6 Important Blogging Trends To Focus On In 2021
2020 left its mark on everything, the blogging and content marketing industry included.
Lockdowns due to the pandemic left many of us stuck at home with not much to keep us entertained but our screens.
Many people turned to social media for everything from entertainment to news to community. Instagram lives became a daily occurrence. TikTok videos were a coping mechanism, adding some (a lot of) much needed humor to our days.
We created and consumed more content than ever before.
As we start another year, we are setting goals, building our marketing strategies and trying to figure out just how we can continue to create content that stands out and makes an impact.
You may even be wondering what the future of blogging will look like in 2021 (and beyond).
In this post, I will be sharing my thoughts on blogging trends and best practices that you can focus on this year if you would like to build a blog that lasts.
Blogging Has Stood The Test Of Time
A lot of people wonder whether blogging is dead and whether there is a future beyond 2020.
The truth is that blogging has changed significantly in recent years. What worked in the early days, cannot be relied on for sustained success.
Whether you are planning on starting a blog this year, growing your blog or looking for ways to monetize your platform, it is important to be aware of the blogging trends. (Anyone remember Myspace?)
Blogging Trends To Look Out For In 2021
Blogging Trend #1- Focus On Various Multimedia
In 2020, we spent more time online as a collective than ever before. Platforms such as Youtube and Podcasts have grown in popularity as they are easy to consume and highly engaging.
You will now find a lot of bloggers repurposing their content on other platforms. 19% of bloggers have started to include videos as part of their blog posts. That is not a huge amount, bue is a trend that I believe will only continue to grow in popularity.
This is a great strategy to have. It not only does it allow you to reach a wider audience, your audience can also get to know you better.
One thing we learned in 2020 is just how much we all crave community. Blog posts that include visuals get 94% more views than those that do not contain visuals.
Even with my small Youtube channel, I have had numerous people tell me that they found my blog through my Youtube (or vise versa).
Adding additional forms of media to your blog is a smart strategy to employ. It ensures that your blog continues to stay relevant for years to come.
I would only encourage this for bloggers who have the bandwidth for this. Otherwise consider carefully which platform would suit you best. If you decide to focus on Youtube, you can always repurpose your youtube content using a software like Rev.
Rev transcribes the audio in your video, which you can then format and publish on your blog
Blogging Trend #2- Longer Blog Posts Are A Thing
Lets face it, there is major competition in the blogging industry.
About 70 million blog posts are published on wordpress ever month.
That is A LOT considering that this number doesn’t include the millions of other posts published on other platforms such as wix, weebly, medium… etc. you get the point.
As of 2019, 500 million blogs existed on the internet. That number could only have increased since then.
That is a lot of competition for your blog to compete with.
In order to stand out online, you need to find ways to outperform other bloggers in your industry.
One obvious way that you can accomplish this is by focusing on writing longer posts.
We know from experience and from research that the google algorithm favours longer and more in depth posts. The idea behind this is that if a post is longer, it offers more insight and valuable information for the reader. Of course, this is not always the case.
Google’s priority is to offer its readers the best quality content. This means that content deemed as more helpful and more informative will rank higher.
Knowing this, content creators should aim to outperform each other by creating posts that are longer and longer.
In fact, there is research which shows that the majority of the content holding the top 10 spots on the Google SERP (search engine results page) each have over 2000 words.
In other words, if you are creating content that is less than 2000 words, the chances of your content being ranked on the first page is slim.
Even though long blog posts are favoured, your content only needs to be as long as it needs to be to get your point across.
A quality long form piece of content will also serve the additional benefit of keeping readers on your page longer.
Google looks at the length of time people spend on your page and uses that as a way to assess the quality of your content. If you are making your post long just for the sake of it and filling it with fluff, people can tell. And they will leave your site, which will affect your standing with google.
At the very least, I would recommend that you keep each of your blog posts at least 1000 words. Aim for 1500 words if you can.
The more experience you are with writing, you will find that it naturally gets easier to create long form content.
Blogging Trend #3 -Audience Over Self
One of my favourite things about blogging is the fact that it is so audience- centric. (I think I made that word up).
One mistake that I see a lot of new bloggers struggle with, is that they make the blog all about themselves.
That doesn’t make sense- Why make a blog if it is going to be about anyone else?
I hear you, I hear you. I am of the personal opinion that your blog should be personal (I have my own name as my blog domain after all).
However, you make the mistake when you forget to put your audience needs ahead of your own needs and wants.
Do you write content because you feel like it or because you feel it is something that might help your reader?
When you forget about your audience, you are likely to lose the attention of the same people who you want to read your content.
The key to successful blogging in 2021 and beyond is creating helpful content for your audience.
Pro Tip: When you are done writing your blog post, scan through and look for the number of times you used the word “I” vs “You”.
If you are using “I” way more than “You”, you may want to go back through your content to see if you are making it all about yourself.
It takes work and experience to navigate the fine line between being personable and self centered. Do not be hard on yourself.
At the end of the day, You are your blog’s secret sauce.
The main thing that makes your blog stand out among the hundred other blogs offering the same advice is your unique perspective.
I do not want you to lose that.
Just do not forget about your audience.
Blogging Trend #4 – Content Is Useless Without Strategy
In the early days of blogging, people were posting content on a very regular basis- sometimes even daily.
The idea back then was that the more content you have the more your website, the more traffic you could drive to your blog.
This concept still holds true with one caveat what we discussed earlier. HIgh quality in depth content is the most valuable form of content.
It is highly unlikely that you can create high quality, in depth content on a daily basis. There must be careful thought and a strategy behind every piece of content that you publish.
As part of your content strategy, you need to spend time thinking about your audience and their needs.
You must also consider your content, the categories and content pillars. How you will drive traffic to your blog and what metrics or results you are aiming for?
The content you post on your blog must be intentional and lead you closer to your blogging goals.
Blogging Trend #5 – Optimize For Mobile
Over 50% of web searches are done on the mobile phone. This means that the majority of people viewing your blog are likely doing so from their mobile phones.
Most themes and templates these days are responsive themes. Responsive is just a fancy way to say that they are optimized for a variety of different screen sizes.
A non optimized website will cause a reader to get frustrated and leave… who wants that? So make sure that you are using a responsive theme and optimizing your site for various screen sizes.
Blogging Trend #6 – Non SEO-ey SEO
SEO is important to the success of your blog. In the early days of blogging, marketers would stuff their content with keywords so that they would get noticed by the search engines.
Google is getting smarter and the algorithm more complex. You actually get penalized when you try to stuff keywords in your text.
Keyword stuffing does not provide the best value or experience for your reader. The primary focus of search engines such as google is to provide the most helpful resources to the reader (not the resource with the most number of keywords).
While SEO will continue to be important in 2021, I strongly believe that the focus will be on producing high quality content that prioritized the readers experience over ranking.
Regardless of what stage of your blogging journey you are, it is important to keep up with the blogging trends. This ensures that your blog does not get left behind like Myspace and many of those other platforms that have now died off (RIP).
Now that you know my predictions, I want to hear your thoughts. What are your predictions for blogging trends in 2021. What do you think we are saying good riddance to and what is here to stay?