The blogging world is changing. What’s in store for 2023 and beyond?
You don’t have to look very far to find a commentator boldly claiming that blogging’s days are numbers. But is there any truth in that assessment? If there is, we haven’t seen it — and we certainly know a thing or two about blogging.
One thing that we can agree on is that the blogging world is changing. It’s not the same as it was five or more years ago; in fact, it’s not the same as it was eighteen months ago. That doesn’t mean that the climate is better or worse; it’s just different. Changes are afoot thanks to Google’s policy shifts, the rise of artificial intelligence, and user expectations, among other factors. But if you run a blog, that’s no cause for concern — so long as you roll with the changes, your blogging future may be just as bright as your past and perhaps even brighter.
So what can we expect from the future of blogging? Let’s take a look at some of the key trends and shifts that’ll hit the blog world in 2023 and beyond.
The future of blogging will be in trouble when it’s no longer an effective customer-draw or marketing tool. That might happen one day, but we’re a long way from that reality at the moment. Brands that regularly blog receive a staggering 55% more visitors compared with brands that don’t blog. They also receive more than 90% more links to their website. And that’s just because they’ve invested in their blog.
And what about the bloggers themselves? If they’re struggling, it’s certainly not reflected in their income. In the United States, the average blogger earns more than $40,000 a year, showing there’s a big demand for all those written words. Plus, around 70% of bloggers say that their blog posts routinely generate the type of results they were expecting.
What’s the point here? It’s that while the blog world may be different from what it was in the past, it’s still getting results for both brands and the bloggers themselves.
Quality Content Will Rule
The push towards quality content began with Google, which shifted its algorithm to promote websites that offered genuine usefulness to its users. But really, they made this move in response to the growing dissatisfaction of internet users. As the web has become a greater part of our lives, expectations have grown.
The future of blogging, in general, is fine; the future of low-quality blogging is in terminal decline. There’ll come a day when error-strewn, ill-thought-out, valueless content barely makes it into the top ten pages of Google’s search results. If there’s one investment to make, it’s working to ensure that your blog is genuinely useful. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it must offer value to the user.
Enhanced Overall Experience
We’ll discuss the increasing levels of competition in the blogging world in greater detail later on, but for now, we’ll just say: it’s pretty fierce. In addition to the overall value of the content, brands and bloggers must work to enhance the overall user experience.
There are plenty of things that will make a visitor click the ‘X’ button. There was once upon a time when multiple or invasive pop-ups were a necessary evil that web users would put up with. But not anymore. There are so many quality blogs offering an enjoyable user experience that they don’t need to put up with it. A single pop-up is fine (especially if you’re trying to convert), but any that severely interrupt the reading experience will cause more trouble than they’re worth.
Not all experience-busters are as obvious as pop-ups. A blog hosted on a poorly-designed website or a blog that is little more than a wall of text (no images, no headings, overly long paragraphs) will face trouble in a climate where web users are becoming more thoughtful of the overall experience.
The Rise of AI
Even people who don’t keep up to date with the blogging world will have heard of the potential impact artificial intelligence may have on content creation. Indeed, the most sensationalist articles predict that it’ll be the end of blogging — and writers — as we know it. Is that really the case? It may be one day, but we’re certainly a far way from that reality.
In its current form, AI content creation tools are better suited to time-consuming tasks such as research, content ideas, and data gathering. They’ll play a supportive role, rather than a starring role, for the time being at least. Indeed, rather than fearing the arrival of AI content creation tools, forward-thinking bloggers will embrace them. Ultimately, they can help to produce better, more original content, as well as pick out any obvious errors.
Clamping Down on Fake News
The internet has been getting some pretty bad press over the past few years, and the majority of that negative publicity has been down to the abundance of fake news circulated online. Blogging hasn’t been the main culprit — social media posts have the most responsibility — but has been a factor.
In a move that very much falls into the “better late than never” category, large tech companies are finally beginning to tackle the issue head-on. In the coming years, we can expect that “untrustworthy” sites that deliberately publish fake or misleading claims will become increasingly difficult to find via conventional search engines.
As with most efforts to block content, it’s likely that some legitimate sites will be caught in the crosshairs. As such, it’s recommended that bloggers check that they have no posts or content that could be misconstrued as fake, especially if they’re commenting on controversial topics.
Long-Form Content Will Become More Popular
There’s a trend of believing that web users want content that’s as short and snappy as possible. They want content that their increasingly reducing attention spans can handle. You’ll hear this again and again. But is it true? It may be for some components of the web, but it’s not necessarily true in the blogging world.
There’s a growing demand for in-depth, long-form content, which has been shown to have higher engagement than shorter-form content. The majority of blogs are around 500 words. While there’s very much space for those types of articles in your content plans, the shift towards longer articles (1500 – 3000 words) should be kept in mind. They’re especially recommended for evergreen topics.
Niche Websites Will Be Preferred Over General Sites
You can think of blogging as a business. Actually, that should be easy for some of you since blogging is your business. A business will struggle to find success if it’s trying to be all things to all people. Only a rare few companies — in fact, perhaps only Amazon — can do that. The most successful businesses are the ones that specialise in one particular area. Think of a clothes store that only sells vegan products or a restaurant that only sells Mexican food. You’d trust that they knew what they were doing.
The same principle applies to blogging. Bloggers who post about any and all topics will be a master of none and will be more likely to lose visitors in an age when more and more people are looking for expert opinions. Niche websites attract a niche audience who are more likely to engage with your content than a general audience, and that can help put long-term success within reach.
Video Blogs Offer Increased Engagement
The stats surrounding video content are jaw-dropping. Did you know that video streaming is responsible for around 80% of all internet traffic? Or that more than 1.5 billion people consume more than five billion videos on YouTube every day?
This is all a roundabout way of saying that internet users love video content. As a blogger, you’ll be in the business of using words to get your message across. But could there be room for some video content in your strategy? Embedding a video within your blog post offers a level of engagement that far surpasses a static image. Plus, you can also market the video on YouTube, which will help to grow your audience.
Of course, it takes more work to produce an engaging video than it does to produce an engaging blog post. But in doing so, you may well put yourself ahead of the competition.
It’s likely that we’ll see an increase in bloggers using other websites to promote their content and gather new audiences. And there are good reasons for doing so. Internet users are getting younger all the time, and not all of them actively seek out blog websites. In fact, there’ll be many Gen Zers who have no concept of blogging websites. We tend to think that everyone’s spending time on the same websites as we are, but that’s not the case.
Omnichannel blogging can help to attract these audiences. The key is to research which social media and other websites your target demographic use and build your profile. You can develop your brand and blogging audience by creating TikTok content or streaming on Twitch, to name just two examples.
Quality Over Quantity
There was a time when a website could produce blog after blog after blog and find success. They were different days. Google is no longer looking for any old content to push towards its users. It’s looking for quality content. Whether you like Google’s power or not, the fact of the matter is that bloggers have to play by its rules.
Of course, it’s hard to be too disgruntled by Google’s decisions. They are promoting quality content, after all! The ins and outs of their algorithm aren’t entirely known, but you can get a good idea of what they’re looking for from the acronym E.A.T., which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. All bloggers should develop and produce their content with these qualities in mind. If not, their SEO ranking will suffer, and so will their number of visitors.
Adhering to Regulations
The wild west of the web is over. For a long time, respecting a visitor’s privacy was based on little more than the honour system. While the vast majority of websites — and especially bloggers — respected the unwritten privacy rules, others took advantage of their access to data. Today, internet privacy is front and centre, with many governments enacting laws and regulations regarding how a website should handle, store, and use their user’s data. There’s an increasing spotlight on privacy, copyright law, and advertisement ethics which bloggers will need to keep in mind moving forward.
Competition Will Be More Fierce
The future of blogging is positive. But it won’t be positive for everyone. Competition for visitors is extremely fierce, and unless a blogger adapts to the times and makes their content as watertight as possible, there’s a chance that they’ll be left behind. Unlike in years gone by, there’s little room for amateur success.
Why Blogging Will Remain Important and Profitable
Anyone who proclaims that blogging is a thing of the past hasn’t been paying attention to the stats. Blogging remains important, effective, and profitable for the simple reason that people will always be looking for information online. And while there are plenty of other mediums and websites that can deliver that information, blogs are no slouch. Google likes blogs; the public likes blogs. That should be enough to convince anyone that things are bright. It’s just that, as with all things, the blogging world will change and develop.
Nothing stays still for too long, not in a tech-driven age when acceleration and development are prioritised over the status quo. While people have been predicting the death of blogging for many, many years, the fact of the matter is that blogs are still widely read and, more than that, highly useful and engaging.
With new tools emerging and people spending increasing amounts of time online, it’s likely that blogs will continue to be a mainstay of the internet for many years to come. It’s just that it won’t look or function the same as in days gone by.