Is it seriously 2017?! Wow, last year seriously flew bye, and it’s time we start talking about the top blogging tips you can begin implementing now to start gaining traction this year.
I’ve got good news and bad news for you: some of the trends I mentioned for 2016 will still count for this year. In fact, I predict that they will actually continue and ( here’s the key part) will grow and adapt in different ways.
We saw this with Instagram Stories, which I’ll get to in a moment.
As I predicted in 2016, live streaming would evolve. And did it ever! But what’s interesting is that bloggers like myself are actually using apps like Periscope less ( which I thought would be the case) and go towards Facebook Live more. Why is that? It’s more targeted.
I predict that one of two things will happen in 2017-2018. Either bloggers will live stream ( from Facebook Live or Periscope, or another app to come) more often and use that as a key way to connect with their Ideal Readers, or they will start to spend more time on Instagram Stories and Snapchat.
You see, I actually prefer Instagram Stories/Snapchat to Livestreaming. I don’t even have Periscope on my phone anymore! And I can’t even remember the last time I tuned into someone’s livestream on Facebook.
That’s not to say I don’t see the value in it. But as a writer & coach plus work from home unschooling Mom, I use my time as wisely and possible and only use the social media platforms that I enjoy. And Facebook isn’t my personal favorite. I enjoy ( keyword there) Instagram and Snapchat, so I use them more often.
Seeing what my Ideal Clients ( Life & Health Coaches) are up to in their daily life is fun because we share common interests such as travel and wellness. I get ideas about what to incorporate into my daily routine. And book suggestions. And travel tips…
I get more value from this. And it’s passive. I don’t have to tune in at a certain time. I can use Instagram and Snapchat whenever I want, throughout the day.
Yes, you can save Live streaming broadcasts from Periscope and Facebook, but again, I can’t think of a time I’ve watched someone’s saved live cast video.
But if we’re looking at blogging & social media trends, we need to focus on the big picture which shows this trend is always evolving and will continue to be a priority for bloggers.
And the big picture is saying loud and clear: video and image-savvy storytelling is on the rise.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in.
It doesn’t matter if you want to create a short video or a long one, or a live one.
It just matters that you connect with your readers in a visual way that they will enjoy.
Visual storytelling helps with branding, and to connect you to your Ideal Clients who are considering hiring a coach like you. In fact, they may hire you because of your Instagram Stories/Snapchat as they can hear your voice and see you are a kind/unique/understanding coach that’s a perfect match for them.
If you’re not a fan of live streaming, snapchat, or Instagram stories, consider creating a short video for your latest blog post, like Brian did here. It will help your audience connect with you while learning about the topic you’re talking about in the post, and help you stand out from other coaches in your niche ( who may half ass their blog posts). Which leads me to the next trend….
You Really Need To Be Different
We all know we need to differentiate our coaching businesses and blogs. But if you haven’t spent enough time focusing on sharing what makes your brand different than another blogger or coach, you’re really going to have to focus on it in 2017.
With thousands of coaches graduating from certification programs and millions of blogs being created, readers have a ton of choices.
And like you, they are feeling overwhelmed. The don’t have time to sift through all the blogs on health and wellness that exist. They want to find the right fit to help them improve their lives, but don’t want to spend hours looking for it. Also, they want to find a blog or Life Coach that they can connect with.
Now more than ever you’ll need to focus on standing out of the crowd through your personal brand, content, and coaching packages.
No more guesswork, either. You’re going to have to do market research ( actually speak on the phone with your Ideal Blog Reader/Client) and ask them what they want to read, and more specifically, what problems they’re struggling with that you can help them overcome through your blog posts and coaching packages.
I want to share a funny story with you about how I’m personally working on differentiating myself as a writer and digital strategist.
If you’ve read your blog for a while, you’ll know I work specifically with Life & Health Coaches, when it comes to my coaching sessions. But I have skipped over sharing a lot of my daily life and travels. I always assume people know I live in Thailand and that in addition to doing content marketing & social media strategy, I write for travel publications and other sites, as a freelance writer. I’ve mentioned all this on my about page, and share pics of my life & travels on Instagram.
But rarely do I post about it here on the blog.
This was really stupid! Why? Because many of you are actually interested in traveling and maybe even becoming a digital nomad. My audience enjoys wellness like I do, and is intrepid too.
By my sharing my unconventional lifestyle, I stand out in a unique way. So, I decided to create two new lifestyle series on my site that gives readers a glimpse into what I enjoy, and how they too can do similar things ( ie become a digital nomad) if they so choose.
No, this isn’t really related to what I do as a digital strategist. But it still helps my readers, in the very least to get to know me better.
You don’t have to be a wild cray cray gypsy like me to stand out in your blogging or coaching niche. Make a list of the top ten things you do on a regular basis or that you enjoy. Can you incorporate some of those into your personal brand through your blog posts?
Boring Opt Ins Won’t Cut It
How many times have you sign up for someone’s opt in or content upgrade and thought it was epic? Not often, eh?
Truth be told, most people’s content upgrades are boring. The novelty is wearing off fast.
I’m personally subscribing less and less to bloggers’ newsletters because I assume the opt in or content won’t make me stop and read it/use it. And I’m also frequently worried that I’ll get newsletters 24/7 and my inbox is already a disaster!
I know I’m not alone on this.
The good news is that if you feel your opt in is meh ( or even bleh) you can always make it more appealing. As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to get your Ideal Blog Reader on the phone and ask them questions about how you can make your blog & coaching packages more appealing. The information you learn from your Ideal Readers can be crucial in creating an opt in that’s truly helpful and that helps you stand out from other coaches or bloggers in your niche.
Regina has a fantastic opt in gift that an 80 page ebook, and her newsletters are seriously the best. I look forward to each and every email I get from her! They include freebies, discounts, and tons of helpful tips that really go above and beyond your average newsletter. I also look forward to the emails I get from Crystal and Ruth, both of which have very multimedia savvy free courses that are exclusive to subscribers. I’ve purchased courses from both of them and know for a fact that everything they do is high-quality, starting from their free content all the way up to their paid products.
Speaking of multimedia, having your content upgrade ( the freebie within an individual blog post) be a video is a GREAT idea. Erika has done a fantastic job with this.
I know you’re a busy coach & blogger, and the idea of creating even more free content can feel overwhelming. But trust me when I say that it’s well worth your time and will pay off and make you stand out and really impress your readers.
Brands Will Finally Start To Understand Content Creators
While there are thousands of brands around the world that will invest in sponsoring content creators and online influencers, they are still the minority. It seems that we are looked at by companies as being influential…but they’re not sure how influential and if collaborating with us is the best thing for their ROI.
Over the years, it’s been up to bloggers/content creators to start pitching brands for potential collaborations like product reviews and sponsored posts. This is really sad because it’s kind of obvious that getting in front of a targeted and engaged crowd is exactly what brands need!
I predict that this year they will start to finally come round to courting bloggers & influencers more. But, if you want to work with brands for a longer period of time, you’re going to have to go pro or go home.
What does that mean?
As I mentioned in last years blogging trend prediction, the goal for all infopreneurs is to:
+ have a professional brand that inspires your Ideal Client/Reader
+ create in depth posts that are uber helpful and shareworthy
+ optimize those posts for Pinterest ( and other social media platforms)
+ network on whatever platform you enjoy ( ie Facebook groups)
+ reach out to brands you want to collaborate on your strongest social media platform ( which is Pinterest for me)
+ have professional personal branding photos that best represent you
None of this will change in 2017. You’re still going to have to write posts that matter, and spend time networking with both Ideal Readers and influencers/brands. Sorry!
But the good news is that maybe this is the year you finally get that book deal because publishers in your niche get it. They get that your platform matters and can help you market a book you publish with them. Or an event company hires you as a speaker because they see you are knowledgable and have a group of people who want to hear you speak.
Related Post: Instagram Tips For Life Coaches
A Return to Meaningful Connection
I recently received a direct message on Instagram that left an impression on me.
You see, I usually get crappy automated DMs on there, and they piss me off. They frequently call me ‘food’ as my name because on @epicwanderings it says I’m a food writer, and apparently the bot/software people are using just takes the first word from my tagline and assumes it’s my name. And the message itself is usually a person telling me to read their blog or subscribe to their list.
And I hate getting these totally fake, crappy messages. I’m guessing you do too!
But a blogger wrote me a very personal comment that didn’t ask anything of me ( like the automessages do) and instead she asked me what they can do to help me. She also mentioned she was happy to connect and also had read a recent post of mine ( on my travel blog) and she found it helpful.
I was very happy to get a message like this because it affirmed my post was useful ( which is the goal for all my posts) and that someone took the time to actually connect with me.
I’m not saying that software can’t be helpful, as I use it myself. But I am saying that the best way to get someone’s attention is to care ( as Gary Vaynerchuck has always said) and to connect.
Clarity, caring, and connection. That’s what a biz is made of!
I predict that this year is going to offer a fantastic opportunity for people to connect in a more meaningful way, and that through this, businesses will grow and friendships will be made.
Well, it’s always mattered, right? But in today’s world, soooo many blogs and brands are using automessaging tools or they completely ignore followers/fans/customers that when you do make an effort to connect in a meaningful matter, you’ll really stand out and make an impression.
It’s like the best hack ever!
A great example of someone who has been telling his readers and friends for years about the power of writing meaningful comments is Ryan Biddulph. He has an entire book on blog commenting and how it was the foundation of him becoming a pro blogger!!
Through connecting meaningfully with your audience ( as well as brands & influencers), you’re going to:
+ connect with Ideal Coaching Clients
+ get more subscribers
+ make more sales
+ do market research ( and find out what your Ideal Readers actually want to read & buy)
+ make some awesome friends
+ gain respect in your field
+ attract a potential joint venture
+ stand out, big time
Yes, it will take time out of your day to write a comment or email that really matters, but it’s worth it.
I hope this post has been helpful to you! Let me know in the comments below your blogging plans for 2017.