You want to be a successful blogger. That’s fine, except that you’re not the only one. One thing’s for sure: If you don’t pay attention to online and digital trends, chances are, you won’t stand out.
If you’re serious about blogging, there are digital trends you need to know – and here at Tech Envy, we are about to share the five most important online trends every serious blogger should know.
5 Things Bloggers Should Know Based on Digital Trends
The internet is like a wild animal: You can’t tame it, but you can learn how not to get eaten up by it. If you look closely and use your observational skills, you just might figure out how to use it to your advantage as a top Filipino blogger.
But just in case you need a little help, here are five digital trends that you as a blogger should know.
1. Now is the perfect time to introduce a new blog (or rebrand one altogether)
Take one look at how fashion brands are faring and you'll understand. The Filipino patronage of newly introduced clothing stores in the Philippines, such as Forever 21, H&M, Cotton On, and Uniqlo, reflects how ready we are to try novel ideas and foreign brands.
"The Philippines leads in terms of brand engagement index, where 20 different behaviors, such as website engagement and social shares, are evaluated to gauge brand affinity," explained Will Greene, author of Perfect Digital Storm. At 35 percent brand affinity, the country is more open to engaging with brands than the United States (9 percent), reports the 2014 TNS Digital Life.
"The Philippines leads the region in brand engagement and openness," said Tigercub Digital founder Anthony Cospito. Put simply, Filipinos are brand-ready.
However, if you want to make your mark as a Filipino blogger, do it now. "Conditions are ideal to leverage growth of the region. The window of opportunity won't be open forever; move fast - optimize as you go."
Your blog template might not be ready and your blog posts need work. It doesn't matter - at least, not right now. Procrastinating until you've ironed out all the kinks might do your blog more harm than good.
"The enemy now is perfectionism. It's never perfect. Start small and scale out."
2. Your readers may be younger than you think
"The world is now looking at Southeast Asia for trends in technology," said Cospito. In Southeast Asia, there are about 600 million consumers, half of whom are under 30.
Now, ask yourself, is your website ready to cater to this market? Is your blog something a relatively young reader can relate to?
"In the Philippines, half of the household is under 23. This makes the Philippines one of the youngest counties in Asia," Cospito said.
"Majority of internet users are 15 to 24 years old," added Greene. Considering that we live in the 12th largest country in Asia with 100 million people, always keep the young population in mind – it just makes a lot of sense.
Is your blog something that teens and people in their twenties can relate to? If not, then you're missing out on a significant population, one that would have been more than willing to use apps, mobile sites, and other platforms to check you out. And that's just too bad.
3. Online reviews matter now more than ever
It is the era of online reviews, with internet users relying heavily on their peers' feedback before they make a decision. Consider this statistic: "About eight out of ten people read online reviews before deciding on a purchase," shared Greene.
As a blogger, you can benefit from this information in two ways. First, you can increase traffic to your blog by posting more reviews. Focusing on specific products helps narrow down your field, which also increases your perceived expertise.
Second, you can get other people to either review whatever you have to offer or vouch for the quality of your work. This may translate to awards, commendations, affiliations, and other accolades that prove your blog brand worthy of a virtual bookmark.
4. For a blog to go viral, it must be ready for social media sharing
You’ve got a great blog. If I read it, I probably will be quite eager to share it. Unfortunately, you don’t have what all other good blogs have: social media buttons.
If you don't have bug-free sharing buttons, your readers might think twice before sharing your interesting blog post. Too bad; your blog would have gone viral!
Ninety percent of Filipinos are on Facebook, compared to the United States where only 65 percent of the population has a Facebook account. "When it comes to internet usage, the Philippines has the biggest growth rate in Asia, rising from 6 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2012," shares Green.
Filipinos spend forty-two percent of their time on social networking, which is more than that spent by any other country in Southeast Asia.
5. If your blog isn't mobile-ready, it isn't ready, period.
This is stating the obvious, but the Philippines isn’t exactly the best country when it comes to mobile internet speed. Now, open a browser on your cellphone and check your blog. Is it just as easy to browse using a smartphone?
Considering the slow internet in the Philippines and the bandwidth limitations imposed by different mobile companies, do you optimize photos before uploading them to your blog? Or will it take forever to view your blog using a mobile data plan?
If your blog eats up download time (not to mention precious bandwidth), potential readers are more likely to close the tab on your website.
"Smartphone users spend about 2.9 hours a day online." If you want the Philippine market to notice your blog against a backdrop of thousands of other blogs just like yours, make sure your website is accessible via mobile - and make sure that if there's good feedback about your work, it’s right there where they can find it.
The art of (good) blogging: Practice what you learn
Obviously, your knowledge is worth nothing much if you don't put it to good use. So what if you know what the convergence of demographics, economics, and technology means for your blog? It's useless information unless your blogging gets better and you start seeing results.
"If we start practicing the steps we learn, we will see a bump in our results," said David Bonifacio, managing director of New Leaf Ventures, Inc. "Whatever you learn, practice them."
Good advice on blogging, if you ask me.