Top Blogging Tips for 2016

How was 2015 for you?

I know as of right now, it’s not yet 2016 but I’ve been thinking about this post for some time, especially after I went to TBEX ( Travel Blog Exchange conference) and feel we may as well start talking about blogging tips next year.

Let’s first talk about what we bloggers and coaches who blog have been struggling with since time immemorial. Or at least, since the dawn of blogging.

Traffic
Getting ‘leads’ ( people interested in your coaching packages or infoproducts)
Subscribers
Feeling motivated to write
Feeling motivated to take awesome photos ( or buy them)
Using Social Media strategically
Crafting posts that actually resonate with our readers
Selling more coaching packages
Creating infoproducts our readers will actually buy and read
Marketing those infoproducts and coaching packages
Developing a strong personal brand
Getting clear on basically everything

Are you feeling me on this? Have you too struggled with the above?

If you think because I have a relatively large Facebook group and Pinterest following I’ve somehow got it made for me and it’s all downhill for my blogging journey, you’re wrong. I still need to work just as hard as any blogger and have things I need to improve.

Because let’s be honest: unless you are blogging as a hobby, blogging is a business. And a business takes focused daily action.

But yes, I have made breakthroughs, and as a Blog Mentor to Coaches and Digital Strategist, it’s part of my job to stay ahead on Social Media and content marketing trends to help my clients get exactly what will help them scale their online presence.

So what do I think the blogging trends for 2016 will be, and what are my tips?

Pinterest 

You may already know that Pinterest is the blogger’s traffic solution. If you don’t you need to get on there asap or if you’re a coach, book a Blog Mentoring intensive with me to see how you can best use this amazing platform to help you spread your posts all around the place.
P.S. I realize I badly need to write a post on Pinterest and how I grew my following on there to 15K. I promise I will do it soon! 

 Since I run a very active group board on blogging, I’ve seen so many epic, in depth posts from bloggers and a very sudden shift from short quips to 2K plus posts. I actually call this shift the Regina Effect, because I believe my friend Regina is the catalyst to this change. You see, Reggie writes very in depth, visually-appealing posts that get repined over and OVER on Pinterest and I think it made an impression. 
As she says in one of her videos, you need to make ‘a freakin’ splash’ with your content and business. She did just that. 
//Action Step//
Make a plan to take Pinterest seriously in 2016. Make your content just rock the socks off of your readers, which will in turn get you more shares. But here is the important icing on the cake: you need to create a share-worthy image to pin to engaged group boards if you want any traffic from Pinterest.
Facebook Groups for Bloggers and Coaches

Another trend I’ve seen on the rise is for bloggers and entrepreneurs to create their own Facebook Group. This is partly due to Fanpages SUCKING, with people sick and tired of Facebook trying to push fanpage owners to pay to have their fans see posts.
Side Note: I used to be somewhat ‘known’ for the work I did with Fanpage engagement. I got referrals for it as a consultant. And when I saw how crappy Edgerank had become and the obvious shift to monetize Fanpages ( for Facebook, not Fanpage owners) I became very hesitant to work on Fanpages. So from experience, let me just say that I much prefer Facebook groups to Fanpages.
So what you’re wondering is probably should I start my own Facebook group? My response to that is maybe. I personally believe Pinterest has more to offer traffic wise and ROI. But at the same time, if you have a relatively large blog or business following, OR you blog about a topic that would attract a large group of people passionate about that topic, I say do it!
As a Facebook Group owner, you will have to deal with the odd negative group member, plus keeping the group engaged and active. It can be a lot of work to create and maintain an active group, but also something that can drastically help your readers and spread the word about your blog and brand.
//Action Step//
Begin searching for Facebook Groups in your niche. See how active they are, and begin brainstorming ways you too can create an active Facebook Group that is different but yet would be of interest to your Ideal Reader
The Power of Video

I firmly believe that as a coach or blogger, you are going to be doing yourself a disservice if you ignore creating videos, or vlogging.

If you haaaate being on camera- to the point where it gives you panic attacks- don’t do them. But if you’re like me a feel pretty meh about it ( don’t love it or hate it) give it a go.

The key is consistency with creating videos. Always think about your Ideal Client or Reader and what they would be interesting in hearing. What can you teach them? What can you show them about yourself that would interest them?

For example, let’s take me. My Ideal Reader ( and Ideal Client) is a holistic, creative woman that is a Life or Health Coaches and loves wellness and travel. So doing a few videos about life here in Chiang Mai would be of interest to her as perhaps she would love to travel to South East Asia.

My point is that your videos don’t always have to pertain to what you blog about or do as a coach. They can be you sharing your passions, as long as those passions would be of interest to your Ideal Reader. My love of video games may not be that interesting to you guys….or am I wrong? πŸ™‚


But why should you create videos? 


After going to a big blogging conference a few months ago, the one thing I took away from the speakers and bloggers attending was that video is going to be on the rise. Just have a look at my friend Mark’s Youtube channel. He has over 200K followers! And see how useful and inspiring ( and delicious) his videos are? That is what resonates with not only his readers, but his audience on Youtube.

I’ve begun doing videos, as resistant as I am. You can see one here and here. Let me know if you think they’re OK πŸ™‚

//Action Step//

Consider including video in all your blog posts. Yep. I’m challenging you to add 1 video to every post you craft this year. Whether it’s a one minute clip talking about your post’s subject matter, or it’s 10 minutes and makes up the post itself.
My goal btw is to do 100 videos this year. I hope to include many of them within my own posts.

Bloggers, Content Marketing, and Copywriting will merge

My numero uno prediction for the coming year is that blogging, copywriting, and content marketing will finally merge.
Friend, this is a big one. 
I also still blame Regina for this. Bless her!
For starters, what do I mean by content marketing and copywriting?
Content Marketing is usually blogging or guest posting ( or creating ebooks) that directly or indirectly promote a product, business, or service.
A company’s blog would be considered in their mind content marketing.
Copywriting is sales writing, or persuasive writing. But in reality, it’s more writing that just really resonates with the struggles or mindset of the reader/ potential customer.
An ad on Facebook would have ‘copy’. A newsletter telling you to sign up for a free webinar or a buy a new product would be considered copy.
I believe that bloggers will begin making those epic, long and in depth posts that I mentioned above, and that will have the persuasion of copywriting, the power of content marketing, but from a personal brand. Aka, a blogger and not a company.
Think: a Lifestyle Blogger writing a 1.5K word posts ( with multimedia) about what to wear to your in laws. With bullet points, a worksheet or two, and loads of photos. 
Think: a Health Coach getting very specific in who she serves and making blog posts that are extremely detailed and contain maybe meal plans and a Facebook group for extra support. The posts would also upsell her coaching packages or infoproducts.
//Action Step//
Writing these types of engrossing, in depth posts take work. I was hired as a writer ( yes I also do freelance writing still here and there) to be a ghostblogger for a client and the goal was to get to 2K words per post, but frequently I couldn’t. The reason being, I didn’t have enough know-how regarding the client’s subject matter to write 2K words about a topic I had little training on.
I say don’t start at 2K words. Start at 700 to 1K and shoot to add a content upgrade ( free download) in your posts, along with a video or audio. 
The Rise of Live Streaming

You’ve probably heard of Periscope, and perhaps have even use the app yourself. I think live streamin has huge potential for bloggers and Coaches, but Periscope currently has some flaws that make me hesitant from doing more live streams. Mainly, it’s easy to attract trolls and non Ideal Clients on there, and I find most broadcasters ( including me) tend to ramble. 
That means either Periscope, Blab, or a new live streaming app will need to rise up and handle the troll situation and help broadcasters get more targeted followers outside of their existing network. Even more than using hashtags. ie having your profile come up near broadcasters in your niche, or in your business. 
And we braodcasters will have to learn how to make the broadcasts work for our audience. They will need to be more focused and with less tangents. 
Nonetheless, I believe live streaming will be big for bloggers in 2016 and will help you grow your personal brand.

//Action Step//
Begin experimenting with Blab or Periscope. Make a list of topics that would be helpful or entertaining to your followers and do a live stream on those topics. 
In the comments below, share with me your top blogging goals for 2016 and what trends you think will be dominating the blogging world come next year!

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34 Comment

  1. Like this post, thanks for your suggestions. I'm an Italian blogger, writing about my region (Veneto, in the north-eastern part of Italy)…I think I'm following especially the suggestion about videos πŸ˜‰

    Cristina Papini
    http://www.gallinepadovane.it

  2. Such a great post – thanks for keeping us updated!

    I just did three videos tonight! And I guess tomorrow is an editing day! Lol… I agree that people are incredibly audio/visual and including vlogs in the blogs will keep the readers engaged…

    I don't feel a need to do periscope at the moment, so I will put my efforts elsewhere.

    My synapses did a little rapid fire when you bloggers, copy writing and marketing merging. Not so much for my AB site, but for my business site, I can see my work tying together in this way: http://www.writingoutsideofthebox.com

    I feel inspired to take the next steps into 2016 – thanks Elizabeth!

    Lori
    http://www.accidental-blogger.com/blog-posts

  3. These are some really great tips. I'd love to be a part of your Pinterest group board if that's possible. I'm working on a lot of projects this year to make my blog better than before. πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks so much for all your amazing tips, ideas and ways to look at our blogs.
    It is so helpful.

  5. I love this post Elizabeth and how you break it down. Thank you for being so generous with this information. Also a Happy New Year from me to you and your beautiful family.

    Deborah Chalk

  6. This post is fantastic! Love all your pointers. My focus is on video as I really love it as a form of communication and had huge success with it on another blog I ran a few years ago. Going to implement all your action points for sure and would love to learn more about pinterest this year.
    Becky x

  7. Thanks for all of this! Deep breath as I contemplate what's realistic in 2016…
    πŸ™‚ Thalia

  8. I've been trying to reorganize my personal Pinterest to turn it into my blog/business one & can't wait to get this platform up and running!:)

  9. Wow Elizabeth, this is eye opening! Especially the part about 2K word blog post and including video in each post. That's going to be a challenge for me, because I do hate the way I look (and sound) on video. But just like anything, it takes practice. Thanks for sharing your ideas and I hope you do have a wonderful 2016!

  10. Great post – so many tips and so little time! I'm a new blogger so I'm trying to focus on Pinterest and creating some in depth posts (depending on the topic). I really appreciate that you set out an action step for us to take – super helpful. Happy new year!

    Nicole @theprofessionalmomproject.com

  11. Great tips here to take into consideration this new year! My blog is about faith and even when my focus is sharing Jesus, I do have some goals for this year when it comes to social media (Pinterest) is a must for me and my content. Love this post, thanks for sharing. Pinned! πŸ™‚

  12. I'm trying to work on building a successful Facebook page for my blog this year, and I hope to give Periscope a whirl at some point. Thanks for the great tips!

  13. I loved all of these tips! I've been debating about Vlogging and creating videos but it's very nerve racking. One more thing to add to my New Years resolution list.

  14. These tips made A LOT OF SENSE

  15. Thank you for this!! Perfect timing as I re-plan my blogging strategy.

  16. cre8d says: Reply

    Great post – thank you Elizabeth. The big trend I'm seeing is people wanting to ditch display ads and sell their own stuff, rather than other people's stuff. This is for many reasons (worry about ad blockers, ads being so invasive and awful, ads not being relevant to their content, privacy issues, and declining ad revenue due to more competition).

    This means investing a lot of time up front into making info-products (anyone who says they're super easy to make and done in only a few hours work must have a lot of practice!).

  17. These were great tips that I plan to work on this year too!

  18. Loved this! I too have nearly given up on Facebook. In August I started using Periscope and Blab and have several advice articles for bloggers on my blog. I definitely think Blab is the hardest of all to build a following because it relies so heavily on scheduling with others. Plus, it tends to be very time consuming, in comparison to the others which can be taken on independently. If anyone's on Blab- find me! blab.im/Sunny_in_London

  19. OMG This is going to really come in handy! I'm in the learning stages of this whole blogging racket and it's a delight to come across articles like these. Thanks for breaking the process down in laymans terms so people like me can comprehend it! Cheers!

  20. Great post – thank you so much for sharing this tips and predictions!

  21. This post was an awesome one for me to read as a newbie to the blogging hemisphere. I had no clue that there were actual “blogging conferences?!” I also paid close attention to vlogging, another new term for me. So thank you so much for sharing, but more importantly for allowing me to learn from a pro! πŸ™‚
    I’d love to be added to your group board “Blogging Boost Official Board.” My Pinterest user name is
    llockman.
    Thank you again,
    Linda

    1. Elizabeth says: Reply

      Hey Linda! Yes there are some awesome blogging conferences! You are more than welcome to join the BB group board. Please message me directly on Pinterest and I’ll add you. πŸ™‚

  22. Sophie says: Reply

    Thanks so much for this post!! The blogging world and social media trends change SO quickly, it can be hard to keep up – the risk of getting stuck spending heaps of effort in the wrong areas is so high. Really appreciate your insights! My little holistic health blog is still quite in its genesis & could really benefit from this kind of direction, thank you! x

  23. Sydney says: Reply

    These trends are the truth! It always seems once we (as bloggers) get good at something, another task comes into the mix! I’m definitely in line with all of these trends and I can’t wait to see where it will take our blog in the future! And yes Regina is the bomb.com!

  24. Oh wow, thank you so much for this post. It could not have come at a better time for me. I just started a blog finally a few weeks ago and I’m so excited to start some of these things. I’m seriously considering doing videos, I’m just a little nervous about it πŸ™‚

    http://www.forblueskies.com

    1. trena says: Reply

      Video doesn’t have to be scary! Just make sure you are prepared by writing a script and keeping your video under 5 minutes. 3 minutes would probably be perfect! You can do it!

  25. Fiona says: Reply

    Brilliant round up here Elizabeth, and I love the action points you call out too. Another benefit of the long 2k+ posts is that search engines love them – if the content is well written and consistent with everything else on the site this is a very real way of getting found on Google for your target keywords.
    Thanks for sharing!

  26. trena says: Reply

    I’m so glad you talked about video here! Video so important and only project to rise in popularity! Your tips for starting were great! I’m a video content junkie so to see other bloggers talk about it, it made me smile!

    1. Elizabeth says: Reply

      Video rocks! Although I’m still getting back into the hang of it. πŸ™‚

  27. […] Elizabeth Bradley, a marketing blogger I am fond of and gathered research and inspiration from for this very post, is predicting a trend that will bring copywriting, content marketing, and blogging to merge. Β To a great extent, I can agree with her. Β Moreover, this trend that is already happening is crucial for bloggers to join. Β  We live in a world where a good writer is a good writer, so that means that a good blogger is just as good at copywriting (writing sales copy on behalf of a company). Β What this also means is that bloggers are now position – with social media and access to fellow bloggers and influencers – to do copywriting and content marketing on their behalf. […]

  28. Thank you for all of the suggestions!
    I have a hard time really getting into the live streaming thing, even though I know it would help a lot. The same with pinterest.
    I just started making really pin friendly images, but I’m still not seeing any growth.
    My goal is to get to at least 1000 followers by the end of the year.
    Thanks for helping! πŸ˜€

  29. I just found this post, on Pinterest of course. It is now the middle of 2016 and I have to say I think your predictions have been pretty accurate. Longer post and video are definitley the way to attract viewer and Pinterest is quickly becoming my go to traffic source. Thanks!

  30. […] keep them coming back. But what are the latest trends of 2016 for bloggers? Check out this post by Elizabeth at the Elizabeth K. Bradley for some great new […]

  31. […] & travel clients can use to their advantage when growing their online platforms. I wrote a post last year about the future of livestreaming, and assumed that while it would grow in popularity, it […]

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