On Saturday, I had the opportunity to speak at the sixth annual Minnesota Blogger Conference–an event I helped start with Missy Berggren years ago. Nowadays, Jen Jamar and Mykl Roventine run it, and they are doing a WONDERFUL job. After my limited experience at the event on Saturday, I just can’t say enough good things about what they’ve done with that event.
But, I digress.
I talked about trends impacting bloggers. Specifically, 7 trends impacting almost every blogger at #mnblogcon.
In case you missed it, here’s a sneak peek–along with the deck at the tail end.
#1: Avoid the “content shock”
Credit to Mark Schaefer for the term. I talked about how bloggers need to get back to basics, and providing their unique perspective around whatever topic they’re writing about. So many people are using listicles–and I highlighted that with a screen shot of my Feedly account (take a peek below). My argument: When everyone is zigging–try zagging. And get back to why you started blogging–because you had something to say.
#2: RSS=dead. E-newsletters=alive and well.
RSS never really took off like bloggers hoped it would. But, now, I think we can all safely say it is officially over. And, instead of just adding the standard “subscribe to this blog via email” widget to your blog, I argue you should consider starting an e-newsletter. See the deck for a few solid reasons why.
#3: Content syndication=new readers!
Everyone wants new readers, right? But acquiring them is usually a different story. Content syndication is one of those strategies that I’ve felt has always flown under the radar. LinkedIn Publishing, re-posting to Medium and finding industry sties who will run your posts–these are all great ways to re-purpose your posts to reach new audiences.
#4: The rise of DIY tools
The big discussion here–do you use DIY tools and potentially take a hit on the look and feel of your blog (but, not pay extra for help), or do you enlist the help of a professional designer to create a blog, and visuals, that appear a bit more polished? That’s the discussion right now–I fear we may be leaning too far toward the DIY side right now.
#5: Social sharing ain’t what it used to be
Here’s the part where I told everyone to take social counters off their blogs. After all, weren’t they always just an ego-trip anyway? As social behaviors have changed, dark social continues to grow, and more people spend more time on chat apps, social sharing is losing steam. Take a peek at some of the popular blogs in your industry–chances are they may have already taken down their social share buttons.
#6: Blogs are starting to look a lot less like, well, blogs.
Remember what blogs looked like in 2008? I do. They looked like a Blogger blog. Remember Blogger? LOL. Nowadays, blogs are starting to look like this blog (Jungles in Paris, a popular travel blog).
Blogs are starting to look more like the new simplified web. Big visuals. Headlines. Minimal navigation. That’s where blogs are heading from a design POV.
#7: The blog comment may officially be dead.
Copyblogger was way ahead of the curve when the popular blog killed its comments a couple years ago. I bet we’ll see many more kill their blog comment sections, too, in the months ahead. You watch.
Want the full deck? Take a peek.