With millions of blog posts being published every day, what are the blogging trends to watch in 2018, and what trends are we likely to see beyond that?
With that in mind, I’ve done some research into what I see as some of the most dynamic areas of blogging, including:
- Post Length
- Content Quality
- Content Promotion
- Graphics and Video
- Blog Design
Word Count Is Increasing
In 2017 Orbit Media’s annual survey found that that the average word count in blog posts was 1142 words, a 41% increase in three years!
They also discovered that half as many bloggers were writing less than 500 word posts, and six times as many were writing posts of more than 2000 words.
So what is the ideal length for a blog post these days?
If you’re writing with SEO in mind, you need to be writing at least 1000 words, and preferably somewhere between 1500-3000 words to maximize your chances of reaching the coveted top positions in Google search.
Naturally though it has to be useful and interesting content – you can’t just pad out your article with fluff and expect to achieve long term success. Your readers won’t be fooled and neither will Google.
More prolific writers such as Neil Patel have recommended from 3000-10,000 words, but I wouldn’t recommend this to the average blogger. (Apart from everything else, Neil has a large staff to help him out.)
Don’t forget the famous 80/20 rule – you should be spending 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it if you’re aiming to build a substantial fan base for your blog.
Content Quality Is Becoming More Important
It’s well documented that people go to blogs looking to be either entertained or to find a solution to a problem. Google knows this and is getting much better at delivering what it sees as the best and most relevant content to its users.
Thus if your content is mainly self-promotional then you’re not going to rank very high in search results. With many more blogs and articles to choose from, quality in writing has become much more important over the last few years.
So for the best SEO results your posts must preferably be both useful and entertaining, with a soft-pedal approach to marketing and promotion.
Content Promotion Is Still Very Important
“It’s not the best content that wins. It’s the best promoted content that wins.”
You go to considerable effort to create good content, so do yourself a favor and let the world know about it – they aren’t likely to stumble upon it by themselves.
Remember the 80/20 rule I mentioned above? As it’s name implies, content promotion is actually even more important than content quality.
You should be spending four times as much time marketing your content as actually creating it if you’re hoping to bring lots of traffic to your site.
As the data from Orbit Media shows, almost every blogger has been using social media for content promotion for years now.
There has been a steady rise in the last few years though in email marketing, influencer outreach and paid promotion.
Paid promotion has actually doubled in the last two years, perhaps reflecting increased competetiveness due to a much larger number of blogs.
Successful bloggers Ryan Biddulph and Alonzo Pichardo discuss the latest blogging and marketing trends:
Graphics And Video Are Increasing In Importance
According to Orbit Media’s 2017 Survey, “Content with more images and video gets better results, as reported by the bloggers who use them. Multiple images are better than a single image. Videos are better than pictures.”
This also adds to the ‘readability’ factor that’s so important for both SEO and to keep readers on your site for longer.
Most blogging experts recommend that you add a minimum of at least one graphic at the start of a post, and it certainly helps with the average time spent per page view.
Videos are especially useful for this, especially the longer ones for obvious reasons (so long as they’re interesting and relevant of course!)
To embed a Youtube video, click ‘SHARE’ under the video, then ‘EMBED’ on the popup. Then copy and paste all text within the <iframe and /iframe> brackets into the ‘Text’ box of your post.
Orbit Media in their 2017 survey also report that bloggers who use audio (such as podcasts) in their content are especially likely to report strong results.
Video Blogging (Vlogging)
Thanks to smartphones now having much higher quality cameras, ‘vlogging’ has become a much more popular method of publishing content in recent years.
Bloggers can still put their writing skills to use when writing out introductions to the video or when including the video as part of their blog post, as well as in writing the script for any speech in the video itself.
Some bloggers use videos in addition to written posts, while others have had great success purely using video, with the biggest stars such as PewDiePie, Yogscast and FunToys making many millions of dollars for their efforts.
The general trend for vlogging and vloggers looks brighter than ever as we head towards 2019.
One of the biggest trends affecting web page design in recent years has been that of mobile browsing surpassing that of desktop.
Mobile devices these days account for more than 50% of internet traffic – three years ago it was 31%. The continuing trend is definitely towards mobile.
Almost everybody in 2018 is used to ordering and shopping on their smartphone. This was often a difficult and tedious process for users in the past, but now it has become much more streamlined and simplified.
Many WordPress websites are now created with an emphasis on being optimized for mobile devices, such as the one I use for this site, the StudioPress Genesis Framework. In their words, “perfectly optimized for every browser, device, and screen size.”
Having a good site host is also important to ensure that your site speed is fast (for SEO and retaining readers) and reliable.
I chose SiteGround for this site (see my review) after consulting with experienced and successful bloggers to make sure I was being hosted by one of the best in the business.
Animation, usually via GIF’s, is also becoming much more prevalent. As technology improves, more sites are using them to help their pages look more interesting and informative.
Bloggers in general are also tending to use more and brighter colors in both their fonts and backgrounds, as well as larger fonts to improve readability.
What blogging trends do you know of that I omitted from this post? Let me know in the comments.
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