The blog isn’t exactly a recent innovation, but it is still evolving — and if your concept of blogging is stuck in 1998 (or even 2013), you’re probably not doing it right.
Technologies are evolving, strategies are shifting, and — most importantly — blog readers are becoming more and more particular about what they want and how they want it. This forward momentum shows no sign of slowing down in 2014; for your own blogging efforts to prove successful, you need to know some of the biggest trends that are on the horizon.
Niche Blogging Picking Up Steam
The first 2014 blogging trend to note: Niche blogging platforms are going to gain in their prevalence and their influence. When we say niche blogging platforms, we don’t necessarily mean something obscure that you’ve never heard of before. We mean something like Tumblr; you might even consider WordPress. These sites are neither new nor obscure, yet, as more and more users become familiar with the sheer range of content platforms out there, more and more people are getting their daily social media digest from these second-tier channels, not just from Facebook and Twitter.
Mobile Going Mainstream
Every year there is a fresh round of buzz about how mobile Internet use is rising and traditional PC use is lessening. But what does any of that have to do with bloggers? For one thing, if your blog is hosted on your website and your website is not mobile-optimized, you’re in trouble. For another, it’s never been more important to write blogs that are short, punchy and formatted for mobile readability. That means short paragraphs, bullet points and generous amounts of white space.
Pictures Speaking More Than Words
Blogging may be a primarily word-driven pursuit, but images are increasingly necessary for blogging success. That’s at least partly because a great deal of your blog’s referral traffic is going to come from sites like Pinterest and Google+, where you need to ensure that you have compelling images to accompany each post. Without images, those posts just aren’t going to get the kind of social sharing traction you might hope for.
Spammy Content Losing its Luster
Another ongoing trend in the world of blogging: Google’s ongoing quest to rid its algorithms of anything that comes across as spam. Company blogs simply cannot be uber-promotional or self-serving any longer. You can’t just talk up your products or services; instead, you need to offer true interest and value — or else risk falling into online anonymity.
Blogging Continuing its Social Media Dominance
Finally, while some aspects of blogging may change, others stay the same. Perhaps the single most important trend of 2014 is that of blogging continuing to be the top social channel through which companies and marketers win referrals and make conversions. That’s not to diminish the very real importance of sharing avenues like Facebook and Twitter, but if you don’t have something original to share, then it’s all for naught. Blogging gives you the fodder necessary to prove your authority and your industry leadership.
One thing is clear: The field of blogging is anything but stagnant. As we make our way deeper into 2014, make sure your blogging strategiesaren’t stagnant, either.
*Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Amanda E. Clark is CEO and Editor in Chief at Grammar Chic, Inc. You can follow her company on Twitter. Amanda’s last article for SEMrush was “Social Media Etiquette: 7 Blunders Every Business Should Avoid."