What blogging will be like in 2020

In the not so distant future, we may receive blog posts via text message and read them on the side of a building with Google Glass.


If you want to succeed in the present, you must anticipate the future.

Why?

Because you need to sniff out trends to ride them. If you only act on what is already happening, you’ll get sidetracked to second, third or, even worse, fourth place. It’s like driving a Ferrari with two feet slammed on the brakes. Screeeech!

How can one try to predict how content marketing or blog writing will look in the future? We have to remember the fundamental laws:

  • We’re lazy. We want maximum results with minimal effort.
  • Content in the future will be based on this principle: Consume the maximum amount of content with minimal effort, whatever, whenever and wherever we want.

The following predictions are my opinion, so if you’re a time traveler from the future, don’t eliminate me with your ray gun because they don’t all come true in 2020, OK?

Here are six possible futures for blog posts:

1. High- and low-end blogging styles

The normal 500-1,000 word blog posts will become oblivious because content will serve one of the two emerging reader camps:

  • Snippet readers: According to FastCompany, Facebook updates make for the most memorable writing. It’s strange, but it makes sense. With the ever-increasing battle for attention, people crave minimalistic, write-it-like-you-say-it content-mini blog posts we can consume like fast food. They’re not rich in nutrition, but they give you the essentials.
  • Long-form essay readers: On the other side, we’ll see longer articles (1,000-7,000-plus words). These will be evergreen, in-depth articles (almost mini ebooks) that require more attention but reward you with more valuable information. They can be offered for a minimal fee, let’s say $0.99 or $2 (think Kindle single), or will be infrequently published in longer time intervals.

2. Mobile-optimized content

I’m not talking about responsive design and bigger fonts. I mean writing specifically with the mobile person in mind.

For example, cell phone novels are all the rage in Japan. They are romance and paranormal stories in messaging style, created in a way that makes them readable on the go.

Smirk all you want, but they sell up to 400,000 units per digi-novel. Even if you don’t plan on writing e-novels, the concept offers inspiration for possible blogging ideas:

  • There is only one thought per paragraph.
  • There is a lot more white space to allow eyes to breathe.
  • There is a simpler structure and bite-sized chapters so people can read between breaks, during the commute or while waiting.

America’s bestselling fiction author, James Patterson, already implements this style. Maybe we should, too.

3. Real-time blogging

This is the old model: Write a blog post, publish it, share it on social media and wait for comments. It’s clumsy and time-consuming.

In the future, live blogging could be the alternative.

A content creator could real-time blog, say, every Monday and Thursday. At a specific time, people could show up online and interact with the creator.

Baratunde Thurston did something like this with his last book. Fans could go online and see the words on the screen as he was writing.

4. Co-created content

Like the example above, the idea of the author writing to his audience will be outdated. In the future, blogging will be more of a dialogue.

Mark Schaefer has often said the comments on {grow} are better than the original posts. In the future, comments can be the post. The author could live-write a killer post and the audience could participate and share information and expertise directly into it in real time. Think of it as valuable commenting embedded live into a post.

5. True global blogging

Most native English speakers don’t understand how few people in the world actually speak and understand English.

I live in the so-called European startup hub, Berlin, and even here most people can’t understand English beyond a high school level.

The advancement of online translation will change that. Every person without English skills will be able to instantly and perfectly translate your post into his or her native tongue. And I mean perfectly—not in an awkward, Google translate style.

Forget about only Europeans and North Americans commenting on your blog. Your next comment could come from a Nepalese village girl that digs your article on advanced social media metrics.

6. Independent blog screens

In a few years, we will look back and laugh at our midget screens. In 2020, only savages will use static screens. Blog posts and digital content won’t be on your portable screen, but on your surroundings.

How?

Your microchip-infused glasses (like Google Glass) and/or contact lenses will project the information straight onto your environment. Walls, streets, storefronts, heck, even your car could be a background for your digitally-projected content. Information will be screen free.

Do you see where all this is going?

In a few years the blog post you know and love will no longer exist.

Just as diary-like journaling turned into blogging, blogging will turn into a different content style that will fit our ever-changing attention spans and habits.

Forget how people do content marketing now, and focus on how they will do it in the future.

Mars Dorian is a creative marketer with a moon-melting passion for human potential and technology. Follow his adventures at www.marsdorian.com. A version of this article originally appeared on Mark Schaefer’s blog, {grow}.

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