Most people recognize that the very nature of blogging has changed substantially over the years and it has become an increasingly commercial enterprise and one with a huge opportunities for substantial profit. It’s important to stay on top of blogging trends if you want your own blog to be successful, even if you shouldn’t necessarily emulate what everyone else is doing.
Over on Orbit Media, they’ve compiled the results of a survey they conducted with over one thousand bloggers in a number of different niches and industries to see where the blogosphere has moved between 2014 and 2015, giving us some indication of what to expect for the future. What can we learn from the results of the survey?
Take More Time to Craft Excellent Content
If you think you can be successful with a shotgun approach, busting out short blog posts that only take you a few minutes to write, you’ve got another thing coming. Efficiency is good, but you still need to provide excellent value to your readers.
More bloggers are spending more time to write their blog posts now with over 50% of those surveyed taking over two hours to craft each post. They’re recognizing that it takes time to craft something uniquely valuable for readers and the posts themselves are starting to get a little longer too. While about 75% of bloggers keep their posts under 1000 words, a growing number are writing more than that.
Publish a New Post at Least Once a Week
This isn’t anything new and the trend is continuing with the status quo. If you want your blog to make it, you’re going to be have to be predictable and consistent with your publishing schedule. You should be putting up new content at least once a week, if not more often than that.
Over half of bloggers are posting at least weekly, while as much as 15% are posting at “irregular intervals.” That’s highly unrecommended, because you will have a really hard time building a loyal readership if they never know when they’ll get something new from you.
Consider Getting Some Help with Editing
Blogging, as mentioned, is becoming an increasingly commercial enterprise and one where the bottom line profit is becoming that much more important. It’s not just a personal diary anymore; it’s a business and it needs to be treated like one.
If you want to take your blogging seriously, you should consider hiring someone to help with editing, either on a formal or an informal basis. I may be a little biased here, since I make my living as a freelance writer, but the survey did reveal that a growing number of bloggers are at least asking for a second opinion or a second pair of eyes for their work.
Guest Blogging Is Still Growing
With several of the updates to the Google algorithm, people started to worry that guest blogging would go the way of the dodo. We thought that these would be seen as “paid” or “sponsored” links that would result in some SEO punishment. That’s only partly true, because good content is still good content and Google still sees value in that.
As a blogger, you can make quite a bit of money when you write for someone else, just as you can still accept guest posts on your own blog. The number of bloggers who said in the 2015 survey that none of their posts are guest posts shrank by about 10% compared to the those polled in 2014.
Promotion Through Social Media Isn’t Enough
Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of bloggers said that they use social media as part of their strategy for driving traffic to their posts. It’s really easy to syndicate your content on Facebook and Twitter, so it only makes sense that everyone does it. However, social media is not enough.
Bloggers and marketers are really starting to diversify their traffic sources. You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, as they say, and traffic generation is no exception. Other notable sources include email marketing, SEO, influencer outreach and paid services.