Blogging is a evolving game. What worked five years ago to grow your blog, might not work in 2017. It is so important to stay on top of our blogging game with strategies that will make it easier for us to be successful.
In this post I share with you my top 13 blogging trends (plus a bonus trend!) that will impact blogging this year. Ideas from more community to action based opt-ins to Facebook Live plus many more. This is a jam packed post that will be full of tips that you can use all year long! Don’t forget to pin it to come back to when you need a dose of blogging inspiration!
1. Blogging Communities
Over the last 12 months Facebook groups have exploded. That trend is going to continue to grow. Why? Because we are all craving community and connection. Never before in our history have we been so connected as a world. Yet we feel less connected than ever. We are on our phones more than we like to admit and not plugged into what is going on around us.
That makes us more lonely. We are connecting without really connecting. This is going to shift in a big way in 2017. We are craving real connection with other people. We are going to find that in our own real lives, but I also think we will find that in our online communities too.
We are looking for safe places where we can let our hair down, get the help we need, help others, and be ourselves. More importantly we are looking to connect with other bloggers that are like us. People that understand the highs and lows of blogging. It’s not always easy to explain what we do to our friends in real life. Our online communities become our safe haven where people get us. They understand why we work so hard on our blogs.
That being said we are going to pair down the number of Facebook groups we are apart of. We don’t have time to be active in them all or even read what is going on in all of think. We will focus on a core 3-5 groups that we feel comfortable in and that are helping us grow as bloggers.
What does this mean for you: Your time is limited as a blogger. Focus on those key communities that you feel are helping you grow. Focus on groups where you are making authentic connections. Get involved in groups by asking questions and answering other people’s questions.
2. Facebook Groups
Like I mentioned above, Facebook groups are growing like crazy! This isn’t only for bloggers either. This is for “regular” people that are looking for more information online. This is for people that want to find like-minded souls that understand our worries and our wins. We are all craving that sense of community and we will work to find it online this year.
Facebook knows this and is ready to capitalize on it too. In Australia and New Zealand, Facebook is testing out putting ads in Facebook groups. That means in a Facebook group newsfeed you will see the prompts, questions, and posts from group members. But then then every few posts there will be an ad placed in the feed.
As a group owner I hate this! I don’t want my group cluttered up with ads! But the bad news is that even though it’s my group, it’s still Facebook’s platform and they can do whatever they want with it.
Placing ads in groups shows how important groups are becoming to the owners and the members. We are craving connections with other people. We are having fun getting to know people from all over the world that are like us.
What this means for you: As a blogger it is not too late to start your own community for your niche! In fact this may be the best year to create a group. Focus on a creating a group that has authentic connections, an engaged community, and people helping each other.
3. Blogging Alone
The days of blogging alone are coming to a close. Yipee! It is lonely and depressing to blog and not get any comments or shares. We want our words to be read! We want them to impact people, to help people. We aren’t writing to hear ourselves talk. We want to make a difference.
In 2017 we are going to go after finding our tribes in a big way. We are going to narrow down our focus on where our readers are hanging out. We are going to find them online and connect with them. We are going to engage with them and help them in any way we can.
Because we know when we do this people will flock to our blogs. Our tribe will see that we are giving them so much help for free in different communities. They will want to see what other good stuff we have on our blogs.
What this means for you: If you are tired of blogging alone, it’s time to find your tribe. Figure out who your ideal reader is and go out there and find them. They are not going to find your blog on a whim. The internet is too busy for that and we are too busy for that. So go out there, find your tribe, and bring them back to your blog!
Do you want an easy way to find your tribe in 2017? Heck yes! Check out Find Your Tribe Online, skip the research, and grow the blog of your dreams in ’17!
4. Facebook Live
At the end of October 2016 the Snyder household was all consumed with the Chicago Cubs. I have never in my entire life watched so much baseball, a sport I don’t even like that much!
What does this have to do with blogging? There was something else I watched while pacing the floor during those two weeks. The commercials. When I saw a Facebook Live commercial for the first time I said out loud to my husband “No way.”
I was truthfully in shock by this! Why would Facebook run a television commercial during the World Series that was crazy expensive? Why would they do this when they have access to over 1.79 billion readers on their own platform?
A month later I saw an ad for Facebook Live during the Thanksgiving parade. I bet you dollars to donuts that we will see one during the Super Bowl too. The end all be all of commercials that cost millions of dollars to air.
What does this mean? Facebook is putting a ton of stock in Facebook Live. A ton. If they are willing to shell out that kind of money on ads, it means that it’s important.
What this means for you: Get comfortable with Facebook Live! The sooner you start, the easier it will get. Set a goal to do a Facebook Live on your Facebook page at least once a week. It will help you ease into it and it will help your page grow too!
I feel bold saying this and maybe I will be wrong, but I don’t see Periscope surviving much past 2017. Facebook is working hard to crush their competition in this area and will continue to do so.
I have seen quite a few bloggers that had Periscope “shows” move their shows over to Facebook Live. It seems to me the few times I have logged in recently that it is full of spam in the stream and in the comments. Finally it doesn’t seem that Periscope itself is out there promoting the company. I always forget they exist and I am guessing I’m not alone! As Facebook Live grows I can see Periscope taking a hit, one they might not survive.
What this means for you: If you haven’t started using Periscope I wouldn’t start in 2017. I would put all my efforts into Facebook Live. If you have done Periscope and you aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to check out Facebook Live. Either way this is one less thing you will have to worry about in the marketing world. Isn’t that a relief?!
6. Email Lists
Building and growing your list in 2017 is going to be more important than ever in 2017! In fact I was not surprised when Sue Dunlevie, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Suzi Whitford, Elna Cain, and Monica Froese said in this blog post that building an email list is the number one thing bloggers should focus on in 2017.
Why is this true though?
Email subscribers are the most loyal people for your blog. They show up and read your blog posts. They share your blog posts. They are there when you have your first product to sell. They show up time and time again for you.
It goes beyond that though to me. I have seen bloggers say “do I need an email list if I am not going to sell anything?” Yes! Yes you do! Email is it’s own community of blogger talking to reader, one reader at a time. And as Candice so eloquently said, if you can focus on helping one person, you will grow your blog. (CHECK THIS) You can do this through talking to people on your email list. It is very powerful.
As our need for community grows, so does our need for connection. We talk on social media, but we connect over email. I equate email and social media to going to a party. When you go to a party, do you stand in the middle of the room and tell every single person there what is going on with you and what you need help with? No you do not. Even the most extroverted person doesn’t do that.
On the flip side, at a party do you gather in smaller groups or with one person and share what’s going on in your life? Yes, of course you do. Why? Because you are more comfortable sharing this information with one person.
Isn’t the same true of social media? Are you out there telling every single person about your life and what isn’t working? Heck no! We only save the best part of our lives for Facebook. Now in email to your best friend, do you let your hair down and say what you are struggling with and how you need help? Of course you do.
This, this is why email is so important for bloggers. We are writing posts that are changing people’s lives and helping them. They are going to trust you and they are going to want to talk to you. They will share their stories with you, one-to-one, over email.
What this means for you: If you haven’t started building your email list, this is the year to do it! You want to connect with your readers and they want to connect with you! Make it easy for them by staying in front of them via email.
If you are already doing email, make sure you are connecting with your people! Actually send them emails once a week. Put questions out there and get to know them. Don’t just send them emails when you want something or worse, not send them emails at all. Engage your audience– this includes your email list!
7. Landing Pages
On January 10th, Google started to penalize any mobile website that has a welcome mat or a pop-up that shows up when people first come to the site. They did this because they want a mobile friendly experience for the end user. Right now only mobile sites are penalized, but I see that expanding to desktops too.
When Google announced this in the fall last year, I thought to myself “And landing pages just became more important than ever in 2017.”
Landing pages are one single page on your website that asks your reader to do something. This is usually subscribe to your email list or buy something from you. There are no distractions on the page, no navigation menu, no sidebars. Only the offer to subscribe or buy. To see examples of landing pages check out mine here, here, and here.
Again we want to build our email lists and landing pages do that. With pop-ups taking a hit by Google, we need something that is focused only on collecting email addresses.
Enter landing pages.
Landing pages are easy to setup on your website and easy to create over and over. I have a complete tutorial on how to install a landing page plugin on your site and how to set up your first landing page. Create a landing page to grow your email list and share the link everywhere!
What this means for you: With landing pages becoming more popular the time is now to jump on the landing page bandwagon. You need to learn how they work because pretty soon they will become a specialized art form, much like Pinterest graphics. You want to get in on this early plus you want to grow your email list. Jump on this one early in 2017!
8. Interactive Opt-Ins
I think there is going to be a big shift in opt-in lead magnets this year. Lead magnets are something that you offer to your readers in exchange for their email address.
First, unless you have an opt-in offer you won’t grow your email list. It will stay flat with a few new subscribers a month. We are particular with our email addresses. We get so many emails that we can’t handle anymore. We don’t have time to constantly trying to achieve inbox zero.
We only give our email addresses out to the best offers out there. The offers that solve our problems. Offers that will make our lives a little easier. Offers that will make us happy.
To be blunt offers like “Join my email list to get my latest blog post delivered to your inbox” will not work! There is no value for the end user. There is nothing in that offer that helps them or makes their life easier. In fact it does the exact opposite of making them happy. It makes them feel like “oh that’s one more email I’m going to have to avoid.” You don’t want your opt-in offer to send that message!
Instead in 2017 opt-in offers are going to be actionable. Action based items that people can use and get quick wins. Ideas like de-clutter your house in 5 days or save $50 in 5 days. Look for ideas that people can see a result from after using the ideas you gave them in the opt-in offer.
Top ideas for opt-in offers in 2017 are:
- Action based lists and tips
- Reference guides
What this means for you: Take a look at your opt-in offer. Is it awesome or is it falling flat? Be real and be honest with yourself. Growing your email list will be critical for the success of your blog this year. Give your readers an opt-in that they are excited to download. One that makes your list growth explode!
Staying with the idea of building community, I think blogging mastermind groups are going to spring up in 2017. It has always been important to network with other bloggers to grow you blog.
But it’s more than that. Other bloggers understand what you are going through. The highs and the lows. How awesome it feels when you get your first 100 email subscribers. How frustrating it is when your opt-in isn’t converting.
Mini masterminds let you share these moments with other bloggers that completely get it. A group of 4-6 like-minded bloggers is a great support group to lift you up, encourage you, and inspire you. You can help each other with strategies, collaborate on blog posts, and even create courses together. It’s a win-win for all!
In 2017 we will see more of these joint ventures and collaborations between bloggers. If you can work with someone and serve both your audiences, you will expand your reach. More importantly you will get to help more people!
What this means for you: Don’t blog alone! Reach out to 3-4 bloggers that are at a similar place in the blogging journey as you are. Take the time to form a mini-mastermind and look for creative ways you can help each other. Don’t worry about overlapping what you are offering to your readers. It truly is better for your readers if you have even more resources to offer them!
10. Strategic Blogging with Heart
I loved this quote that Jill Stanton gave me in this post:
The biggest thing I think bloggers need to be focusing on for 2017 is to start blogging with a purpose.
What I mean is, you need to get clear on the major interest areas for your audience, start creating content around them and use each post to lead to a specific (and relevant) offer!
Whether that is a quick course, a downloadable, an ebook, a call with you, hell, even a freebie! The key is to use your content to fuel your business!
After all, blogging for the sake of blogging is sooooo 2016. –Jill Stanton, Screw the 9-5.com
It’s so true! Blogging, good blogging is intense work! A well written blog post can take anywhere from 4-8 hours of time. That’s a lot of hours on one post!
Because of that we will become more strategic with our blog posts. If our goal is to get more readers to our blogs and to monetize we will have to get more strategic. We don’t have time to write without it having a purpose. This is especially true when blogging has become 20% writing blog posts and 80% promotion!
Bloggers will write longer posts that pour on a ton of value. Like so much value that the reader thinks “Wow I can’t believe they gave me that information for free. I have to follow this person! I have to pin this post to keep coming back to!”
But we can’t write these longer posts and do it several times a week. We would burn out! Plus we don’t have the time to do that. We need to be out there networking and promoting our blogs! So we need to make our blog posts work for us.
What does that mean? A good blog post should be one of your biggest sources of traffic. A few weeks ago I wrote an epic 5,000 word post. It has become my number one pin after nearly a year of blogging. In three weeks that beefy post is driving a ton of traffic from Pinterest and Facebook.
These longer posts will be a lot of upfront work but will be a gift that keeps on giving. You will need to be strategic in these posts. Include content upgrades to encourage people to sign up for your email list. Then when they get on your email list you have to be strategic again. Build an email autoresponder series to engage your new subscribers.
An autoresponder series is a series of emails that you send to your new subscriber after they join your email list. It takes them down a path of building a relationship with you. If you have a course or an affiliate program to sell you can include links to these in your autoresponder series.
In short your long blog posts should have a purpose. They should lead people to your email address, into an autoresponder series, and into a potential sales funnel. Your blog post should have a ton of value and work for you to promote your blog while you are out there networking.
What this means for you: To write posts that are strategic but full of heart, you must plan ahead! You must have an editorial calendar that makes sense, that ties in with your opt-in offers, and any programs you want to sell. When you are strategic like this you will work smarter not harder and couldn’t we all use a little bit of that?!
11. Tighter Security
Tighter security for our blogs is coming in 2017! Google Chrome is releasing an update that will show sites that are insecure. It will show a message that your site isn’t secure. This could freak out readers that are on your blog.
Here’s an example of a secure site:
Here’s Women Winning Online not secure (not yet anyway!)
Not glaringly obvious but it will become the expected standard to have a secure site.
Also WordPress itself is pushing for WordPress sites to have an SSL certificate. The thought is this will make your WordPress site a more stable and safe site.
What this means for you: It’s time to talk to your hosting company. Make sure you have the option to set up a SSL certificate with them. This used to be such a cumbersome process, but thankfully it isn’t anymore. Any good quality host will help you set this up for your blog. I use SiteGround for my hosting company and they are helping me to install it on my sites. If you don’t have a good host I highly recommend switching to SiteGround. SiteGround offers one year free Wild Cart SSL on their Grow Big Plan which is extremely important for all bloggers!
For more information on this check out these Posts:
12. More Visual
We have the attention span of goldfish. A whopping three seconds long. That means you have three seconds to capture someone’s attention with your headline, your Pinterest image, your social media post.
That’s a lot of pressure!
We are getting so many messages thrown at us between our emails, social media sites, and news agencies. It’s message after message after message. It’s exhausting on our brains. We can only handle so much.
Images we can process. We can slow down and look at images and see if they apply to us. We can process them quicker and with more meaning. This is one reason Pinterest works so well and Instagram is so hot.
This trend will continue and be more important this year. Images are going to need a lot more white space to capture our attention. Less clutter and more clarity on what we are getting if we click on a link. We need to be clear in our descriptions on exactly what the person will read when they click our link. But first we have to capture their attention with an image that can’t be missed.
What this means for you: Take a look at your Pinterest images. Are they clear? Are they branded? Are the pretty and not cluttered? Test your pins by pinning them on a group board, then come back the next day, scroll through the group board feed and see if your image stands out. If it doesn’t go back to the drawing board and design a pin that sticks out!
Then once you have mastered Pinterest jump on the Instagram bandwagon. Start sharing your story. Let other people see the real side of you. Share your blog posts and make pretty images.
13. Repurposing Content
Like I have mentioned in this post we don’t have time to do all the things. As consumers of blog posts we don’t have time to read all the things either!
Remember those epic blog posts I told you to write? Don’t write them and not think about them again. Re-purpose the content in your blog posts. This will save you a ton of time!
It takes us 5-7 times to learn something before it sticks in our heads. We are consuming more information than ever before and we can’t remember it all the first time around.
Do your readers a favor and make it easier on them to consumer your blog posts! Take a look at your epic blog posts and pull 3-5 main points out of those posts. Then repurpose the content across other platforms.
Repurposing ideas include:
- Doing a Facebook live stream to share the main points.
- Creating images using one main point and sharing it on Instagram.
- Adding a main point to your email autoresponder series for the same post.
- Doing a YouTube video on the main points.
Get creative with this and think outside the box. All too often we think we are letting our readers down if we don’t give them new information all the time. But truthfully they can’t handle all that information! Make it easy on them and yourself and repurpose your content.
What this means for you: When you are planning out your editorial calendar make a note of the epic posts. Then when you are done writing make a list of the 3-5 main points you can repurpose and share with your audience. If you already have epic, pillar posts take a look at them and make a list of ideas to repurpose. You will fill your social media calendar before you know it!
Bonus Trend: More Freedom
Our society is on a quest for more freedom. More freedom from the cube and the 9-5 job. More freedom to spend time with our kids. More time to spend together as couples. More time to travel. More time to actually enjoy our lives.
The great news is that we live in a time that affords us that freedom if we take the brass ring and go for it. Blogging is that brass ring! We can work our tails off, grow successful blogs, and have the freedom to live life on our terms. To retire our husbands, to bring the kids home from daycare, to get in an RV and travel the world!
In 2017 even more blogs are going to be started. There are women out there that are dying to blog and you and I are their inspiration. If we keep working our tails off and showing them it is possible, they will go for it and grab the brass ring! Aim for the freedom in your life, show other women it is possible, and be a good blogging ambassador when they join our ranks. We are lucky ladies and blessed to blog every single day!
What this means for you: Keep reaching for your dreams! Blogging isn’t always easy but when you love it, it’s so worth it! Remind yourself why you are doing this every single day. Then show other women how to create their own sense of freedom in their own lives!
Blogging has changed and evolved so much over the last 15 years and it will continue to do so! In 2017 we will see some more changes, new inventions, and ideas that we haven’t even thought of yet!
To recap these are my blogging predictions for 2017:
1. Blogging Communities
2. Facebook Groups
3. Blogging Alone
4. Facebook Live
6. Email Lists
7. Landing Pages
8. Interactive Opt-Ins
10. Strategic Blogging with Heart
11. Tighter Security
12. More Visual
13. Repurposing Content
Bonus Trend: More Freedom!
What do you think? I would love to hear your opinion on how blogging will change and grow in 2017. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below!