Are bloggers spending more time writing? Do they write longer or shorter posts? Has publishing frequency changed for the typical blogger?
In an effort to identify the business blog trends of 2015, my friends at Orbit Media asked 1074 bloggers 11 questions. They concluded the business of blogging is changing. Some things are consistent from the prior year, but a trend has emerged.
What follows an infographic I helped create for Orbit Media focusing on blog trends such as writing time, post length and publishing frequency.
If you like what you see, keep reading. I've included more findings from the study as well as insights from content marketing experts on what's trending in business blogging and where it's headed in 2016 and beyond.
Blog trend #1: Bloggers are spending more time on each post
Andy Crestodina, who spearheaded the research, writes:
Bloggers are investing more time in their work. The percentage of bloggers churning out posts quickly is declining and more bloggers are spending hours on every post.
In the context of the other findings below, we'll soon see that this is evidence of a larger trend.
There is a small minority of bloggers investing much more time in their content. This hasn't changed since last year. The top 6% of bloggers invest twice as much time as the bottom 70%.
Blog trend #2: Bloggers are going deeper into topics
Posts are getting longer. More bloggers are going really big with epic length content. About twice as many respondents are writing 2000+ word posts.
Almost 1 in 10 bloggers are writing 1500+ words per post on average. These are the bloggers who put in the time. 54% of them spend more than four hours per post.
Blog trend #3: Most bloggers publish weekly or more
Researchmeister, Andy Crestodina says:
- Weekly is winning: Most bloggers (53%) are publishing at least weekly. This hasn't changed much. But there has been an uptick in bloggers who publish daily or more, from 4.7% to 6.2%.
- Most bloggers publish regularly: Only 15% of bloggers publish at irregular intervals.
- Quantity vs. quality: The bloggers who publish daily or more spend a lot less time writing. Daily bloggers spend about an hour and a half per post on average, an hour less than the typical blogger.
Final analysis from Andy Crestodina
Andy came to these conclusions:
There are many interesting nuggets in this data. But two main findings stand out.
A few bloggers are doing much more than the average bloggers
The first is a common thread between the 2014 and 2015 data: The data shows that a small percentage of bloggers do things very differently. Although not every blogger may be doing each of these, we can see that a small minority does these generally.
- Spending much more time on each blog post (6+ hours).
- Writing long form content (1500+ words).
- Publishing much more often (daily or more).
- Using at least one editor in their process.
These are dedicated, professional content creators. Last year, 5% of bloggers fit into these categories. This year it's around 6%.
The average blogger is doing more than before
The second insight is the trend. In 2015, we see more bloggers taking a more professional approach. Evidence for this appeared many times in the survey data.
- Increase in the amount of time spent per post
- Increase in the length of the typical post
- Increase in the use of editors
- Increase in the percentage of posts created for clients
- Increase in blogging from the office, during business hours
- Decrease in blogging on nights and weekends
This indicates a "professionalization" in blogging. It's becoming a more serious, formal discipline. Data is playing a bigger part. Best practices are emerging.
Want to know more?
The research includes many findings not covered here, so be sure to check out the whole shebang on the Orbit Media blog.