Technology always changes and digital trends come and go, but blogging will always be an integral part of the Internet. The year is almost halfway over, and we can see certain trends shaping the way the blogosphere operates. So how will blogging continue to develop for the rest of the year?
Here are 5 key blogging trends for 2015 and beyond.
1. Blogs Must Become Mobile to Rank
It’s becoming pretty clear to everyone that the world has gone mobile…and it isn’t going back. To adapt to this new world, all websites and blogs must become mobile-friendly.
In April, Google released a mobile-focused algorithm update that threw many websites into the lurch. Dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by some, this update penalized websites that weren’t optimized for mobile devices.
Fortunately for many bloggers, WordPress themes and designs for other major platforms are fully responsive. While the majority of blogs may not be affected, this could be a concern if a website is using an older, non-responsive theme.
Aside from the fact that non-mobile sites don’t rank, it’s important to remember that people just won’t read sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. When sites must shrink in order to fit on a smartphone, for instance, viewing the site just becomes too cumbersome.
2. The Blog is Only Part of the Content Picture
Another major trend in blogging is the diversification of the blogging personality.
As sad as it may be, blogging is no longer as hot and trendy as it once was. Social media, YouTube, photo sharing platforms, and other media channels have leaped into the limelight.
Bloggers certainly still have their avid fan base, and they always will. But as video and social consume the majority of mobile bandwidth, savvy bloggers will need to diversify their online presence in order to stay visible.
It may be best to think of a blog as part of a marketing funnel or “content funnel,” towards which bloggers drive traffic from social media, video platforms, and so forth.
3. Blogs Are Getting Even More Personal
People want to read people, not keyword-laden blog titles by a nameless person. It’s much easier to sell a blog and build an audience when there is a personality attached to that blog.
One reason many bloggers are so successful isn’t just because of the content they produce, but also because of their personas. It’s getting harder than ever to produce generic, niche-focused blogs that don’t have people attached to them.
In cases where those blogs are successful, however, this is often due to a successful branding effort on the part of the blogger. For instance, creating a “bestsattelitedishes.com” blog is becoming more and more difficult because the brand itself isn’t appealing to people or search engines.
To stay successful, then, bloggers will need to build a strong brand. And people connect to other people, so it’s always a good idea to attach a personality to that brand.
4. Bloggers that Stay in Touch Will Triumph
Blogging has always been about interaction with the audience. Comments and cross-blog socialization has been an essential part of the blogging community since its early days.
However, today, it’s even more critical to capture visitors when they reach a blog. Email lists, social media channels, YouTube channels, and other channels should always be used to stay in touch with potential fans.
Visitors that pop in for a quick read may never return, so many bloggers employ marketing tactics to monetize their followers, capture readers, and build an audience base.
With so many signals competing for readers’ attention, it’s vital to stay in front of readers using as many channels as possible.
5. Quality Trumps Quantity
A few years ago, some bloggers would advise blogging on a daily basis. This would help your blog stay in front of readers and search engines, or so the wisdom went.
Today, though, quality trumps quantity. People have less and less time and are less and less enamored by the novelty of the blogosphere. Bloggers that wish to stay on top of their game and their readers’ attention spans should deliver quality over quantity.
Longer, less frequent posts that are higher quality typically also perform better in search results. One study of top-ranking search results showed that the highest-ranking pages were over 2,000 words long.
Why? Usually because these posts were higher quality, so they received more backlinks and shares.
While we still have a ways to go before we reach the end of the year, these key blogging trends will certainly continue well into next year. Like the rest of the Internet, blogging is evolving. To keep up with the curve, bloggers should remember that their blogs need to build relationships with their readers. And the best way to do this is by offering high quality articles and even extending their reader relationships beyond the blog to other online channels.