VITAL: 15 Predictions to Read Before You Start a Blog in 2015

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start a blog 2015

Want to start a blog in 2015? You might like to read this first…

At the end of last year I did a post about the things you’d need to know before starting a blog in the year to come. It was a lot of fun predicting what I thought the next 12 months would look like for bloggers.

So, I thought we’d make it a bit of an annual tradition – this year involving freebies, rewards and encouragement for bloggers who want to make 2015 awesome.

Here are the 15 things I think you need to know before you go and start a blog in 2015. If you already have a blog, make sure you still see whether you can make any big changes.

Alright!

NOTE: This post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase a product through one of my links. Feel free not to click them if this bothers you – otherwise thank you for your support!

15 predictions to read before you start a blog in 2015

Okay so let’s get into the juicy stuff.

As always, if you think I’ve missed anything important or gotten something wrong please leave a comment at the end and set me straight. I always learn a lot when you leave comments so feel free to go nuts!

Oh, and I decided not to read back on last year’s predictions in order to see whether things have changed. Some things never change in blogging, others change a lot.

1. You still can’t beat a .com and WordPress setup

If you’re new to blogging or want to start a new blog this is the most important place to begin.

Recently my buddy John asked me on Facebook whether or not it was necessary to have a .com with all these new domain name extensions coming out (you can get .guru now, for example).

My answer was simple – you still need a .com and self hosted blog if you want to rank.

But it’s not only that, WordPress is still the most popular blogging software in the world and lot of it comes back to the sheer flexibility and all the customizations that you can make. Thousands of free plugins, themes and options.

It’s a beautifully simple platform that beginners can use right away, and it’s a powerful monster that the world’s biggest websites use to cater to their needs. So we can grow and change with it.

start a blog
Check out the rest of this massive infographic on how to start a blog that I’ve posted to Pinterest. Everyone loves Pinterest, right?

If you’re thinking about starting a blog then check out my blog hosting review or this ultimate guide on how to start a blog as they will give you some important details on why I’m still recommending that people avoid free hosting setups.

blue_hostI recommend BlueHost for all new bloggers (get a year free domain name registration when you buy a hosting package). This tutorial will take you through the setup process – step by step. It should take around 10 minutes to get completely set up!

2. Speed will become even more critical

A few of the predictions in this post are going to be about blogging SEO because it is still our biggest source of traffic. It’s important to know that when you start a blog.

A quick loading website has always been important. Even a second or two of lag can cost your business thousands of dollars. So how can you speed things up?

  • Consider a VPS server
    A quality VPS server will always speed up your website. It’s slightly more expensive than shared hosting but the benefits are huge if your website is starting to get a lot of traffic. I’ve used KnownHost (aff) on a few projects for years now and their support and uptime is the best I’ve ever experienced.
  • Learn how to shrink stuff
    Photos, images, graphics, CSS, themes… all of these things should be as small as possible. Every byte that you can save will reduce your loading time. Check out this post on WordPress speed for more ideas.
  • Find a good caching solution
    Caching is where your server stores a version of your blog and displays that instead of calling the server to load a new version every time someone visits. These can be complicated to implement but can make a huge difference.

And as people get more and more familiar with the net and internet download speeds get better, we are going to see speed become even more critical because people simply won’t wait around for your slow blog.

Most importantly, a fast loading site is now a major indicator for Google rankings. If you want to get to the top of those results you really need to make sure you’re site is loading quicker than 1.5 seconds.

3. Link building for SEO will take a new direction

While we are talking about SEO it’s a good idea to mention link building – the bread and butter of any blogging SEO work.

Last year we saw a lot of interesting things happen in the SEO world – Glen from ViperChill made some big waves – and a lot of people made a lot of money. I asked one of the world’s top SEO gurus to weigh in on this:

rand_fishkin

In 2015, one of my weirdest predictions for SEO is that practitioners will mostly stop spending money directly on links (a longtime practice that, even though Google’s despised and prohibited in their TOS, continues) and start spending that money on advertising that leads to links. This will be enabled by the growth of native advertising, content syndication networks, and increasingly sophisticated targeting. Rand Fishkin, Moz.

This is a really important prediction, in my opinion, because it indicates that bloggers and online marketers will need to be more creative about how they do their SEO work. Some of the old stuff will work, but there is a lot more going on now.

4. Guest posting will work just as well as ever

Recently there has been a lot of talk about guest posting being dead after Google’s Matt Cutts declared that the links weren’t so good for SEO more.

Nonsense.

Guest posting will still work just as well as it ever has. And if you are about to start a blog it is vital that you know that guest posting is still one of the absolute best ways to get your name out there and grow traffic.

In fact, if you can, it’s a good idea to do two or three guest posts for every article that you post on your own blog. The more you can get out there the more subscribers, traffic and fans you’ll get.

So what should you look out for?

  • Don’t overdo the anchor text
    Please don’t make all your links in your guest posts rich anchor text that go back to your blog. That’s a good way to let Google know that they aren’t natural.
  • Don’t blog on dodgy sites
    Make sure you’re only putting your content up on websites and blogs that are high quality with a good community going on. If every post is a guest post it’s probably not going to be that beneficial.
  • Think long term
    You want your guest posts to rank forever. You usually do them on high authority sites. That means make it damn good and make sure it fits into your blogs long term strategy.

In the end the best guest posting situation is where you build a real friendship with another blog owner and collaborate and work together over the years. Chris Ducker and Pat Flynn do this extremely well and are a good example for us all.

5. Google+ will lose popularity

Google was pushing Google+ really hard for a while (you can find me here). You needed a Google+ account to do practically anything on Google, and old YouTube accounts had to be brought over to some form of G+ account.

It was frustrating for a lot of people.

And while I still really like Google+ and feel like it can be extremely useful, when Google took authorship photos out of search results I began to get the feeling that maybe this social network was losing its juice.

This leads me to my next point.

6. Owning your assets will remain integral, but might be harder

A few years ago people told me to remove my comments and use Facebook comments instead.

Then last year everyone was saying that I should do it with Google+ comments because it would drive more traffic now that G+ was getting so big.

To be honest, I always feel like it’s a mistake to take something that you own and that is present on your website and put it on some other company’s platform.

But sometimes it’s hard, as my friend Kristi told me:

kristi_hinesIn 2015, I predict that more blogs will follow the trend of sites like Copyblogger and shut down their comments. The fact is that no matter how many spam guards you put up, moderating comments can take a huge amount of time that could be spent crafting quality content. It’s not bad if you have a smaller blog or you have the ability to hire someone (I have a VA moderating mine). But for everyone else, it can be a huge hassle.

Closing comments is not that simple though. Many blogs will notice a drop in traffic, as people will not have a reason to come to your website other than to read your articles, which they can do in their RSS reader. The calls to action at the end of posts will suffer as well if no one has to scroll by them to get to the discussion. And blog owners will have to field comments across multiple platforms that would have normally been appended to the blog posts themselves.Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer.

Kristi is an absolute gun when it comes to different social networking platforms – you can see her everywhere – and she is 100% right about this. Think carefully before removing comment threads – especially if you have a hint that the alternative might not be a relevant/helpful platform for your blog’s niche.

7. People will gather around a few big sites

One of the trends that I’ve been noticing that I think will continue in 2015 is that people will continue to gather around a few big blogs.

In the old days it felt like things were more ‘spread out’. Now, however, I think people are more likely to gather around one or two communities that they really love.

Nerd FitnessSteve Kamb is the owner of Nerd Fitness and one of the most amazing communities online that has now gone offline too.

For example, Steve Kamb over at Nerd Fitness has a wonderful website, membership site and forum that gives readers everything they could possibly need. His fans are massively loyal and really don’t have any need to go around and look at other bodybuilding or fitness sites. Take a look at what they’re doing now!

While this isn’t going to apply for everyone, I do think it’s a good reason to keep trying to build up a community around quality content and a solid mailing list.

And that leads me to my next point.

8. Email will still be the best place to connect (and sell)

Blogs are great.

Emailing is even better.

Combine those two platforms by getting more email subscribers from a quality blog and you are on to a winner.

If someone gives you their email address is means that they want to hear from you, and if you send good stuff to them they will share it, promote it, and eventually buy whatever it is that you’re selling.

And the great thing about email marketing is that the same stuff is working today as what worked a few years ago. If you are going to start a blog in 2015 I’d highly recommend you also:

  • Sign up to a service like AWeber
    I’ve been using AWeber for ages now but there are others out there like Get Response and Mail Chimp. This is where you store your email subscribers and send out newsletters and analyze your stats.
  • Create a free eBook and give it away for free
    Bloggers have been doing this for ages. It’s called a lead magnet. Basically you are offering a free giveaway to everyone who signs up to your mailing list. Here is how I automatically send a free eBook to all new subscribers.
  • Regularly send your list high quality, targeted stuff
    Then you want to send your list high quality material that provides huge benefits and solves a lot of their problems. Make sure it’s targeted to your niche and always on-message and you’ll slowly develop a loyal following.

One thing to note is that bloggers usually hate selling. But it’s okay. We all need to make money and as long as you’re providing value there is nothing wrong with it. I hope that in 2015 more bloggers will become comfortable with promoting their own products.

9. You’ll need to get good at the business of blogging… to ignore it

A few weeks ago I published an article called Why You’re Not a Writer.

This talked about how we bloggers sometimes get swamped with all the other tasks that have to happen when you run a blog.

I’m talking about SEO work, networking, record keeping, server admin, content writing, image editing… the list is endless.

But if you really want to run a successful blog you need to find what you’re good at and focus in on that. If you’re a writer then you need to writer. If you’re an entrepreneur then you need to work on new ideas.

And that means getting someone else to do all the other stuff. Try websites like Fiverr to outsource minor tasks, and then look at places like Elance if you want to get help with the bigger issues.

mobile_blog10. Mobile responsive themes are no longer optional

If you do a Google search on your smart phone now you’ll see the following little bit of helpful text:

What this means is that Google is now prioritising mobile responsive sites over websites that are just built for desktop computers and laptops.

If you are going to start a blog then you really want to make sure that you pick a mobile responsive theme straight out of the gate.

The good news is that the new default theme for WordPress is absolutely beautiful, simple to use and looks fantastic on mobiles. If you’d like to browse through a few other themes you can check out this post on the best WordPress responsive themes or check out the awesomeness over at StudioPress (aff).

11. Data, research and stats will become simpler and more integral

One of the best things new bloggers can do early on is become familiar with a service like SEMRush which does a full analysis on things like your competitions backlinks, their best advertising methods and so on.

This data is so valuable.

I’ll be giving away two free PRO accounts for one year (valued at $69 per month). See above.

The reason I wanted to include this in my predictions post is because I now feel like blogging has become more professional than ever. And when you use data and research what you are essentially doing is taking away the guess work from your outcomes.

At a minimum you want to have a good analytics package like Clicky installed on your blog so you can see where you traffic is coming from and how it behaves.

I ignored this stuff for a long time (I hate maths…) and I feel like it really set me back. For anyone that wants to start a blog I now rate this as one of the most important things you can get good at.

12. You’ll need something more unique than a ‘membership site’

If you’re new to blogging you’ll soon stumble upon a membership site.

This is basically where a blogger creates a premium backend than you have to pay to access.

These membership sites have been doing really well for bloggers for a few years now, but lately I’ve been hearing that some people are struggling to sell tickets.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the model is no longer working. It just means that you need to try and find some new ways to be distinctive if you want to make money with this method.

As with all things on the net, once people have seen a lot of it they start to get skeptical and a bit bored.

13. As data speeds improve, video and audio will get bigger

Two years I hardly got any traffic from India – 95% of it came from the USA.

This year India is my second biggest source and it has nothing to do with my content targeting that country – it’s because of data speeds.

While I was there this year I noticed that so many more places had cable and the mobile data packs were much more affordable and accessible.

This is a global phenomena. It’s incredible.

And as our net gets better around the world you’re going to see more and more people streaming videos on their phones, and listening to podcasts on the go.

To capitalize on this you’ll want to shoot more video content and have specially branded logos and introductions that help to separate you from the rest. Splasheo is the company I used for my video intro, and they agreed to give away two free intros as part of this post’s freebies.

Please get started on alternative content forms as early as you can.

14. You’ll want advice from a few choice experts

I really don’t read a lot of blogs.

In fact, I am currently only subscribed by email to exactly three bloggers.

That’s it.

But if you are about to start a blog there are a few people that I highly recommend you read for at least your first year. These guys and girls are absolutely brilliant at their chosen niches and have proven themselves trustworthy over a long period of time.

  • Blogging and entrepreneurship
    When it comes to this stuff the main people to read are Neil Patel, Pat Flynn and Jeff Goins. Transparent articles with a lot of personal experience backing them.
  • Copywriting and conversions
    If you want to learn how to write good text you need Copyblogger. If you want to learn how to make more sales then check out Social Triggers.
  • SEO
    All you need is a balance between Rand’s White Board Fridays and Glen’s brilliant Google experiments. Also make yourself familiar with Google’s guidelines.
  • Staying sane
    Working for yourself is hard. I highly recommend you stop in for a bit of Zen Habits every now and then to make sure you are being healthy. Leo knows his stuff.

I actually also think this point (and the point about communities) applies to news and information sites. For example, as news gets trashier and more centered around ripping stories off the front page of Reddit, I think quality content operations like the New York Times, The New Yorker and WIRED will really take off.

15. Personalization will become the new professionalism

A few years ago everyone wanted to look like a big professional company.

Fancy websites, photos, graphics – it all needed to look big-budget.

But lately I’ve been noticing that a lot of people have been going back the other way. It seems like amongst all the corporate staleness people are becoming more interested in the small, personal experience.

What this means for those of us who have blogs or want to start a blog is that it’s really important to be professional but also personal. Include photos of yourself, stories and other unique things on your blog. Make a human connection.

To be honest, I think this makes for a lot better writing anyway.

So what’s happening on Blog Tyrant in 2015?

A few months ago I found myself sitting at my keyboard with tears in my eyes as I read a comment that a man named Paul had left on my site.

paul

Every now and then something like this happens to remind you that the work you do has a real and perhaps important impact on a real-life human being out there. And boy does it put a fire under my butt.

In 2015 I’m going to be doubling down on the Blog Tyrant brand by carrying out more experiments, making more connections and sharing as much useful information with you as I can. I’m going to remind myself that over 100,000 people read this blog every month and so I better take that as seriously as it deserves.

If there’s anything I can do for you or write about please tell me.

What should people know before they start a blog in 2015? Let us know…

Do you have any tips or thoughts on what might be going on with blogs and bloggers in 2015? I’d be really interested to hear whether you disagree with anything in this post, or if you think I might have missed out on anything important. Leave me a comment.

Remember, if you want to go into the draw to get one of those freebies please share this post on social media or on your blog and leave me a comment below about which thing you’d prefer if you’re randomly selected.

Top photo © Bennymarty | Dreamstime.com

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168 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Rob K.

    I’ll take the SEMRush freebie


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah it’s a cool service!


  • Beth

    Thanks, Ramsay! I Twitted and posted on my Facebook. I would like to win the free consult and audit with you! What an incredible boost that would give me to go forward in 2015. xoxo


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Beth! Really appreciate that.


    2. Beth

      Sorry about the spelling error. I Tweeted! I need more coffee this morning.


  • Brad

    How about affiliate sales?

    Do you think people are tending to click their own links more than someone else’s?


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Brad. I’m not sure how that would help them. Not sure I understand the question…?


      1. Brad

        As far as predictions, it seems that affiliate links aren’t as valuable as they where last year meaning bloggers may need to look elsewhere for revenue like their own products.


        1. Ramsay

          Interesting. That hasn’t really been my personal experience so I’m not sure. I think the affiliate market in general has grown a lot. Commission Junction, for example, paid out their three billionth dollar this year.


  • Daniel Richter

    Great stuff! I think I agree with you on every point…

    One thing that is already happening, but I believe will be increasing (and it’s related to “14. You’ll want advice from a few choice experts”) is that big companys that can’t/won’t do their own content marketing will tie popular experts in various fields to them, to get in on their audience and authority.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that is a really good point. I’ve seen that a lot more lately even just in my local circle of friends. Nice thought!


  • Julie

    Hi Ramsay, Love your posts, I am very new to blogging and would love one free blog consult and audit from you. Thanks for sharing who you read and about guest blogging not being dead. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    Cheers Julie


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Julie! I’m so relieved two people have already asked for the blog consult. I was worried no one would want that! Ha.


  • Beth

    Ramsay,
    While I’m hanging here…I have a question. Where do I go to seek out guest bloggers for my website? I’ve pitched on Twitter and Facebook, but only had a few replies. Then those people never actually produce a post for me. Frustrated…


    1. Ramsay

      Might be best to contact your colleagues and friends in the industry who have websites and styles that you want to appear on your blog.


    2. Stephanie Martel

      Hi Beth! Just butting in here 🙂 I would love to talk about guest posting–perhaps take a peek at my blog and see if my style fits with your vision. PS I’m a tri-delt, too!


      1. Beth

        Oh Stephanie! I’m so excited! A sister! I sent you a message via your website.


        1. Stephanie Martel

          Oh great! 🙂 It takes a little bit to come through, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.


  • Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live

    Pick me!! Pick Me!!
    ** Jumps up and down and flails her arms all over the place **

    I’d LOVE a blog consult. Love love love, and I would love to be able to track my analytics TIGHTER with something other than google analytics.

    My bucket list this year is to a guest post for Boost Blog Traffic. I’ve been following copyblogger and you for f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

    I’m like the Canadian female version of you. LOL. I follow few blogs and my all time fave is Pat Flynn. I met him this year and he is one beautiful soul!!

    I feel like I’m on the verge of something great for my blog for 2015. I mean that.

    My blog is about my readers, as much as it is about my own journey.

    Cheers and Merry HoHo..

    Wishing you a Hairy Mistress, uhhhhhmmm, Merry Christmas

    Lynne xx


    1. Ramsay

      Feeling like you are on the verge – I had that last year. Turned out to be right. Make it happen! 🙂


  • Kirsten Oliphant

    This is great! I’m looking at these and trends, but also what I want to be doing and the direction I feel like I need to go so I can be smart, but also organic. I’m hoping to stumble into finding what works for me. For freebies, if I win, I’d love either the audit or the intros from Splasheo! Video is something I’m moving into for the new year!


    1. Ramsay

      Great to hear! Thanks for commenting.


  • Chris

    Commit yourself to being great. I don’t mean create a nice web site with some good content. I don’t mean email all your friends and say “check out my new blog on home repair.” I mean BE FREAKING AWESOME!

    I’ve worked in two unique niches. The first was so unique, it make national and word-wide press for a few years running. So much so that I got used to it. I’ll never forget the day a friend said, “I saw your software mentioned on MTV,” and I was like, “oh, that’s cool” and didn’t think much of it. Not only was it unique, myself and the others involved were great. The stuff we did was AMAZING!

    In my current niche, I’ve picked up freelance gigs for three niche-related magazines (print and online). And I didn’t go to them, they came to me. It’s one think to write a how-to post but it’s another to really educate a reader and that’s what opened the doors.

    THERE ARE TOO MANY BLAND WEB SITES. I’m talking site design and CONTENT. Some of it is market saturation but it all comes down to this….

    People don’t share a web site, talk about a web site, or consistently buy from a web site that’s mediocre. Don’t just write content, write EPIC content. Don’t just help visitors, help them in an EPIC way.

    Pick up a copy of Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow. I still thumb through my autographed copy. Be remarkable, be a purple cow in the herd.


    1. Ramsay

      As always… epic comments.

      I hope 2015 is even bigger for you and your blog.

      Thanks for everything you do around here.


  • Mums Take Five

    Some great advice and interesting predictions.
    I’m going to hang on with threads of hope for G+ i really like it. why wont the masses come over?
    I’d also really like a SEMRush pro.


    1. Ramsay

      I still honestly believe it’s because people don’t want to hang out with their email contacts. Gmail is work.


  • Fiona

    Another brilliant post, lots of useful tips as always. I will be spending 2015 focusing on improving the quality of the content on my site as well as growing it. I think quality will continue to be important going forward.

    I’ve shared on Twitter (@sewingdirectory and @craftabiz) and would love to win a SEMRush account.

    Hope you have a great 2015 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Fiona!


  • Elizabeth @ Awesome Wave

    I tweeted! (@rosalilium) and I would love to be up for the Splasheo video intro prize. I’ve been dabbling and experimenting with video this year and as we’ve taken the plunge to come over to SE Asia for a few months I’m challenging myself to vlog (almost) every day. I think video is a phenomenal medium and can work really well in conjunction with a blog. They both serve different purposes even if the content is the same/similar. It’s really pushing me out of my comfort zone and after blogging for 6 years it’s kinda scary to be learning a whole new skill and medium like this. But so far I’m loving it!


    1. Ramsay

      Congrats! Sounds like an awesome step. Thanks for sharing.


  • Stephanie Martel

    Great post, Ramsay. I would love a blog consult–I’m trying to figure out how to steer it more towards my art.

    I’m curious about learning to build community. I have my comments turned off and I know they can be the #1 way, but the comment spam got overwhelming and I’m kind of at a stand still with fixing it. I feel like there’s so much else I need to get to! I would love to hear about seeking out guest posting opportunities and how to connect more with other like-minded folks (assuming I already am working on great content.)

    Thanks and happy holidays! (And Winter/December Solstice)


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing Stephanie. What plugin do you use for the spam on your blog?


      1. Stephanie Martel

        I am using Akismet at the moment.


        1. Ramsay

          Weird. That should get most of it.


          1. Stephanie Martel

            I thought so, too! But I would get about 50 spam comments a few days in a row pretty consistently and it was too overwhelming to deal with lol

            I’m not giving up on comments, I just need a better system to manage them before turning them on again.


    2. Nathaniell

      I found that tons of spam comments got past Akismet as well for me. The reason ended up being that my blog was hit with some negative SEO. Check your backlink profile and see if it’s the same for you. I was able to turn off comments for just 2 posts and it took care of the problem.


  • Steve Faber

    Ramsay,

    Interesting predictions.

    “4. Guest posting will work just as well as ever.” Sure, especially if you’ve been using it for it’s real value; relationship building, reach expanding, and referral traffic. Sure, the link’s nice, but its real value is when people follow it, not just spiders.

    “5. Google+ Will Lose It’s Value” I hope you’re wrong with this one. I personally never jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, outside of what was necessary for clients and some charitable fund raising activities. I love Google+ for both business relationship building, and discovering new people and points of view, however. It would be a shame to see it fall by the wayside.

    “6. Owning your assets will remain integral, but might be harder” Sure, but it really is the only way to build a secure business property. Want to avoid the “Lost Our Lease” syndrome? Don’t lease, get your own property. Online, that means domain and hosting.

    I’m with Kristi though, comments are an excellent relationship building, but moderating can be a huge time suck. I discovered this in 2007, as a personal finance blog I published crested the 15K monthly visitor mark. Spam comments became so pervasive, all comments had to go. It pained me to do it, but I was spending as much time weeding out the spam as researching and writing new posts. I began a blogger reach out program to build relationships with other bloggers in the space. Although I really missed the interaction with the hundreds of visitors who had not blog to call their own, it was the only solution that worked.

    Recently, I’ve been using social comments on blogs I run for other organizations and both of my own brands. It seems to work fairly well, and it leverages social networks for additional exposure.

    “7. People will gather around a few big sites” True, and it points to the need to specialize and build a rabid following in your niche. Bring something to the table people can’t get anywhere else, just like you would with any other business. If your blog isn’t your business, but the face of one, does it reflect that business in a way that resonates with your target audience? How can you do that, and deliver value people can’t get anywhere else?

    “8. Email will still be the best place to connect (and sell)” You’re spot on with this one. It’s huge! Although email had been basically written off by many organizations in favor of social, the new kid on the block. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

    Right off the top, I’ll state I’m firmly biased on this, as Chief Content Officer for a start up that helps small contracting firms build existing customer relationships. Why shouldn’t they? Study after study proves existing customers are a business’s most profitable. Email is perfect for nurturing those existing customer relationships, and one of our programs primary pillars. It’s highly effective, and we’ve yet to find anything else that works nearly as well. The relatively small investment email requires compared to other outreach and engagement programs is a nice bonus.

    “11. Data, research and stats will become simpler and more integral” It’s all about the data today. Marketers rely on it to make accurate decisions. Thankfully, more comprehensive and intuitive analytics programs are popping up like mushrooms after a northwest rain. You hit this one. I just commented on a Google+ post last week that asked what trends we thought would be big in 2015. This was the one I picked. It had better get easier, because data driven marketing decisions will become even more important in the years ahead. Delivering content and products closely aligned with audience (and search engine) expectations will make or break you.

    Thanks for the predictions!

    Steve


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome comment! Really enjoyed reading through those. Thanks for taking the time to write that up.


  • Slavko Desik

    Awesome guide for the upcoming year!
    Following few of these guidelines only, makes the difference between a mediocre blog and a world class one.

    Here are my predictions… Importance wise, seeing more and more mentions about speed,I can see Google putting more weight upon user metrics this following year. That means having to improve user experience, sign-up forms, conversion goals, improved site architecture and visitor retention.

    I think quality content will matter more- but that means being innovative and creative. No shortcuts around quality either. Longer posts, better graphics, different and interesting content formats. (Like this for example. http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/12/17/outfitted-equipped-ill-be-home-for-christmas/ )… More video, more audio, more value in whatever it is that you put on your site.

    Social media algorithms becoming more and more volatile, and Google being Google, I totally agree with you that the mail list should become even more important. And for that- more quality content.

    When it comes to people gathering on few big sites though, networking becomes increasingly important- connecting with influencers, collaborating with them when creating content, doing interviews, mash-up articles and such. Guest posting, maybe in some other format, becomes more important as well.

    I very much like what you’ve said about focusing on the things that you can do best. This is a business, so it is wise to learn how to outsource, or at least prioritize.

    Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the upcoming year. Keep the great work my friend, I always have something to learn out of your articles.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks mate. And congrats on the big article. I’ll share it around today.


  • Nida

    Great read! Bookmarking this post to read again over the next few weeks as I set up a blog aimed at South Asian freelancers.

    While I’d love the free blog consult, I think the competition for that is heating up, so I’m asking to be considered for the Genesis framework freebie. I sent a tweet out (do we have to do both?)

    Cheers!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Nida. A tweet is really appreciated. Good luck with the blogs in 2015.


  • Jennifer

    Dear Ramsay,
    Oh how I desperately need to win a free consultation and audit from you!
    I love, love, love writing, and I am blogging nearly every day. But I got so very frustrated with Word Press, that I gave up and resorted to user friendly Blogger.
    Thank you for your timely advice. I shared you to Twitter, and I sure hope I win!
    Jennifer


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Jennifer.

      What was frustrating you about WordPress?


  • Candice

    I’m just starting out, so I’m not sure what to pick. I think I’ll benefit more from the KnownHost package. I just checked them out and like what I see.

    My head popped off my pillow one morning when I realized I had a niche (though I didn’t know the word yet). Something I Google a lot, but instead of answers only find people asking the same questions I am.

    I’m going to tap into this, and I already have my domain, shared hosting, and rough drafts. I got distracted by the nuts and bolts of how a website works and I’m now starting a career switch into web development.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah KnownHost really are awesome if you want a super fast server when you start a blog. It can be a little more complicated but their support is great.


  • Gerrie Malan

    Thanks a stack Ramsay. Not many of my age (68) start blogging I guess? I am so grateful for all the great advice and guidelines you give. Positive I will be making something work well in a difficult field. With that in mind, I would love to go the Genesis Framework way.


    1. Ramsay

      Wow! What was the impetus for starting a blog at 68? Thanks for stopping by Gerrie.


  • Robin Connell

    I’m a fairly new subscriber and blogger. I feel rather lost in this vast internet world of marketers. Feels like so much to learn. Your blog has been helping me a lot. Thanks!

    PS – If chosen the SEMRush package sounds very useful.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Robin. Means a lot.


  • Brad

    The splasheo animations would be great 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Brad.


  • Tim

    Love the list Ramsay, I think you’re spot on. The piece about comments was of particular interest as I’ve been going back and forth on that myself.

    I’m doing business strategizing the next two weeks in anticipation of 2015, so this was super helpful in giving me some specific things to consider, and actionable steps to prioritize.

    I’m always looking for feedback, so I would love a free audit from you!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Tim. Glad it was helpful. Hope 2015 is huge for your and your blog.


  • Megan

    Hey Ramsay! Great post as always.

    I just wanted to give you a heads-up that your link for “Jeff Goins” doesn’t go to Jeff Goins the blogger, it goes to a real estate agent with the same name (unless that was intentional…in which case ignore my intrusion 😛 ).


    1. Ramsay

      Er…. whoops. Fixed. THANKS!


  • Kelly

    I really hope you’re wrong about Google+ – I’ve recently been starting to grow my following over there since FB is no longer the big player it used to be when it comes to bringing traffic. Pinterest is still my #1 referer, though.

    I could very much use some super fast hosting, if I should happen to get picked 😀


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Kelly. Yeah, I hope G+ keeps growing too but I’m just not counting on it.


  • Doug

    I just took a look at Splasheo.com and that seems like an excellent tip for 2015 when, in my opinion, we are going to see a ton more video. (good video sells)


    1. Ramsay

      Totally agree.


  • Thomas Yates

    Shared 🙂 would love the genesis framework and theme for starting my blog in 2015!

    Great article by the way, I wholeheartedly agree with point 10, hence the genesis framework and theme choice.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Thomas.


  • lisa | renovatingitaly

    Recently online I befriended a guy with a communications degree, we are helping him and he is now helping us. I am astonished at how much I have missed in the few years I’ve been building my blog and brand.

    In a few conversations he gave me so much clarity, direction and purpose, now I have four clear themes running through my site, and realize just how much I have taken for granted.

    Mine is a personal blog, and I intend to keep it personal, connected to people and a place to inspire others. I recently did an online big bucks business course and saw almost everyone come out the other end looking like the original business model.

    I’d love to see people sharing more heart and soul, much like your reader sharing about his sons. Someone like your Paul makes everything you create and share even more worthwhile. Blogging really does change your life in ways that are unexpected.

    I am sitting in our rock house in the mountains of Italy, with gifts under our tree from readers in America, Australia and Canada. I get messages daily telling me how inspiring our family is (even though we don’t feel that way most of the time) and I hope I have made some difference in the world.

    I’ve been following you for a number of years now and the thing that really strikes me about all you share is your big heart, your generosity and your determination.

    I am looking forward to where 2015 will take us all.

    ciao and Buon Natale,
    lisa x

    PS a blog consult would be the dream, fingers crossed LOL


    1. Ramsay

      Pretty keen to see how that all pans out for you next year. Please report back with some results! Good luck!


  • Kay

    Hi Tyrant!

    Awesome article you’ve got here (especially the freebies). Well I am “applying” for the Knownhost VPS plan. I have shared the post on my social media accounts.

    Starting and MAINTAINING a blog is at the top of my bucket list for 2015. I have been around the online space (the blogosphere most especially) for close to 3 years now, and shamefully, I have nothing to show for it. I have read hundreds of articles about blogging and even taught some folks the art (and they’ve become successful). But me? Still playing around and lookin for the “perfect niche for me”.

    But few weeks ago after listening to one of the older episodes of Pat Flynn’s podcast, I decided deep within me that there’s NOTHING like “the perfect niche”.

    “Finding your passion”? Oh well, that’s bullsh*t. The guys over at theminimalists together with Cal Newport showed me that.

    2015? I am gonna start my blog and with the help of these epic predictions, I know I’m gonna “CRUSH IT”. 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Sounds like you’re ready! Good luck Kay!


  • David

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thanks for your tips!
    I take with me the importance of speed and email lists, which I have to improve in my website.

    I would love a personal consultation with you, because after failing with 3 blogs, I would love to be successful with my next one. It would dramatically change my life!! 🙂

    Anyways, thanks for your valuable posts. Keep up the great work!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks David. Really appreciate it.


  • Raj

    Smerush for me


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Raj.


  • Averil

    Shared. Great predictions. I am crossing fingers for the Genises framework and responsive theme


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you Averil.


  • Simon

    Hi, thanks

    2015 predictions to read before starting a blog.

    Think about what it is you want to write about. Make sure it is something that is interesting to other people / solves a problem / helps them in someway.

    If you do this then you will get readers and engagement. That’s why we read other people’s blogs. It’s not realistic to expect other people to read our blogs simply because it’s us writing them. Not even our mums will keep reading rambling pieces about ourselves.

    Find a niche where you can help other people, and bingo! You’re onto something.

    Re a prize, no worries, but would like to email interview you for http://irishtechnews.net/ITN3/
    at some point in 2015 if possible?

    Have a great 2015, thanks again.

    Cheers Simon


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Simon.

      Thanks for the invite. I’ll get back to you in 2015. Should be fun.


  • Victor Musch

    I think you are spot on. A lot of good comments so far, how could I possibly follow acts like these? Maybe it’s time for me to step my game up!

    I know how I can do it…

    If you select me for the Pro SEMRush account I’ll grow a Rand Fishkin-stache. Game upped.

    Twice.


    1. Ramsay

      AH hahahaha. Amazing.


  • Michaela

    A great post as always Ramsay and shared of course. I would love a Pro SEMRush account for me.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Michaela.


  • Michele Guss

    I would love and welcome a consult!! If that isn’t available, the Genesis theme would be great too 🙂 Thank you!!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for commenting!


  • Katie @ The Perfect Brownie

    Hi Ramsay! Four months in and I’m still going. 🙂

    These are great tips. I’d love the Splasheo prize, because it will motivate me to start doing videos.

    I take that email collection idea very seriously. I’ve seen a lot of talk about how fickle search engines can be, and social media, too (cough FACEBOOK cough). I finally finished up my mini ecookbook of brownie recipes and put it up on the blog yesterday to go out to all my email subscribers. I’m really hoping it will increase my rate of subscription.

    Data is really where it’s at. I don’t have time to do a lot, but you can be sure that I’m checking on where my referrals are coming from and what I can do to focus my limited resources on things that are more likely to pay off in traffic.

    I love what you said about personalization. So many new blogs are guilty of being so polished, they look like they’re run by a robot- even if they’re run by a guy sitting around in Superman pajama pants. Given, I don’t want a site to be a mess, but I want it to look *human*.

    I’ve given myself through summer of 2015 to start being profitable to the point of paying myself a fair wage for the number of hours I spend working on the blog. That’s my New Year’s resolution! I hope I can do it. Failure won’t be from a lack of trying, that’s for sure. 🙂

    Again, thanks for all the tips you put out there. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays & Happy New Year to you as well.


    1. Ramsay

      So good to see you still going! I hope 2015 is huge for your blog.


  • Zach Alfaro

    Wow, another awesome post Ramsay.

    I’m gearing up to launch my new site soon and really love the ideas about personalisation and using different content mediums. Guest posting is also going to be a big part of my strategy, but as you said, they’ll be high quality awesome posts… hopefully haha

    If I had to win one of your prizes (all of them are so great) it’d have to be the consultation and audit. I think it’ll be super handy especially with my new launch coming up soon!

    Good luck with the site and I hope the contest brings in some nice traffic!

    Cheers, Zach.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Zach. Are you starting a new blog? Thanks for choosing the audit. Appreciate it.


      1. Zach Alfaro

        Yeah its a blog that’s going to be about personal development for internet marketers.

        Personal development probably isn’t the most correct word but I’m focusing on topics like productivity while online, prioritising, motivation, balancing work and IMing etc.

        I’m in the process of creating my optin offer (I’m at 9k words so far) and then I’m going to have that as the only thing on my site and promote it with guest posts and social media. If it goes well and I get a decent amount of sign ups I’ll start creating regular content for the site and really make it work well.

        Cheers, Luca.


  • C. Lee Reed

    I’d love to have the Genesis theme setup. Been looking for a new look with the New year. Great ideas for bloggers, thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing!


  • Becky

    I’m already blogging but appreciate your insights anyway to ensure I’m up to speed as we enter 2015. I’ve got a lot to think about now but at least I’m on the right track. Thanks again.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for commenting Becky.


  • Prodgem

    Hi Ramsay!
    Woke up to your post and it has certainly gotten my day to a bright start… I’ve got to digest and implement a lot of stuffs on my blog.
    I’m spoilt for choice. I would certainly love a blog audit and consult from you but it’s time to give my website a face-lift, so I would certainly appreciate the Genesis framework.
    Would love to hear from you..


    1. Ramsay

      Glad the post made your day start nicely!


  • Scott Kindred

    Really digging on the non-enumerated predictions in this post:
    -Cat selfies will be big in 2015
    -Red bandanas for the feline will be all the rage

    But seriously, this post is packed with SO many goodies. I zeroed in on your link to improving WordPress speed because it’s of particular concern for a few websites within my purview. I am 100% following through on the suggested plugin.

    Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      I changed the fonts here recently (might have noticed?) to Google fonts and sped up the website by 1.5 seconds average. Updating PHP on your servers and enabling the latest GZIP also are enough to do massive things.


      1. Scott Kindred

        I did notice the font change and like the clean look. Thanks for the GZIP tip. I’m headed over to check it our now. I feel the NEED for SPEED 😉


  • Sheena

    Oh wow!!!!! Still processing all this goodness, and very new to blogging so to pick i think i need to do the any many miny mo… #brb Splasheo Wins!!!! now i must comb through your site to learn about more goodies…. Thanx


    1. Ramsay

      Ha. Thanks!


  • Abdul

    Hi Ramsay,
    Great post that you put your effort on.i am kind of shocked to read that Google + might disappear.plus i completely agree on #8 about email list.i am already focusing on list building and will continue doing it in 2015.
    As about the sweet giveaway,I would like pro semrush account.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for stopping by Abdul. Hope 2015 is a big year for your blog.


  • The Cub

    Hi Ramsay, great article – again!
    I completely agree with every point here as being instrumental to a successful blog in 2015 – except for one…
    I disagree with dotcoms being something that’s significant in 2015. With the surge of new gTLDs it is making the internet more accessible to people, which Google likes – no one should be held hostage by a website flipper for extreme prices for a dotcom when you can have a brand new (with no potential for bad historic links) TLD which can even include key words, for a fraction of the price!
    I think dotcoms will be even less important in 2015 – something about a finite pool of antiquated reasoning that was important in 2000 just doesn’t scream “look how modern and sophisticated the Internet is becoming” from Google’s point of view. Google has come out and said that new TLDs shouldn’t have a good or bad impact on ranking – something I will write a case study about once my blog has launched!
    Keep up the good work – let me know your thoughts and I sent you an email at the end of last week- I hope you get round to reading it!
    – The Cub.


  • Denzel

    Thanks so much for your post-really helpful. I am aspiring to start a fashion blog come early 2015 and I would very much appreciate the known host VPS server.Thanks again!


  • Deepanshu

    Thanks Ramsay, I’d like knowhost VPS server.
    Also I think it’ll get even more difficult to find a good .com domain.


  • Ahmed Safwan

    Hi Ramsay,
    Great post as usual.

    I’ve tweeted and I want the SEMRush account. What an insane value.

    One of the things that I think most blogs will do from now is to build their list first and then launch their blogs as the way Jon morrow did it. I think this technique will be more popular and more people will be using it.


  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Ramsay,

    I dig each prediction 😉 Although I feel Kristi may be a little off. That’s mainly because I like blog commenting so much.

    If we all raise the vibe in the blog commenting-sphere we’ll largely rid the world of spam comments getting through.

    That’s my take on things. Like, if we make blog commenting a super valued strategy than everybody will want to keep comments open, even many of the high profile blogs that decided to move in a different direction

    I’ve noted that my long form, 7,000 word posts are getting a ton of traction. I see that trend continuing in 2015 on the blogging front.

    Helpful, clear, crisp, long form posts are resources, resources that people need, and resources that Google needs. I always think before publishing a post, if searchers Googled “blogging tips”, and my blog, and post, popped up as #1 on Page 1 of Google, would Google be happy?

    Would the searcher be happy?

    Would I be happy?

    If I can answer each question in the affirmative, I’ve done my job and I genuinely feel that yes, I’m doing my job. Of course the post I linked in to today – from your blog – was short at 2,500 words 🙂

    But overall, I feel Google loves resources. Like, free-eBooks masquerading as posts. Because good information is scarce online, and even better killer, pillar-style, knock your socks off type resources are even rarer.

    They keep people’s fannies in the seats, which helps my blog a ton, and which helps Google with their credibility too, as long as they type of posts get serious top billing on the Big G’s radar.

    Ramsay, excellent post as always.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tweeting now….and Happy Holidays!

    Ryan


    1. Ryan Biddulph

      Oh yes I forgot, this one 😉

      Two free video intro animations from Splasheo


  • Michael Liapis

    Awesome post Ramsay. It was very informative. I already shared on both Facebook and Twitter. I would like to be considered for the SEMRush account.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing!


  • Paul Turner

    First time reader, first time poster. Thanks for the insight Ramsay. I understood just about everything I’ll need for 2015 🙂 that’s why I thought about killing my blog while I read this. Fear not, it’s not your fault. It’s simply overwhelming, expensive (for me), and not for the faint of heart, and yet, that fools gold called hope keeps me panning the river called Blog. I don’t know what 2015 will bring but I plan on keeping my blog minus many of the bells and whistles mentioned at least until I sell a kidney. If this post did anything it showed me that the speed at which my blog must move and the money I would need to fuel it is futile and that my only hope to find personal success and satisfaction is to become a better writer, a better communicator, and a better servant to what readers I do have. Thanks again for the insight and inspiration.


    1. Paul

      Paul, I’m the cheapest blogger on the Planet. I finally had to move off Hostgator’s $20 a month plan last summer when my visitors went over 20,000 a day. You can spend your money wisely and still make a major difference in your niche and make money at it.

      Follow Ramsay’s “How to Start a Blog” but, DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY on anything except hosting. If you can’t stand the free twenty fifteen WordPress theme get on the MyThemeShop mailing list and get one of their responsive themes for $9. Use MailChimp’s free plan. Read everything Ramsay writes but keep your spending to zero.

      Learn everything you can about something you really like (your niche) concentrate on writing everything you know about it. Get used to writing long posts like Ramsay’s or this one – http://todaysmower.com/2014/2014-craftsman-42-in-19hp-t2200-hydro-model-20381/. (it’s over 6000 words)

      Have patience and keep at it. Read everything you can but don’t spend any money unless you really have to.


      1. Ramsay

        Interesting discussion here. Personally I would spend the money on advertising to get things going and make some earnings but I like this approach if it works. Thanks for stopping in and sharing!


      2. Paul Turner

        Hey Paul,

        Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll check out your recommendations. I agree, I do need more patience 🙂


  • Carri

    Thanks for the informative post, Ramsay. One of the most valuable things I have learned from you is to focus on building an email list, which has helped me refocus my own site and goals at CatchCarri.com. I would love to win the blog audit from you and learn and share more ways to grow my business. Keep on keepin’ on!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks heaps for sharing the post on Twitter. Really appreciate it. I’m really glad so many people have asked for the blog audit on this little old post about how to start a blog.


  • Cassie

    Hi Ramsey, have followed you for years and agree wholeheartedly with following just a few key blogs (such as yours, LOL!).

    I’d love the SEMRush if I’m picked *thank you!* – sharing your post with my MMSpark community! Have a great Christmas and see you in 2015!!


  • Cassie

    Sorry “Ramsay” (oops) x


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. No problems.


  • Karen

    Hi Ramsay, shared your post, would love to get a Pro SEMRush account!


  • Joe

    Hey Ramsay

    More related to bloggers than blogging, I anticipate a significant drop in use of FB pages by new and even existing bloggers.

    With organic reach set to be cut again significantly on January 1st, Facebook may be not worthwhile for those without an existing audience unless you are prepared to pay.

    Tying in with the tip on video, video will be the strongest way to get engagagement on FB.

    For sure my choice would be a Splasheo video intro!

    Cheers and merry christmas 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah FB is really sucking at the moment. Ads are still good if you know what you’re doing though. I don’t. ha.


  • Paul

    The only thing I would like free from you… please keep writing this blog in 2015.


    1. Ramsay

      Paul that means a lot. I really try with this blog. Thanks so much.


  • Rodney Robinson

    Great insight for 2015, Ramsay! I am ready to start the year. Quick note. I have found #15 to be an extremely pivotal point. Personalization makes a huge difference in audience engagement. What makes blogs attractive in the first place is that fact that readers can connect with the content of an individual. Thanks again.


    1. Ramsay

      Totally agree. Hope the start of 2015 is awesome for your blog.


  • Amber

    Great advice as always. Though I think all the points are spot on (and I would gladly take any and all of the fab freebies!), the key area I see as developing is video. In the US, we seem to be so static with Internet speeds and bad ones at that. Yet even here we are steadily increasing our video consumption. In the rest of the world this is rapidly changing. Video will continue to expand in 2015, which is why I’d love the Splasheo free video intro.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Amber. Do you guys get good speeds in the US?


  • asheritah

    Thanks Ramsay! The prediction about video and audio getting big in 2015 is exactly the impetus I need to get more serious about my videocast. I find that podcasting is getting a lot of attention, but I really think video is going to be the way of the future. Any guides that you recommend on how to get a videocast up and running?

    And all your prizes are so great; you’re very generous to offer them. I’d love a consult with you OR a subscription to semRush. It’s hard to pick one or the other, but if I’d have to, I’d go with the consult/audit with you.

    Good luck to you in 2015!


    1. Ramsay

      You can do a pretty good blog video with your computer. A SLR camera and mic makes a big difference to quality though, but it’s expensive. I still haven’t really cracked the video thing yet either but I think a good place to start is with an About Page video so people can get to know you.


      1. asheritah

        Thanks Ramsay! I just got a Surface Pro 3 and an external mic so I’m set on the equipment end of things. Now I just need to come up with a plan for how to incorporate more videos into my blog. Good luck to you as you do the same!


  • Sohil Memon

    Hello Ramsay,

    Awesome predictions, let’s hope all of that come true in 2015. It looks like everyone is looking for SemRush? Is that much important for bloggers? Can you put some light on “Moz Pro Account?”


    1. Ramsay

      Moz is awesome but probably not worth the price IMHO unless you are really getting serious about your SEO and have some money to invest.


  • Artur

    Hei there
    I must tell that this website has one of the most quality content i have read in awhile.
    I mean i invested hours here(very unusual to be “stuck” in one website and i build my faworites bookmarks for a year long reading.

    Great thing you are doing Ramsay, wish all the best for you


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much!


  • sarah

    Great post! As a fairly new and struggling but determined blogger I would LOVE the consult/audit from you!!!!!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Sarah!


  • ماشین لباسشویی

    i really enjoyed reading your article.
    Thank you and Happy holidays!


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps you start a blog next year!


  • Thomas Yates

    Hi Ramsey,

    When will you be doing the prize draw or have you already done it?

    Hope 2015 brings you all the success you could wish for

    Tom


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Thomas. I was planning to do it this weekend.


      1. Thomas Yates

        Excellent! Got all my fingers and toes crossed for the Genesis theme!


  • Augustus

    Hi Ramsay,
    Sometimes, I think the information on the internet about blogging on what to do and what not to do is a little bit overwhelming, I have been reading a lot, and I realized that the whole game still remains the same (I got online in 2011) , quality contents and email list is the basis of a successful blog.

    I agree with you on the importance of diversifying how bloggers present their content this year, last year was probably a revolution for infographics, but I think this year, bloggers need to up their game a little bit, as a reader (for months now), I’d like to listen to blog contents while walking to school, I would love to watch a video of this particulars post, just you saying stuff as it is on camera, with a white board behind for illustration.

    And frankly, that’s what blogging would be all about in few years to come. I think bloggers should also give little or no attention to Google algorithms and other complex stuffs about ranking. If you’re good enough, search engines will locate you.

    PS: Am that twitter guy that promised to read your blog for the next three days, and yes, I did.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for the awesome comment! Have you started a blog?

      Hope reading this one doesn’t affect school!


      1. Augustus

        Hi, again.
        I don’t have a blog yet, but planning on starting one this year. About school, we’re on holiday so I’ve got plenty of time to read and learn. Thanks for your reply.


      2. Augustus

        Hi again,
        No, I am yet to start a blog, but I intend doing so this month. And reading blogs does not affect school works, am on holiday at the moment so I’ve got plenty of time.

        Thanks for your response.


  • Nico

    Think your comment about moving from print into other media is an interesting one. Definitely something I’ve noticed a lot more (recorded versions of posts, pdf versions of posts all accessible at the click of a button).

    I think a wider use of audio (podcasts etc. is definitely on the cards for 2015), but video is still a few steps away. I’m sure it’s coming (Pat Flynn’s idea of launching a TV show comes to mind and where one person leads the way thousands of imitators will follow), but I’d hesitate to say that 2015 is the year.


    1. Ramsay

      Whatever Pat does will be huge. The guy is killing it.


  • Neil

    Great foresight, and I think you are on the money here.
    I think 2015 will see authority sites gobbling up all of the niche site space, which has pros and cons of course.
    And I agree with you (and others) that relevant links and marketing is key. Spammy links and grey/black SEO needs to be left in 2014. 🙂


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah. Good for people who are starting new blogs to realise, I think.


  • Kabie

    Hello Ramsay,

    For some people like myself, this is one post which obviously can’t in anyway be taken as a joke.
    With respect to what is likely to happen in 2015 which we are 3 days into it already, considering video blogging is something can’t be taken lightly as well.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing.


  • Evan Hoggins

    It was exciting to read your predictions but some of them really intrigued me, like the one about guest blogging, when every body was busy writing its epitaph, you were courageous enough to debunk this myth and I agree with you. Guest blogging in not only reputed blogs but also those which belong to your niche will always work. There is a small error I found in your content though, I hope you won’t mind “If you’re a writer then you need to writer” It should be “If you’re a writer then you need to write”


    1. Ramsay

      Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out.


  • Anonymous

    Why are you recommending Jeff Goins? Just to get a link in return?

    What does he offer on his blog? He calls it a writing blog yet many of his articles have nothing to do with writing.

    Mostly he babbles about his personal life and travel experiences.

    Perhaps bloggers should be more honest with their recommendations and not link to each other just to get the favor returned.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Anonymous.

      Why would I get a link in return?

      I’ve mention Jeff many times on my blog. I think he’s a really good writer and many bloggers would do well to follow his tips and free writing guide that he offers.

      I also really respect his honesty and openness.

      Guess we’ll have to disagree on this one but thanks for sharing.


  • Dewald

    Hi there. I am so glad to hear that you agree that guest posting will still work in 2015.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah it’s still huge.


      1. Dewald

        Thank you. Since I have started leaving comments on your site we have gained really valuable good quality back links.

        I just absolutely love this blog. I agree 100% that WordPress CMS with a fast responsive theme and good hosting is the way forward if you are planning a new blog that will succeed in 2015.

        CDN (Content delivery network) is also going to play a big role in speeding up your blog.

        I am a pretty good SEO strategist but I am definitely no writer. I have always sucked at writing articles, but if I had to write articles for blogs it would be about SEO.

        Keep up the good work!


  • Cathy Mayhue

    I beg to differ slightly, if you are a writer and just want to write then I feel blogger is a much better option than word-press because to make things work in word-press you need to be a little more technically aware to set up the entire stuff. Blogger is simple.

    Today with faster internet speeds, I wonder if you need to get yourself hosted on faster servers.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Cathy.

      Totally understand your point there. However, I just think the pros really outweigh the cons on that one, but only if the writer wants to get her or his writing in front of other people. If it’s just for a private practice space then Blogger is fine.

      Thanks for sharing.


  • Dewald

    I do not think that a .com domain will necessarily increase your blog’s ranking.

    Whats more important is what comes in front of the .com! If you can try use a keyword for your niche in your domain name.

    If you have the same keyword in your domain name, meta title, meta description, heading and content of your page then you are almost guaranteed to rank well.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Dewald.

      Good point but I have to politely disagree. In my experience if you have two websites, one with a .com and one with anything else, the .com always ranks higher (except in local or .edu .gov).


  • Darin Spears

    I most strongly agree with your prediction about Google+. At the start there was curiosity and they build up the curiosity well, reached a high, though never made a serious dent to the market share of leaders like Facebook and twitter and then started fizzling out gradually.

    I wondered why Google could not succeed despite having a virtually unchallenged stranglehold in the search market?Answer lies in the success of whatsapp. Google were trying to replicate and slightly better what FB was doing and creator of whatsapp innovated and created some thing unique and path-breaking. Ideally Google must have invented some thing whatsapp, since they were sitting pretty with lots of funds and best talent.


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting point there. I hadn’t even considered Whatsapp. Got me thinking…


  • Jason Smith

    Solid predictions. It would be interesting to see a follow-up to this next year.


  • Tim

    Couldn’t agree more with your point about WordPress being the place to start. I found the platform 4 years ago and can’t imagine ever creating a website any other way.


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