Dylan Kissane, writing for DOZ.com in January 2016, discusses the “5 most important trends in blogging for 2016,” where he notes that blogs began in the late 1990s and after nearly twenty years have continued to evolve and inform the world of marketing [and public relations] today. Blogs also continue to be used for personal purposes like online diaries or platforms for specific topic discussions [sometimes called filter-blogs] but less so than in the past. In fact, Kissane states that in 2006, blogging might have appeared on a resume under “Hobbies and Interests” but today in some cases, blogging is “a legitimate career choice for talented content creators” and might now appear on a resume under “Work Experience.”
So, as blogging becomes more professional and integral to marketing, journalism, and public relations, here are five trends identified by Kissane that, I believe, our journalism and public relation students should consider:
- Bloggers are “influencers”–Kissane notes, “Bloggers today . . . draw together text, images, online video, knowledge of pop culture and trends, business savvy, powerful and extensive social networks, and the skills to bring all of this to bear in a dynamic zeitgeist to deliver value for their audience, advertisers, and themselves.” In other words, today’s blogger is technologically and culturally savvy, while writing with clarity and understanding what appeals to his/her audience.
- “Size matters”–Kissane quotes a survey (data, key findings, analysis) of “1000 leading bloggers” from Orbit Media Studios noting that the size of blog posts are increasing and finding that in 2015 the average post length was “900 words.” Further, Kissane believes that to be successful in an “over-saturated content world” professionals will need to “constantly write . . . content with depth . . . that people find useful and inspired.”
- “The end of comments”–Kissane describes how high-profile bloggers now turn off the comment feature and encourage readers to use social media for their comments. This eliminates bloggers having to manage their readers’ comments, and moves the discussion to Twitter or FB, where commenters will include the URL of the blog post as well as reach a wider audience.
- “Great Graphics”–Kissane argues that bloggers/influencers will “use text less and graphical elements more” including “infographics, design elements and icon sets, and images designed for sharing on social networks.” He believes that now and in the future images will be a key component of the blog post and not just an add-on.
- “The Era of Engagement”–Kissane states that traffic analytics related to blogs will shift from number of clicks to engagement rates (the amount of time readers stay on the site and whether a post creates “dozens of discussion on social media”).
Kissane concludes his article by arguing that blogging is here to stay and “will continue to evolve in its role as one of the most important content creations, publication, and distribution strategies for businesses and individuals online.”