Happen to catch our recent article on the social media trends predicted for 2017? Not surprisingly, blogging trends for 2017 will follow the same pattern. It’s predicted that more and more blogs will be created this year but that many of them (perhaps most, even) will not be read. Why? Because they’ll fail to stand out amongst the crowd, drowning in a sea of similar blogs. So what can you do to make your blog attract readers and followers?
First you’ve got to make sure you create a blog worth following. Then you’ll need to stay on top of changing trends and practices. To give you a bit of a head start in this second area, we’ve scoured the web for the top predicted trends in blogging, which you’ll find outlined below. Now it’s up to you to implement them in your blogging practices!
The biggest predicted trend is that, as with social media, readers will be looking for a more personal, intimate human experience. Tools that automate your posts may save you time, but they can lose you followers if those followers see you’re posting just to post because you know you have to post (whew!). Followers want to experience real engagement with you before they reciprocate. And while comments on posts are decreasing and are predicted to continue to fall, engagement such as shares, likes, and follows will increase. So engage with those who want to connect with you. Don’t send out automessages; rather, take the time to respond to those who take their time to engage with you.
2. Live Streaming
Going live is all the rage on social media, and it’ll be the same for blogs. Live streaming allows your readers and followers to experience a type of “moment-in-the-life-of” your company. It’s more personal and, well, real, as opposed to a recorded or written post, because it’s happening now, giving viewers a vicarious experience. You can also share these videos later so followers can see what they missed when you were live, prompting them to watch you next time you’re live.
What kind of content do you want to create with live video? In our post on social media trends, we suggested things like a tour of your business (either physical or virtual) or a personal interview with employees or even company leaders. Another way to get more viewers on a live feed is to offer special savings or opportunities by announcing them exclusively on your live stream. Be sure to take advantage of the apps that let you live stream directly from your blog. It takes a little time to create live posts, but it’s time well invested.
3. Video and Images
Videos grab a visitor’s attention like nothing else, so be sure to include plenty of them on your blog. As mentioned above, you can share recorded live-stream videos for later viewing, but non-live recorded videos still have their place. And you can actually combine the two. For example, if you’re a food blogger, you could record how to make a creative meal, then live-stream the moment you and others dig in. You’ll probably want to make sure your culinary creation tastes good if you live stream the taste test! But even a culinary kerfuffle could turn into something positive. Your viewers will share an intimate moment where you realize you’re human.
In addition to videos, any image—photos, charts, graphics—will still catch someone’s eye better than a big block of text. Your posts will be more attractive if you use compelling images to capture the essence of a post.
4. Great Content
We can’t overemphasize this one because it’s ultimately what will keep your readers reading a post and returning for more. Ten subpar posts won’t get read, but one fantastic post will, and it’ll get shared. And your blog and business will receive more exposure and hopefully get you more clients! Given the current cascade of online content, you need to show how unique you and your business are, and great content is what makes a blog stand out. Here are a few tips for creating compelling posts:
- Do market research. Reach out to your followers and those in your network. Ask them what they want to read and see. Then follow their advice and create that type of content! Write for your audience, not for yourself.
- Write longer, more in-depth posts. Wait, longer posts? What about information overload? This goes back to one great post being better than ten subpar posts. What readers want is real information, not fluff.
- Opt to outshine other opt-ins. Everyone has opt-ins for newsletters and updates, so yours needs to be unique and appealing. Freebies are good, but you need to offer even more incentives because everyone else is offering freebies. Ask yourself—and your followers!—what coveted freebie they want that only you can deliver. This also goes for your newsletters if you have them. Create a newsletter that’s as exciting as getting a personal letter via snail mail (an outdated metaphor?). Offer special gifts, discounts, products, or courses to those who are not only signed up for your newsletters but who actually open and read them.
- Clean up your site. With so much information available out there, something blogging experts predict is that a cleaner, more streamlined website and blog will attract more readers. Sleek rather than cluttered sites will draw in more readers because they can easily spot what really matters. Do away with extraneous information and graphics (don’t take that as a get-rid-of-the-graphics tip—just make them less busy and more applicable to the post).
So there you have it—some of the top predicted trends for the upcoming year. We hope they’ll help you get off to a great start in 2017 and that your blog gets you the attention—and business—you want.
What blogging trends do you predict? Did we leave any out? Please share with us in the comments below (even though comments are on the decline . . . ).
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