Blogging in 2017: Five Important Tips For Blogging Success
It’s been such a long time since I shared a blogging tips post with you, that it felt like time to share some new thoughts, tips and learnings from the year gone, for the year ahead. Not least because I think 2017 is going to be yet another pivotal year for the blogging industry.
2016 saw the rise of the instagram influencer, the increased opportunity for micro bloggers, a big change in algorithm for Bloglovin, Youtube & Instagram (proving once again the importance of having your own platform), the shift from network management to self management (and the shock closing of ModeMedia) and of course continued innovations in the tech space with instagram stories stealing the show from Snapchat (which meant even more reason to define your own social media strategy).
It’s hard to keep up in this space, it’s exciting, but fast, full of opportunity but vastly competitive, and that’s why carving your own space, niche and environment is critical for success today, and for tomorrow too … and so today I wanted to share a few tips to help with your planning for ‘tomorrow’! Five tips to help you master your blog journey and success in 2017, and the trends and forecasts that you should know about when defining your blogging strategy & goals.
FIVE IMPORTANT TIPS FOR BLOGGING IN 2017
The Need For Your Own Platform
In the middle of last year I wrote a whole blog post all about the importance of having your own platform when it comes to blogging, with the big social platforms changing algorithms, their set up and their offering over time, being at mercy to their innovations and developments is a risk. If you’re sole business is set up and based on something you’re not in control of, any changes, developments or shifts in approach can significantly impact your business.
For me the most noticeable changes have been the release of instagram stories (and the imminent demise of snap-chat if you ask me) and the potential changes coming to Bloglovin, which will be the second set of changes in 12 months. First up their changes towards the end of last year which meant trending posts became global rather than regional (this has impacted me significantly, where posts that used to trend in the UK no longer get that viral affect they used to when up against the whole global blogosphere), and of course not to mention the introduction of the bloglovin blog which gets promoted above and beyond original content. Secondly the potential changes coming this year with their new ‘direct publishing’ beta testing. In their own words “It’s a new way to express oneself. It’s more than just an image + less work than a normal blog” … watch this space.
That being said relying on organic discovery alone is no longer a viable solution.
The Continued Shift to 80:20 Blogging
In the advertising world we talk about the organic era being dead, content requires investment or exposure beyond it’s owned platform to be discovered and the nature of our over-saturated content era is that discover-ability is somewhat impossible these days without a helping hand. Last year I talked about the 80:20 blogging rule, a principle that suggests that only 20% of time energy and resource should go into content production, whilst the remaining 80% goes into pushing distribution and discover-ability.
This is a lesson I certainly learnt the hard way, clinging on to my daily blogging for dear life and just hoping that people would stumble upon the content I poured my heart into producing. Whilst I was badgering away at this, the rest of the blogosphere was building an Instagram empire, networking at events and parties and pitching for business and getting their brand out there.
In 2o17 a savvy approach to content production versus content distribution is going to be key, with new blogs continuing to launch by the day, ensuring your content is seen and not just good quality is essential.
And the contradicting bit?
Other social platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Bloglovin etc, are going to be critical for your success. Because they have the power to offer your content the scale and reach it deserves! You see, its a balancing act, balancing the need for your own platform that you can control, with the potential exposure that other platforms offer you and your business. Even huge content producers like Buzzfeed have spoken about their reliance on other social platforms to distribute and gain exposure to their content.
The Increased Importance of Engagement
But here’s the thing, it’s becoming less and less about the big reach number, and more and more about the quality of engagement you’re able to offer a potential brand. Because the reality is advertisers and brands are now putting paid investment into amplifying the content that influencers are producing for them (which by the way, if you’re lucky enough to get, is the biggest exposure you could wish for … you’re getting hundreds of thousands of pounds of paid advertising behind your content for nothing). You see for brands reach can be paid for, but engagement, well that’s at large out of control and at the mercy of good quality, interesting and engaging content and an authentic, trusted and admired voice.
So don’t worry if you’re blog doesn’t hit 300k views a month or you don’t have 100k instagram followers, if you have loyal, engaged and interested readers, then that’s an audience that brands will want to lean on you to access.
The rise of the mico influencer is not over yet …
A Continued Shift To Self Managed
Two years ago getting a contract with an influencer network or talent manager was the dream, in many ways it still is, but in today’s blogging era success isn’t only available to those signed to the most popular agent of the moment. Along with the shift towards micro influencers, comes the shift towards self management. No one is best placed to grow your business than you, and so learning how to create a killer media pack, pitch for work, professionally project manage brand collaborations and shift your blog into a career is yours for the taking (and pretty essential if you want to take your blog to the next level).
Networks, agencies and talent managers can still offer huge value, I’ve seen first hand how much they can promote, elevate and secure business for their favourite bloggers, but it can be just that ‘for their favoured bloggers’, so don’t over rely on other people to make your success, this year will see a continued shift to self managed girl bosses i’m sure.
Video, And Live Vdeo Is Here To Stay
When it comes to your business footprint, going after every new social trend and platform is probably not a wise idea, focusing on the social channels most relevant to your brand and content is key if you want to do it well, but one thing is for certain, video, and live video for that matter is only set to grow in 2017. And as people want more ‘real time’ content and ‘real life’ exposure to their favourite content producers, and brands want more ‘real time’ opportunities to share their advertising and reach real audiences, the potential in ‘live content’ is huge.
I for one have not really ventured into video in full (vlogging wasn’t something for me and the high production videography i’d want to create required far more time than I had on offer) but as video becomes an ever and consumed content form, perhaps 2017 will be the year that more traditional bloggers and content producers move into this space. And ‘live’ is the easiest opportunity to get involved.
As every year passes it’s hard to imaging the world of influencers and content producers continuing to grow at such pace, but when you look at the trends and facts, it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. But in an over saturated market place, having real intergrity is still (for me at least) a deal breaking factor in whether I subscribe to a content producer or not. It’s about balancing commercialism and business growth, with your passion, personality and originality. I still like to think that hard work, good quality content and a little bit of strategic savvyness is still enough to succeed in this space … even with the blogging universe stampeding past you! Being yourself is the biggest distinction!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
I sort of hate that video is becoming the next best thing… but it’s inevitable. Hopefully I’ll be able to adapt!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
love this post, so interesting and informative :)
As always you’re on point! I’m surprised though that you didn’t mention podcasting. I think it’s another form of content and way to attract followers for traditional bloggers. It’s a side of blogging that is worth digging and feel like will go a long way considering the number of apps enabling you to listen to them.
Again thank you for a great read!
I too hate that video is becoming the next big thing. I guess I’ll have to get used to it and start branching out. I just don’t like the thought of people truly seeing me on video and hearing me etc. It makes me uneasy!
Beckie xo || The Pale Tails
Super insightful! It’s so important to keep up to date with all of this as it’s constantly changing and morphing into new things. Thank you for this and all the helpful links!
Thanks for sharing this! Such great advice!
YES MEL! I work in digital marketing so all of this I’ve been badgering on to everyone in my office about to for a while but I LOVE your point about engagement. Yes it’s always incredible if you can show off big numbers but at the end of the day, what do they mean if no one is really engaging with the content?
I’ve got a whole post on blogging authenticity coming out tomorrow morning and I really do think this is where there’ll hopefully see a shift this year. I’m already seeing bloggers discussing ‘live’ posting over scheduled and how they’re seeing different results, and I think there’s been too much of this rigid attitude towards blogging for a while now. It’s almost always obvious when something has been scheduled and I think this ‘undone’ version of blogging where you write the post, edit it and post there and then will become more apparent this year. People want an authentic voice back!
Fab piece, Mel, as per usual…! x
She’s So Lucy // Health, Beauty & Lifestyle
this tips are so awesome!
Fash ‘n’ fudge
Fash ‘n’ fudge
I haven’t got into video for the same reasons as you actually. I have, however, managed a few live videos from my trips abroad, which were quite successful. So I guess you’re right about thinking that live video might be the way for most bloggers who don’t want to turn into vloggers. I love writing, I’d hate to have to give it up or downgrade it because of video. Thanks for sharing this amazingly helpful post!
El’s Escapes | Style, Travel, Life
Such invaluable tips – thank you so much! I really need to start distributing my posts, but things are very comfortable over on http://www.theyoproedit.com!
That basically mean the result you get from content creation is getting more relevant to how much you willing to put yourself out there. I seriously am not interested in live show, being part of it or watching it, so I guess it’s even more challenging for those who are like me, like us. Thanks for the tips!
So much thought and truth is put into the post! I agree with many points here. It is quite terrifying but exciting at the same time. Sometimes we just gotta wait and see… xx
I really dislike the Bloglovin’ algorithm – not even because of any personal reasons, I mean, my blog is tiny so fair enough. I just seem to be suggested the same 10, maybe 15 blogs over and over again… Listen, Bloglovin’, if I didn’t fall in love with your Big Friends by now, I will not fall in love with them just because they are all I see in my recommended tab. Just let me see something else. Same goes for their blog, who is always full of the same faces. Eh. I thought it was meant to help you discover NEW blogs to see..?
Self Made Dame says
More and more people are realising what a powerhouse Pinterest is to drive traffic to their blog. That’s why I offer a Pinterest management service because it can be a full-time job working Pinterest the correct way. A lot of people still think its a place to look at and store pretty pictures but more and more people are beginning to realise that Pinterest is a visual search engine and just like Google, you can search for just about anything. I have boards for web design, social media marketing, email marketing, Pinterest marketing, freelancing, running an Etsy biz, as well as lifestyle boards. Travel blogging is going blazes because of Pinterest and people are starting to see most of their traffic coming from there now, second to search engines. Pinterest isn’t really social media, its a search engine, start using it that way and you’ll see an amazing up swing in your traffic :)
So many great tips! I’m especially intrigued about the 80:20 rule and will go read about it a bit more on your other blogpost now – I definitely struggle with promoting my blog enough and would love to get a kick in the butt to be a bit better at it! x
Laura // Middle of Adventure
So many helpful hints! Thank you so much for sharing. I agree, engagement has a lot to do with it. I always prefer a blog or instagram account where I feel like my comments are being read and responded to. Beautiful pictures by the way! Beautifully Candid
Milenka Millie says
I can’t express how incredible your blog is, Melissa! Every piece of content you put out is such high quality and so well though out. Your blogging tips are super helpful and your photography is always an inspiration. Thank you! <3
The reality of video becoming the ‘it’ content everyone wants to see is a bit scary but a bit exciting. While I don’t particularly like hearing my voice on any recording ever, I’m looking forward to the challenge! :)
Moreover, I found your article to be very very helpful and have a million tabs open now, ready to read.
Thank you so much, subscribed so I don’t miss any future posts! xx
Nadia Cohen says
Wow! Great tips. Thanks for sharing :-)
I just stumbled upon your blog from a picture on pinterest and it looks like I’ll be coming back again soon. I recently started my own blog so I was instantly drawn to this article, and I really enjoyed how informative it was. I can’t wait to explore the rest of your content!
Lindsey | lindseytailored.com
Such a fantastic read and your photography is so beautiful! xx
Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x
I am fairly new to blogging… its something I wanted to do years ago but never prioritied! So this year i went for it… I am still trying to juggle being a new time mum and getting posts written regularly but will hopefully find a happy medium.
I love your blog (and have followed it for years) – its so informative and really gives great insights into the blogging world which I know i need to apply to my own. At the moment I am trying to define my niche which as you say is key.
Very helpful and informative for a relative newbie. Thanks!
Every single word you wrote is so so true! I spent most of my time promoting than actually creating, which is not my favorite thing to do but it is what it is. Great post!!!
I love this post. Thank you!
Maria Tayer says
Excellent post! Love how you detailed all of the things that you need to do to have a successful blog. I’m really glad to read this, and get so many informative knowledge.
Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to read more post of yours.