Yesterday I read Yaro Starak’s blog post about how he changed his blogging methods in 2014 – basically, he changed his job. Yaro is a longtime blogger and has lots of blogging success. He calls himself a blogging pioneer – kind of poking fun at himself – but he sold his most successful blog training course in 2008 and made over a million dollars from it.
According to his post, during those early years of his blogging career Yaro and most other professional bloggers focused their attention on gaining a bigger and bigger audience. At this point 2015, there are bloggers with a distribution audience of over a million people.
That’s not where Yaro places his focus now. So what has changed in blogging? And maybe more to the point, What has changed in the world since 2008?
I think everyone is aware of the economic collapse in 2008 that started in the United States mortgage markets but quickly spread throughout the economy and around the world. Although Yaro doesn’t say this, blogging was affected by that global recession.
The Economy Changed
Here’s how it worked. First of all, there were direct changes to society due to the economic downturn. The number of births decreased, wages feel flat and unemployment rose and is still higher today than it was in 2007. That’s some of the bad news.
But what has really happened is the very nature of the U.S. economy has changed. A significant percentage of the economy is now tied to digital technology and that continues to grow. That’s not real big news, but the way people are making money in the economy is news.
The internet has continued to grow bigger and bigger and more people are earning money online. Ideally the internet would pickup the employment slack where the traditional economy lost jobs. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t fit together that seamlessly. Instead, there is economic pain and suffering.
But there is also great opportunity.
Here’s the rub, and it’s an important consideration for your career growth and development. The economy crashed in 2008 and was poorly managed for the next four years. Big banks were bailed out that never should have been bailed out. It’s easy to say that now and it was very difficult to know then (2008) what policies to take in the face of a failing economy.
The thing is, those banks never reinvested in the economy – they held onto their money rather than lending it out. The economy struggled along poorly except that the computer and internet industry continued to expand and that was the bright spot.
Silicon Valley is currently the most buoyant part of the U.S. economy. Technology employment in Boston, New York, Southern California, Seattle, Austin and Silicon Valley together produce about 88 percent of U.S. technology growth. And, technology growth is a significant part of what’s going right.
So the economy has changed since 2008, but the same financial issues are still in place. Big banks continue to operate by manipulating markets just as they did during the run up to the mortgage market crisis. Those big banks are currently encouraging the Congressmen they supported in the 2014 midterm elections to undue the Dodd-Frank regulations that were placed on banking as a result of the 2008 crash.
The point is, the economy is very likely to experience another crash in the coming four or five years due to financial manipulations that are not exactly illegal, but that jeopardize economic stability. In fact, even if those manipulations are illegal it doesn’t seem to matter, the Justice Department doesn’t indict for banking crimes – at least it hasn’t done much on that score in the last five years.
So, for your personal career growth, be aware that another financial crisis is likely and it will affect your industry. Be aggressive about technical and digital technology and how it relates to your career growth. Basically your job protection is tied up with how the internet continues to expand and how you learn to leverage that expansion.
Well there’s my ten cent tour of how the economy has changed since 2008, but blogging has changed also. Blogging is a great way of finding information. Fundamentally blogs are a communication channel that is both personal and public. You hope to find writers that speak to you in an entertaining way, but writers that also provide real information about those parts of the world you need to know about.
Here’s what’s changed on the digital side of the economy. Blogging has become a profession. Over the last ten to fifteen years blogging has grown up. As a blogger, either you have a large audience or you have a very personalized smaller audience. It’s difficult to do both, but both paths can lead to a full-time professional job.
Internet traffic continues to get larger and larger, so it’s easy to be lost in the noise. Platforms continue to proliferate. Look at these changes: since 2008 Facebook reached well over a billion users and began advertisements; Twitter grew big after it was founded in 2006. Instagram, Foursquare, Pintrest and Google + were all launched after 2008. And, mobile has become the biggest change of all since 2008; now over fifty percent of online activity is done on cell phones.
These online digital shifts have changed the blogging space. For your career growth you have to figure out which platforms are convenient for you, and then you have to decide which content providers are most comfortable. The online audience is now sophisticated and generally many people in that audience have several favorite sources.
Here’s the real heart of the change in both blogging and the economy since 2008; with the likelihood of another severe economic downturn in front of us, the digital part of your career is more important. If and when things get dicey, you can most affectively protect your job if you have digital skills – and blogs are one of many great sources for learning about those skills.