Bloggers Pay Attention: Trend Predictions For 2016
With 2015 almost behind us, and marketers analyzing their strategies and results, perhaps even wishing they’d paid more attention to the changes and predictions for 2015 beforehand, now is the time to correct any mistakes you have made in the past.
Look forward to a successful blogging year ahead, by understanding the trend predictions for 2016 and plan accordingly.
Here’s how the blogging landscape is likely to evolve for the year ahead:
1. Mobile Optimized Websites Are a Must
If you have a blog website and don’t have it optimized for mobile devices (there are many who still aren’t), you are probably going to lose readership. One thing you should be aware of (if you aren’t already) is that Google is penalizing websites that are not mobile friendly and you don’t want to be in Google’s bad books (you know what that means!).
Second thing is that many internet users are making use of their mobile phones and tablets for browsing; So, you must make sure you are not losing that chunk of readers. Analytics from smart insights for 2015 have shown that mobile digital users make up 52% of the crowd compared to 42% of desktop users. For the coming year, you can see why it is safe to say that a majority of your readers would be viewing your site from a smaller screen and your website should be prepared for that. Mobile optimization means it gives the reader a smooth experience on the smaller screen as well, as it does on the laptop and navigation is easier too.
2. It’s More than Just Written Content
Blogs have always been about written content since they first came into existence and remained for some time, even as they gained popularity. Now, with their evolution into a marketing tool, especially for businesses, they have not remained about written content alone. Blogs consist of more than just written content and will continue to do so. These different forms of content help drive outreach and customer engagement; think along the lines of downloadable templates, worksheets, webinars, eBooks, podcasts, infographics, and the likes. Various forms of contents are increasingly becoming popular with readers and a blog should be more than just a written post to form readership.
3. More Importance to Newsletters
Newsletters have always been around but their importance is now being realized by marketers. Bloggers are looking towards increasing their newsletter subscribers and fast implementing strategies to do that. Newsletters allow forming meaningful and consistent readership and are fast becoming an important aspect of a successful blog.
Newsletters essentially allow bloggers to have those true, authentic readers who are in for what the blog offers and want exclusives. The content you use in your newsletters and the way you structure it is very important aspect that bloggers should master now!
4. Power Shift to Graphics
Images, graphics, and infographics are taking the forefront in blog posts and blog sites, as websites become easy-to-read and minimalistic. This might be troubling some bloggers who aren’t well versed with graphic designing but it’s important to brush up your skills now (or use tools) to enhance the graphical look and layout of your blog, if you want your blog to be shared, read or talked about.
Visuals are becoming very important to engage the reader and shareable visuals, even more so. Your blog post will even attract more readers if it has graphical content. Now that you know the power and importance of visuals for your reader and how it helps drive engagement, it’s time to hop on the bandwagon for the coming year, before it’s too late!
5. Engagement Surpasses Page Views
How bloggers measure their success, differ by the metrics they use and there are many. Somehow, page views have always remained a metric bloggers love to assess as being successful and it can reflect that a particular blog may have more readers but page views are relative. While you may argue that, every other metric may be relative as well, as they don’t exist for the year ahead and the focus is shifting to creating engagement rather than just page views. How many people you have reached with your post matters less than the engagement you have created with those posts!
Blogs are an important business tool and for the coming year and beyond, they are becoming even more so. It hasn’t remained just about posting a written post, optimized with SEO keywords but it has surpassed that and will continue to do so. If you want to use a blog to drive website traffic and perhaps help it to sell your product, you need to invest time and effort into optimizing it for your reader and target audience.
Your blog should be incorporating all these predictions for the coming year with the intent that it adds value to your readership. Unless you are focused on creating value, you can’t get too far with your blogging efforts. Having a clear blogging strategy and knowing your goals and the specific metrics you will use to measure those goals will create all the difference as the landscape continues to evolve for bloggers.
One last important thing to note for a business that uses a blog for marketing purposes is the use of influencers in their niche to promote their products. More bloggers are shifting towards their own products and marketing them, turning themselves into business entities. If you are used to working and relying on such “influencers”, perhaps it’s time to start focusing on your separate blogging efforts to maintain your edge.