Resident Bronco blogger Sian here to talk about where we think blogging will head in 2016. Last month our team published our predictions for the state of digital marketing in the coming year, and true to form, I managed to write 450+ words on the topic – woops! I did promise a little more detail on my points though, so here you go.
Blogging has taken a few unexpected leaps and bounds over the 8 or so years that I’ve been doing it, some for the better, and others for the worse, all of which have shaped blogging as we know it today. So what do we think 2016 will bring?
Comments have been slowly falling to the wayside for the past couple of years. Where once the comment section of a blog was the only place a reader could express their opinions on a post, these have now fallen prey to the instant world of social media where they can easily get a response or reaction from the author. We’ve spotted bloggers left, right and centre closing the comment sections of their blogs in favour of taking them to Twitter or Facebook, but we don’t expect to see all bloggers taking this route in 2016.
As a result of this, blogging will expand further this year so that bloggers aren’t only “bloggers” but “influencers”. It’s something we’ve been moving towards as an industry in the past year as blog authors don’t just offer the opportunity to publish a blog post on a single platform, but instead are influential across a vast range of social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook being but a few.
Blog design has been a major factor in 2015 – we saw the big Google Mobile update which led to new templates and designs for almost every blogger we know and blogs became more shiny and polished. 2016 should see every blog who values their readership ensuring that they are mobile friendly and can be read in a variety of formats. But we also think that we might see bloggers returning to the realistic. It felt as though blogs and magazines had never been closer in 2015, but bloggers are realising that the real, raw and honest content and design is what separates them from these.
Image based social media including Instagram and Pinterest were even more on the rise in 2015 than ever before, and it seems that blogging will react to this further in 2016 as bloggers continue to produce graphics and imagery that’s suitable across every platform as they become more integrated. Expect to see blog posts that are optimised for easy Pinning, and images that can easily be shared across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Finally we’re expecting to see bloggers offering more than just content. Once you’re into the world of the web, there are so many tempting opportunities to stay there, and we predict we’ll be seeing more of this. More bloggers are producing products relevant to their niche, from downloadable spreadsheets and eBooks to physical products in blog stores, and we think we’ll see more people taking bigger leaps online to secure a financially viable lifestyle online.