates the unexpected power of personalities using blogging platforms to create high-value content and drive eyeballs. Though Gates doesn’t use his blog for commercial purposes, he nonetheless cements his status as one of the world’s leading thinkers and businesspeople—not a bad outcome for a book review blog. [Read more at the New York Times]