The anatomy of a successful blogger
In their third annual survey, Orbit Media has asked more than 1000 bloggers on their approach to content creation and distribution. Thereby, the answers tell a story about the change in the online content industry but also about what makes a blogger successful.
As reported on orbitmedia.com, the key findings thereby point towards trends regarding the time and effort spent on blogs, their length and format used, the frequency they are posted, how they are distributed and how success is measured:
- Bloggers are putting in more time and effort. The time to write the average blog post has risen by 26 percent to 3 hours and 16 minutes. A shift towards taking more time to write a blog post can be seen on both ends: Compared to last year, twice as many bloggers spend more than six hours on one post, and the share of bloggers spending less than two hours on a single post dropped from about half to just under a third. Moreover, one in four bloggers now uses a formal editing process with one or more paid editors, and the number of self-editing bloggers has fallen below 50 percent.
- Longer and more visual content. The average length of a blog increased from 808 words in 2014 over 887 words in 2015 to 1054 in 2016. The percentage of blogs shorter than 500 has halved over those two years, and the share of blogs with more than 2000 words have doubled every year. Three-quarters of bloggers also publish an image with their blog (77.7%), most of them even more than one (51%). Videos and lists are also on the rise, while audio content is used less frequently.
- Blogging frequency dips. Daily blogs have reduced by about 50 percent, making weekly blogs the most commonly used blogging frequency despite only a small increase of 7 percent. Monthly blogs, however, rose by 38 percent.
- Bloggers rely on a variety of methods to distribute content. Nearly all (95.5%) are active on social media platforms, and more than half use search engine optimisation (57.5%) and email marketing (55%). While only 15 percent of bloggers are buying visitors, this number has three-folded during the last two years. Collaboration is also on the rise with 25 percent of bloggers leveraging influencers.
- Despite the spread of tools, many bloggers still lack analytics. Only a third of bloggers (31.7%) always check content performance, meaning that a fourth of bloggers check analytics usually (24.3%) or occasionally (24.1%) and 13.8 percent never check for content performance or don’t have access to analytics (6.7%).
Separating the wheat from the chaff
Overall, most bloggers see results of their blogging activity. While a fourth says (24.5%) that their blog is delivering strong results, more than half (54.3%) see at least some results. The remaining quarter is split over blogs with disappointing results (8.9%) and bloggers unaware of the value they generate (12.3%).
Thereby, Orbit Media’s study also indicates how bloggers that believe to achieve success fulfil their roles in the above categories1.
Summarising this, Orbit Media finds: The average blogger spends one to three hours on writing a 500 to 1000 weekly blog that is usually checked for performance metrics. The average blogger with strong results, however, spends two to three hours writing 500-1500 words several times per week and always monitors the performance of his content.
1) Results are based on a self-assessment of bloggers. Some categories included only a very small sample, especially bloggers using audio content (36 in total; 7 stated to be successful) or high-frequency bloggers