In 2016, blogging is set to become big business. Blogging is now a professional tool used by companies, brands, and individuals to promote and sell products. Companies with a successfully-run relevant blog generate 67% more leads than those that do not have one.
The writers who generate this content are now realising the power they have to make a living for themselves out of their skills. If you are one of them, here are seven trends for 2016 I think you should all be aware of:
- Have something to sell. Sell your expertise by promoting your own products. Bloggers are moving away from promoting other companies through pay per click links, advertising sidebars, and sponsorship fees. You can sell digital products like e-books, e-courses, and online coaching sessions. Our digital products will be available for purchase in early 2016. You can sell physical products like courses, speaking engagements, and gifts with your logo. The possibilities of what you are able to offer are endless. Visit our Café Press shop for ideas.
- Think like an entrepreneur. Blogging is still about writing and creating content, but it is now about doing it with a tangible goal. Creative people have to find new ways to make money. Old-school journalists are barely making money any more. If you want to continue to write for a living, you should take content marketing seriously. Invest in a good website and explore diverse sources of income. Here are two great examples of bloggers who have succeeded as entrepreneurs:
- Be social media savvy. Manage your online presence like a business owner. Successful bloggers do not include many personal updates on social media. The majority of their shared content reflects their brand, either directly or indirectly. This does not mean they sell their products aggressively. It means that everything they do shows their followers who they are, and what they are passionate about. This tactic turns fans into consumers and clients. Successful bloggers often run social media accounts that are superior to those of huge companies. P.S. Set aside some money to promote your posts with adverts on Facebook.
- Change the format of your content. In this visual wonderland, we are all searching for that something that seems more interesting and more aesthetically pleasing. Use high-quality photographs and images to complement text-heavy posts. Other posts should include infographics, worksheets, downloadable templates, podcasts, webinars, and videos. The best thing about all of this is that you can do most of it yourself. You can subscribe to creation platforms like Piktochart where you can make worksheets, infographics, and templates. You can use your iPhone to take short videos that can be uploaded to your YouTube account. You will need some help for webinars.
- Blogs will look like friendly websites. Because bloggers are offering so much more than on online diary, it has become necessary to create a layout that shows everything you have to offer. At Writers Write, we are in the process of redesigning our blog. We want visitors to know that we are more than just a blog. We sell courses, gifts, and coaching services. We also offer a free subscription service for daily writing links. Here are some good examples of the changing face of blog design:
- Include a section for endorsements. Word of mouth will become the most important selling tool for bloggers. Visitors are more likely to buy from you if they see positive feedback.
- Aggressively build an email list for your newsletter. If you decide to turn your blog into a business, the people most likely to buy your products are your newsletter subscribers. One way to build this list is to offer people something for free via email when they visit your page. This could be a worksheet or a short course. When you send this, ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. You can offer exclusive content and specials to these subscribers as well as testimonials from satisfied customers.
What do you think will be important for bloggers in 2016?
If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for The Social Brand, our social media workshop.