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Useful Blogging Stats to Inform and Inspire Your Content Strategy
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All marketing decisions should be based on data.
And that applies to blogging, too.
Whether or not you should create a blog, and how you should run your business blog, can be answered by studying the research that others have done.
Each piece of research generally produces one or two actionable statistics.
Instead of just listing a huge number of statistics, I’ve curated the best and most recent blogging statistics and given you actionable advice you can use to grow your own blog.
I’ve divided the stats into seven categories and linked to the original source whenever possible if you need even more detail about a particular stat.
WordPress Statistics: Still Growing
What platform are you using to build your blog? Can’t decide between Squarespace, Wix and WordPress?
According to W3Techs, WordPress not only powers most of the internet, but they are the most popular Content Management System out there, taking nearly 60% of the CMS market.
With dozens of WordPress frameworks themes and hundreds of plugins, there is no limit to the ways you can customize your site on WordPress.
WordPress might run a lot of websites, but are those sites any good? Indeed, they are.
Here are a few more interesting stats about WordPress that might just change the way you build or grow your blog.
Podcasting Might Be Worth Your Time
Most of the stats here have focused more on the written words you put on your blog. However, there is growing data to show that podcasting is not just a rising star, but here to stay.
According to Google Insights, interest in podcasting has been on a steady increase over the past five years.
A study by The Nielsen Group reported that interest in podcasts isn’t just staying steady, but increasing. In 2016, 13 million homes said they considered themselves “avid fans” of podcasts.
What is driving this increase? Likey the increase in mobile phone usage, which continues to rise, as we shared earlier.
Another look at Google Trends shows that interest in podcast searches have increased in the last five years, while searches for blogging-related information have decreased. In fact, earlier this year interest in podcasts surpassed interest blogging for the very first time.
If you have been considering launching a podcast to support your blog, now might be the time to take the plunge.
Content Creation Stats and Insights
How do you know if your blog posts are as effective as possible?
The stats here reveal insights about content creation based on studying highly successful blogs.
With nearly 3.5 billion internet users out there, there are tons of people reading content on the internet. And that number grows each and every year.
But, how do you make sure those eyeballs land on your content? One way is through compounding content.
HubSpot has done a lot of research around what they call “compounding blog posts.”
A compounding blog post is simply one that doesn’t die out right after you publish it.
For example, a blog post about an upcoming event may get some traffic, but will get nearly zero after the event is passed. That’s a decaying blog post.
However, an evergreen guide to gardening will continue to get traffic years later if well-written. That’s a compounding blog post.
Back to the stat: HubSpot looked at around 20,000 blog posts of varying types, and found that compounding blog posts as a whole get much more traffic over their lifetimes.
The takeaway: First, focus on evergreen content. Second, focus on topics that you expect will be as popular, or more popular in the future. A guide to pagers might have been evergreen years ago, but won’t get much traffic by now.
The Content Marketing Institute surveys content marketers annually and publishes the results.
They found that 61% of marketers that rate their business’ content marketing effectiveness highly discuss their content marketing daily or weekly.
Open communication helps different members of teams (writers, editors, illustrators, etc.) stay on the same page and deliver content on time. It also gives you more flexibility in changing topics based on trends or unforeseen events.
Here are some meeting and messaging tools that make it easier to keep everyone in the loop.
First, the average time to write a blog post was 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Second, the amount of time to write a blog post has gone up each year.
Finally, to put this into context, the average length of a post was 1142 words.
Scaling that up, a typical 3,000-word post would take about 9 hours to write.
If you’re spending significantly less than that, either you’re a master writer, or your content is likely low quality. As we’ve seen with other stats, the biggest factor in your blog’s success or failure is content quality.
Spend the extra time to take your post from good to amazing. This is known as creating 10x content.
This conclusion is common sense for most, but it’s nice to have data to support the claim.
Images break up long stretches of content, making it easier for most people to read. In some posts, images can provide useful information (like the graphs in this post).
This is why the old “write and they will come” theory doesn’t work.
If you plan to create a blog for your business, you need to be prepared to write about things that people care about, and go above and beyond to stand out.
Readership and Content Consumption Statistics
Ultimately, readers are the ones who decide if your content is good or not. These stats will help you understand what they’re looking for in content.As a writer, it’s easy to picture a reader glued to their screen, hanging on every word you wrote.
In reality, that doesn’t happen. Most readers skim through posts and go back to read more if they like what they skim.
This means that it’s critical that you break up large chunks of text and highlight important and interesting content in each post.
The Hemmingway app is a great tool to increase readability.If you aren’t a world-famous writer, Hemmingway app may just be your new best friend. It helps even non-writers produce clear, easy to read content.
When you consider that the average blog post is over 1,000 words, 37 seconds really isn’t much.
What does this mean for you? It means you have just seconds to grab a reader’s attention, or else you lose them. Just like above, you do this through interesting headings, and by including media and lists.
Another important aspect about how users consume content is where they consume that content. And, increasingly, that is happening on mobile devices.
Mobile and Desktop Usage Statistics
Making a mobile reader’s browsing experience amazing used to be an afterthought. Sure, it was nice, but it also wasn’t critical to the success of your blog.
As phone and tablet usage has continued to rise, so has the importance of ensuring that mobile visitors can easily read your blog posts. In fact, the number of Americans with a smartphone has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
In addition to owning a smartphone, most Americans do most of their internet browsing from their mobile device.A Hitwise mobile study looked at hundreds of millions of online searches to see what devices were used.
They found that just under 60 percent of all searches were on mobile, and that number ranged up to 72% in certain industries (food and beverage being the highest).
Mobile traffic is no longer a small portion of your traffic that can be ignored.
Twenty-eight percent said they open their smartphone for the first time during breakfast, while just 9% said they open it during the night.
If you send out an email to subscribers linking to a new blog post early in the morning, chances are many readers will see it first on their phones.
If your post loads slow, or images don’t render correctly, you’ll lose out on visits.
Another aspect of mobile search to consider is the way people look for products and services ‘near me’ is changing. According to Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas, Lisa Gevelber, people are not just browsing, but actually looking to buy products.
She recently reported:
- 150%+ more mobile searches for “___ near me now” (for example, “food near me now,”)
- 900%+ more mobile searches for “___ near me today/tonight” (for example, “cheap hotels near me tonight,” or “movies playing near me today”)=
- 200%+ more mobile searches including the phrases “Open” + “now” + “near me” (for example, “restaurants near me open now,”)
- 500%+ more mobile searches include “can I buy” or “to buy” (for example: “can I buy an iphone,”)
What does this mean for your blog? If you are a brick and mortar business with a blog, this means you need to double down on local SEO best practices if you want to capture these types of intent-to-buy searchers.
It also highlights the fact that mobile users aren’t just browsing. They are actively looking for products and services to buy. If you are not making it easy for mobile users to actually buy your products or contact you, you may be missing out on both sales and traffic.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Stats and Insights
SEO is the process of increasing your website’s online visibility by optimizing it for features search engines look for.
All blogs benefit from search traffic, some more than others.
Although you don’t need to be an SEO expert to be successful with blogging, understanding the basics will help you maximize the effect that blogging has on your business.
Their data showed that leads from search engine visitors convert much better than leads from outbound marketing like print advertising or direct mail.
There’s no actionable outcome from this, other than knowing that spending company resources on blogging is likely the most effective way to maximize conversions.
Other studies have found that top results are even longer (1,890 words for example).
Regardless of which study you look at, they all show that short 500-word blog posts rarely rank well in Google.
In addition to length, the way we search has changed. This is partially due to a shift to voice search, but also because searchers are using more ‘conversational’ words. According to Google:
- Mobile searches including “do I need” have increased more than 65%
- Mobile searches including the words “should I” have also increased more than 65%
- Mobile searches that include “can I” have increased by more than 85%.
What does this mean for you? It is becoming more important than ever to use natural language in your blog posts and make sure to answer questions searchers are asking about your industry.
Monetization and Advertising Statistics
Ultimately, you’re blogging to improve your business’ bottom line. So while blogging may bring traffic, how does that result in more revenue?
Here are some stats that help answer that question.
Instead, most buyers read reviews, recommendations, comparisons, and introductory content before purchasing a product.
Content near the top of the sales funnel is found on blogs. If you’re not blogging about those topics, you’re missing out on many potential customers who are at the start of their research.
Create blog content for all stages of the buying process, and blogging will directly result in increased sales.
This is a simple, but important stat.
This data proves that blogging will have a result on the number of leads your business generates.
Furthermore, the more resources you invest in blogging, the larger the return.
Not only do the leads convert better, but if the overall ROI of inbound marketing is better, that means the cost of those leads is reasonable as well.
The tradeoff is the time it takes to get results. Outbound marketing like paid ads can give you immediate results, but blogging usually takes a few months to see any real results.HubSpot analyzed 2,300 customers and found that businesses with a blog had 126% more monthly leads.
Think about the posts that will actually result in more sales.
Your reader (a potential customer) comes across your blog with a problem that you solve. You just need to convince them that you know the solution and can provide it.
Short posts are not convincing, but long, in-depth ones are.
How do you add useful detail to lengthen blog posts:
- Include research
- Include case studies
- Provide examples
- Walk through actionable takeaways.
This relates to blogging in two ways.
First, the ROI of blogging will likely remain better than traditional outbound marketing strategies. Paid advertising is getting less effective due to banner blindness and adblock usage.
Second, don’t monetize your blog with pop-ups or banner ads unless you have no other options. They often generate little revenue compared to affiliate marketing or selling your own products and services.
Conclusion and Further Reading
Statistics in isolation don’t mean much. But combine them together, and you can get a fuller picture to help guide and inform your content strategy.
Here, it’s clear that blogging is still very effective for marketing, but other mediums such as Podcasting and video are becoming increasingly important. Mobile users can’t be ignored, WordPress is still king, and a few SEO tweaks can lead to big traffic gains.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about blogging for business, and other topics mentioned in this post here are our recommended guides:
- How to Start a Blog – Step by Step Guide
- Podcasting Quick Start Guide
- The Basics of Search Engine Optimization