Dear bloggers, this should terrify you a little bit.

Recently, I spoke to a group of high schoolers. I asked them to raise their hands if they read blogs.

Zero hands went up.

I felt like I had asked them if they used the yellow pages. I even made a joke about it saying, “I wish I had a sign in my front yard that said ‘I know about Google’ so they didn’t deliver the yellow pages.” One girl raised her hand and asked me what the yellow pages are.

Make no mistake though, the high schoolers are online. They love pinterest and twitter and Instagram. They listed countless youtube channels they subscribe to. But blogs? They acted like that was the equivalent of internet whittling.

Will some of them start reading blogs as they get older? Definitely. That’s likely to happen. Did some of them not raise their hands when the rest of the room didn’t? Probably. But if you’re a blogger you should at least be a little bit worried about this.

Actually, forget worried, be active.

The next generation isn’t tired of your ideas, they are tired of your delivery system. They still want to learn and laugh and have fun, but just not in the way other people used to. Want an easy way to test this theory? If you’ve been blogging longer than three years, use Google Analytics to see how long people spent on your site when it started. Now see how long they spent on it last month. The majority of you are going to experience what I’ve experienced, the average visit time is getting shorter.

The bad news is that the invitations to be irrelevant are multiplying everyday. The good news is, so are the opportunities to reinvent what you do.

Stay fresh today or be dead tomorrow. Social media waits for no man.

What ways are you working to keep your platform current?

  • Bevin
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 March Reply

    I make all of my posts pinnable and put them on Pinterest Twitter and Facebook

  • Bryan Logan
    Posted at 07:20h, 18 March Reply

    You should’ve asked after that how many follow something on Tumblr. I bet a ton of hands would go up.

  • Steve P Brady
    Posted at 07:20h, 18 March Reply

    Trying to stay active on as many platforms as possible. Currently post daily to Twitter, FB, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr.

    So far I would say Twitter and G+ have been the most responsive.

  • David Mike
    Posted at 07:20h, 18 March Reply

    I originally got on most of the forms of social media that my children are on to monitor their activity. I have been using Instagram to promote my blog.

    • David Mike
      Posted at 07:22h, 18 March Reply

      FB & Pinterest have been the most responsive though.

    • Tami Q.
      Posted at 16:11h, 18 March Reply

      How do you promote your blog with instagram?

      • David Mike
        Posted at 07:06h, 19 March Reply

        On Instagram, I post a picture from the blog and mention something about it in the comments. I will put my blog address in the comments but it is not clickable from there and so I will reference the link in my bio. Make sure you have your blog address in your bio. Here is a.n example

        • Scott Kedersha
          Posted at 07:31h, 16 May Reply

          Excellent suggestion about Instagram posts – i am going to start doing that. Thanks!

  • Los
    Posted at 07:22h, 18 March Reply

    I’ve been blogging for 9 years. 9. Years. It’s a completely and totally different medium than it used to be.
    People used to comment so people would click their names and then visit their blogs. That was the covered wagon age of getting people to come to your blog.
    Now my blog is simply a space where I continue to flesh out ideas.
    My publisher didn’t even ask what my blog stats were when they signed me. They looked at my Facebook engagement and Pinterest repins.
    It’s a different day people.
    Wake up or get left behind.
    Great post Jon!

    • Greg Hackenberg
      Posted at 07:28h, 18 March Reply

      I like this “Los” fellow. I think I’ll click on his blog.

    • Jonathan
      Posted at 09:26h, 18 March Reply

      How do you make your blogs pinnable? I actually got a Pinterest a few months ago because Jon said to, but I mostly just see food and fashion.

      • Melody
        Posted at 10:11h, 18 March Reply

        Have beautiful photos.

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 19:21h, 18 March Reply

      I remember those days. A lot of blogs were honestly just boring…badly designed, had hardly any good content. People would start blogs and abandon them when life got busy. People talked about boring crap like drinking coffee or what they had for breakfast.

      Web design became popular, and people started churning out layouts, blogging platforms became easier to use even self-hosted ones. Now you have bloggers with great blogs competing with other bloggers with great blogs. An example would be all the tech, fashion, crafty blogs, etc.

      I’m 31 but these days when I wake up I pick up my smartphone and click on the bloglovin’ or pinterest icon on my phone.

    • Jenny
      Posted at 21:57h, 29 March Reply

      That’s how I found all my blogs. I still follow the good ones.

  • Kristin
    Posted at 07:22h, 18 March Reply

    I started a Tubecast for my blog a few weeks ago. So far so good. YouTube is the largest social media site yet many of us ignore it. You don’t have to record yourself, you can use PowerPoint or some other visual in the background and treat it like a podcast. The point is, there are one billion active users on YouTube each month. We can no longer ignore that.

    • C. Huey
      Posted at 12:52h, 27 March Reply

      Some good stuff you shared there Kristin!

  • Nick
    Posted at 07:26h, 18 March Reply

    Wow. Zero. That’s crazy. And I’m old. But point taken. I’ve been taking to Pinterest and starting a podcast lately. Good thing my platform is targeted at older folks than high-schoolers!

    • Rick Theule
      Posted at 09:28h, 18 March Reply

      Nick – Who you calling old?!

      • Nick
        Posted at 11:29h, 18 March Reply

        Ha! Only in internet years. In internet years you and I are exactly the same age. I think it goes 1-10 human years (getting there), 10-25 human years (Internet Young), 25-34 (hanging on), 35+ (Internet old).


  • Judith
    Posted at 07:27h, 18 March Reply

    Great question. Following this conversation to glean from what others have to share.

  • Becky Castle Miller
    Posted at 07:28h, 18 March Reply

    They read blogs, they just don’t call them blogs. They call them Tumblrs.

    • Becky Castle Miller
      Posted at 07:29h, 18 March Reply

      Also, most interesting usage I’ve seen of social media lately (amongst teens) — on Instagram they will post an image of a celebrity or something humorous from a fandom they belong to, hashtag it so it’s searchable, and then micro-blog in the photo caption about what they did that day.

  • Amy Latta
    Posted at 07:30h, 18 March Reply

    Thanks so much for this, Jon. On some level, I think us bloggers know this, but a survey of our future readers is proof.
    Interestingly, most of my blog posts get action on Tumblr. Tumblr. A site that just gets my posts by default. Turns out I am a needed voice of reason on the #fitspo tag.

    Thanks for passing it along – taking a look at my social media plan this week!

    • Tom Kuegler
      Posted at 16:18h, 03 April Reply

      Hey Amy,

      Quick question-what method is best to gain followers on tumblr?

  • Brian Denslow
    Posted at 07:32h, 18 March Reply

    Have a pop-up picture blog, that should draw the younger crowd

    • Cory
      Posted at 08:08h, 18 March Reply

      Yeah and maybe a coloring book to for them so they will stay longer than 5 seconds

  • Charles Johnston
    Posted at 07:34h, 18 March Reply

    I try to use all the big tools the cool kids are using to stay ahead of the curve. Still a bit new at blogging so a work in progress. I noticed Tumblr mentioned and I have gotten no traction on that one yet.

  • Sandy Cooper
    Posted at 07:35h, 18 March Reply

    I have mixed feelings about what to do with this information. On the one hand, I agree completely that blogging has changed in a hundred different ways (for me, it’s been 6 years) and I need to pay attention to the changes and make some effort to keep up.

    But the fact that HS students don’t read blogs may or may not be relevant to me, a 45 year old Mom Blogger.

    HS students are so removed from my target demographic, I’m not sure it matters a ton what they are reading or how they prefer to consume information. We can chase all the latest social media outlets and try to develop a presence there, and miss the place where our niche congregates.

    Know what I mean?

    I would love to survey a group of women at, say, a Beth Moore conference. That information would help me a ton.

    • Becky Emerick
      Posted at 07:51h, 18 March Reply

      I was thinking the same thing. I’m not really aimed at High Schoolers. I connect with moms on Pinterest and Facebook. And I link to my blog via facebook, and then they comment on FB.

    • Erin Janda Rawlings
      Posted at 08:14h, 18 March Reply

      I agree with you since I blog about motherhood and life. I like to use my blog as a space to write and connect with others, as well as a portfolio to show potential freelance clients. However, if I was a company trying to build brand awareness and create relationships with my customers, I probably would not do it through a blog.

    • Janeen
      Posted at 08:16h, 18 March Reply

      I’m a mom. The only blog posts I read are ones where I’ve clicked a link from Twitter, FB or Instagram. I have feed subscriptions and look at those about once every 3mo.

      I think the teenagers matter because as our kids get older we’re going to follow what they’re doing just to stay relevant to them and make sure we feel like it’s safe.

      • Sandy Cooper
        Posted at 15:43h, 18 March Reply

        I agree I want to stay relevant to MY teens. I have a teen and an almost-teen (and another one behind them!) and make sure I fully understand what they are engaging in on line. To that, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s huge and moving quickly. You must keep up for the sake of the kids. Absolutely. 🙂

        I’m just not sure that means I should be shifting my focus away from blogging and to other forms of social media to accommodate a demographic decades younger than my target demographic.

        I’m not sure…still chewing on all this.

    • Robin Kramer
      Posted at 20:04h, 18 March Reply

      Sandy, I had the exact same thoughts, so thank you for giving voice to this!

  • S. Maddox
    Posted at 07:36h, 18 March Reply

    Not scared at all. I welcome anyone to read my blog, but its content is not necessarily for teens. Why would a teen want to read the story of a 40-something year old woman’s health journey? When they are older, they will want to read it. My job is to keep writing and keep growing so that hopefully they will not fall into the same pitfalls I fell into.

  • connie
    Posted at 07:37h, 18 March Reply

    I believe it. In my day job, I do higher ed marketing. We do all sorts of social media. We used to have amazing engagement on Facebook…not much anymore, partly due to the changes to posting to users’ newsfeeds. BUT a lot of them are no longer on FB in any meaningful way. When I think about doing outreach to prospective students, the current 16 and 17 year olds, I think, how the heck do I market on Snapchat?

    • Kate Johns
      Posted at 08:44h, 18 March Reply

      I have been blogging for years. I’ve noticed the changes; kids want fast, easy with tons of pics, videos.
      Doing my best to roll with the changes. I go on Fb daily and TALK to people. I promo my website on FB and Twitter. Will be adding more social media.

  • Mark E. Randall
    Posted at 07:43h, 18 March Reply

    Looking at my two sons, one a teenager, if they want to learn something, they go to YouTube for the information. Reading is avoided at all costs. The homework they complain the most about involves reading. I thought it was just my boys being boys. Seems a little more universal in this generation…

    • Kate Johns
      Posted at 08:48h, 18 March Reply

      I agree—my teen does not want to read. She wants to be on the Internet. We took it away until school is over due to her failing her core classes.
      We are doing our best to teach our kids what we can at home. We stress reading, and the love of books. We also stress morals and values. I may feel like a dinosaur in today’s high tech world or seemingly noone listening/talking to anyone else. But I will keep working with my kids to make them great people until my dying day.

  • Savanna
    Posted at 07:47h, 18 March Reply

    As a high school student reading this blog (as I do on a regular basis) I’m kind of sad. I didn’t realize I was the 1%. Not to mention I know what yellow pages are….

    • Abigail Kate
      Posted at 11:55h, 18 March Reply

      High five! Fellow high school-er reading a blog,
      Although I sort of believe that few others of us read blogs, based on my friends and stuff.

  • Nick the Geek
    Posted at 07:58h, 18 March Reply

    I work with teens and I can confirm that most teens spend a crazy amount of time online, and most of that time is spent in a small number of places. Almost everything is a social media site they are a part of. The exact sites change a little from time to time but mostly it is Facebook, YouTube, and then a small number of other social media sites.

    They will click links to leave those sites and then repost to the social network, but they don’t spend much time off the site.

    I learned a few years back that most teens I work with don’t even check email. They all have an email address but they don’t check it. I’ve removed “student email” from my registration forms because it was the WORST way to contact them. It is probably similar to how my school mailbox worked when I was living off campus.

    The school required that I have a school mailbox if I was a student. The mailbox was only used by the school and most of the time this was profs sending graded exams and papers back versus trying to hand them out in class. Because of this I got in the habit of only checking my mail if I was expecting something. Interestingly, this story involved my getting expelled from school because of a paperwork error and my failure to respond to notices in my school mailbox over the course of 2 weeks.

    I imagine the college admins were baffled that I didn’t check my campus mail 3 times a day like “normal students” but I am part of a digital generation and really don’t think about physical mail. I get all my bills electronically and rarely get anything in physical mail that matters. Maybe 2-3 times a year.

    If you want to make sure I see something it should be in an email or a text, not a piece of paper.

    That is the same thing with the next digital generation. Email, blogs, all the things that digital pioneers used to build the digital age, those are passé. It would be like taking a horse an wagon into town to get supplies from the general store. It worked great for the pioneers but now there are cars and Amazon …

    It was pointless for my administration to try and communicate important and time sensitive information to me in technology that was as old to me as messenger pigeons is to them.

    If you have an important message for anyone under 25, you need to put it on Facebook … and then in a few years it has to go on whatever the next generation is going to use instead of Facebook.

    (free side note, just posting your articles on Facebook will not engage the Facebook generation. They are looking for engagement and short, shareable things like memes.)

  • Cory
    Posted at 08:03h, 18 March Reply

    Since my subject matter is 100% for teenagers. I realized that I would have zero traffic and certainly zero return traffic if I continued down the road of written content. So I didn’t have to loose all that content I took down almost all of my written content and am replacing it with videos of the same posts. I found a great illustrator and we are turning all of our written content into videos on my YouTube channel and we post those videos to our blog.

  • Lady Tam
    Posted at 08:05h, 18 March Reply

    Well, this makes me feel a bit better about not blogging recently. lol

    No, but seriously, I equate this to teens in previous generations not wanting to read the news or watch a cooking program; it’s just not what they’re into, mostly due to age.

  • Bennett
    Posted at 08:06h, 18 March Reply

    Can I get this post in video form so I don’t have to read it, please?

  • Melody
    Posted at 08:12h, 18 March Reply

    Good to know! My fiance and I have just started putting together an idea. And by just I mean, this weekend I said, “You know what someone should do?” and a few hours later he said, “I keep thinking about your idea, we should do it.”

    We talked a lot about how we would use social media – we didn’t consider blogs, I’m glad we’re on the right track about that. I enjoy blogs myself, but I hate writing them.

  • Josh Hostetler
    Posted at 08:27h, 18 March Reply


  • Brett
    Posted at 08:29h, 18 March Reply

    For me, I am using a number of sites for this. I use the standards (facebook, twitter, etc.) But I have also begun sharing my work on sites like Gentlemint and others. These have been very effective.

  • Eric Dye
    Posted at 08:33h, 18 March Reply

    I think it has a lot to do with your target audience. The same could be said for books; however, I think your general point of needing to reinvent and ebb and flow with the use of a medium is really important.

    Great food for thought, Jon, thank you. 🙂

  • Shannon Mischuk
    Posted at 08:34h, 18 March Reply

    Recently I was teaching a social media 101 class to small business owners. One lady argued with me that she didn’t need to learn anything about the Facebook or Tweeter because her clients weren’t on there. I asked her what age demographic were her clients in, she answered, 75+. So I asked her where her clients were going to be in 5-10 years? She quickly had an AH-HA moment that she needed to stop thinking about who she was reaching at that moment and prepare for the next generation.

    It may be true that teens aren’t reading your blog, but it won’t be long before that generation will be interested in the topics you are currently writing. But they probably won’t read a blog about it.

    • Melody
      Posted at 08:47h, 20 March Reply

      “the Facebook and tweeter” – hilarious!

  • Theresa
    Posted at 08:37h, 18 March Reply

    I recently started a mommy podcast! It seems like the mommy blog world is quite saturated… but there are very few quality mommy podcast.

    In college I hosted a successful podcast with over a million downloads, so I hope to transfer those skills into a successful mommy podcast.

  • Joshua Kearns
    Posted at 08:38h, 18 March Reply

    Scary truth from the younger generation. I started just a little with Pinterest recently, posting pictures along with my blog posts, but I could get a lot more out of it. I’m also looking at podcasting. I’d be interested to see how many of those kids listen to podcasts.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 08:39h, 18 March Reply

    I’ve noticed there’s been a recent trend of headlines getting flashier and sensationalistic. For example, “The Top 10 Craziest Easter Eggs You Didn’t Notice in Michael Bay Movies…” Or “6 Incredible Secrets Celebrities Don’t Want You to Know.” Well of COURSE those sites are going to get the most clicks. You can have amazing content, but if the headline isn’t flashy enough to go viral, a lot of times it won’t. This is modern yellow journalism.

    Even the title of this blog post was sensationalistic: “Dear bloggers, this should terrify you…?” Maybe this is just because I just got finished watching the most recent Walking Dead episode. THAT was certainly terrifying. But the prospect of losing blog post reads? Not so much…

    And yet here, I am, reading your blog post.

    Are you some kind of secret, crazy genius, Acuff??

  • Chris Wilson
    Posted at 08:40h, 18 March Reply

    I wonder how many read sites with written content on them? I also wonder if there is an element of “I’m not sticking up my hand till someone else does.” Going on.

    Lots of people talk about being writers rather than bloggers, maybe these kids perceive that as well.

    This isn’t to take away from your points Jon, I just I wonder if the kids don’t even realise they read “blogs”? Maybe the application (if that is true) is to stop viewing your sites as blogs.

    • Nathan R. Hale
      Posted at 10:15h, 18 March Reply

      I think this is a very insightful Chris. The written word isn’t going away, but perhaps the particular medium known as a “blog” is changing. I read a piece by Jeff Goins that said we need to stop thinking of our sites as blogs per se and consider them as resources. This is definitely a different way of thinking about the traditional blog voice and format.

  • Tsh Oxenreider
    Posted at 08:41h, 18 March Reply

    Sure. But the majority of what they’re pinning on Pinterest? Blog posts. They probably do read them—just not in the classic, subscribe-to-the-RSS-feed and comment in the comments section sort-of way.

    • Hannah Alexis
      Posted at 09:33h, 18 March Reply

      Actually, Tsh, I don’t think that’s true. I’m a high school junior who frequently uses Pinterest, and I have a lot of friends who also use Pinterest. I even have a blog, and I almost never pin blog posts (mine or others) to my Pinterest boards. I just don’t find that I’ll ever go back to actually visit the site to read it. Blog posts that are linked on Facebook and Twitter that have an eye-catching title, however, will definitely get a read from me and other high schoolers.

      • Melody
        Posted at 14:42h, 18 March Reply

        So what do you pin? Do you ever go back to those pins?

  • Wanja
    Posted at 08:43h, 18 March Reply

    Great post! I am a college student and still technically a teenager at 18 and I find that my friends tend to read blogs that are linked on social media such as Facebook. If a teenager hears about a good blog by word of mouth, they MIGHT check it out, but if someone links it to them, they are far more likely to go and read it. Teens are also less likely to seek out blogs on their own. To anyone who is trying to get more views on their blog, I would highly recommend using Facebook and Twitter. I know if a title interests me while I’m scrolling, I will click on it.

  • Heidi
    Posted at 08:54h, 18 March Reply

    I had the pleasure of speaking in front of a college class recently. I am 37 and freely admitted that I don’t know what it’s like to be in their shoes, but that doesn’t stop me from researching their social media sharing patterns to educate myself more about how to connect with them.

    What I did ask them to do, however, was to completely silence their phones and not look at any digital devices for the hour I spoke with them — not because I didn’t want to be interrupted by a buzz or ringtone, but because I wanted them to consciously experience silence and focus. I think they face a ton of pressure to always (and I mean ALWAYS) stay connected.

    • Sandy Cooper
      Posted at 12:53h, 18 March Reply

      That must have been pure torture for them to not look at their devices for an hour. I have a HS daughter and she is never, ever away for a device for an hour at a time. Even in school. The school gave the kids iPads this year and I’m about ready to throw it out the window. Sure, she’s using it for Notability…but she’s also on Pinterest and You Tube all day long.

      It’s a constant struggle in our home.

  • Matt
    Posted at 09:11h, 18 March Reply

    I’mIm curious if this changes with podcasts and video blogs. Ive been contemplating making the leap but Im not sure.

  • Hannah Alexis
    Posted at 09:27h, 18 March Reply

    I’m a high school junior and I actually have a blog (not a Tumblr, a blog), and this is soooo true. Most people who read my blog are in their twenties, and the only high schoolers who read my blog are my real-life friends.They don’t read the type of blgs that you are talking about, but I know quite a few high school girls who keep up with fashion blogs or vlogs, but that’s a completely different ballgame. Also, people don’t count these as blogs, but the high majority of teenagers are on Tumblr and keep up with those “blogs”. Teenagers like pictures, and short, clever writing which is exactly what Tumblr delivers. They don’t want to read some grown-up preaching to them or drawling on. Tumblr keeps it short, honest, relatable, and effective and I think that’s why it is so popular among teenagers. Sorry for the novel. You can find me at

    • Melody
      Posted at 14:44h, 18 March Reply

      I must be old, I hate tumblr sooooo much

  • Hannah Alexis
    Posted at 09:37h, 18 March Reply

    Adding to my last comment, that’s why I love to read your blog, because it’s funny, clever, and I don’t feel like someone’s preaching to me. Also, I think your blog posts are a perfect length, but even if they were longer, I’d probably still read them just because your writing is great.

  • Kyle Chowning
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 March Reply


  • Lindsay
    Posted at 10:18h, 18 March Reply

    Here comes a Jesus Juke, but I’m serious (and I’m okay if that makes me as uncool as someone who searches for a plumber using the Yellow Pages).

    I seriously have to wonder if Jesus ever worried for a single moment about his platform. Or the disciples. Or the apostles. Or *anyone* before the recent upswing in Christian Celebrity, made possible by the astounding Christian Subculture that you used to mock.

    • Heather Harris
      Posted at 10:47h, 18 March Reply

      You have a GREAT point. Is the Christian subculture that is so prominent in America really what Jesus meant by “in the world, but not of it”?

    • Melody
      Posted at 14:45h, 18 March Reply

      This isn’t Stuff Christians Like, it’s Jon’s blog about business-y things

      • Walter
        Posted at 21:44h, 18 March Reply

        Lindsay, I could not have said it better. Jesus never bothered to wonder if using parables was still “relevant” or not. Jesus’ main concern was speaking truth in love to those around him. The recent swing in social media is alarming in its own right. Every day it seems there is another site out there that’s promising to be the “next big thing”. Quite frankly, I find it hard to keep up with using even 3 sites. (I refuse to call them platforms because I don’t use them to promote anything.)

        If you ask me, social media and blogging are getting a bit out of hand. Everything now has to have a social component and its kind of irritating. Go anywhere outside and you’ll see people on their phones left and right. Go to a party and it feels like phones are the coolest people in the room because everyone wants to hang out with theirs. But back to your point…

        Jon once said in a speech that its important to focus on the vital instead of the viral. I remembered that. I wrote it down and underlined it. What it told me is that we shouldn’t be concerned with numbers and attention we get from quick and cheap stuff or figuring out a way to capitalize on the moment. We need to focus on the things vital to humanity which, for me at least, are spreading truth, love, and value. If I’m honest, this blog post and overall message feels like it wants to convey the opposite. That its more important for you to stay “fresh” and current on as many sites as possible. That you need to be more concerned with what’s “hot” and be sensationalistic to attract viewers, rather than have people come based on the strength of your content.

        Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I don’t know. But I do know that I hate the word “blog”. And when people refer to themselves as bloggers. You’re a writer. You write posts for a website. Blog is a made up word.

        • Katie H
          Posted at 22:52h, 20 March Reply

          If you don’t stay current with the latest modes of communication, who will hear/read your great content? And, I think Jesus used parables because they were relevant. Parables are stories, and stories will always be relevant.

    Posted at 10:21h, 18 March Reply

    I’ve started posting my blog content ON Instagram. I even started using a #hashtag called #igmicroblog and I’ve been blown away by how much that it really works and essentially accomplishes the same thing.

  • Chrissy
    Posted at 10:35h, 18 March Reply

    My teens ditched FB a while back. They are most active (in this order) on Twitter, Vine and Instagram. I wish I could figure out a good way to market via Twitter and Vine… but my ideas fall flat and since links are almost non-existent in Instagram, you’re somewhat at the mercy of whomever feels compelled to click your profile in order to find that mysterious link.

  • Heather Harris
    Posted at 10:43h, 18 March Reply

    This really makes me sad…kids these days have lost the love of reading and just want to play picture pages on their phones…It seriously breaks my heart…The love of reading is what sparked the love of writing in me.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think there are many different ways to reach teens…It’s just so sad that this generation is so glued to the pictures and videos on their screens that words on a page don’t hold the same power and excitement as they did even 5-10 years ago.

    • Melody
      Posted at 14:46h, 18 March Reply

      Kids these days read. I volunteer at my church’s youth group and I often connect with kids over the latest novel. They’re just not reading blogs so much.

  • Peter
    Posted at 11:07h, 18 March Reply

    Haha I am in 10th grade, and I read your blog everyday!

    Posted at 11:20h, 18 March Reply

    That is a bit alarming, yet, isn’t that the beauty of blogs? To create a niche community. Those kids will find blogs and platforms once the define their own interests. They are still unclear of what they want and what paths to take.

    Dan Miller recently spoke about a gardening blog that had 3,000 monthly subscribers and was very successful…In your case, hopefully you gained a following from one of those kids. At the next school maybe you get two? As you have written many times: Impact from what you do can come in small doses but over time it makes a huge impact.

  • Sheldon
    Posted at 11:35h, 18 March Reply

    At the end of the day you have to know what your objective is. Is it to gain X amount of followers, subscibers, etc on a monthly basis? Or is it to create great content? What I’ve seen so far is sometimes you have to be good but most times you have to be lucky. In the end don’t lose your “voice” in an effort to just gain numbers.

  • JP
    Posted at 12:26h, 18 March Reply

    …and to think I purchased a url to start a blog yesterday!!!! #welp

  • martha brady
    Posted at 13:05h, 18 March Reply

    i also have to realize my target audience. it is not teens. probably not even college students. so i have to decide how much time i want to spend trying to learn all these new social media when that’s not where my peeps will be.

  • Brian @ Luke1428
    Posted at 14:13h, 18 March Reply

    All the high school students at the private school I teach know that I have a blog. None of them read unless the post has something to do with college or is a funny/inspirational story. Their focus is on Instagram and photo messaging with Snapchat. Most have left Facebook and only minimally use Twitter. I would be curious to see some statistics on the age young adults begin to read blogs. In my blog genre (personal finance), it seems there are a good many blogs geared towards the older Millennial crowd (ages 25-30).

  • Diana Willis
    Posted at 17:35h, 18 March Reply

    So happy to have found your blog today! I am aware of your books because I worked at Mardel for the past 3 years. I am excited to start reading your books but I also think that is one way to get traffic to your blog. through FB and readers who enjoy your books and daily posts. What I have found from previous sites that I visit that are popular with an older generation, is that when products are offered free, you drive up traffic. I was also curious how you go about making your daily blog posts pinnable? Thanks, Diana W

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 19:02h, 18 March Reply

      Yes but how many of the people became readers of your blog or followers of you on social media? I feel like when free products are offered that a lot of traffic comes through but many come just for the freebies and then they leave just like the wind.

      Of course people have gained new followers that way though so not saying it doesn’t work, but you know that a lot of people come in and out during freebie time.

  • Camilla
    Posted at 18:48h, 18 March Reply

    I’m not surprised. I ask the younger generation every chance I get and they want images, short descriptions and quick info but I think that’s where blogs are heading no matter who you cater to. Easy to read/view blog posts that are pinnable. I get more traffic from Pinterest than I do from all the other mediums combined.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:56h, 18 March Reply

    That doesn’t terrify me. I signed up on bloglovin’ and read all my favorite sites and blogs that way.

    It’s just easier (because people including myself are lazy) to go to one site whether that’s bloglovin’ or Pinterest, for all your connections, and sites/blogs than to go to each site individually. Saves time. I also think you’re comparing apples and oranges.

    The average teen lives in a bubble where all they pretty much care about is their parents, their friends, any hobbies they are into, their church if they are religious, school sports if they are into that, texting/social media is hot, and the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” or whatever the trendy show of the moment is, probably “The Vampire Diaries.”

    I watch “The Walking Dead” so that’s not a dig on teens. I remember when I was a teen girl in the late 90’s that my parents, school, church, friends, high school sports, going to the mall, and TV shows were my world. I love to read as well. Even though the internet was around back then it wasn’t as huge and slick as it is now.

    Teens are not interested right now on career advice like climbing the corporate ladder, parenting, cooking, getting out of debt, or any of that stuff. It’s mostly adults who go to those sites.

    Look at it this way, if a blogger posts all their posts on their blog and then FB and Twitter. If a reader is active on FB and reads your new post on FB because their favorite blogger posts every new post on FB, then why bother going to the site at all?

    It’s just the same content. These days I feel like it’s up to the individual on which medium they like their info/entertainment on and what’s comfortable for them.

  • Jeff Brown (@THEjeffbrown)
    Posted at 19:01h, 18 March Reply

    This is true of all media (especially when it comes to teens).

    Radio, the industry I spent 26 years in, still refuses to understand this as group. They’re too busy pushing legislation to force smartphone manufacturers to put FM tuners in their devices as if simply being there solves the problem (when’s the last time you wondered, “Gee, does this new phone I’m considering pick up my local stations?). Besides, apps like iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio make it a mute point.

    Should you be everywhere? Sure. Be everywhere you can. But not at the expense of being compelling, entertaining and engaging, bringing to the table what makes you uniquely you, your take, your viewpoint, your flair.

    Then, bring it consistently. And just when you’re about to give up, push forward. That’s usually about the time you “tip.”

    At least that’s been my experience.

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 19:10h, 18 March Reply

      This reminds me of when I used to work at Hollywood Video in 2009, worked there for 4 months in 2009 and they were in denial even then about Netflix affecting our business. A lot of things sunk that business but denial never helps. Old industries unfortunately are resistant to change sometimes.

  • Alex D
    Posted at 19:50h, 18 March Reply

    I’m in high school, and I read blogs. A lot of my friends do too. And as many people said, several of them are through Tumblr. But I also read science blogs.

  • Davo
    Posted at 21:35h, 18 March Reply

    But I read this post from a Facebook link. Irony?

  • Holly
    Posted at 12:25h, 19 March Reply

    So, do I just give up now?

  • Renee Groskreutz
    Posted at 16:54h, 25 March Reply

    Well, I am trying to use Instagram more but I find it frustrating for promoting a blog post. The important thing to consider is, your audience and where they are. This is a great post!

    Got any instagram tips for promoting blogs?


  • Kim Snyder
    Posted at 11:09h, 05 April Reply

    Right now when I do a blog post I have it setup so it post to my Tumblr and Twitter. My Twitter sends it Facebook. I also pin myself as well as others who are in the same field as I am. I do instagram and get a lot more interaction with the customer base I have. So yes blogging is great if you use the tools you can get for free or buy plugins for your WordPress blogs. I have been blogging since 2006 and yes things change but they also are the same in some ways. If you are offering great content and something worth reading, they will read it. Tumblr and Instgram are very visual with makes sense to use them.

  • Philip V Ariel
    Posted at 23:53h, 22 April Reply

    Hi Jon,
    This is really a shocking news to me!! 🙁
    The only solution to this is that, We the bloggers need to be more alert on this issue and make an awareness about blogging and its importance to our young generation, of course this we can do
    by promoting our contents thru twitter fb G+ and many other platforms where they are more active
    Surely, I never thought of this drawback. Let us be vigilant and do our duty, the need of the hour is that our young generation should turn to blogging 🙂
    Thanks Jon for this thoughtful post.
    May you have a wonderful time ahead
    Keep informed

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  • Mario Rodríguez
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    I read blogs, lots of them. I would not call Tumblr a Bloggin platform, since there are no blogs there in the sense of writting meanful articles, it is more a microbloging platform where you find a lot of twitter like posts with pictures, besides their SEO is pretty non existing. When was the last time you read something on tumblr you found it on Google? If you want meanful written content, tumblr is not really the place to go. Try Medium or respected blogs but not tumblr, at least not now.

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  • Laci Ortiz
    Posted at 13:26h, 08 April Reply


    Great post. As a small group leader in student ministries for the past seven years, you could not be more correct. In fact, I have now resorted to two ways to connect to young people: instagram or a text message. When I mentioned writing a letter/note to them, I was given blank stares like I just spoke about coming to see them in a covered wagon. As this next generation comes of age, we must learn how to reach them so we can share truth, in way that they will hear it.

    God Bless and Be Encouraged,

    Laci Ortiz

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