A Research-Driven Look at How to Blog Successfully
How’s your blog doing? Whether you’re a newcomer or an old hat, we found some interesting statistics from Orbit Media’s 2018 recap survey of blogging statistics and trends. They surveyed more than 1,000 bloggers to find out what was trending over the last year. We decided to analyze these results to figure out how to apply recent blogging trends to get maximum results. Read on to discover what we learned from the survey:
Consistency is Key.
Mark Schaefer put it best: “Consistency is more important than genius. Most people fail because they quit too soon.” The research supports this: Bloggers who publish weekly or more are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to report strong results than bloggers who publish monthly or less. (Orbit)
Even though posting more often generates stronger results, the survey revealed that bloggers are actually writing less frequently than they once were, instead opting for longer, more thoroughly-researched posts. The average blog post length has increased 42 percent over the last five years, now reaching 1,151 words and requiring about three-and-a-half hours to write. (Orbit) Still, only one in five bloggers write that much, and those are the writers who are seeing the strongest results.
In order to write these massively long posts, more writers are working with editors; in fact, the percentage of bloggers who work with editors doubled from 12 to 24 percent from 2014 to 2018. (Orbit) Thirty-eight percent of writers are working with more than one editor and have reported strong results. Very few writers conduct their own research, but those that do see huge results.
Our takeaway from these stats? It may be a good idea to outsource blogging for your business (by the way, it’s one of our services!) or hire more than one writer to crank out posts that are well-researched and lengthier at a more frequent rate.
SEO Requires Strategy.
Another reason lengthy posts are beneficial? They let Google know that you’re an expert on what you’re writing about, and that, in turn, bumps your SEO ranking. Writers are caring more and more about SEO; Orbit’s survey reported that more bloggers are using Analytics more consistently, and a third of bloggers always measure results. It’s worth looking into: the survey also reported that bloggers who always measure their analytics are twice as likely to report strong results.
An easy way to continue positioning yourself as an expert is to repurpose evergreen posts. A third of bloggers were found to have gone back to update old articles to rank higher on Google. (Orbit)
Cathy McPhillips of Content Marketing Insitute told Orbit, “We repurpose old top-performing posts at CMI. If we have a post from 2013 that is still generating strong numbers, not only is it good for SEO to update and re-publish, but it’s also a way to make sure we’re providing accurate information to our readers. Our Analytics show that updated posts have the same or stronger metrics than our newer content. We’re always checking analytics to see trends by day, author, and topic so we can continue to improve.”
Brian Dean of Backlinko told Orbit Media frankly: “If your changes are significant enough you can republish your content as a brand new post (I call this ‘The Content Relaunch’). Which is about 100 times easier than cranking out an entirely new post.”
Since 2014, the popularity of SEO has increased by 34 percent. (Orbit) Which means that if you haven’t hopped on board yet, you should. If your business doesn’t have a dedicated SEO strategist, it’s worth outsourcing to generate results.
You May Have to Pay to Play.
The percentage of bloggers who pay for traffic has increased by 322 percent since 2014, and those bloggers that are using paid promotion are 67 percent more likely to report strong results. (Orbit)
Digital ads can drive traffic to your website, but it’s important to remain targeted and strategic about ad placement. For instance, you may want to run a full campaign for industry websites, or you may want to put a few dollars behind a Facebook ad. It’s also important to consider who will be seeing the ads and where you want them to go: for instance, if you’re planning a campaign around an event, you should create a landing page specifically for the occasion and drive traffic there. If you want to increase traffic to your blog, you need to feature a hook that makes readers want to click through to continue reading. If this sounds like a lot to take in, that’s what agencies are for. Check out our digital services to see how TRIO can help you see an increase in traffic.
Build a Consistent Social Following.
The power of social media is real. Close to 100 percent of bloggers promote their content on social media. (Orbit) When you combine that with paid ads, you can see the importance of building up your social media base. An easy way to gain followers? Influencers. Orbit reported that bloggers who engage in influencer outreach are 87 percent more likely to report strong results. Social media is similar to blogging in that it begins with content and continues with consistency. Your content must first be engaging to followers, and you must post consistently to keep followers’ attention. Sound like a full-time job? For many, it is. For you, it doesn’t have to be. Check out our personalized social media services to make it easier.
Just Say Yes.
Shonda Rhimes was on to something when she wrote in Year of Yes, “You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new.” This sentiment is applicable to many facets of life and work, but especially to blogging: according to the survey, bloggers who guest post a lot are the most likely to report strong results, but only seven percent publish on external sites most of the time. By guest posting on other sites, not only do you build backlinks, but you also gain followers and therefore, more consistent traffic. The same sentiment applies to speaking on panels and other IRL activities: getting your name out there and establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field will only increase traffic and engagement.
In the End, It’s All About the Content.
Let’s face it: you can try every method out there to get traffic, but if your content isn’t solid, people aren’t going to stick around. It turns out readers love lists and images, and the past few years have seen just over half of bloggers including multiple images and lists in some way. (Orbit) Sean Callahan of LinkedIn commented on this data: “I’m intrigued by the enduring power of lists. You can see that the inclusion of lists has surged from 31 to 49 percent, even though many blogging experts scoff at listicles. But readers love lists — they’ve always loved lists. Readers want useful, memorable information that makes them more effective at their jobs or gives them a better understanding of trends. And lists — for better or for worse — accomplish those two tasks extremely well.”
It’s also unsurprising that video continues to rise in popularities. In 2018, one in five bloggers embedded video into their blog content, and four percent added audio. Bloggers who did add video and audio content were more likely to report strong results; in fact, 45 percent of bloggers that included audio content, like podcasting, reported strong results. (Orbit)
Are you using dynamic content and original research to keep your blog fresh and engaging? We know that content is king and can do wonders for your business, but how many businesses are truly taking advantage of it? Let us guide you on how to create a comprehensive marketing plan based on your digital footprint. Hit us up to learn more.
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