1) Long Form Content is Still King
Google is still showing extra love to long form content. Google has even create a special section on Google Search for long articles. This means that your word count really does matter. Longer articles, with content that people actually want to share is what’s going to rank best on Google. Therefore, it’s probably a better strategy to create fewer longer articles, then pumping out short form content on a regular basis. However…
2) Google Loves New Content
Recent algorithm changes on Google will push older content down in favour of newer articles, even if the newer article is of lesser quality. Now while I don’t personally believe this is good news, this is the reality. If you want to see continuous growth then you are going to have to continuously blog. Your older articles will continue to get traffic but not at the same ratio as newer content.
3) Your Posts Should Contain Images
Facebook and Twitter now both allow images to be shown when you Tweet or post to FB. Facebook has even publicly announced that they favour posts that contain images. That means, if you post a link to facebook and it doesn’t contain an image, hardly anyone is going to end up seeing it. Therefore, you must include images in every single blog post if you want to maximise sharing on Twitter and Facebook.
4) Google+ Is Become More Relevant
Although I don’t believe it’s necessary to build a large following on Google+, it is now essential for a blogger to create a profile on Google+. Doing so, will enable your avatar to be shown next to Google search results, which does increase click through rates. Goolge+ may also factor into the search rankings and pages that have been shared on Google+ may rank higher in the future.
5) It’s Important to Own Your Own Blog
We’ve seen a lot of new platforms in 2013 for blogging. Tumblr took off big time, Medium was born and boutique blogging tools such as Ghost were built. In five years time, many of these platforms will no longer exist. They will have been bought and sold or shut down. And your content, your hard earned marketing efforts will all have disappeared. If you seriously want to build a long term income and consistent traffic, then you have to own your own blog. While everyone else is bailing out to hosted platforms, you need to play it smart in 2014 and stick with your own self-hosted blog. In the long run it makes much more sense to place your content (which is extremely valuable) on an asset you own.
Remember, you can’t sell a medium blog, but you can sell a self hosted wordpress blog. Who do you want to make money for? Yourself, or the founders or a blogging platform.
5) It’s Going to Take Longer to See $$$ Returns
For new bloggers it’s going to be harder to see returns on their work. It’s much harder than it was a few years ago to rank well in Google. You can’t just pump your content full of keywords and expect it to rank. That simply doesn’t work. It now takes longer to build authority and your rankings. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a blog in 2014. It just means that you can’t expect to start earning money within a couple of months. The reality is that it may now take a year or more.
But the flip side is that once you have established an authority site, it will continue raking in the revenue and the revenue won’t suddenly disappear like a niche site would.
6) SEO is Pretty Much Dead
Some people will tell you that you need to still build backlinks. If you’re still building crappy backlinks then sooner or later Google will take action. There is no benefit to building backlinks for long term success. Concentrate instead on building a social following. In the future that is going to have even more value in search engine rankings.