The latest blog trends are still closely tied to how search engines are helping readers find useful content. In short, content creators and business bloggers have to develop an editorial plan and integrate SEO into that plan. Nothing new there… except: now, you have plenty of analytics tools to make data-driven decisions to target and retarget readers, while the internet itself is pummeled with useless content at best and fake news at worst.
The goal is to optimize content to be both useful and visible with the aid of the latest tools like blog management solutions. And of course, be honest with your intent as Google and Facebook go into witch-hunting for fake sites.
To make sure you are ahead of the curve when it comes to blogging, we have compiled some of the key trends in the industry. From the rise of interactive posts to the changing media consumption preferences of readers, this article should give you an idea of what you should expect in 2020 and beyond. This way, can create better content for your readers and take your site to the next level.
Blogs are deeply embedded in the day-to-day routines of internet users. So much so that 77% of them read blogs daily. After all, these are where they get information on topics they are interested in. In some cases, these serve as platforms where like-minded people can discuss what’s what in niche industries.
From a business perspective, blogs play an essential role in content strategy. With this, brands can proactively engage their target audience with substantial content. Moreover, it allows them to have a voice in their industry.
However, as the media landscape evolves and consumer expectations change, so does the blogging process. In fact, one trend that is currently reshaping the industry is that brands analyze their own blog posts. They take data, extract insights, and share them with their prospects and customers. One example of which is HubSpot’s effort to declassify their own data and make it public through a useful post. In a particular blog post, the company shared what practices make its own blog successful.
Quality of Content
Eye-catching Headlines & Intros
Good Blog Name & URL
Social Media Shares & Follows
Source: GrowthBadgerDesigned by
Successful bloggers that make over $50,000 have placed their focus on their quality of content, eye-catching headlines & intros, SEO, email subscribers, and blog design plus performance, among others. All of these make their blogs both visible and useful to their target audience. In the next sections, we’ll discuss different trends that help bloggers, businesses, or otherwise, rock at what they do.
Clickworker defines data-driven content as an analytic strategy that uses data obtained from a customer profile or buyer persona. Data is gathered from customer profile information. Then, content marketers use these to create effective campaigns.
Simply put, you create a model of what type of content your target audience needs. Then, you create content based on these models. Subsequently, after you publish said content, you get feedback data act accordingly. Crudely, this is what data-driven blogging or content creation means.
Also, you want to hit the right website KPIs. These are special metrics that tell you that your blog is doing whatever you want it to do. Therefore, data-driven decision-making is important. You want to be rational and a bit scientific when pursuing such goals. You don’t want to just go by feel.
If you are a business blogger, keep in mind that businesses that blog 20 times per month generate 5x more traffic than those that blog fewer than 4x per month. Also, with more blog posts, you get more data. You get to reverse engineer them and find out what made some posts successful and others not so successful. Thus, a good analytics platform could help you make more data-driven decisions.
Today, bloggers can’t afford to ignore website analytics and metrics. The four most important analytics categories are:
If you want a more comprehensive knowledge about these, read this article about website analytics metrics that will help your site be more successful. These metrics will help guide you in diagnosing how your website is doing and what you can do.
Moreover, business bloggers and even personal bloggers have been all up into the analytics trend. Furthermore, analytics software market data suggest that the market will reach $57 million in 2023. We can say that more business and individual bloggers will likely subscribe to such services in the near future.
Also, you can try out web-based content marketing tools to help optimize your efforts.
Successful blogs don’t just rely on texts anymore. This is a trend that will likely continue in the future. Also, there is a good rationale for this sans our allegedly shrinking attention span.
When creating useful content for readers, you want your content to be as easily digestible as possible. Thus, augmenting text with beautiful visuals can help get your points across. This tactic helps readers understand complex topics better. For example, when you write a step-by-step guide, it’s better to enhance it with pictures like screenshots.
However, highly-visual content does not stop at pictures. You can add videos, interactive media like polls, or even app-like widgets. One cool example is a widget by GAPMINDER that gets users to play with data using different chart types. This is perfect for audiences with interests in social science and economics.
Experts expect more blogs and websites to create more content like this in the future. These help you increase dwell time and deliver useful content to your audience. Also, if you create shareable snippets, audiences are more likely to share them on social media networks. This is arguably one of the most important blogging trends in today’s internet landscape.
To get a more comprehensive report about visual content, you can check out our list of relevant visual content marketing statistics.
When visual search capabilities came, many found it to be quite neat. You just point your camera at a thing. Then, you’d get search results about it, be it a product or some type of new plant that you don’t know anything about.
Moreover, Millennials from the U.K. and the U.S. are now used to having visual searches as a part of the digital shopping experience. In fact, around 62% of them are comfortable with searching via image. Furthermore, around 58% are receptive to shoppable content like click to purchase. This goes for images, videos, blogs, and user-generated social media content.
What does this mean for your blog? Well, if you can optimize your site for visual search, you can directly sell in your articles. This is great news for business bloggers and performance partners (affiliate marketers).
To help you optimize your site for visual search, here are some tips you can follow:
Thanks to the rise of smart speakers, many people are now surfing the web using voice commands. According to recent voice search data, smart speaker shipment is doing well globally, with 20.7 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2019. Thus, you should optimize your blog for voice search so search engines can easily connect you to your target audiences.
The bottom line here is SEO. You won’t get new people to your site if your site is not optimized for search engines to process (well, mostly Google). Of course, using a cloud-based and on-premise search marketing platform can help you with it. However, you must consider voice search is a relatively new trend. Also, its technology is quite new and still developing as well.
Thus, you need to put in the necessary effort to optimize your site for voice search with simple tricks such as:
To control other devices monthly%
To check news and weather daily%
To play music daily%
To look up information on search engines%
To send texts or emails daily%
To ask for quick questions daily%
To check traffic or to navigate daily%
To control other devices daily%
Source: PWCDesigned by
We mentioned that interactive media could be a part of your highly-visual content format. However, that doesn’t give justice to how big this trend is right now. Sure, interactive media should be visual. But, as a rule of thumb, it should be more engaging than its highly-visual content cousins as well.
There are different types of interactive content that you may have used in the past. These include quizzes, (somewhat) diagnostic tools, and visual tours. Take WebMD, for instance. The whole experience on its Symptoms Checker is pretty much interactive. Of course, this shouldn’t serve as a diagnostic tool, but how many of us have spent time there checking on real and imaginary symptoms?
The lesson is that interactive media, just like highly-visual content, induces your audience to stay longer on your webpage or site. This is one of the most popular blog design trends out there today. It gives audiences things to play around with. Also, if it is really useful, then you give them more value than just entertainment. Thus, you should consider adding more interactive features to your site.
It really depends on what your blog is, and your topics are. However, you can exercise some creativity and use these tools to increase site engagement.
No one is going to read what you wrote if they don’t find value in it. Readers will think its a waste of time and effort for them to dive into an article without feeling a connection or no prospect of extracting useful knowledge. Thus, we must always remember that the terms ‘relevance’ and ‘useful’ do not refer to the preferences of publishers. They refer to the preferences of the audience.
Today, content relevance has different timescales. Some articles are called “evergreen” as their relevance last longer. On the other hand, some content is just “in” in such a way that they’ll be forgotten tomorrow or next month. The same goes for usefulness. Thus, different content can solve different time-sensitive problems for your audience.
Ask yourself these questions whenever you are in a content marketing campaign for your blog or website. They’ll help guide you to optimize how you create value for your target audience.
That said, yes, content is still king. As mentioned, the blog trends here will (and will always be) how sites deliver useful content to their target audiences. That includes all the steps from choosing topics, writing, preparing other media, SEO, and promotions. Everything is content from your meta-description to your interactive media, from your tweets to your alt tags.
As they (Marshall McLuhan and people who believe in him) say, “The medium is the message.” There is really something to this. Thus, don’t just stick to text with your helpful content.
Bloggers have become influencers. It all started from cranking out text-based articles to producing their own videos and podcasts. Even business bloggers or corporate content marketers have taken this route. However, if you’re an individual or an “interest influencer,” it is hard to make money when the only thing you can sell is your content.
Good content creators get revenue by the sheer number of ad views and clicks. The best ones leverage the current state of the eCommerce industry to augment their income. They do this by keeping up to date with eCommerce statistics.
Many independent publishers understand this. Thus, they have taken the route of affiliate marketing to help them sustain their passion projects. Furthermore, we expect this trend to just keep rising in the future. Why? More companies are likely to have their own affiliate programs either with giant eCommerce sites or on their own.
There are many reasons. One, more sellers are going online. eCommerce is getting more and more popular. Additionally, according to our list of Amazon trends, experts predict that more sellers will join Amazon in the next few years. Third, it has one of the biggest affiliate programs. Many bloggers have set up accounts for Amazon products already. Lastly, there are also many affiliate network sites out there for different types of products that bloggers can fit within their set of topics.
Also, Millennials and Gen Zers want to start their own business. The younger ones are eCommerce natives. Expect that they’d stumble into affiliate marketing programs and utilize them to expand their avenues for sales.
Performance marketing is not that different from affiliate marketing. In fact, affiliate marketing is a part of performance marketing. However, there are other aspects of performance marketing that are trending today. One of those is the rise of performance partnerships. This is something that many experts want to advocate.
Firstly, performance marketing is all about paying for output. This content marketing strategy relies on CPA or cost per action. Meaning, the partner brings about a certain behavior from your target audience, and you pay them in real-time when that happens.
Thus, this is perfect for bloggers and influencers of all sizes. What this means is that many will seek partnerships with brands and vice versa. Again, this is just like affiliate marketing. However, there are other catches. Content creators must work with brands as partners.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when building real performance partnerships:
Also, many brands manage to do performance marketing without affiliate programs. There are many partnership-based SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms with CSR (customer success representatives). Moreover, these SaaS platforms treat their clients as partners towards success. Thus, they may take over some traditional jobs usually outsourced to old-school affiliate marketers and content creators.
For brands, working on a mix of the two is a good idea moving forward. For content creators, they should think of ways to approach brand promotion with a partnership outlook.
While there are efforts to reduce the number of fake news floating around, it is likely that this will never end. Misinformation is a great tool for parties or individuals that have questionable motives. Whether it is to drum a politician up or take a business down, fake news and rumors are the best tools of the trade–not that we’re promoting it. After all, fake news has been historically bad for business.
For instance, fake news websites targeting the US public were found to be registered in a small city of Veles in Macedonia. Also, teenagers run the show. They were so good at it that they plagiarized and faked their way into earning thousands of euros a day in advertising. Their work changed mindsets and may even have influenced the 2016 US elections. However, this is not our focus here.
The main point we want to make in this section is fake news affects the economy. If it affects politics, it’ll affect public policies, including economic policies. Moreover, if it affects public opinion like in health-related products, many related businesses can also get impacted by the backlash. And, if fake news continues to trend, businesses need to combat it.
According to research, the presence of fake news negatively affects perceptions towards brands advertised on the same webpage. However, this does not happen when legit business ads are placed in a highly-reliable source. Fake news websites run on advertising. Also, marketers may post ads unknowingly on them. Thanks to “smart” algorithms out there.
Yes, even Google’s programmatic advertising sends ads to untrustworthy sites. For example, ads for well-known brands like Audi and Sprint were once placed in fake news sites. So, businesses need to be careful in placing ads on such websites. Thus, in the coming years, we expect businesses to handle this better. They don’t want their good reputation tarnished by overlooking ad placements. Also, bloggers should expect more crackdowns in the future.
New search and ranking algorithm updates will come up. Thus, we also expect more trustworthy sites and blogs to get a hit in performance and listing.
According to Neil Patel, long-form evergreen content can boost the competitive edge of content creators and bloggers. Firstly, long-form articles stand out online as most blogs only have about 500 words per article. Secondly, it generates leads for a longer time. Think organic traffic and backlinks. Third, it helps position the content creator as an authority in the industry. Lastly, you can repurpose these content for a marketing campaign through updates and the like. We will not get into the details of this, though.
However, what we’d like to point out is that bloggers today still favor long-form content for the reasons mentioned. Now, there are some exceptions to the rule. Short videos and even some short-form articles are quite evergreen as well. But these types of content don’t cater to audiences who want in-depth analysis. And yes, in-depth analysis is still in vogue in many content niches.
Thus, many content creators continue to produce such. Think podcasts, how-to articles, tutorials, and other educational articles. So, if you believe that this trend will remain relevant in the next few years, you better crank up in-depth long-form content that will stand the test of time.
Bloggers often do guests post on other blogs. This is to cross-promote non-competing sites and share audiences. Guests posts allow them to expand their reach and associate themselves with a trustworthy content provider for another niche. Moreover, brands write guest posts too.
One example is the Salesforce team. Marc Benioff, the co-CEO himself, has guest posted in the past to share expertise. The same goes for their coders and other expert staff. Thus, they do extend not only their reach but also improve their authority and reputation in certain niches.
Many research institutes and companies do this. They share their expertise and advertise it indirectly by providing expertly-crafted helpful content for free. This is one of the most important blog trends for marketing out there today.
So, if you are a business, you should do this too. Find people in your company with expertise and with great writing skills to provide free useful content on other non-competing sites. Also, don’t forget that you can do this on podcasts and even on video content, as well. Interviews and co-writing articles would also do the job.
Content creators are likely to outsource their operations to more SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions. From 2019 to 2023, experts see it growing at a CAGR of 9%, with the market reaching $60.36 billion by the end of the period. It is highly likely that this will be the case as SaaS gets democratized in view of the increase of supply for relatively low prices.
We’ve compiled a lot of SaaS statistics, and our experts think that we are going to see more SaaS adoption among bloggers as well. Why? Many content creators treat their touchpoints as businesses anyway. Thus, they need digital tools to automate and optimize some of their processes. Moreover, they need many types of support, from marketing to CRM.
However, experts expect site owners and content creators to mostly adopt solutions for content marketing and the like. In this way, they get access to a comprehensive set of features like project management, CRM-like features, and even ad placement and analytics.
So, if you are a blogger or a starting site owner, you better think about adopting SaaS solutions. Big businesses are doing it. Affiliate marketers use them. Also, competitors such as influencers have them as well. Don’t get caught lagging on this trend.
As mentioned, audiences are not satisfied with just text articles anymore. They want highly-visual content and even interactive media to go along with their media consumption. Moreover, the easiest way to do so is by having different types of content, including promotional ones across different platforms. A writer may take-up podcasting. The video bloggers will take up writing articles. You get the point.
Currently, there is a buzz around omnichannel marketing. What this means is that businesses (or in this case, content creators) easily switch between touchpoints that their customers (or audiences) use. They do this without losing the context of their relationships and conversations.
Crossing platforms, in principle, is the same as omnichannel marketing. You can think of it as omnichannel content marketing. Bloggers and content creators will move on to other types of media to create unique interconnected experiences for their audiences. From WordPress, one could add YouTube or even Patreon. Twitch influencers can start writing articles complete with game tutorials.
Also, if you monetize your content, this is a perfect strategy for you. You don’t only expand your content types but also your reach. Moreover, you get to increase your revenue channels as well.
Email marketing is still alive. It is one of the best ways to turn and convert leads. Businesses subscribe to this idea. Moreover, bloggers have been on this trend as well. It is a high-return approach. Thus, we expect more blogs and content creators to use platforms for email marketing more in the future.
To wit, one of the best examples of this is the marketing platform HubSpot. It has a comprehensive set of tools that allow you to promote your content across different channels fitted in its easy-to-use dashboard.
Email marketing solutions with features like HubSpot’s allow you to send newsletters and promotional materials. According to Harsh Agrawal, you can be surer about people who read their emails than people who check your every post on social media. Thus, email marketing is a good way to get a captive audience.
Keep in mind, however, that click-through rates (CTR) are a different thing. After all, many of us subscribe to blogs and sites that we like, but that’s not an assurance that we’ll click on their emails. So, it is important that you apply email marketing best practices for your campaigns.
This way, you can be sure that your target audience will click on your email every time you update them via newsletters or send them promotional materials. If you are monetizing your site or if you’re engaging in affiliate marketing, then this is a good approach to take.
Focusing on personalization and dynamic content%
Creating interactive email experiences%
Using AI and machine learning systems to determine more email content%
Using more live content (e.g. countdown clocks, live weather data, etc.)%
Simplifying email designs for easier creation and consumption%
Source: LitmusDesigned by
We don’t need to discuss how a good social media presence benefits businesses, influencers, and content creators. However, we should emphasize that the average internet user has eight social media accounts. The average user moves from one social media site to the other. Often, they link to different social media posts and personal content that they have.
Also, we recently made a report on social media marketing statistics. From the data there, you can infer that social media use is not slowing down. Moreover, people share their liked content like blog posts, articles, videos, and whatnot with each other in social media. Marketers understand this. Also, bloggers and content creators do too. We expect more creative social media engagement from sites and blogs in the near future to increase traffic and engagement.
Thus, we predict that more businesses and individual content creators are going to subscribe to social media marketing platforms. These platforms include features such as post scheduling and analytics.
Source: Social Media Examiner (2019)Designed by
So, how do you keep up with blogging trends? One way to go is to keep up with blogging and digital marketing gurus such as Neil Patel, among others. Many give out not only trends but tips that you can leverage for blogging success. In addition, you can check out our compilation of blog statistics to help you see the bigger picture. With this, you’ll get an idea of how blogging is on a different scale from those of industries and markets.
Additionally, many different influencers put up videos online to share their blogging experiences. Individual content creators or aspiring bloggers can make use of these free, honest, and inspiring materials.
Lastly, many firms put out interesting studies based on actual business blogging statistics. Hopefully, with this information, you can draw inspiration for your own blogging campaigns.
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