The term ‘blogger’ might feel a bit out of date in a sea of ‘grammers, podcasts and micro influencers. But, I assure you the format is alive and well. If anything, there is a current trend of grammers going back to focus on their blogs as algorithms become more sophisticated in a bid to regain control.

I recently had the honour of judging the Vuelio Best UK Blog Awards 2018. Alongside a blogger, industry expert, journalist and marketer, we worked out a few things that truly make some of these bloggers the best in the UK.

Visuals – Yes, content is king but increasingly it is the visuals that really help the blog stand out and capture the audience’s imagination. The blogs with professional imagery look great on Instagram, a platform that is fast evolving as its own micro-blogging channel, and serve to direct audiences back to the blog for the full post. Sites including In the Frow and Hand Luggage Only really grabbed our attention because of the quality and quantity of photography.

Authenticity – Ultimately, you need to remember the intention of a blog. The first blogs were set up as alternative to the big news sites. A blog is a view into someone’s private diary. It should express that individual’s beliefs and values. Being vulnerable, relatable and authentic is hugely important to the blogger’s band and their relationship with followers. In an industry rife with rumours about fake followers, trolling and ad disclosure, the best bloggers are open about practices and themselves.

Ethics – Linked to transparency, bloggers taking a stand on key issues affecting their industry such as throwaway fashion, veganism or flexible working, also stood out. Its 2018. Most readers are aware bloggers are not just there to wax lyrical but need to find streams of revenue to keep readers fed with content. However, those willing to take a hard stance on important issues gain brand credibility and increase their value with audiences.

Frequency – There was a bit of a debate on this one in the judging room. Those in the know – journalists and bloggers themselves – advocate for daily blog content to keep audiences engaged. But I have seen many bloggers focus on less posts, perhaps two per week, that are meatier and feature-led. It will be interesting to see how the landscape continues to evolve but rest assured regular content – at least once a week, if not daily – is critical in an increasingly competitive market.

So, that’s it – four steps to turn your blog from good to great! Massive congratulations to all of this year’s winners! You can see the full list here.