Well 2009 is upon us and everyone is doing their 2008 roll ups and 2009 predictions. I thought I would chime in with what I saw in 2008 and what I am expecting in 2009 and beyond. The idano Blog Network consists of around 15 blogs that spans various topics and subjects so I have a pretty good window into the overall state of the blogosphere for the small time blogger.
The first thing that I noticed through the holiday season was that sales were really down. I made about 33% of what I did last year in Amazon sales and Adsense compared to 2007. Here are a couple of contributing factors for this decline:
- The economy and the fact that people were just not spending as much. The items that I was selling were kind of pricey for Christmas presents and I think people went for more practical and safe presents.
- Stores were overstocked for the holiday season. In 2007 the items that I was selling were sold out in brick and mortar stores so that pushed people online. This year there was plenty of stock through the entire season.
- The market was saturated. Last year there were 2 major products in the market I was selling to. This year there were at least 10 from the main manufacture that I sold for. Also, everyone and their brother was selling the same thing, you could get them anywhere and everywhere now.
Going into 2009 I have already seen a pretty big drop in advertising revenue from December. I am trying to be realistic in the fact that this is probably going to be dropping more as the year goes on. I don’t expect it to go away completely but I am already adjusting my budgeting to not count on this money anymore.
What’s Going to Happen to the Small Time Blogger in 2009?
In a nutshell I think a lot of small time blogs/bloggers will disappear. The reason for this is that a lot of these people were drawn to blogging for the easy money which is no longer going to be available. That will polarize blogs into personal non-money making blogs and true money making blogs.
For the idano Blog network I am already looking at blogs that I can scale back or shut down altogether. For me it is better to have fewer blogs that I can put more quality into as opposed to 15 that I can only touch here and there. As advertising dollars drop off a site I will look to close it down.
One thing that I am doing is looking to the future and to the fact that this economical downturn will not last forever. What the small time blogger does now will determine what type of money they make when the economy rebounds. During this time I want to make sure that my content is solid and that I keep my ranking in the search engines if not secure better rankings.
Things that I am considering to keep and/or improve ranking are:
- Go back and re-write copy. There are several posts of mine that are outdated where a refresh of the content can bring new life to my ranking.
- Update themes and layout of my blogs. The majority of my blogs are the old-school blog layout and do not have spaces for advertising.
- Re-invent some blogs to get them more defined or find a new niche altogether.
- Post on a regular basis so that Google know I am still alive. I really wound down last year on posting and my traffic really showed the difference. I am looking to be more steady this year.
I think 2009 will be a down year in general for the economy but I think it is the perfect preparation time for 2010 when I expect the economy will begin to rebound. Those that survive through 2009 will be stronger and the ones that make money in 2010.