Swinging on Monkey Bars as a Blogger

I can’t recall exactly where I first heard (or read) someone say this, so feel free to drop a source link in the comment section if you happen to know. Basically, the person was saying that all bloggers want to do these days is make it big as YouTubers. And all the YouTubers want to be successful podcasters. And all the podcasters want to… well, we’re not really sure where they’re going just yet. Netflix series? Eventual buyout by Disney?

The point is that the Internet continues to change each day and a lot of these changes are entirely out of your control. If you make your earnings in US dollars but you live in Canada, for example, you’re at the mercy of the foreign exchange rate. I remember when I was getting upwards of $1.40 Canadian or more on the US dollar, but I also remember when I was getting as little as 90 Canadian cents on the US dollar too. You just learn to hedge your bets and adjust accordingly.

Content on Content

The content strategy that you take must be equally flexible and you have to be willing to pivot. Focus on what you are able to control and make the best of the situation. The reason why bloggers are moving to YouTube is that the online audience, generally speaking, is much more inclined to watch a short video on YouTube or Facebook than they are to read a longer blog post.

If you want to survive as a “blogger” on the web, you have to understand that blogging alone is no longer enough. You need to have a good presence on major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. And maybe you need to have a great YouTube channel too. It’s not too late. At the same time, the next big battleground is in audio and that’s why YouTubers are moving to podcasting too.

Casey Neistat made a huge name for himself as an innovative daily vlogger and now he’s got a podcast with his wife Candice. Sara Dietschy made a “peachy” name for herself as a vlogger, who was at least partly inspired by Casey, and now she has a podcast where she interviews other creative professionals. The list goes on and on, and meanwhile, Marc Maron has been doing his thing all along and he has no apparent interest in blogging or vlogging.

He’s too busy getting into the ring with the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) on Netflix, I suppose. But I digress.

Snapping the Vine

From the perspective of the novice, intermediate or even advanced blogger, what does all of this mean? The truth is that we’ll never know what is the “next big thing.” For a while there, it seemed like Vine became the place to be if you wanted to connect with a younger demographic, but Vine no longer exists. And then it was Snapchat, but that platform is nowhere near as popular as it once was either. Just look at what happened to Spectacles.

What this all means is that it is perfectly understandable if a blogger wants to be a vlogger. Or if a vlogger wants to be a podcaster. But what it also means is that the would-be vlogger shouldn’t give up on his blog just yet, and the would-be podcaster shouldn’t abandon ship on the vlog either. It’s not about throwing away what you’ve already done to jump on the hottest new fad.

Instead, think about it like how you would approach a set of monkey bars at the playground. Or any of these ring-type structures at the playground. You hold on to what you’ve already got a firm grasp on with one hand, but you go ahead and swing over to the next bar or ring to grab on with your next hand. You can be a blogger *and* a vlogger. You can be a vlogger *and* a podcaster.

Reach a Little Farther

Just recognize that, at the end of the day, you only have two arms (maybe a few more in the metaphorical sense). Choose your battles and pick where you have the greatest enjoyment and ROI, but don’t quite let go of what you’ve already built. You can always swing back and forth with a firm grasp on two rings.