Designing (For) The Future- (Blogging) Trends We Need To Consider Now

designing future

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organised by CGTrader.

When someone suggested I should take part in the Designing For The Future Competition, I was rather sceptical about the idea. Me?! Pretending to be a design trend expert?! Naaah, that wouldn’t make any sense! Although I am genuinely passionate about both fashion and interior design, my attitude towards trends is more of ‘I observe, I don’t chase’ kind of thing.

Having said that, I am also a fairly creative individual, whose blog, after 2 completely uneventful years, has finally started growing. I am the one who watches it with excitement and works their butt off to make it happen; the one who makes themselves uncomfortable to reach for their dreams, every single day.

So, what if we, talking about Designing For The Future, talk about designing the future?Especially, our own, blogging future? That one I might know a thing or two about!

Yes, you heard that right, we need to design:- to fall in love, have a concept, get inspired… then, go creative, drive innovations and finally, deliver.

designing future

Here are my tips to help you design your blogging future:

  1. Find out who you are

There are over 150 million blogs out there these days- some of them are absolutely brilliant, most aren’t. What they lack is a personality of the human being behind them. Nowadays, when everything around is so artificial, it’s not about the money anymore, the authenticity is what we crave more than ever.

My genuine advice before you start a blog (or if you want to grow the one you already have) is: find  out who you are and why you are unique. Take a week or two and focus on yourself and yourself only. Get a notebook and write everything down, answer all the questions, no matter how small and unimportant they seem. What are you passionate about? What are your dreams? Your house goals? Your beloved song? Your favourite pizza topping? Write down everything that makes you you. Take your time, you will know then you’re done.

Tip: I find the ’52 lists…’ books super helpful, they truly gave me an insight on my own personality, you may want to try them as well!

designing future

  1. Remember the purpose of your blog

Why do you want to blog in first place? What do you love about it? What is the message you’d like to share? Do your posts comply with that message? What is your aesthetic? What colours and fonts do you like? What photo filters will you incorporate to stay consistent? Think about every single detail of your blog which will let your personality shine through and create an extraordinary experience for your audience. And again, don’t rush, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Tip: Each time before posting ask yourself whether your post: a) adds value b) complies with your message c) is aesthetically pleasing d) is authentic e) shows your personality f) represents your brand. If there are more ‘nos’ than ‘yeses’, you need to change something!

  1. Stay inspired

Blogging is lots of fun for most of the time but it is also a lot of hard work. There will be days when you won’t even want to get out of bed, feeling sad, stressed and overwhelmed, it’s perfectly normal when you have so much on your shoulders. It’s super easy to give up, that’s why you need to create yourself an environment which will help you stay inspired. Make a list of your favourite blogs, interviews with inspiring people, favourite TED talks, songs that make you dance, favourite quotes, articles and art pieces, collect everything in one folder on your computer so that you can always reach out to it when you need it the most.

Tip: A great way to help you stay inspired is creating mood boards. I’m sure you already know how much fun Pinterest is, however what I like the most is creating the actual thing using notebook and inspiring quotes and pictures from magazines.

designing future

  1. Watch your idols

Who are the blogging girls you look up to the most? What are the brands you would love to collaborate with? What do you love about them? How do you feel visiting them online? Do your audience feel the same visiting you? If not, why? What is missing? How can you create it? What do you need help with? Who could help you with that? Never forget to observe carefully, you will learn a lot this way! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most bloggers are wonderful people, happy to share tips and hacks. Respect everyone, no matter which stage of the blogging journey each of you is, in such a fast-paced world things may change faster than you expect and you never know who you’ll work with in the future!

Tip: You may want to have a separate Instagram/Twitter account to follow people you look up to so it doesn’t get mixed with your friends’ feed and you won’t miss anything important.

  1. Have a plan

A real, down-to-earth plan. What will you do over the next 6 months to make your dreams and blogging goals come true? Write it down, no matter how big or small these steps are. Things like ‘moving from Blogger to WordPress’, ‘updating profile picture on social media’ or ‘preparing media kit’ are perfect examples. If a step takes more than one day to complete, divide it into a few mini steps (e.g. for updating your picture they could be: finding a photographer, deciding on location, having the shoot, postproduction, etc.). Set the date for completing each step.

Tip: I like to send a copy of my plan to FutureMe- it’s a great reward to realise how much you’ve actually accomplished in 12, 6 or even 3 months!

  1. Observe trends

designing future

In any business profession, you definitely need to keep up with the latest marketing trends to be able to attract your audience and blogging is no different. The main thing these days is getting visual so your main social channels should be Instagram and YouTube- people tend to interact more with pictures and videos (than, for example, text) so make sure to update those two regularly. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t need that massive following to be successful in the online world anymore, what you’ll need instead is engagement. I’m really happy about this tendency as it’s a nice, long, middle finger shown to all those spam companies offering you followers to buy- sorry guys, no longer the case! Another tip I have for you is, use automated tools wisely. They are surely very helpful when it comes to posting on social media on a regular basis but you need to remember your audience are real people and they want you to be a real person, too to interact with them- nothing puts me off as much as just another automated message on Twitter! If you genuinely want to tell me something, take your time to make it personal! Make me care! And realise that even the best automated tools can’t do that for you.

Tip: If you have some spare pennies to spend, hire a VA to help you with your day to day tasks.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you’ll enjoy designing your blogging future even more- stay authentic, work hard and have lots of fun along the way! x

  • First of all I love your fringe looks super cute and verrrrry healthy!:)
    Secondly, love love your tips – I feel blogging these days is turning more into business and all #ad that sometimes I miss that genuine blogging, however thanks to people like you blogging is still fun !!xx

    http://www.hairwonderfulday.com

    • Aw, you’re too sweet! The fringe took 6 weeks and two hairdresser (one to f it up to the point I wasn’t leaving the house and one to save what was left lol) to look like this so I can appreciate it and I hope the rest of my hair grows fast after a really bad haircut. I completely agree with you on the ad tag lovely and likewise, what initially made me follow your blog and social media was the fact that you’ve always been yourself from your pictures through natural looks to honest words on your blog… so you definitely don’t need any of my tips! Xx

  • Such a great post for the bloggers out there who genuinely feel passionate about their creations and providing value to their subscribers. Times are changing and bloggers need to change with the times to stay relevant to keep readers happy while staying true to their vision. Great points indeed.

  • Catvills

    Thanks for these tips. I am sure the newbie bloggers (or even the seasoned ones) will learn a trick or two from this article. It is important that we never lose focus on the reason we started blogging anyway, and to publish well thought of articles that appeal to our target audience.

  • Jen S

    These are all great tips! Honestly, my biggest issue is time management. Some weeks I’m super on top of my blog, other weeks, I forget about it altogether.

    • I hear you Jen, but isn’t that just life? 🙂 I bet you have a lot on your shoulders and the day is usually much shorter than we’d like it to be so it’s perfectly normal not to be perfect at everything all the time. I wish I could give you some tips on how to manage your time better but I am totally unorganised myself, no matter how many notebooks I buy or how many youtube videos on ‘how to be organised’ I watch, there will still be days when I just want to stay in my pjs, order junk food and do something completely useless, not thinking about what’s going on online Xx

  • Inbar Shahak

    it was a great list of to do things while planing your new business blog, so true and down to earth, loved it, shared on pinterest

  • Emily Bendler

    These are great tips. Being your authentic self is so important.

  • BestiesNotepad

    For a new blogger like us, this is a great great read..thanks for sharing!
    I am definitely creating my mood board now 🙂

  • Amazing Article! Very Inspiring and true! I have been away for a little while, busy with holidays and other things and also had some time to think about how I would like to do stuff different. Sometimes you just need that moment away. In my case it gave me lots of new inspiration and plans.
    Love your photo and your Insta look by the way 🙂

    Ok thats it for now, will check the rest of your stories I missed lately.

    X Jo

    • Hey Jo, happy to hear from you!!! Thanks for all the love and kindness <3 Trying to experiment with editing programs a bit, which is a lot of fun 🙂

      I've noticed you've been a bit quiet which made me think you must have been busy as hell with your travels- can't wait to read all about it! And I definitely hear you, you need to focus on living your life to show a bit of it online, not the other way round- we all need these little breaks to recharge our batteries, don't we! Hope your holidays have been amazing, looking forward to seeing all those new ideas of yours Xx

  • This is so beautifully written. I have thought about this more and more. Can you really still grow with blogger though? That is a hard switch to make esp if you are established. ~ http://viabella-thebeautifullife.blogspot.com/

    • Thank you! You can grow with blogger to some extend for sure but it doesn’t give you as many options as blogger. The entire switch is a pain in the arse indeed but trust me it is sooooo worth it! Every single person will confirm this, WP is just a different level! It takes a while to fix all the slips related to the switch and WP may take a moment to get used to as it’s very different from blogger but once you’re done everything is so much easier and less time consuming. Really, I can’t recommend it enough! Plus in many cases in order to grow you are required to have your own domain, and ‘blogspot’ doesn’t look as professional. I mean you know best what you want to achieve and what your blogging goals are,if you’re happy with things as they are that’s great but if you want to take your blog to the next level, moving it to WP should definitely be the first thing to consider. Hope this makes sense! Xx

  • yukti agrawal

    Wondeful tips and ideas for designing the blog. Getting ideas from our idols is great. Planning and inspiration is always effective in blogging.

  • Ania Ewelina

    This is such a good read. I once read somewhere that you should write like you speak, that’s how you can find your voice. I’ve always hated writing but after reading that found it a lot easier because it’s who I am and how I say things. Love your tip about a separate IG account too.

  • Divyanka Krsna

    Thank you for writing such an amazing article. I kept on checking all the points in me as a blogger. I think, keeping oneself inspired and create a different market space of the blog is very essential for making the blog stand out the crowd.

  • Crystal Coffee D

    Great thoughts – I so agree with you! My niche is a very small one and I have to live by a lot what you said and stay true to who I am and be patient. I’ve also blogged for two years. Best of luck to you!

  • Enanny Link

    Thank you very inspiring ❤ I needed this

  • Kentaro Tanaka

    Definitely an interesting post to read for the future of blogging. Will take these tips into consideration.

  • Razena Schroeder

    I love this post because it is such a great reminder and a roadmap of what to do keep a blog on a track. One of the things I do ever so often when I stop feeling inspired or when I feel overwhelmed with all the things I haven’t done, is to remind myself why I started the blog in the first place.

  • Hal Yusuf

    very deep post – i think it will help a lot of people who debate and analyse too much over what to do – and i think this post will guide people well step by step

  • Helen Clark

    I love all of these tips. I’ve been feeling a bit lost on my blogging journey so reading this has been perfect timing for me. I’ll definitely be sitting and working my way through these tonight.

    • Happy to hear you found it useful Helen 🙂 Best of luck! x

  • Made Adayasa

    A valuable post . Thank you for sharing your great tips . I’m just starting to write few month ago and your post will help me much to improve my blogging skill.

  • Elise Adkins

    I love these tips and i totally agree about craving authenticity! Thank you!

  • christopher mitchell

    This is nicely put together, well done. I’ve got to say that the point you bring up that makes the most sense to me is that readers need to see authenticity in their blogger of choice. As a blogger, I often feel so much pressure to just produce generic lists etc. to get traffic, but I often forget what you remember here – real readers want read bloggers. Thanks for putting this together!

  • I think that finding out who you are is so important if you want to be noticed in the sea of other bloggers out there. It can be so easy to blend into the crowd but tapping into what makes you… well you can allow you to stumble out the fog and get the recognition that you deserve. That is definitely great advice for bloggers. By the way hope you feel better and look forward to seeing you soon. Text you in a bit my lovely xx

  • Lovely and interesting post. Thanks for sharing

  • Alison Rost

    Mal, I just love this post. For me lately, it’s been hard to stay inspired. For the first four years of blogging, it was just me, something delicious, my laptop, and camera. Once I decided to start marketing it, suddenly I didn’t have as much time to do the things that inspire me. Reading, listening to podcasts, looking through cooking magazines .. those kinds of things. I need to set aside time to do them because I always feel a lot better after. x

    • Hi Alison, I definitely hear what you mean as there are so many ‘side effects’ of blogging as a pro to take care about. Still, looking at your blog one wouldn’t think for a second that you don’t do that many things that inspire you as it is always bustling with inspiration! x

  • Vladvaida.com

    Being yourself and observing the trends are 2 tricky ones — the trick is that you need to be able to attach yourself emotionally to a trend to be able to talk about it naturally!

  • Miglė Helmaitė

    Love these tips, thanks for sharing your minds!

  • Nay Mattis

    Love your tips! At the moment I’m just enjoying blogging but I know I need to think about where I want it to go? If anywhere!

  • carla

    These are such great tips. Those list books look super handy!

    Carla x

  • Rambles and Runaways

    Great post! Pinning this to reread over and over

  • Erin Thornton

    Great insights and I love the tips to think about before beginning a post!

  • Angela Chavez

    This is such a good read! I actually stopped blogging for the very reasons you mentioned here and just started up again after coming up with a legitimate business plan! Thank you for your insight!

    • That’s great to hear! I hope you’ll get all the joy of blogging back! x

  • dominika

    These are very helpful tips. I wish you success in your designing competition.

  • Aditya Tiwari

    Just like you, I have created my book to what should be posted on blogs. And I do this every month. I got distracted with other sections of my blog but this time I am focused. Watch your Idols is something I don’t do as being new and unqiue way of topic is the only way I want to get traffic.

    • I can understand that, do whatever works for you, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ in here 😉 x

  • Ashutosh Singh

    Very nice article and an important things which I most like is a complete list of questions like why do you want to join blogging journey. The biggest question for a blogger and who will answer them they will must success.
    Thanks you.

  • I agree with all the tips shared here. Basically getting to know what your craft and knowing with will ignite your intended audience is the key to success.

  • Love the tips! I’ve never though of actually just writing down a plan! Let’s see how it goes 😀

    Cátia

  • Thanks so much for all the kindness! x

  • great tips you had there! I had a different lists made for this contest but yours is a great one too! 😉 Encouraging post, I do hope you continue posting more.:)

  • yogesh patel

    You are the first person inspiration to write a blog… its islander2017 from spin.. One of person nearby me earns from you tube
    and i was never believe but now i realized the you tube and blog … i am going to start it .. keep inspire people

    • Hi there, nice to hear from you, I hope the money is not your only reason behind it! Anyway, best of luck! 🙂