My pal Andy Crestodina conducts blogging research annually to give us insights into what’s working for bloggers when it comes to content creation. He just published the results of this year’s survey, and I wanted to do a deeper dive into some of his findings.
According to Andy’s research, the average blog posts takes 4 hours to write in 2021. This makes sense as more bloggers are moving toward creating long-form content, and we will see that reflected in the survey results.
Additionally, bloggers were asked if they felt their posts were delivering ‘strong results’. Bloggers who spent 6 hours or more on a post reported the highest levels of ‘strong results’ by far. So if you want to write successful blog posts, be prepared to invest at least 4 hours per post. If not more.
And according to Andy’s blogging research, that number has grown every year. I was just discussing this very topic with a colleague. A big reason why longer-form content is more appealing is because it’s harder to write long-form content unless you are an expert on that topic. Longer posts and articles are a key indicator of expertise.
Andy also broke down the length of blog posts, and asked bloggers to rank if their blog posts were giving ‘strong results‘. For instance, for bloggers who wrote posts that were less than 500 words, 16% of them said their blog was delivering ‘strong results’. For bloggers who wrote 500-1000 words per post, that percentage increased to 17%, and for bloggers who wrote 1000-1500 words a post, those bloggers felt their posts delivered ‘strong results’.
Here’s where it gets interesting; For bloggers that wrote 1500-2000 words per post, the percentage who felt their posts delivered ‘strong results’ shot up to 30%. Bloggers who wrote 3000+ words per post felt their blog delivered ‘strong results’ 36% of the time.
Longer content gets better results.
Not surprisingly, bloggers who are writing longer posts, aren’t blogging quite as often. The average blogger tends to write 1-2 new posts a week. That’s pretty much in line with what I try to shoot for.
Think about the type of content you will be creating. If you are publishing more thought leadership pieces, then you want to go longer, and that means fewer posts. If you are publishing more news or industry-roundup posts, those can typically be shorter, and take less time.
In general, I think you should commit to at least 1 new blog post a week. In a perfect world, I think 2 a week, perhaps Tuesday and Thursday, would work best. But every situation is different. What’s most essential is that you pick a schedule, and stick to it. Consistency is the name of the game, and how you build an audience over time.
Remember, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
So I wanted to close with the survey results on content promotion. What’s interesting to me is that social media was listed as the most popular promotion channel, used by 90% of respondents.
But only 20% of respondents said social media was an effective promotional channel, in fact it was the least successful. Isn’t that interesting? Social media is by far the most popular promotional channel and also the least effective.
Why is this? I think a great part of the reason why bloggers aren’t seeing good results from social media is that most bloggers simply tweet or share a link to their new blog post, with zero explanation or context explaining why the post is worth our time. I am the worst about doing this, I need to get better about adding context to ALL links I share, my own, and the links of other creators.
So check out Andy’s blogging research, there’s a ton more of useful information.