As we push through the middle of the year and approach the final straight, we thought we would take a closer look at some of the blogging trends that have appeared during 2016. As the blogging industry refines itself, it is noticeable that there are fewer significant changes to how bloggers are working.
The focus is now becoming a lot more incremental – evolution, not revolution, if you will. However, what are these evolutionary changes in trends? Most importantly, are you using them on your personal blog and in your blog posts? Let’s take a closer look at our blogging trends review of the year.
2016 Blogging Trends
If you want to create a better quality blog, write longer posts – it’s as simple as that. You don’t need to cram your blog with dozens of new, short articles each week, and there’s some evidence that might have a detrimental effect. If you can write longer blog posts that are packed full of interesting and relevant info, not only will your audience love it; Google will too. In fact, it’s likely that fewer than ten or so of your articles will be responsible for 90% of your traffic. It makes sense, then to put more effort into creating better, but fewer, posts.
Be careful not to let each post drag on though, you have to keep your visitors attention. Try making it informative with lots of key take-away points.
Bye bye banner ads
It seems like, for banner ads, the game might be up. First of all, this year has seen report after report stating the fact that they just don’t work. Digital advertising agencies have been pushing display and banner ads onto clients for years now.
The trouble is, they aren’t getting a return on their investment. The reason? Most ‘impressions’ on banner ads are bots, not people. And, there have been several eye-tracking studies that people just don’t look at banner ads. If you are a blogger relying on advertising income from banner or display ads, you can expect your figures to start dropping soon, so look for alternative revenue streams.
If You Like This One, Number 12 Will Blow Your Mind!
The rise of the click bait article – and title, in particular – has been astonishing. Thanks to the likes of Upworthy and Buzzfeed, they are everywhere these days. The trouble is, people are starting to cotton on. If you are writing click bait headlines, you need to back it up with exceptional and extraordinary blog posts.
The simple truth is that far too many clickbait titles lead to poor quality writing and posts. So, this is one trend you need to be careful of – or you will end up attracting low-quality visitors to your site and suffering from high bounce rates. Clearness and clarity are key – maybe with a healthy dollop of humour every now and again.
Higher quality comments
The game has been up for linking in comments for years now. It’s still useful for increasing your traffic numbers, but the effect on your SEO is more damaging than helpful. However, comments are still proving to be important. Savvy bloggers are using them to connect with other industry bloggers and engage their communities a lot more.
Are you doing the same on your blog yet? If not, why not try it out? You will meet a lot more people, make valuable contacts, and grow your network by a significant margin. You might even generate some nice contextual backlinks from your new relationships in the process.
Engagement not views
As we have already mentioned a few times, impressions and views are becoming less important for bloggers. As companies become more aware of the fact that most traffic isn’t human, they are placing less importance on visitor figures. The focus now is more on engagement.
You need to find ways of attracting new readers – and keeping them. Your comments section will help with this, as we mentioned in the paragraph above. The idea is to build a community and go for social media shares. If you want to attract businesses and advertisers and make a career of your blogging, think ‘engagement’.
Engagement doesn’t have to be exclusive to your own website either. Engage influencers on social media and engage your audience while you are at it too. With the growth in popularity of time-saving social media scheduling tools like the Marketing Labs Scheduler, along with Buffer and Hootsuite, there’s no excuse. You can plan a week’s worth of social posts in an hour or two.
Email can still be king
You might think we are cheating here, but it’s a good opportunity to underline the value of building up an email list. It gives you direct access to your audience at any time of day, and it encourages repeat visits. It beats social media by some distance – yet few bloggers know how to make the most of the email. Make it your aim to learn more by the end of the year, and grow your email list. It will boost your audience and up your readership by a considerable amount.
OK, so that was our top blogging trends of 2016. How about you?
Feel free to let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. You see what we did there?
This post was written by Matt Janaway, a digital & online entrepreneur and marketer, specialising in the retail & eCommerce arena. He has built, purchased, optimised and sold in excess of 10 eCommerce businesses with multi-million pound revenues and he is now heading a team project optimising 30 websites with over 20,000 products. He considers my methods, scientific and incredibly advanced. Connect with him on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.