Top 10 Blogging Trends
My unique point of view, being a veteran blogger from Germany, I started "late", in 2003, while reading blogs since 2001, allows me to spot trends more clearly. Why? Germany is generally speaking 1-3 years behind the overall Web or the English speaking blogosphere. So the latest trends of blogging will arrive much later and what is new in many cases does not (yet?) exist in Germany.
So based on my cross-culturality I collected the top 10 blogging trends that are really hot in the English speaking blogosphere as of march 2008 while they are barely or non-existent in Germany.
The one most striking overall trend is the establishment of new, strong performing niches.
The niches that literally exploded recently are:
1. Social media blogs
While there have been plenty of blogs dealing with social media already for a while, they rather dealt with the entrepreneurial perspective it seems to me. In recent months plenty of social media blogs appeared on the scene which cover social media bottom up.
2. Green blogs
Green blogs, in the ecological sense, dealing with the environment, sustainability and products that have a lesser impact on nature are around for a while but there are much more popular and main stream by now. Also there seems to be more of them each day.
3. Self improvement and personal development blogs
Basically before I started blogging in English, I wasn't even aware of the term self improvement. When I finally noticed the the"Zen of everything" blogs I assumed that they've been around for yours, but they haven't, at least many of them. Zen habits is only a year old but already a Technorati Top 100 blog. There are really numerous self improvement blogs out there and each day they seem to be more of them. I love them all!
4. Productivity and lifehacks blogs
While I have been aware of Lifehacker for at least two years it has become one of the most popular blogs worldwide. Also I have seen many more productivity blogs spring up. Some but not all of them cross over to the self improvement niche or they overlap with freelancing blogs.
5. Freelancing and work at home blogs
A whole new movement of self-employed and proud of it bloggers is out there. Some of them are mothers working at home and blogging while rearing up their children at the same time, others are people who quit their regular jobs. Blogs like Freelance Switch or Freelancer Folder have been leading a new movement it seems.
There are also at least two niches which have a very difficult time instead:
6. Make money online blogs
There has been a significant backlash against make money online bloggers. Most social media boycott them while many Internet users assume that make money online blogs want to earn money off their visitors instead of teaching them how to make money themselves. Some bloggers thus crossed over to other niches like the work at home niche or rebranded themselves as marketing or SEO blogs. There are still plenty of new make money blogging blogs but they end up in an overcrowded niche facing an increasingly wary public.
7. SEO blogs
While not as hard hit by the anti-make money online blogs backlash, an increasing number of SEO blogs out there has to deal with a rather limited niche. SEO only topics are not more popular than they have been a year or two ago. People are rather interested in social media or overall marketing it seems. Many SEOs also fail to grasp the concept of blogging while concentrating on the SEO too much. No SEO can cure lack of great content or audience.
Also there have been trends which have emerged disregarding the blogging niche:
Bloggers are getting professional at an incredible pace. WordPress themes looking like magazines accelerate this process while highly organized and visionary bloggers appear seemingly out of nowhere and get famous in months. Skellie and Think Simple Now are two great examples of that.
9. Ebooks and video
It seems that all great bloggers either sell an ebook, give one away for free or prepare one. Bloggers turn to publishers as also video is more widely used as a new channel by bloggers filming themselves while speaking to the audience.
The most positive blogging trend is positivity itself. While in Germany popular bloggers flame others and complain how messed up everything is, the English language blogosphere appears to be in a frenzy of achievement, collegiality and cooperation. I am really proud to be part of it.
Of course this list is highly biased due to the subjectivity of my unique point of view, but looking at the international blogging community from the dark corner of Germany makes me really see a bright future for enthusiastic individuals determined to offer a great blog reading experience to international audiences.
In a way it feels a little like the early days of the Web when everything was still fresh and empowering.