Blogging

Blogging Predictions for 2015

January 4, 2015
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh I do love a little blog contemplating. 2015 will bring my sixth anniversary of starting this blog, so I’ve seen this blogging malarkey grow from the 2009 days when I wrote long long posts with mostly stock images of products to illustrate them (yes, really). To photos taken on pretty rubbish camera phones, to small digital cameras to today where a blogger basically needs a masters in photography (or at least the kit) to call themselves a blogger. Ok, slight exaggeration – but you know what I mean. Photos are the thing that can make or break a blog a lot of the time. Not entirely the point I’m trying to make – what I’m trying to say is how blogging has changed and evolved from it’s early roots to what it is now…and having a little ponder on what might be coming next. Of course none of us really know, most of us are winging it. It’s also not the most straight forward thing to do – predict what’s coming. In fact, I’ve been writing and re-writing this post for about three weeks (on and off, obviously) now and still not totally sure I’m getting it all down. But here are a few ideas/thoughts on what 2015 might bring – especially following a year as crazy as 2014 where blogging really did explode and become more mainstream. Some blogging predictions for 2015….

1. A move to break apart from the pack

It’s pretty much impossible to notice the way there are many of what you could call ‘blogging trends’ that have basically morphed into lots of blogs looking almost identical. Nothing against this, I’m sure my own style as it’s changed over the years has taken influence from what I’ve seen. It’s all too easy to think copying another successful blogger is the fast track to success, when ironically it’s almost the opposite. How can you stand out from thousands when your blog looks identical to all those around you. But then if that’s the style you like and read then it’s only natural it’s the style you opt for. Also, with SO many blogs around it’s almost impossible to find a style totally unique. Standing out isn’t as easy as it might sound. There’s a reason certain styles or looks appeal to many  – so if you’re trying to appeal to an audience you want to give them what they like. Unfortunately on this one I don’t really have any suggestions or solutions – but I do predict that in 2015 it’s those with their own style (from design, to writing, to image, to photography) will be the ones to stand out and make the biggest waves.

2. Lifestyle is King, Niche is Queen.

I used to be that almost all blogs were kind of only one thing at a time – I started out as purely beauty. But over recent years it’s become all about lifestyle. For one it opens up your potential topic options – so you can write about whatever you want. Which of course opens up other opportunities. For me moving from pure beauty to a bit wider just feels like a normal progression. Whilst beauty will always be my first love, over six years my interests have changed and now I want to write about more than just what the latest lipstick launch is. In 2015 and beyond I think fewer ‘pure beauty’ blogs will exist. But there will always be a market for them – which means that for those strong niche blogs there’s a huge opportunity too. Sure, the wider topic lifestyle blogs can appeal to masses. But if you’re pure beauty (or whatever your niche – travel, food, fashion and beyond) then your audience is likely the really passionate reader in the same genre. Basically in 2015 I see Lifestyle still being the leader in blogging overall, but I think there’s going to be a huge strength for the niche blog too. Especailly as it’s not something as many are doing anymore, which harks back to point one… setting yourself apart from the ‘norm’. Want to stand out – find your niche and do it well.

3. The gap between bloggers and vloggers will get bigger

I don’t mean in a negative sense – but the ‘big’ vloggers out there are just growing into a stratosphere beyond what blogging ever started out as. They’re basically the new wave of reality celebrity. Personally as a blogger, I’m not interested in being a celebrity at all. I’m just more than happy that I get to do what I love to the level I do now. As much as many of the massive vloggers did start out blogging, I think blogging and vlogging are very much different beasts now and as much as there’s been cross over in the past. I think in 2015 the gap between blogging and vlogging will get bigger with more and more deciding to be one or the other rather than both. Maintaining a blog and vlogging both take a serious amount of work – and I’m sure anyone faced with the prospect of doing both knows deep down that their heart is always in one over the other. I think for me this is why my You Tube has never been number one – and whilst I do plan to dabble in it a bit more regularly in 2015, for me the blog will always be number one. What does this mean for the commercial side of blogging/vlogging – so hard to say. But I would predict that some of the bigger brands will of course opt to partner with the big name vloggers  – but big name means big money. There will be many, many brands who will be looking to work with bloggers but don’t have the mega bucks budgets – or perhaps just take a different approach who will still be very keen to work with the right bloggers for their audience.

4. Exclusives and embargoes 

I briefly touched on the point of digital embargoes on my Nails Inc post lately. Personally, I can see how these may work ok for press but in the digital age they just don’t really work and information isn’t really something a brand can control as they would like using traditional methods. The other thing I’ve been seeing becoming hot property in blogging (particularly beauty) is the exclusive – the wanting to be first to break the news of the latest collection or launch. Being first = more traffic, it’s as simple as that. I have total respect for the blogs that get their content out there so quickly, they’ve become the go-to for beauty news. For me, I’ve never been the fastest blogger in the internet. I pretty much always opt for testing something for a while over getting it up on the blog first. I am however (for some products) going to make a concious effort to get them up quicker. There are some things that when you’re slow, you just might as well not bother (limited edition collections, beauty boxes etc) and many colour products can pretty quickly be tested to form a decent enough impression to have a strong opinion on what they’re like (I’d still want to wear a foundation all day to see how it holds up etc). For us beauty bloggers – I think speed is going to become even more important over 2015, and I think embargoes will become more and more irrelevant for digital (if that’s even possible).

5. Influence to be key

The thing about infleunce in blogging is that it comes in many different sizes, shapes and forms and can be measured in many different ways. Particularly when it comes to the beauty side of thing where there’s a vast amount of purchasing still done in stores rather than online and therefore harder to directly track for brands. But that’s not to say many a customer hasn’t done their research online before they head to store/counter. Man, now I’ve started writing this point I’ve realised how much I have to say on the matter and summing it up in a paragraph or two probably won’t cut it. But in the interest of trying to be concise. Influence can be the blogger/vlogger with a following of thousands who favourite and RT every word they tweet OR it can be the blogger who write about a product as a straight review that is then found by Jane Bloggs who then reads it, likes what they see and heads to store. Jane Bloggs probably doesn’t have any interest in what the blogger had for lunch or where they spent the weekend – but they want to read another person’s clear opinion and see decent photos of a product in action before they head out to buy. This is the sort of influence that is still very valid but is harder to be tangibly measured when you look at it from a commercial value sort of way. Basically, just because you’re not getting a stream of 100’s of comments telling you how awesome every move you make is or RT’d into the trending topics every time you tweet – doesn’t mean you don’t have an impact. I think in 2015 the different types and values of influence will be more widely understood and appreciated. Well, we can all hope this at least!

As I said at the top – these are just some musings, speculations and random thoughts on where blogging could be heading in 2015. There are no rules (well, there are some now but generally creative freedom is the joy of blogging). If you’re just getting started in 2015 or if you’re a long term blogger… keep going, keep enjoying it and keep being true to yourself – then no matter what you write you can feel happy and proud to share it on your own little corner of the internet! Here’s to happy blogging for the year ahead!

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24 Comments

  • Reply britishbeautyblogger January 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Jen, I think you’re spot on with all of these – breaking away is absolutely the way to go. I have an almost constant dialogue in my head about whether to keep on doing it my way or to be more of a conformist blogger. Speed is key – because with speed comes spontineity; sometimes the knee-jerk is better than the considered where you can talk yourself out of your initial opinion. I’ve noticed that Elle is scooping up a lot of beauty exclusives at the moment, but I really think it’s a different audience. I’m in almost constant battle about embargoes and exclusives.. but funnily enough, exclusives seem less important now on my own blog than they did, say, a year ago. But maybe I just got tired… !!

  • Reply Josiee January 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    This is such a great post – back to the drawing board to figure out how to creat unique, interesting content!

    Josie XOXO
    Fashion Mumblr

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      It’s so much more challenging than it seems to do something original!

  • Reply Anette January 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Very elaborate and interesting, I am still somewhat unsure about my place in the blogosphere because I am neither popular nor publish text that sets me apart. Yet, I enjoy taking pictures and sharing my thoughts and it keeps me going back to the little corner online I created :)

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      I think it’s so hard to find your place in blog-land. But if you enjoy taking pictures and sharing thoughts then that’s the main thing I reckon. Enjoying it is about 95% of the process!

  • Reply Nia January 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    This post was such an interesting read you’ve raised some good thoughts about the blogging movement and how it might change in the future.

    theprettybeatniks.com

  • Reply tirurit January 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I have really enjoyed your thoughts on the blogging community.

    Personally, I am a newbie in the ponde, but I have been a reader for many years and I totally agree with the influence point. I have researched products and many times its the smaller blogs that I have trusted for a more to the point post that will tell me the ins and outs about a product.

    As for the other four points… that goes straight over my head as a blogger! As a reader, I prefer niche blogs, which have something special to them. And yeah, I prefer blogs to vlogs!

  • Reply Caitlin January 4, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Great post. I’m brand new and can’t decide whether I want to do niche or lifestyle. There are so many possibilities!

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      It’s a tough call can totally see the dilemma. I switch my mind so often on going pure beauty or keeping it varied. For me, I’m leaning towards lifestyle purely to keep it mixed for my own interest which hopefully prevents blogging fatigue & makes for more interesting reading!

  • Reply Nic, Strawberry Blonde Beauty January 4, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts in such an eloquent way Jen. I agree with so many of your sentiments and often feel torn between doing what works and sticking my neck out. I must admit though, the blogs that excite me most and keep me coming back are those that are completely unique, something which is much more difficult to achieve than being mainstream as it requires actual talent, style and flair – and a bit of nerve!

    There are a lot of things I’d like to change about my own blog… I think the first step is being more organised so that I can make the time to actually do them!

    Nic x

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      It really is such a challenge to do that thing that manages to be both different and work at the same time. Guess it takes quite a lot of trial and error too. Even those that do something different that works need to constantly be on the front foot and do something new and different again as naturally with anything that works the copies happen and it’s no longer unique… and so the cycle goes! Agree with the nerve too, something I suck at at times and same on wanting to change things is a constant on my ‘to do’ list! Sometimes the pressure to ‘keep up’ can also suck some of the enjoyment out of blogging too, I find!

  • Reply Helen C January 4, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Such a lovely on point blog post. You’ve really given me lots of new thoughts to think about and also confirmed some thoughts I already had. I agree lifestyle posts have become huge this year and I aim to find my niche with my own blog. Really enjoyed reading this, thanks!!

  • Reply Kirstie January 4, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this, really great post! It will be interesting to see what happens with the Youtube-blogging divide, I feel like 2014 was so significant with the widening gap! x

  • Reply Ellie January 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Interesting predictions, I totally agree in regards to the vloggers and bloggers. Let’s see which ones will come true :)

  • Reply jennie January 5, 2015 at 12:23 am

    This is a really interesting post and I think you’re spot on!

    After a couple of years of feeling a lack of inspiration blog-wise I’m looking forward to going back to basics from 2010 and just writing about whatever I want to at the time. It’s kind of scary not having a schedule like I’ve had for the last year or so, but it wasn’t really working that well for me and I feel so much more free already!

    Your space is one of the ones I’m most excited to follow throughout the year! xo

  • Reply Kato January 5, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Very interesting to read your predictions! I totally agree with you at number 3, although I only keep an eye on the German blogging/vlogging scene. Best regards, Kato

  • Reply Laura January 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I really enjoyed this post, I certainly fall into the Jane Bloggs category. In fact I never buy any beauty products without having looked at reviews/swatches online. I always make a point in telling the person at the counter that I read a review and name the blogger. You can only hope something might feedback to the companies at some point!
    I started off watching vloggers and taking reviews from them but apart from a very select few now I always read either yours or BBB to see if you have commented on the product as I now don’t trust the vloggers who have zillions of followers and who’s videos start to feel like a massive advert.

    • Reply Jen January 5, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Laura, as a blogger it really is the best thing when someone tells you that they trust what you write and use it as useful info. Really means a lot! Totally agree – the biggest vloggers out there for me just don’t offer the same content that I used to love. I miss a good old fashioned Primark or Boots haul!

  • Reply Marie January 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    What an amazing post , I agree with you on so many points especially about “lifestyle” blogs . This post got me thinking . xox

    http://www.rainbowsandunicornsblog.co.uk/

  • Reply Gabriella January 5, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Jen!

    I really believe in doing your own thing and more often than not, if you’re spontaneous with your posts- they will come across as more genuine and heartfelt. Though I do enjoy one or two lifestyle blogs I often find them to be a little “faffy” if you know what I mean…yes there are some better ones out there but there comes a point where people want to read about things they’re interested in instead of lots of other things in-between!..

    Little side note here, I love your blog and I wish you lots of luck for 2015!

    xx Gabriella from Willowjolie

    • Reply Jen January 5, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks Gabriella – really appreciate it. Totally with you on the faffy thing! I think some try to be too much in too many fields – like style queen, domestic goddess and make-up wonder all in one! I just like being a normal girl who isn’t perfect but likes to write & take photos of things I like.

  • Reply Jade January 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I absolutely love this post. I may not be the most unique or have the most followers on the internet but this post reminds me that I love doing it anyway!

  • Reply Gosia January 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve been interested in the whole bloggosphere & vloggosphere world for a long time now, but more as an observer and social media geek from Poland. Now, when I’m a blogger (I’ve started blogging a few months ago) who lives in London I can finally see how quickly this digital world changes. I really appreciate when bloggers share their point of view about the future of the bloggosphere, so I’m glad that you wrote this post. I couldn’t agree more with you! :)

    x Gosia

    http://www.morethanbeautymarketing.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Fee January 6, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Loved this post Jen. So spot on and well written. A joy to read… you have such an insight into blogging.

    Looking forward to all your varied posts in 2015.

    Fee x

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