The blogosphere is constantly shifting and ever-evolving, and a blogger who refuses to put his finger on the pulse of developments is doing a disservice to his profession. Writing styles, content marketing strategies, SEO tactics, and reader preferences change like the weather, and the only way to achieve success is to stay abreast of the latest blogging trends.
To keep you in the loop, the Hands-Off Publishing team took a deep dive into how blogging has evolved in the last few years. We also made data-driven predictions on how the blogosphere might look in 2023.
How Blogging Has Changed in the Last Decade
Blogging has changed A LOT in the last ten years. As a content writing agency, it’s important that we keep our eyes peeled on the latest developments in digital marketing. This involves reading up on expert advice, analyzing SEO algorithm updates and changes, and tracking our content performance to see if a change in the blogosphere escaped our eagle eyes. Here are the biggest changes in blogging.
1. Visual content is dominating.
Years ago, photos and videos were an afterthought. The only visual you needed in your blog was your featured image; the rest was optional. Today, visuals are taking over the blogging world, to no surprise. It’s been researched that publishers that utilize visual content improve their traffic 12 times faster than those that don’t.
Pictures and videos are powerful drivers of conversions and engagement, and today’s top-performing blogs are a testament to this. The best blogs utilize custom images, videos, infographics, Slideshares, and sometimes even several simultaneously.
Here are some easy tips on how to hop on the visual bandwagon.
- Create infographics. If you’re publishing a data-heavy blog, infographics are an excellent way to showcase data or emphasize a point. Tools like Canva, Visme, and Piktochart can help you create beautiful infographics, charts, and reports.
- Upgrade your featured images. Tools like Wordswag or Canva can be used to make dynamic featured images that display your blog’s headline.
- Annotate screenshots. If you’re writing a guide about how to do something online, screenshots are great learning aids. Help your readers better understand instructions by annotating your screenshots with arrows, boxes, circles, or text.
- Utilize videos. Adding videos to your blog posts does not have to be a costly endeavor. Consider embedding YouTube videos others have made or use free online video tools to make your own.
2. Readers are putting more value on original research.
In 2020, 45% of bloggers incorporated original research into their articles, and that number is increasing. Original research, also called original data, is research done to produce new knowledge. But why are blogs that showcase original data so successful? Blogs with original research are more credible and can stand out in their industry. Not to mention, since other sites will most likely reference their data, they get a big boost in SEO.
3. Blog posts are getting longer.
Today’s average blog post consists of 1,236 words – that is 53% more than 8 years ago. Why is this so? We assume it’s because bloggers are striving to give Google and readers what they want: in-depth and information-packed articles that offer incredible value.
According to research, bloggers who compose longer content are more likely to report success. The ideal sweet spot is between 2,300 to 2,500 words, so try to reach this word count while offering value and zero fluff!
4. Having a solid content promotion strategy is essential.
With so many channels and platforms available today, developing a content promotion strategy that works is becoming harder and harder. How do you cut through the noise and bring your content to your audience?
While search engines will most likely be your primary traffic source, the wise blogger knows that his audience does not spend all day doing Google searches. They are busy logging in to their social networks, checking their emails, and browsing forums like Reddit or Quora.
As such, today’s content promotion strategies are vastly different from how they were before. Here’s how you can keep up:
- Promote content to new channels. Share your content in avenues you haven’t penetrated yet, even if it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, or Reddit.
- Try paid ads. Do not underestimate the power of Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit ads in bringing your content to a targeted and high-converting audience. Save some of your marketing budget to promote your content on these avenues.
- Guest post. Guest posting is a great way to promote brand awareness, develop credibility, and boost SEO. Check out this guest posting guide here.
5. Content has moved beyond websites.
Relying mainly on your website blog when creating your content development strategy is one of today’s biggest blogging boo-boos. Your audience sources their information from several online channels, and your website is just one of the many. If you aren’t posting your content on social media, you’re missing out on serious readership.
You don’t have to create brand-new content to utilize other channels. Consider republishing your content on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Medium. You can even repurpose old content into an infographic, podcast, or eBook and promote it on other channels.
6. SEO has changed.
Google’s algorithm is reported to change around 500 to 600 times annually, so just imagine how much change it has gone through in over a decade! Today, most black-hat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing and link schemes negatively affect your site.
Not to mention, there’s more value in quality over quantity. The age-old strategy of publishing a truckload of keyword-stuffed articles is long gone. You need to publish quality blogs with quality links to rank higher in the SERPs.
Additionally, even SEO keyword strategies have become more complicated. Your blog needs to satisfy your chosen keyword’s search intent while naturally targeting long-tail keywords. It sounds like complicated science, and that’s because it is. SEO is a complex discipline that requires knowledge of various tools and strategies.
7. Mobile optimization is crucial
Of all the trends we’ve discussed, mobile optimization is one of the most crucial. Did you know that 59.4% of web traffic is conducted through mobile devices? That’s more than half of your customers, so what experience are you giving them?
Here are some tips on how to optimize your blog for mobile.
- Streamline. Blogs peppered with ads and big images may be readable on a desktop but not on a smartphone. Limit your advertisements and resize your images, so they load quickly. Additionally, break down longer blog posts into short paragraphs using bold headings.
- Responsive design. Make sure your blog can adapt to the device used to access it. Popular CMS like WordPress have responsive theme options to help you create a mobile-friendly site – and you can do this in just a few clicks without having to tinker with code.
How Blogging Might Look in 2023
Now that you know how blogging has changed, it’s time to discuss how it looks in the coming year. To help you develop an effective content development plan for 2023, we researched and compiled expert opinions to come up with predictions on how the blogosphere will fare in 2023.
1. Unique content
According to experts, unique content is one of the biggest blogging trends in 2023. This is bad news for bloggers who merely spin content without integrating new ideas. Uniqueness will be a quality that extends to various facets of the blog:
Custom images. HubSpot says custom graphics will be one of the biggest blogging trends in 2023. Instead of relying on stock photos to add visual appeal to your blog, adding compelling, custom-made visuals that add value to the piece will be the next best practice.
Original topics. Thought leadership pieces that touch on unique topics and ideas will outperform recycled content, and with good reason. Readers appreciate fresh takes on matters, and bloggers who generate original topics can showcase their expertise and credibility.
Original research. Blogs that utilize original data to drive a point will stand out in the industry. Including original data can boost your traffic and credibility.
2. Interactive content
According to Hubspot, interactive content will be one of the biggest blogging trends in 2023. By introducing interactive components to your blog, visitors can interact with it in various ways beyond just reading.
Making your content interactive will offer a more enjoyable and engaging experience, which makes your piece stand out. Interactive content comes in many forms, including animated infographics, calculators, videos, and ebooks.
3. AI-written content
Ash P., Content Team Leader at content writing agency Hands-Off Publishing, believes that AI-written content will get more attention in 2023. As AI content tools become increasingly sophisticated, plenty of bloggers are now realizing their use in quickly generating blogs about various topics. However, AI tools come with a few caveats.
Today’s AI content generators are sophisticated enough to generate long-form pieces that read as though humans wrote them, but they are still prone to making factual errors. “Its long-term success is still debatable unless the current tools become more advanced,” Ash said.
4. Social media integration
Bloggers will take their content marketing where it matters in 2023: social media. According to social media marketing statistics, social media use is still on the rise.
We believe that it’s highly essential for bloggers to develop a social media marketing plan in the coming year. When people find a blog post or video they like, how do they share it with their friends? You guessed it – on social media. Great social media marketing strategies can boost your traffic and engagement by redirecting visitors to your blog.
This goes beyond just promoting a blog post; bloggers must engage with their community on their favorite platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Trust Experts With Your Content Development
When it comes to the latest blogging trends, Hands-Off Publishing is always two steps ahead. Our content writing experts have their finger on the pulse of the blogosphere, but we know that not all trends offer benefits. We don’t just ride the trend because everyone’s doing it; we need to make sure it works for you.
Hands-Off Publishing works with high-level publishers and is responsible for endless page 1 rankings and hundreds of thousands of pageviews. We don’t write to impress you but to give the search engines and your readers what they want. Learn more about our content writing service here.