New Research: 3rd Annual Survey of 1000+ Bloggers (time, length and tactics)

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Andy Crestodina
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UPDATE: This research project has been updated for 2017, with new data and analysis.

Show me the latest blogger trends >

 


Every year, we ask 1000+ bloggers how they approach the job of creating content. The questions are simple, but the answers tell the story about a changing industry. The business of content is evolving.

The effort we put into our content is changing, and so is the content we create. The pace of that change is accelerating. The purpose of this research is to track those changes.

But first, THANK YOU to all of the 1055 bloggers who completed the survey, and to the experts who added their insights below. This would have been an impossible task without you.

Let’s get to the insights. We’ll break it down into five areas:

  1. Trends in the time and effort that goes into blogging
  2. Trends in the length and format of blog posts
  3. Trends in frequency, how often we’re blogging
  4. Trends in content promotion
  5. Trends in measurement

#1. Bloggers are putting more time and effort into each post

In 2014 we learned that the average blog post took 2.5 hours to create. There was only a small uptick in that number last year. But in 2016, we see a jump. Here’s what we found when we asked the question:

How long does it take to write a blog post?

how-long-does-it-take-to-write-a-blog

Key findings:
  • The average blog post takes 3 hours 16 minutes to write. That’s a 26% increase from last year.
  • Twice as many bloggers are now spending 6+ hours on their average post.
  • Last year, half of all bloggers spent less than two hours on a typical post. This year it’s down to one third.

Here’s the average length of time spent on a typical post over the last three years:

Average Time Spent

 

Analysis: Do bloggers who spend more time get better results?

This year’s survey asked bloggers to report the results of their blogging efforts on a scale: The blog delivers strong results, some results, disappointing results and “I don’t know.” This allowed us to find relationships between blogging trends and results.

Here’s the relationship between time spent per article and self-reported “strong results.”

  • 33% of bloggers who spend 6+ hours per post report “strong results”
  • Only 23% of bloggers who spend less than 6 hours per post report “strong results”

This is evidence that the extra effort is worth it.


Expert insight: Ann Handley, MarketingProfs

Andy asked me for a comment about this, and my comment is less of a comment than it is a HALLELUJAH and hearty slaps of HIGH-FIVES! In FULL-ON SHOUTY CAPS!

Marketing’s compass arrow has been pointing relentlessly toward quality content for quite a while now. And my interpretation of this data is that content creators have finally bought some decent hiking boots, layered up, and charged down the path.

The data points that I consider most gratifying are three: Time spent writing and length of post (both of which are up); and frequency of publishing (which is down).

My rallying cry for the past few years has been that we don’t need more content, we need better content. These numbers tell me that I haven’t been wandering around in the wilderness alone, but that there’s a band of others who thankfully share this mindset!


Do bloggers use editors?

Here we find more evidence that we are putting more effort into our content. Blogging may have started as an informal way to write for the web – and we saw that in early data – but bloggers are getting serious. More of us are working with editors.

Q5

Key findings:
  • About 1 in 4 bloggers have a formal process for editing.
  • The percentage of bloggers who have multiple editors in their content workflow has doubled in the last year.
  • In the past, we found that most bloggers edited their own work. Now that number has dipped below 50%. Most bloggers get a second set of eyes on a typical post.
Analysis: Do bloggers who use editors get better results?

We looked for a connection between the use of editors and blogging outcomes. There is a relationship.

  • 31% of bloggers with a formal process involving one or more editors reported “strong results”
  • Only 23% of bloggers with no editors or an informal editing process reported “strong results”

Expert Insight: Sonia Simone, Rainmaker Digital & Copyblogger

“As content marketing continues to ‘grow up’ and to become both more strategic and more professional, it just makes sense to have an editor on the team if you have the budget. Our full-time Editor-in-Chief, Stefanie Flaxman, makes sure that our content is well-written and that the hyphens are where they’re supposed to be.

She’s also the one who makes sure the publication schedule runs smoothly. No job implies ‘cat herder’ quite like a writing editor — make sure the person you bring on has the temperament and the tools to do it well.”


#2. Content is getting longer and more visual

Our second major finding is in the content itself. All that extra time we’re putting into our content translates into longer, more media rich content. This might be the biggest finding of the survey.

Blog posts are getting longer. Much longer. Here’s what we learned when we asked:

How long is a typical blog post?

Length of Typical Post

Key findings:
  • The length of the average blog post is up 19%…about 1050 words
  • Shorties are on the decline: the percentage of posts that are 500 words or less is half what is was two years ago.
  • Big posts are on the rise: the percentage of posts that are 2000+ words long has doubled every year.

[Tweet “The length of the average blog post is up 19% – @crestodina #blogger #research”]

Analysis: Do bloggers who write longer posts get better results?

Here we find a direct correlation between length of post and self-reported “strong results.” Those bloggers who write very short articles were especially unlikely to meet their own expectations.

Percent of Bloggers reported strong results

 


Expert Insight: Joanna Wiebe, Copy Hackers

“What concerns me about this data is how some people will take it. Length is not the point. But length can be an indication of quality – for example, Brian Dean’s ‘skyscraper’ posts are often very long, and there length happens to match quality. But others try to fill their blog with ‘long posts’ like roundup posts… which nobody cares to read and which only get shared by a handful of the folks included in the roundup. Importantly, the trend is not just toward longer content but more satisfying, less bubble-gummy posts.

Not only are top bloggers publishing meatier posts but they’re also publishing less frequently. (Unbounce recently took a li’l break from blogging.) Blogs that try to maintain aggressive publishing schedules while also pushing for meatier, more “epic” content are only going to fatigue their writers.

We’ve pulled away from a regular publishing schedule due to fatigue; now we publish only when there’s something really interesting worth writing about in detail and a clear connection between that content and a campaign we’re running. Because content can convert, so we like to make it do so.”

[Tweet “Top bloggers are publishing meatier posts, less frequently – @copyhackers #blogger #research”]


What media are bloggers including in their content?

Beyond words, the use of visuals and formatting are on the rise. When asked what goes into our content, we find all kinds of things in the mix, and an uptick in the use of visual content over the last few years.

Q11

 

Key findings:
  • Multiple images: The majority of bloggers are adding more than one image in a typical post
  • Video rising, audio is flat: 15% of bloggers are using video
  • Lists: Almost half of of bloggers are adding lists in some form to their posts

Bloggers who selected “other” were asked to specify. Responses included Slideshare, quotes from experts (one of my favorite additions), calls to action, stories, questions, links (another good one), statistics, recipes and swear words.

Analysis: Do bloggers who add more visual content get better results?

Which types of media and formatting correlate with results? Here are the percentage of bloggers who add each type of media and also self-reported “strong results.”

includes

We sorted this list by effectiveness, which puts video at the top of the list. Video is the most time consuming item on the list. So here again, there’s a relationship between investment and returns.

Note: We only found 21 bloggers who put audio content into a typical post. Of those, seven reported strong results. We are looking at a very small dataset here.


Expert Insight: Jay Baer, Convince and Convert

“I have two conclusions from this year’s data. First, it does appear as if the standard ‘blog post’ is more in-depth, infrequent, and multi-media than ever.

On the surface, that seems like good news. But if you dig deeper you find that all of this ‘growth’ in comprehensive posts is coming in the form of lists. This is disheartening and will ultimately be counter-productive. If everyone’s blog post is in list format, how likely is it for yours to truly stand out and succeed? Here’s 13 reasons why that’s unlikely to happen…


#3. Blogging frequency dips, as fewer bloggers publish daily.

The third finding is that bloggers are publishing less often. The churn of the content wheel is slowing. This is how we answered the question:

How frequently are bloggers publishing?

Q4

 

Changes in blogging frequency from 2015 to 2016

changes in blogging frequency

Key findings:
  • Daily is down: The percentage of visitors who are blogging daily is down by more than 50%.
  • Weekly is up: Weekly is now the most common answer to the question of frequency.
  • Monthly is up a lot: We found a 38% rise in the percentage of bloggers who publish monthly.

When plotted on a curve of bloggers who publish regularly, you can see the shift to the right, toward lower frequency:

frequency line chart

Analysis: Do bloggers who publish less frequently get better results?

As the investment of time and energy in each post goes up, frequency is edging down. Not surprising since resources are finite.

In the quality versus quantity debate, quality is winning as the more popular strategy.

But does less frequent mean better results? No.

The survey finds the opposite to be true. Bloggers who report publishing more often are more likely to report “strong results” straight down the line. I was surprised by this. Take a look at the data:

strong results - frequency

Bloggers with higher-frequency content programs are probably doing other things well, including distribution, promotion and measurement.

Note: the amount of data at the low end of this range is small. Only 18 bloggers reported “daily” and only 17 reported “more than once per day.”


Expert Insight: Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

“We’ve seen the trend toward less digital content for the past few years…and it looks like this research shows exactly that. Bloggers are moving from daily and multi-week to weekly and monthly. Although it’s hard to tell, I’m hopeful that these bloggers are focusing on less ‘truly exceptional’ pieces of content instead of many ‘good pieces.

Obviously, if you can create more ‘truly exceptional’ pieces of content, then that’s wonderful, but most brands aren’t willing to make the investment for that to be possible.”

[Tweet “Bloggers are moving from daily and multi-week to weekly and monthly.- @joepulizzi #blogger #research”]


#4. Content promotion: Email and paid are up. SEO is flat.

If half the job is content, the other half is marketing. So how are bloggers marketing and measuring their content? The third major dataset in the survey is content promotion and analytics. Here’s what we found after three years of asking the question:

How are bloggers driving traffic to their posts?

Q8

Key findings:
  • Social is critical: Virtually all bloggers (more than 95%) are promoting their blog posts on social media.
  • Most bloggers are SEO-savvy: More than half of respondents (57%) are using search engine optimization to promote their content. But this number is mostly flat.
  • Search-savvy bloggers are writing longer: Bloggers who spend 6+ hours on a blog post are 64% more likely to be using SEO to promote their content
  • Email is becoming more important: We see a 60% increase in number of bloggers using email over the last two years. The majority of surveyed bloggers are now using email to promote their content.
  • More bloggers are buying traffic: Although only 14% of bloggers are paying for visitors, this number is up more than 3x over the last two years.

Some content promotion tactics are up. Others are flat. Nothing is down. Looks like bloggers are focused on traffic more than before.

Promoting on social media is easy. It’s as simple as clicking a button, so of course it’s ubiquitous. But the other promotion channels show big distinctions.

  • The use of search optimization is flat. It seems there are two kinds of bloggers: those that use SEO and those that do not.
  • Most bloggers are now using email marketing.
  • Collaboration is on the rise, as more bloggers seek to borrow the audience of influencers.
  • Paid is up. Considering the rising revenues at Facebook and Google, combined with the continuing trend in native ads, this isn’t surprising.
Analysis: Bloggers who use which promotion channels are getting the best results?

Let’s look at which promotion channels align with bloggers’ self-reporting of “strong results,” social media, search optimization, email marketing, influencer marketing or paid advertising.

 

strong results - promotion channel

This chart shows an exact inverse of the tactics that are most popular. Bloggers who use the least popular promotion tactics are the most likely to report strong results. Perhaps they find less competition there. Or maybe it’s just that easier tactics are more popular, but rarely more effective.


Expert Insight: Jayson DeMers, AudienceBloom

“Content marketing is in its prime, more popular than ever before. This is a good thing for content consumers, because it means brands are more focused on creating quality content than ever before.

But brands are finding themselves in the midst of a sea of content all competing for end users’ attention. Even the best content can have difficulty rising above the noise if it doesn’t have sufficient promotion to boost its visibility. Of course, the better the content, the less promotion it tends to need to rise above the noise, so don’t sacrifice quality content in exchange for a bigger promotional budget. They depend on each other.”


#5. Bloggers are slowly embracing analytics more

Really there are three parts to the job: creating content, promoting content and then measuring results. So to see how many of us are following through, we ask this question:

How often do you check your analytics?

Q9

Key findings:
  • Analytics isn’t fully embraced yet: Nearly 7 in 10 bloggers don’t always check content performance.
  • More bloggers are data-driven: A greater percentage of us are checking results every time. Over the last three years, there’s an 18% increase in bloggers who “always” check Analytics.
  • Most bloggers do check Analytics: 56% of respondents “usually” or “always” check the results of a given post. That number hasn’t changed much over the last few years.
  • Some bloggers don’t seem to care: 1 in 5 bloggers don’t even have access to Analytics or hardly ever look at results.
Analysis: Do bloggers who use Analytics get better results?
  • 30% of bloggers who regularly check Analytics (usually or always) report “strong results” from their blog.
  • Only 18% of bloggers who don’t regularly check Analytics (rarely, occasionally, never or “don’t have access”) report “strong results” from their blog.

This makes sense. If you’re not measuring results, you are unlikely to report strong results. Here is the breakdown of bloggers who report “strong results” based on frequency of checking Analytics

[Tweet “If you’re not measuring results, you are unlikely to report strong results. – @crestodina #blogger #research”]

strong results - analytics

 

Bloggers who are consistent about measurement report better results. But bloggers have a long way to go. Analytics is one of the major differentiators.


Expert Insight: Gini Dietrich, Spinsucks.com

I’m a baker. I have a sourdough bread starter that I began growing nearly two years ago. His name is Horace. I feed him weekly and everyone in my house knows Horace’s growth is sacred. Because of Horace, I can sometimes wing bread baking because he makes up for the lack of my ability to accurately measure things (I don’t really love leveling my measuring cups with a knife because I’m kind of lazy). But there are often recipes where Horace isn’t useful so I have to follow a recipe exactly. That’s the thing with baking: You can’t really wing it because it’s nearly an exact science.

That’s how I feel about blogging. You can’t wing it without analytics to measure your efforts. Sure, you can get by and probably even have some success without a content starter like Horace (though you might name yours something else), but to actually generate revenue from your efforts, analytics will guide those efforts.

The good news is that there is an increase in bloggers who always check their analytics, but nearly 70 percent don’t always check their data. This is akin to throwing together some yeast, flour, and water, mixing it all together, throwing it in a pan, and baking it…in the hopes that it becomes Parker House Rolls from The Little Nell in Aspen (trust me, they are divine).

Get into your Analytics! Get in the habit of checking them every time you publish a new blog post. I promise, if you do, things will look significantly different a year from now.


Final analysis

The experts have been telling us all along: focus on quality, promotion and measurement. And we finally seem to be listening. Quality beats quantity. Grow your email list, check your Analytics and promote your content on several channels. We are going in the right direction.

Here’s how bloggers break down:

  • The average blogger…
    spends 1-3 hours writing 500-1000 words weekly and usually checks Analytics.
  • The average blogger with “strong results”…
    spends 2-3 hours writing 500-1500 words several times per week and always checks Analytics.

Are bloggers getting results?

Let’s end with a pie chart. We haven’t used one of those yet. How are we doing? Are we getting results? What percentage of bloggers are getting results?

which applies to your blog_

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Comments (54)
  • Awesome stuff Andy! I’m glad to see that quality is trumping quantity.

  • This is such an insightful post, and in my mind, the key theme has to do with investment. The more people are investing in their content – whether that’s through increased length, addition of video, or attention to analytics – the more value they are getting from that content.

    As someone who gets brought in to create high-value content, I’ve also seen this in action firsthand. For a long time, the majority of my clients were simply interested in hitting a schedule, but over this last year, I’ve had several clients really invest in doing it right, and they are achieving big time results: tripling views & shares, getting content on the front page for target keyphrases, and hitting 6 figure MRR.

    Blogging can be really powerful if you’re willing to go about it the right way.

  • I loved the results! It proved me that writing quality content with long length its worth to put our efforts into – this is the strategy I follow when I blog, too. One question: how results were defined during this research? More visitors? More converts from visitors to newsletter subscribers / content downloads / trial requests; etc?

    • Hello, Timi.

      The results were reported by the bloggers themselves as one of the following…

      • My blogging efforts get strong results
      • My blogging efforts get some results
      • My blogging efforts get disappointing results
      • I don’t know if my blog delivers value

      …but we didn’t define “results” for the respondents. As I’m sure you know, marketers have many definitions for success. I imagine that people were thinking of many things as they answered this: brand awareness, list growth, social engagement, link attraction, traffic, leads and revenue.

      Thanks for asking. Maybe next year we’ll ask what success means to them!

      • Thank you! Wow, that would be great to know next time what successful results mean for them. I really appreciate you and your team work. Keep it up! 🙂

      • Andy:
        Thank you for sharing this extremely important information. It becomes more valuable each year,

        I second the motion to include a “This is how I define success” question for next year.
        Roger

      • I’ll just chime in that I had wondered the same thing as Timi. Not that there’s not already a TON of great stuff here, though!! Nice work by you and your team.

  • This is awesome, Andy! Great to see how others do blogging stuff. I always wanted to know how many hours people spend on creating content. Now, I have a benchmark. Thanks so much. 🙂

  • Great analysis, Andy! Happy to see that working on long-form quality content seems to be the trend. That’s my focus in working with my clients.

  • Andy, thanks for doing your surveys on blogging. They’re golden!

    Great blogs take time, focus and love. It shows when those ingredients go in, and when they don’t.

  • Great post and valuable data. I bet it took more than 6 hours and one editor to put together…..

    There are different types of bloggers out there. Could you tell us a little about the audience you surveyed? For instance, were multiple-author blogs included here? your blog? Also different bloggers have different KPIs, some look to sell their book or service while others just want to share knowledge, do you know anything about the motivation of these 1055 bloggers? I

    Keep up the research, we really appreciate it.

    • Yes, this “blog post” takes 100+ hours to create. Five of us worked on it.

      Almost all of the respondents were from my LinkedIn connections. As I’ve connected with people for the last three years, I’ve scanned their profiles to see if A) They’ve published to the LinkedIn platform or B) They’d been endorsed for “blogging” or “content marketing.” So I suspect that 99% are business bloggers. Also, since I saw their content first hand or they’d been endorsed by others, it was a bit better than letting people self-identify.

      When I found these, I moved them to a list. The list now has about 1200 people on it, almost all of them are in the US (90% or more) and a good chunk are right here in the Chicago area (20% or so).

      A small number of respondents came from social media where we shared the survey. Almost everyone came from direct outreach from me. I sent around 1000 semi-personal requests through Ninja Outreach. There were nights when my hands ached. It’s a crazy amount of work to get this done.

      Probably 10 or so people responded that they used to blog, but don’t anymore. I asked them not to take it. Probably 5 people responded that they blog both for business and personal reasons. I asked them to respond for the business blogging…

  • This was super-interesting, Andy, and I appreciated being a part of the survey! And I am impressed by your commitment to keeping the industry informed. Thank you.

  • Very interesting and helpful research once again. It certainly appears blogging is evolving and becoming more professional, strategic and data driven. The increased time in developing posts and increasing use of editors does seem to indicate a stronger focus on quality. Committed blogging is not for the faint of heart, but it’s great to see that so many bloggers report seeing positive results from their efforts. Thanks for gathering the data and publishing this report!

    • “more professional, strategic and data driven” …that’s a nice summary, Steve!

  • Andy–Thank you for continuing to provide quality research on blogging. This data shows a shift that’s part of the overall maturing of content marketing. Blogging is becoming the heart of an integrated content strategy. This requires higher quality content that delivers long term results. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • Thanks Andy! It’s good to know that the things I’ve noticed casually are statistically accurate. There’s no substitute for measurable, quality content that addresses the needs of your audience. This research confirms that if brands can follow that simple formula, they can find success through blogging.

  • Analysis is paralysis – what are we supposed to do with all of this information?

    We are in the 20 hour week blogging camp and we know our 4 year old birdie brunch branded weekly newsletter that pushes our most recent blog articles accounts for between 15% and 25% of our revenue.

    The 20 hours also includes the development/deployment of the actual mail chimp newsletter which is how we serve up our blog posts.

    Every image and video is pushed to Pinterest and Google plus and the individual posts are schedule on Facebook is all part of the 20 hours so for us it 20 hour mark is kind of fuzzy – in reality we are never not blogging – always building inventory

    That said, in spite of having more analytics dashboards than most bloggers I still see my main KPI as the number of Disqus and mail chimp comments for every post – I don’t care what my metrics indicate – if my content isn’t initiating discussions it has not resonated with anyone.

    Lastly – you mentioned video but you really never talked about video. We make video a cornerstone of our blogging – we try to produce 2 to 4 fresh videos weekly but we also push a lot of relevant video content whose metrics can be tracked with YouTube Pro analytics in WordPress one screen shot -> http://www.screencast.com/t/RSCegNZntiOT

    Some of our posts are almost 100% video some for fun some for education – it helps when you’re light on your next thousand word post

  • I completely agree with Joanna – although length is good, it depends on the topic. When I was in high school, I was great at filler text to meet the required amount of words for an essay. We shouldn’t treat our blogs like high school English class. Make the content relevant and work to get as much good content into as you can. If there’s not much there (less than 500) then it’s probably time to reevaluate. The same would go for frequency – sometimes there just isn’t something interesting or relevant enough. I would say if you post no less than every other month (but do you best to post at least once a month), you’re readers will thank you for giving them information they want to read, not just because you’re trying to fit something into a strict schedule. If you want to stick to a strict schedule, break down your blog into Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

    Really great insights, thanks Andy!

  • I’m wondering about where the 6+ hours goes.

    After 5 years of blogging I abandoned my blog after being one of those who was getting decent results, spending 6+ hours on longer blogposts. Most of those 6+ hours were spent screwing around with WordPress and not actually writing.

    I think this is really important because first-time bloggers don’t fully understand what they’re getting into, and they never get past writing 5 blogposts before they quit.

    I miss writing, sharing and commenting. I don’t miss my site breaking because of a WP plugin conflict; trying to get an image lined up properly; messing around in the CSS, hunting for and preparing images …

    It’d be nice to know how many bloggers are just bloggers, and how many also manage their own site. In those 2 groups, how much time is spent on the ideas and writing vs. time spend on tech stuff.

    • It’s a great point, Oz. Even if it’s not a tech problem with WP, lot of “writing” time is actually spent tinkering with formatting. Even if you use Word, a lot of time goes into playing with text instead of putting words on the page.

      I know a blogger who recommends doing a first draft in Note Pad or some other text editor. If you take away all the tools, you might get the writing done faster!

      • we start everything in google docs for that reason and security of the content

      • Totally agree it’s possible to spend a lot of time ‘tinkering’. I’ve taken to recording blog posts and getting them transcribed at Rev.com. Means I have a complete draft before I start editing!

      • I wonder about the huge percentage who include a list. One of those self-fulfilling prophecies where web research reports ‘people read list posts’, so everyone promptly goes out and creates list posts.
        Interesting to see that the far smaller percentage who use audio are getting a much stronger result. Maybe I’ll start loading audio as well rather than just transcribing!

      • Yep, that’s our approach at DivvyHQ… a simple text/html editor to use as a sandbox for the draft, and storage of visual assets that will be included. Once approved, the content can be transferred, formatted, optimized, etc… Great work on this survey and report Andy (and team)!!!

  • Is there an incentive at all to report poor results? I don’t see the group in any of these measurements so I’m wondering about your samples and the true validity of these results. I don’t mean to dismiss these findings, I simply can’t help but notice and wonder why the polar opposite, those who report “failure” or weak results, are not mentioned in your analysis. Did I miss it? Please advise. Sincerely, Genuinely Interested in Learning

  • Andy, you’re the best! Great stuff, going to share, share, share…

  • Thanks for including me in your survey again this year. I always feel like an outsider in the blogging community and this is the one time a year I feel like a lot less of one. I think what people also need to consider is that the answers to a lot of these questions are niche driven. For example if we spent anywhere near 6 hours on each blog post we would be out of business in a hurry, also we don’t have set lengths we shoot for, the post is “as long as it sees to be”. As far as what “strong results” means, that’s all what it means to the individual. I used to think 20,000 visitors or 400,000 page views a day was strong results, now it is less than half of an average day. The whole idea is just find what works for you and keep pounding it until it doesn’t, and hopefully that day never comes. Thanks again Andy for the hard work, I always look forward to seeing what is working for other people and seeing if there is a way I can tie it into my little blog.

  • I continue to be awe-struck, Andy, at both your tenacity in putting this together year after year, and you and your team’s incredible attention to detail in making sure that the study, and conclusions, are valid and informative. Bravo!

    • Well said Mike!

  • I really appreciate the work you put into this post and the solid research that you did. I’m encouraged to see that bloggers are publishing less frequently, spending more time on each post, and writing longer posts (other than lists and round-ups). These findings are in line with my approach to my blog, so I feel good about the report. Thank you!

  • bir çok şey yapdım ama çok tekil alamadım

  • Interesting that the 14% that use paid promotion — I’d imagine the bulk of that is social or PPC — report stronger results than any other channel. There’s no number on the graph but that looks like 40-42%. No doubt about it, the future of social media marketing is a path paved in payment.

  • Awesome new Research of blogger in SEO.Great informative article.Thanks for sharing your this information and helpful article.

  • This is the type of data bloggers need to see, but they need to be careful how they apply the analysis and comments.

    For example, Joanna Wiebe feels roundup posts have had their day and wrote: “…nobody cares to read and which only get shared by a handful of the folks included in the roundup.”

    Yes, there are a lot of roundups that aren’t that compelling. And in trying to out-Skyscraper already long posts, I’m not sure people really want to embrace “192 experts share their tips”.

    But there are also exceptions. Two days ago, Mike Allton published Boost Your Income: 52 Influencers Reveal Their Best and Worst Monetization Secrets. It has 701 shares so far and many have commented they found especially the “worst” examples useful.

    Because he took the time to create images, that content will end up being reshared over the long haul.

    Regarding publishing frequency, it is really a challenge to publish daily while keeping quality up. But Google does seem to favor sites that publish almost daily, so serious sites should consider ways to encourage top writers to contribute regularly.

  • Huge thanks for the post Andy. Your effort and data confirm that the antiquated view of content is rapidly vanishing in the rear view mirror.

    Adios to:
    “The dirty little secret of Content Marketing is that you don’t have to be best teacher to succeed. Just the first who overwhelms an audience with volume.”

    Keep up the great work!

  • Hi Andy,,

    This is indeed an amazing share!

    The tactics different bloggers apply in creating their posts are really wonderful to know.

    The statistics about time they take to write the posts in different years are varying and that is an interesting point to note. I am sure the more one spend on a particular post to create will surely come out as an epic one, and at the same time however expert you are a post create in a hurry will have its own drawbacks.

    Nice survey to study and analyze.

    Thanks for sharing it here.

    Many of us bloggers can pick a lot of tips from this posts.

    Thanks, Andy Crestodina for the pain you have taken to bring it out such an informative piece.

    Keep Sharing.

    Good Time Ahead

    Best Regards

    ~ Philip
    PS:
    I found this post today on the pages of Inbound org where Brian curated it and i up-voted it and shared the above comment.
    Thanks once again
    ~ Phil
    Hey Andy, Please check the two small white buttons provided at the bottom of this comment box. It is not responding. ie. 1.Notify me of new comments via mail and the other one both are not functioning. Pl do check and fix it
    Thanks
    P V

  • Time and frequency has been increased with time year by year…….
    Good written… covered all major aspects of Blogging trends
    Thumbs up to you…!

  • Terrific post and super-relevant research. Bravo!

    I now expect TL:DR to be replaced by NLE:DR (Not Long Enough: Didn’t Read).

    • You’re hilarious. I may steal that. Nice to see you in our comments, Doug!

  • Like you said Andy, bloggers have really started embracing analytics more, which is a good thing! I just want to add that you shouldn’t be scared of measuring – how else can you know how far you got?! 🙂

  • Average blog post today takes me at least a week to write, and I try to average 300-500 words a day.

  • Super interesting article, Andy. Would love to be able to respond to it next year. I was curious about the promotion portion of the survey. Maybe it’s just me, but SEO as a promotional tactic seemed a bit vague/broad compared to other tactics, like email, social, and paid media. I imagine some people simply fill in information in a plugin like Yoast SEO and consider that sufficient, whereas others may consider SEO to be link building and embedding video or multiple images.

    Did you get that impression as well?

  • Great article; one of the best and most detailed valuable information I have read for quite a while. Thank you!

  • Interesting that including audio in posts is flat at only 15%, but it ranks highly in terms of its value for getting results. That’s good enough for me.

    • That’s an interesting/important observation, Jeff. What people do and what works don’t really align that well, do they!

  • Kudos to you and your team on this work Andy! Great stuff!

  • very useful information. Thank you ! I was wondering if you have any insights on how these trends differ between B2B and B2C bloggers – especially B2B tech. Thanks again and keep up the great work !

  • Hi Andy,

    Thanks a lot for the amazing (and depressing) insights and benchmarks. You convinced me to focus at speaking, radio, tv and podcasts. OMG my average research time per post is around 3 hrs. Writing and editing 800-1000 words around 5-7 hours. On a good day 😉

    You also made me very curious. So I wanted to give some data back to you. You deserved it.

    My last 2 radio columns (scripted for me based on my input – which took me 30 minutes to write) were recorded each in 3-4 minutes. Each. The columns were 600 and 800 words.

    I am now testing voice to text for my blogs posts. My goal is to go back from 5-7 hours writing to 3-5 minutes recording. Research will stay around 3 hours.

    Your insights might have saved me 4 hours per post!! Aka 50% less time, or 100% increase in post frequency! Whatever it will be….

    May the math be with you!

    Grazie Mille!

    Igor Beuker

  • Interesting enough. And hopeful, if you ask me. But I am not sure how strong the results really are. Do I understand correctly all the data is gathered by self reporting participants? No checking of facts? Were the participants readers of your blog – hence a self selecting group? I am really not sure what to make of it.

    The one comment of all of the hot shots you quote that I think is right on target is the one by Joanna Wiebe. Let’s hope not everyone is going to churn out 1000+ words articles just because it seems to be the winning trend. And not lists posts either, thank you, Jay Bear.

  • Very informative! Great post!

  • Terrific analysis and comparison. I would like to see what type of bloggers are represented by this data. Do they come from SMEs, agencies? Are they copywriters or enterprise marketers, or are they independent journalists and mum bloggers? This would be helpful to know. I would also love to see a stat somewhere in the universe that shows how many bloggers there are now compared to 2010, 11, 12 etc globally. Not sure this is possible, but that’s the stat I’m after. I agree that longer, more considered posts are more effective. I’ve certainly found that to be the case with my own blogs but the take on audio doesn’t resonate. Thank you for doing this research.

  • I’m curious whether average time writing includes research and editing for most writers? I can certainly spend a lot more time on those steps than the actual writing process.

 
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