Engagement, digital influence — top blogging trends. What else?

The list of blogging trends below is particularly valuable if you’re blogging for money — either on your own as a freelance blogger or as content marketer for your agency. So, if you’re looking to take on your competition, here’s what you should pay attention to.

[Tweet “Engagement becomes the basic unit of measuring blogger’s activity.”]

  • Engagement becomes the basic unit of measuring blogger’s activity. It’s no longer about likes, page hits or followers count (I can buy 300 Facebook likes for $9.99 on Ebay, a thousand Instagram followers will cost me $7.99). The engagement, i.e. time spent on actual looking at the message (Periscope is a great example, it shows you the viewers count, as well as retention and cumulated viewing time) is the king.
  • Influencer, not blogger. Defined as a person with an engaged community behind. The blog is optional, you can easily engage people with an article published on Facebook, Medium, LinkedIn, you can give them links on your fan page or record video on Snapchat. A person and his/her influence on the community are far more important than the platform they choose.
  • Division of engagement between stock and flow channels. The average length of a blog post increased by 10% over the last year (from 900 to 1,000 words). The pieces that require much work to create are the ones we tend to notice. By definition, we can only produce so many of them. Yet we want to keep the audience engaged on the everyday basis using lighter forms (short statuses on Facebook) and media (Snapchat). Stock is a medium (i.e. blog) or a format (i.e. guide, comparison) that does not lose value over time. So the more material you produce, the more valuable it becomes. Flow on the other hand is a medium (Snapchat) or a format (i.e. news or a commentary) that focuses on building engagement here and now. Aware influencers will balance intelligently between the two.
  • Comments below articles are no longer needed. A good blog article belongs to stock world, a comment is ephemeral, hence flow, so it belongs on Facebook or other platform of this kind. Another thing: the person who sparkles the discussion may not be the same person who wrote the article. I can imagine lively discussions around a blog with comments off.
  • Re-using old content. A digital influencer who balanced between the stock and flow content in the past has many articles to present to his or her new audience. A good plan to repurpose this content (in a new channel, in the form of — say — audiobook) is something we’re going to see more of.
  • Customer service is the key to success in commercial cooperation. The blogosphere is becoming more and more crowded and the advertises can cherry pick the best ones. A blogger who is not one of the stars (and we all know there’s only a handful of them) has to accept the fact he or she can be easily replaced. Customer service, delivering on the promise, building relations will be the key to success on that market.
  • Virtuosity in using the tools. Marketing is getting more and more technical (I wrote about this in Marketing Trends 2016 article), and influencing crowds (through blog or other media) also requires you to know the optimization tools & techniques. High quality photos, a template optimized for mobile, Google Search Console, and newsletter — these are just the basic tools. Usability, A/B testing, building campaigns, automation, retargeting should be also added to this list in 2016.