Bloggers have continued to grow in importance and their influential power has reached new heights. Business owners are realizing the need to post regular blog content. Finally! It’s not surprising considering that featuring a blog as a key part of your website will give you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly in search engines.
Blogs adapt and change as the digital world evolves, which means every year there are new trends to contend with. 2017 has been no exception with plenty of exciting new trends on the horizon.
12 Biggest Blogging Trends
1. Live streaming
Apparently posting ‘instant’ pictures on Instagram isn’t enough. Bloggers and brands are expected to go one step further and offer live streaming to their audience. We’re sharing more of our lives and this trend is expected to continue and reach new heights.
Instagram stories launched back in November and the blogging world is most definitely on board with this type of short form ‘snack’ content popularized by Snapchat.
Facebook Videos have increased 360% across everyone’s news feeds. It’s no secret that online video is growing, but now it’s so popular that bloggers, and those running blogs, need to factor video into their content calendars.
Some ‘vloggers’ exist purely on YouTube and attract millions of views. More bloggers who solely used to write posts have started a channel this year as audiences increasingly expect a seamless multimedia experience from top blogs and bloggers.
3. Blog UX
Gone are the days when blogs were just one page with a bland, dull design. Bloggers are now investing a great deal of hard earned money into their blog website design because users are expecting more. Blogs are becoming more glossy and clean, created 100% with the user in mind, and boasting stunning visuals like video and photo galleries.
Try not to make the mistake of going along with a blog design fad without considering how it will impact your users. Choosing the right platform for your website and blog is crucial for delivering a first-class experience for your users. You may want to build an online store and blog on Shopify, or go down the WordPress plugin route — just make sure that you invest enough time and money into creating a website experience people won’t forget!
4. Mobile first
We now know that Google uses the mobile version of a site to determine quality and rankings, which means mobile isn’t just important, it’s everything. Part of the reason why blogs have become tidier and simpler in design is that they need to work on mobiles. Expect more changes to blogs to adapt to the fast world of mobile web browsing.
5. Longer, quality posts
Say goodbye to pointless click bait that adds no value, and say hello to long, hearty blog posts that are worth reading. That’s what blog owners should do if they want to rank better anyway. The average word count of top-ranking content in Google is between 1,140 and 1,285 words. That content budget is going to have to stretch a little further, and bloggers need to look at posting regular posts that are over the 1000 word mark.
6. Blogging generates high ROI
It’s often hard for marketing managers to convince their boss that creating and maintaining a blog is worth the investment. Often, budget ends up getting allocated elsewhere, and brands miss out on the opportunity to capitalize from blogging.
According to The State of Inbound Report by HubSpot, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. This year brands have finally recognized the impact blogging can have on their business, and top bloggers have had a lot of financial success working with brands.
Blogs are now becoming trusted sources of information, and consumers are reading posts before making purchases. In fact, according to Hubspot, 47% consumed 3-5 pieces of content before taking the first step towards making a purchase.
7. Blogger tribes
It’s not just about the blogger and the audience. Bloggers are teaming up and creating tight-knit communities in certain niches. Brands shouldn’t just look at trying to connect with individual bloggers, but they need to try and penetrate the blogger ‘in crowd’.
This is what will truly bring success when it comes to collaborative campaigns. Many bloggers not only want to continue their rise to internet fame, but also bring others along with them. Successful influencer marketing will involve finding ways to build strong ties with these blogger tribes.
8. Comments are fading
Many sources are claiming comments on blogs are becoming less important, and some even suggest they may disappear altogether. It’s not that people don’t want to continue the conversation, they just want to continue it elsewhere. It’s much more beneficial to start a discussion via social media, where you can get all sorts of people interacting.
Blog comments can also attract a lot of spam, which is frustrating to manage, and some bloggers are simply tired of getting mean comments. So, expect to see more blogs taking away the option for readers to comment, and more conversation happening via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram instead.
9. Adapting to voice search
According to ComScore, ‘50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.’ Plus, Locationworld claims that 40% of adults now use voice search once per day. This year people have been using voice search more, and experts predict this is going to rise. So how does this relate to blogging? Well, blog owners need to start thinking about optimizing and adapting their blog content for voice search.
Voice queries are quite different from typed searches — they are more conversational and longer. In order to serve up content that answers these queries, bloggers need to have a wider discussion and consider relevant questions their audience might be asking. This also ties into the theory mentioned above that longer content performs better.
10. Say ‘no thanks’ to pop up ads
In January, Google announced it would be penalizing sites with intrusive popups, especially on home pages. Many blogs used to contain all sorts of banners and popups for monetization purposes, but flashing banners and pesky popups should be avoided where possible these days. This is yet another reason to keep blog designs clean and straightforward.
11. Some bloggers are now called ‘influencers’
If you’ve heard rumors that the blogging world is dead, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that good bloggers have simply got a new, more accurate name. They are now known as ‘influencers’ because they do more than just write and publish ‘weblogs’, they have the power to communicate with audiences and shape opinions.
12. Regular blog posts count
Posting one or two blogs a month just won’t cut it. You won’t build an audience and you certainly won’t get people coming back for more.
Google rewards publishers who post regularly, and according to Hubspot, companies that publish 16 or more blog posts a month got 4.5x the leads than companies that published four or less monthly. However, it’s important to note that an increase in blog posts should not have an impact on quality. There’s no point posting more if the content quality suffers. Get your strategy right first, then ramp things up a notch.
This is a guest post written by brand marketer and blogger Victoria Greene. She’s an e-commerce marketer by trade and runs a blog in her spare time. Growing a brand’s reach by cooking up a long-term growth strategy is her forté.