It’s not the end of the year without my wild predictions for the blogging scene in 2021. Yes, you may have remembered me writing the ‘is blogging a dying trend‘ post back in 2017. Guess, what guys, it still ain’t dead, and I was WRONG. So wrong, and I’m sorry.
So, the last few years have shown that yes, attention has really moved away from blogging and the influencer bubble on Instagram is still very much growing. But, blogging is still here. Blogging is not going anywhere.
I think 2021 is going to be an even better year for the hard seasoned bloggers that have stuck around, but I do think there will be some difference in the way we do that.
More Marketing Budget Allocated To Blogs
Every marketing guru and their dog (including me) jumped on the influencer bandwagon. Whilst there is still value in influencer marketing for the right person, budget and audience – far more long term value still lies in backlinks from an authoritative blog.
It’s simple. In gifting an influencer a product or on a paid basis on Instagram, their content will decay after 24 hours on stories and disappear from your feed after 48 hours. Then it’s gone and not easily visible unless you start digging around.
Whereas a blog offers much more long term value. As long as that blog continues to be online, the backlink remains and the value of that post and traffic naturally continues to grow over the weeks, months and years of it being live.
A backlink is a powerful tool that is a link from your website to an external site. If you have a high domain authority and link to said website, google will think ‘they’re getting a link from a website with a high domain authority, so this website must be relevant and informative too’. Building backlinks is an imperative part of an SEO strategy for a blog or business.
Many businesses have had their hands burnt from influencer collaborations that brought nothing in other than more DMs saying ‘hey lovely, do you want to collaborate? I have 1K followers but I follow 10k accounts’. You know the drill.
Oh yes, I really can see the gentle 180° turn of going back to reliable basics with a good backlink strategy from businesses.
People ARE Still Reading Blogs, But Consumption Is Different
I’m done with the whole ‘people don’t read blogs anymore’. Okay, I thought this too last year, but believe me, people are very much still reading them.
I’m ending 2021 with monthly traffic that was equivalent to what it was back in 2017. It’s not that people ‘aren’t reading blogs anymore’. People are just consuming blogs in a different way, and through different platforms.
Peoples attention spans are much shorter now and favour short, disappearing video or images over long blocks of text. This, we know. I used to expect hundreds of views to my blog posts when I mentioned it on Instagram. Well, I did an experiment. I have spent more months off the platform than on it this year. Has it affected my blog? No, my blog traffic has grown. Why? I changed my strategy. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I figure that people are on Instagram for one thing, consuming imagery and looking into peoples lives. Pinterest, google and other search engines are when people are actively looking for ideas, tips and inspiration. This is what I’ve done.
As bloggers who have been trying to keep up with the ever cascading flow of ‘influencers’ who don’t write and have never written, in 2021, you don’t need to anymore.
Stop expecting people to want to read your blogs from Instagram. I think things would be different if we all had swipe up links on stories and clickable links in captions. But we don’t. So we do need to adapt if we want to survive as bloggers in 2021 and actually get people reading our stuff.
Write For Voice Search In Your Niche
It’s no secret that writing for ‘voice search’ has always been at the top of any SEO strategy, even more so in recent years. Whilst many bloggers including myself write broad lifestyle posts, to get that traction on google, writing for voice search is valuable, evergreen content that will continue gaining traction for years to come.
Decaying content could be something like ‘3 things I did this Christmas’ – only really relevant for a short period of time and not something you’re going to rank for on google in the long term. An evergreen piece of content writing for google could be something like ‘3 ways to get your living room festive for Christmas’ or ‘how to make your living room festive’.
Answer those questions that people are asking and fit it into your niche. Having a strongly determined niche on your blog whether it’s about building a business, beauty or about acne is key. Continually writing posts within your niche is what’s going to help catapult you as a blogger in 2021 and beyond. As they say, riches are in the niches.
The Influencer Bubble Is Too Volatile
I’ve always said that the influencer bubble will burst at some point, it’s not a case of if, it’s when.
When it comes down to your social media platforms, you have no control over them. They’re essentially owned by the platform. I’ve seen Instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers deactivate overnight or been hacked. What happens when you build yourself up on one platform when it could seamlessly disappear overnight?
You don’t own Instagram and you don’t own any social media platform and the rules that go with it. A blog or website on the other hand is something that is YOURS. It can’t be taken away from you, and for every post you write and love you pour into it, you can be sure it’s still going to be around in another 10 years time if you still want to be doing it.
Our blogs offer us that safety net, that strong grounding. The future is in your own brand and development elsewhere. We can’t determine the future of Instagram and the rest. Moral of the story? Don’t have all your eggs in one basket.
I really do think that 2021 is going to be a great year for blogging. We just need to adapt and create what an audience of today wants and needs. What are your thoughts on the future of blogging? Did you start a blog in 2020?