I’ve been blogging for almost two years – two years in February that is. That is totally crazy. Bonkers in fact. In some ways I still feel like I know absolutely zilch about the industry and the fact that I am still not blogging full time for a living makes me wonder if I am in fact a big, fat blogging failure. And then I remember where I started and how far I’ve brought this little internet space and I feel, in a rather un-british way, fookin’ proud of myself.
But this post isn’t really about that – it’s a little look forwards at what another year of blogdom may bring and the trends that I think are going to be MAHOOSIVE for all influencers, mamarazzi’s and selfie takers alike.
So let’s cut to the chase shall we? Here’s my predictions for the year twenty eighteen.
Or Insta-everything is probably more on point. Because who has time to read an actual blog, right?! Kinda hoping at this juncture you are shouting at your screen “me you cretin!” but let’s gloss over that…
Instagram is a varied platform whether it’s quick and dirty or fast and glossy but there has definitely been a rise in the insta-blogging captions alongside your image of choice. People are inherently nosey but also time poor so using Instagram to micro-blog and micro-vlog in this way seems to make sense and appeal to the masses.
Whatever is going on with the algorithm from hell, for those influencers who are genuinely killing it and growing their own audience off the back of their own USP, Instagram continues to grow and brands are paying B-I-G bucks to those clever enough to work the marketng system to their advantage.
I think for 2018 that this is a trend that is only going to continue to grow. Just remember if you want to take advantage of it, you do you. Don’t try to copy the popular influencer next door.
I’m noticing a shift in YouTube lately. For me, it feels like the only platform I use where genuine hard work and consistency pays off without having to boost, trick or play a system / algorithm. Taking a step back and thinking about the platforms I use as a person, y’know, like not as an “influencer” – just an everyday person who can go out for dinner without Instagramming it – I know that YouTube is where it’s at.
I love watching a whole variety of content and I use it for work, business, reviews, reccomendations and entertainment. I engage, I take my valuable free-time and invest in it and everyone I know does the same. If you feel comfortable in front of the camera and have something to offer an audience then you need to get your pretty little backside over there and get stuck in.
Personal blogging is dead
Well not quite. If you have a large and engaged audience already then there’s a space for a bit of self indulgent, where am I going with my life type posts. But if you are new to this here blogging world, think again.
Personal blogging used to be where it was at when I first started putting pen to paper but nowadays, if the post isn’t useful in some way to the person reading it, then you need to think again because they sure as hell won’t stick around to sympathise with your musings. I mean, who has the time?
It’s actually a little sad because it can take a touch of the art out of crafting a post but I really believe that in 2018, useful blogging is where it’s going to be at. Make your post have a point even if that point is just to relate to another tired mama and make them feel your exhaustion. Better yet, help them figure out how to make that exhaustion go away. Flippancy at its best but you get the point…
Sponsored content – slow it down
It stands out a mile. At least it should be because disclosure is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT but let’s not get into a rant about that particular joy. I think audiences are starting to reject the concept of any old sponsored content popping up on their feeds or in their inboxes. They are fighting back and rejecting this kind of staged content as “fake” or disingenuous and if influencers don’t provide a hefty dose of non-sponsored content alongside those lucrative contracted deals with well know nappy companies then they are going to lose out. Or at least I think so and so do my friends.
The thing is, I know that blogging pays the bills and is a totally viable career option so it can definitely be a tricky balancing act turning down contracts that pay well but aren’t really relevant to your niche or yourself.
For 2018 though, I think it will be important to do just that. Keeping the sponsored deals to the products or services that you would genuinely love and share with your friends and family without any financial incentive makes the most amount of sense. Being the equivalent of the Yellow Pages advertising book does not.
Influencers can be grouped into three categories; mega, macro and micro (shout out to all of the micro’s!) and I think brands are cottoning on to the power of these so-called micro-influencers. It can be far more beneficial to pick one influencer with 5000 subscribers on YouTube who has a 70%watch rate than a massive influencer with a 1% watch rate – depending on the campaign objectives of course.
2016/17 saw a massive focus on growing growing growing across all social platforms and email marketing whereas I predict that 2018 influencer trends will be less about growth / size and waaay more about engagement and connecting with these real genuine audiences despite the fact that they are only a teeny tiny fraction of Zoella’s empire. Although after that advent calendar debacle I wouldn’t worry too much about her competition…
Again, my thoughts here are to keep doing you, being yourself, keeping it real for want of a better phrase. Building a smaller core audience who genuinely care (and FYI you have to care about them too boo) is going to pack a punch in the influencing market next year. Or I’ll eat my Instagram.
So there we have it – my pick of the 2018 influencer trends to watch out for. Could be that I’ve got it hopelessly wrong of course but let’s revisit in 12 months to see.