How has it changed through the years? And where is it headed? Is it still worthwhile to do?
Recently, Orbit Media surveyed 1,377 bloggers and asked them these questions:
- How long does it take to write a blog post?
- How frequently do bloggers publish?
- Are bloggers using editors?
- Where and when do bloggers write?
- How long is your typical blog post?
- What do bloggers include in their content?
- Is guest posting still a popular practice?
- Are bloggers updating older articles?
- How is your content typically promoted?
- How often do bloggers check analytics?
- Are bloggers driving results?
I go over their findings in this video:
My Take on Orbit Media's Blogger Survey 2017
These are the findings that stood out the most for me:
1. Blogging has gotten harder.
As competition increases, bloggers are having to work harder on their posts. They're taking longer to write them. They're using more elements (images, video, audio, etc.), and the posts themselves are now longer (and presumably more thorough and informative) than ever.
2. Bloggers are publishing fewer blog posts.
Apparently as a result of #1, bloggers are publishing less frequently. I mean, who can keep up with all those thousand-word (or more) blog posts?
Unless you're Seth Godin, gone are the days when you can take 15 minutes every day, pound out 500 words, and hit publish.
3. Guest blogging is still under-utilized.
Surprisingly, only about half of bloggers ever guest post. I say "surprisingly" because I've personally found guest blogging to be highly effective for:
- increasing traffic to my site
- getting more subscribers
- attracting more clients/buyers
Reading between the lines, I suspect the reason is because (1) blogging is hard, and (2) most bloggers who guest on other blogs aren't doing it properly, and that's why (3) they aren't getting results that justify the hard work.
4. The best blog promotion tactics are under-utilized.
Bloggers who promote their posts through influencer marketing and paid promos are most likely to report getting strong results. But these are also some of the least used blog promotion strategies!
It's understandable. Influencer marketing is a lot more work, and paid promos, well, cost more money than social media, the most popular means of blog promotion.
Goes to show that when you go the extra mile, you see better results.
5. Multi-media is still the final frontier.
I thought we'd been going multi-media the past five years at least, but it looks like only a minority of bloggers use video. And hardly anyone uses audio.
But, again, those who do use these elements are more likely to say they get strong results from their blog.
Here's the bottom line: the bar for blogging is considerably higher today than it was when I got started in 2008. And things can only get tougher for us bloggers as more content gets published and our readers get more savvy.
The survey results show us some ways we can stand out, such as:
- guest blogging (done right)
- influencer marketing
- paid promotions for our blog
- using more video
- using more audio
Each of these activities entail even more hard work and, in the case of paid promos, even monetary investment. The one who's willing to do more will reap better rewards.
I'm already thinking of more ways to incorporate audio into blog posts.
How about you? What do these survey findings inspire you to do in order to make your blog more successful?