Orbit Media Studios has just released its 2019 Annual Blogging Survey. Each year, Orbit, a leading web design and social media company based in Chicago, conducts a survey of several hundred bloggers. Survey questions range from how long it typically takes bloggers to write a blog post to what seems to produce the most effective blogs. An effective blog post is one that gets considerable attention and, if on a business site, leads to conversions.
Five Traits of an Effective Blog
One of the things the 2019 survey found is that “some of the least common blogging tactics are the most effective.” We’ll get to those later. But first, here are some items of interest reported in this year’s blogging survey:
- The average blog now takes 3 hours and 57 minutes to write, up 65 percent from 2014. Writing a blog that produces “strong results” – meaning it gets read, elicits engagement, and is likely to turn words into sales – takes 6 hours.
- The average length of a blog post is 1,236 words, up 56 percent from 2014. The average length of blogs producing “strong results” is more than 2,000 words.
- Sad fact. 52 percent of bloggers say it is getting harder to get readers to engage with – comment, ask questions, “like” – their content.
- Most bloggers post weekly or report posting several times per month. The publishing frequency that produces “strong results”: daily blogging.
- How-to blogs are the most common type of blog, followed by news and trends; blogs on original research; guides and ebooks; opinionated blogs; infographics; and blogs with interviews. Of these formats, the blogs that produce “strong results” are guides and ebooks; original research; infographics; how-to blogs; and interviews.
What Makes a Blog Stand Out
Now let’s look at the least common, most effective blogging tactics that the survey uncovered:
- Including ten images per blog; only 3 percent of bloggers do this.
- Writing 20-plus test headlines per blog before selecting one; only 1 percent of bloggers report they do this.
- Publishing blogs daily; 3 percent of bloggers say they do this.
- Writing 2,000-word blogs; 11 percent say they do this.
- Researching keywords and phrases before writing a blog; 26 percent of bloggers say they do this.
- Collaborating with influencers to write a blog; only 1 percent say they do this.
- Promoting content using paid channels; 17 percent of bloggers report they do this.
- Checking analytics – how well the blog is performing – after it is published; about a third of bloggers do this.
As to the key takeaways, the researcher said two themes about blogs stood out:
- Those bloggers who write 2,000-word blogs, include ten images, and consider 20 headlines before selecting a blog headline are getting the strongest results.
- Consistent bloggers, regularly publishing each week, who research keywords before and after blogging, who collaborate with others, and who check analytics once the blog has been posted also get strong results.