Blogging tips and tactics continue to change. It used to be easy to get lots of people to read and share your blog posts. But times continue to change.
In a recent survey of over one thousand bloggers, the top two biggest challenges they face are:
- Finding time to create and promote content.
- Getting traffic and attracting visitors.
This is a huge deal.
If you are going to invest resources into creating and publishing blog posts (which is likely the biggest hurdle you face), you want to know your target audience will find, read, engage and find value in those posts.
What can you do to improve the reach and engagement rates of your content?
Thankfully, our friends at Orbit Media Studios recently shared the newest results from their annual survey, which feature the experience of over 1000+ bloggers and their take on creating blog content for business. This year’s results also include an analysis of those results with input from several well know blogging experts.
The results of this survey tell us what blogging tactics and strategies work best today. You can then use the insights gleaned from the survey to improve your own blogging.
This survey seems especially timely as we are in the final quarter of the year, when you may be starting to plan your content marketing strategy for 2022.
These results will show you what’s working successfully for top bloggers right now in terms of time, length, frequency, promotion and measurement.
While I am not suggesting that what works for the majority of bloggers will work for you, these insights can give you a great place to begin assessing and revising your blogging efforts. They’ll be especially useful if you are just starting out or are not seeing the results you’d like to see from blogging.
I encourage you to experiment with your approach to find what works best for your industry, business and target market.
No matter what you decide, however, remember that quality is more important that quantity.
Here are the results from 2021 Annual Survey of 1000+ Bloggers from Orbit Media Studios with my commentary.
Five Blogging Tips & Tactics to Improve Your Blog Posts
1. Blog post length and content
Blog post length continues to trend in the direction of longer posts.
The length of a typical blog post went from an average of 808 words in 2014 to 1,416 words in 2021. In fact, the average length has increased by 147 words over just the prior year.
The number of shorter posts (under 500 words) continues to decline, and the number of the lengthy 2,000+ word blog posts is on the rise.
What is even more interesting is that the blog posts with over 1,500 words produced stronger results than those with fewer than 1,500 words. The strongest results were delivered by posts with over 3,000 words.
To see what length of posts will net the best results for you and your blog, you need to experiment with their length. The majority of my posts are 1,500-2,500+ words, with some in the 3,000+ range, depending on the topic.
Including visual content in blog posts
Blogs that include more visuals see better results.
Images make an excellent addition to a blog post as they catch a reader’s attention and help break up your text to make it easier to read. Using several images is ideal, especially if you are creating longer blog posts.
In fact, while most bloggers only use between 1 to 3 visuals, bloggers who use 4 to 10 images are more likely to see strong results. That number nearly doubles for bloggers who use 10+ images.
Types of blog posts
Roundups while being one of the least used blogging strategies (used by only 24% of bloggers surveyed) conversely is one of the most effective strategies. The report shares that 30% of bloggers who used Roundups report strong results verses How-to articles (used by 76% of bloggers surveyed) at only 23%.
Just over half of bloggers also regularly use lists on their blogs. These are reported at being slightly less effective than Roundups but slightly more than How-to articles with 27% of bloggers sharing that they had strong results.
Lists can be exceptionally handy for readers, but with such an abundance of them, it would be wise to not overuse them, or else your posts risk becoming just another list among many. Adding the occasional list can be an excellent inclusion to your blog, but ultimately variety is the key to success.
Additional reading: “How to Write Blog Posts That Get Read and Shared.”
2. Blog post frequency
How often should you publish your blog posts?
According to the survey, the publishing frequency ranges greatly: from more than once a day to irregular intervals over the course of a year, with the average falling around 2 to 4 times a month.
Up until this last year, the number of bloggers publishing at irregular intervals was steadily decreasing but curiously, this year saw a significant spike. It will be interesting to see whether this was an anomaly due to coronavirus or whether that trend continues in future years.
The frequency of your publishing most often comes down to the resources you’ve allocated to content marketing. Posting once a day requires a lot more resources than publishing once per week, especially if you are creating longer quality blog posts.
It is important to note, however, that the bloggers who blogged multiple times a week saw slightly better results than those who blogged weekly.
That means the more often you can manage to post a quality blog post, the better results you are likely to see.
What is fascinating is that those who blogged at irregular intervals saw better results than those who publish a blog post less than once a month.
3. Writing and editing blog posts
The length of time it takes to write a blog post varies. It depends on your topic, how in-depth you want to explore it, your familiarity with the topic and your researching and writing skills.
The survey tells us the average article takes 4 hours and 1 minute to write. This is up 67% since 2014.
But longer, more detailed posts will typically take longer to write. In fact, 21% of bloggers now spend 6+ hours on an average post.
Keep in mind that stronger results were reported by bloggers who invested 6+ hours per post as opposed to those who invested less than 6 hours.
As a general guide, when it comes to blogging, less is not more. A deeper dive into the subject is often needed to create a high-quality blog post.
Editing your blog post
The survey also revealed that the number of bloggers that use a formal editing process has suddenly decreased after years of a steady incline.
Will this trend continue in the coming years or was it an anomaly?
Hopefully this proves to only be an anomaly as it is hard for even skilled writers to edit their own work. A second set of eyes helps ensure you catch most errors and improve the quality of the writing.
In fact, bloggers who have a formal editing process are twice as likely to report “strong results.”
Think about it this way: if you are going to invest resources to create content, it must look professional. You do this by hiring an experienced editor.
Remember, the quality of your posts (or lack thereof) will influence the way your readers perceive you: as either more or less trustworthy and authoritative.
4. Blog promotion
While it is important to create great content, there isn’t much point doing that if no one reads it. That is why promoting your blog is so important.
How do most businesses promote their blog content?
90% of bloggers promote their blog posts on social media.
Bloggers also use two other key promotion strategies: SEO and email marketing. While SEO saw a drop in use in 2020, it has again increased in use as a promotion strategy in 2021. Email marketing on the other hand had been steadily increasing, but saw a big drop this year.
Influencer outreach has decreased since 2017. What is interesting is that while it is the least popular promotion strategy, it’s the most likely to drive results.
The use of paid services by bloggers has also continued to decrease but has seen a sharp drop in effectiveness. Interestingly, all promotions strategies other than influencer outreach have seen a significant drop in effectiveness.
Social media remains the least effective method of blog marketing.
Additional Reading: “How to Optimize Blog Posts for SEO.”
5. Blog analytics
The final topic from the survey I want to address is measurement. Bloggers were asked how often they check their analytics.
While the number of bloggers who regularly check their analytics is down this year, it is still over 50%. 29% of those even check the performance of every post.
It is noteworthy that only 3% of bloggers in 2021 rarely or never check their analytics while only 4% lacked the ability to check them all together. This still leaves 26% of bloggers who still only occasionally check their posts.
If you don’t know how your posts are doing, how will you know what worked and what didn’t?
If you don’t know what works, you will waste your time and resources creating content your target market doesn’t want, need or have an interest in. Doing this will put you among the large number of bloggers having a hard time getting readers to engage with their content.
But if you keep track of what is of most interest to your community, you can create more content that readers engage with and that produces results.
Those who checked their analytics the most often saw the strongest results in the performance of their blogs.
The moral of the story is you will be more successful with your content in the future if you know how past content has performed. What isn’t measured can’t be improved!
Additional Reading: “The Ultimate B2B Content Marketing Checklist.”
Blogging tips to create your 2022 content marketing strategy
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to blogging. What works for one business might not work for another. But we do know that some blogging practices produce better results than others for the majority of businesses.
Learn from these statistics so you can create a content marketing plan that improves your blogging strategy. Ultimately, you need to test some of these blogging tips and tactics to determine what works for your business and your target market.
But remember this: The Internet is flooded with content. The only way to differentiate yourself from the rest is to ensure your content is superior to the other content available. To do this, it may make sense for you to publish your blog posts less often, focusing instead on producing higher quality posts.
Did any of these blogging tips, tactics and trends surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.