How Are Bloggers Doing During The Coronavirus Bear Market?

As stock investments sell-off during this coronavirus-bear market, many are left wondering what’s the next domino to fall.

Real estate, my favorite investment class to build wealth, is in a precarious state. Real estate brokerage firms are hurting because volume has dried up as most of the country is under lock down. Prices have held up so far, but the bear market isn’t over yet.

The only real champion in this bear market is Treasury bonds followed by cash.

But what about blogging? The great thing about blogging is that you can’t shut it down! Valuations for blogs could actually go up given its high operating margin plus its ability to always stay open.

Here’s what I’m seeing in the blogging world in the coronavirus era.

How Blogs Are Doing During The Coronavirus Bear Market

1) Content production volume is down about 20-% – 30%. Bloggers are either too worried or are too busy to blog as much. I see a number of blogs who have let go of their normal blogging cadence. Bloggers with kids have it particularly tough given they’ve now got to work longer hours to keep their kids educated and entertained. I can really only write between 5 am – 7 am before my son wakes up and then my baby.

2) Search engine traffic is down 15% – 20%. Daily search traffic is more like traditional weekend search traffic due to lockdowns. People spend most of their time reading blogs while at work between Monday to Friday. I’ve also noticed that less people search about financial topics online because it’s too scary or painful. It’s easier to have a “head in the sand” type of attitude.

3) Some bloggers are giving up. With traffic down and affiliate revenue down, some bloggers are writing less as a result. For bloggers who enjoy writing first, they just keep on going because money wasn’t the primary focus.

4) Some bloggers are writing even more affiliate content. As the coronavirus pandemic really started to spread in March 2020, bloggers who are very focused on making money online have doubled down on writing even more affiliate posts.

Here’s a good example by blogging extraordinaire Grant from Millennial Money pumping out non-stop affiliate content during the pandemic. It is very admirable as I’ve been more focused on writing topical content during this crazy time and afraid to write these type of posts as it would seem tone-deaf. But given his readers don’t seem to mind, I’ve been inspired to start focusing on affiliate posts as well.

How bloggers are doing during the coronavirus bear market
How Are Bloggers Doing During The Coronavirus Bear Market?

5) Some affiliates are cutting back. Unfortunately, there are affiliates that are cutting their payouts or are temporarily pausing their affiliate programs altogether as their own businesses see a decline in revenue. This is dangerous for the affiliate because bloggers might not want to work with them in the future due to the lack of consistency. It takes a lot of work to update content whenever there is a change, especially if you have a large archive of posts. Also imagine if you spent a lot of money on freelance writers to write affiliate posts and these affiliates shut down? Be strategic with your future posts.

Do You Blog For Business Or Pleasure?

Individual blogging trends are really all over the place during the coronavirus. What you end up doing on your blog all depends on where your priorities lie.

If you are focused on trying to make more money for you and your family or really love money, you will probably write more affiliate posts and try to create more of your own products to sell.

If you view blogging more as a creative outlet, then you’ll probably write more creatively about whatever is on your mind, regardless of any financial benefit.

*There is no right or wrong answer*. Everybody’s financial circumstances and personal situation is different. Do what’s best for you.

I’ve always treated blogging as a hobby because I love to write. As Financial Samurai grew, so did the offers for more business opportunities. I was able to pick and choose which products I liked and used, and highlighted those products when relevant.

If I focused mainly on blogging for money, I think I would have lost my enthusiasm for blogging a long time ago. There is no way I could write review post after affiliate post. It would eat at my soul. But I am privileged to say this because I have enough investment income to cover our desired living expenses, for now.

That said, there should be a good balance, especially during a bear market where money is harder to come by. I’m not sure what the right balance between business and pleasure is. It’s probably unique for everyone.

Instead of writing 90% fun posts and 10% business-related posts, I’m going to try and shift the ratio to 60% fun posts and 40% business posts and see how it goes. I’m very inspired by my fellow bloggers who are focused mainly on making money, no matter if there’s a global pandemic or not.

It doesn’t seem like anybody (readers, media, blogging community) minds if a blogger mostly writes affiliate posts once they’ve established their reputation, therefore, might as well pump those out like n95 masks. In fact, you will probably save a lot of time because there will be few comments on each post.

Eventually, as lockdowns are lifted and the economy opens up, search engine traffic and online revenue will return. Millions of people will start revisiting their favorite blogs. Just be aware that they will notice your work during the coronavirus pandemic and either appreciate what you have written or move on.

For bloggers focused on making money, the good thing is that Google search doesn’t care if your content is boring or only focused on affiliate posts. So long as it’s the most SEO optimized post on a product, that’s all that matters!

Just make sure to write based on your own personal goals. Half the battle in creating a successful blog is really lasting long enough to see the fruits of your labor.


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