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Times are always a-changin’ on the internet, folks!
Google updates, advertising rules change, and reader preferences are in constant flux.
Blogger A says this and Blogger B says that.
We’re often left wondering…
“What’s true? vs. What’s unbiased? vs. What’s outdated? vs. What’s just complete bullshit!?”
How about some REAL, updated information that is actually relevant to your business RIGHT NOW?
Because if you’re going to update your blogging strategy, it shouldn’t be random or uninformed.
You need to know what’s working, what’s not, and what you need to change to succeed.
The blogging statistics in this article have been updated for 2020, and they cover a wide variety of different sub-topics!
1. 38% of Total Blog Traffic Comes from “Compounding Posts”
Hubspot took it upon themselves to analyze blogging data from more than 15,000 companies.
What did they find?
The #1 type of post every blogger should focus on more than any other is the compounding blog post.
This is the type of post in which its traffic grows steadily over time.
In fact, compounding posts were responsible for 38% of the traffic being awarded to the companies in this study.
That alone shows how superior these posts are long-term compared to “decaying posts.” More on that in a minute, but first…
What is a compound post?
According to Hubspot…
A compound post is essentially a post about a broad topic that aims to give advice for the masses.
These types can include product reviews, how to solve general problems (weight loss, dog training, etc.), and other instructional types of posts.
In other words, they’re posts that show how to solve problems that will still be relevant for the foreseeable future.
They answer the common questions of “why” and “how” for a particular problem.
Bridgestone’s “how to change a flat tire” ranks #1 for the search term “how to change a tire.”
This post is a couple of years old and it will probably stay at the top for a few more years to come (as long as it’s updated when necessary).
Similarly, a post that targets an emerging trend may not do so well in the beginning, but gain more and more traffic over time.
Take this post on chatbots from Chatbots Magazine. It was published in 2016, which is about the time the current chatbot craze ramped up into high gear, but it’s still ranking at the top of Google search for “what is a chatbot?”
Trending topics are generally less competitive (because they’re new), so if you can publish a high-quality post early on, you may be able to position yourself to get tons of organic traffic for years to come.
What is a “decaying” post?
A decaying post delivers a surge of traffic in the short-term and steadily (or sharply) drops off over time.
For example, if you search the term “Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302” in Google, the top post (below the expected Wikipedia article) is from Business Insider. They’re probably getting a windfall of traffic right now because this search term is hot news.
But 6 months or a year from now, and it will probably be receiving a trickle of traffic compared to the river it’s getting now.
It will simply “decay” over time because the topic is time-sensitive instead of evergreen.
If blogging is critical to your business and you want to capture as much traffic as possible over the long-haul, start focusing on writing compounding posts.
Trending topics are still great to write about because they can get still capitalize on a lot of traffic and readers will love to hear your opinions on these types of ideas.
BUT the majority of your content should generally still be compounding posts so that you can continue to drive more traffic in the long-term.
Here are a couple of examples of our compounding posts:
Just remember to read over them from time to time to make sure they don’t need any updates!
2. 36% of People Prefer Reading List-Based Headlines
According to Conductor, 36% of readers prefer articles with numbers in them.
This is something that we noticed a long time ago on Pinterest in the health and fitness space. Sooo many articles titled…
- Top 10 Myths…
- 17 Science-Based Facts on…
- 14 Meals to Help You…
But it’s true with any topic you search for. Like “parenting tips:”
There is a reason for this…
Numbers and timelines provide readers with a psychological end.
It’s not a random and unknown list of statistics that we don’t know if we’ll have time for.
It makes us feel as though the information will be easier to consume and manageable in our hectic schedules. And that thought process is happening subconsciously, of course.
Weird but true. We’ve read this from tons of other bloggers and content creators.
I’ve even heard that specific numbers including “7” get higher clicks (i.e. 7, 17, 27).
I can’t remember where I read that, but we use the number 17 in a lot of our posts and it works out pretty well for us:
Don’t think too hard about this one, but if your topic works in a list format, throw a number in there!
3. The Average Google First Page Result Contains 1,890 Words
How many words should my blog posts be???
We get this question a TON from our newer bloggers.
Backlinko did their own analysis of 1 million Google search results to identify the key reasons why some blog posts hit page 1 and others slip into obscurity on page 1,001.
The prolific writers reading this will appreciate their findings, including this one:
“The average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.”
We tend to aim for an average of 2,000 words per post.
But some posts are WAY longer than that (7,000+words) and they rank very highly.
This could be due to a variety of reasons, including that longer content:
- gets more social shares, or
- boosts the page’s relevance, or that
- longer content tends to be more relevant and higher-quality.
I don’t think that the number of words REALLY matters that much in the above context, but who knows.
These are our honest thoughts on the subject:
Write as many words as you need to in a blog post to cover your topic thoroughly. Give your reader as much as they need but don’t add fluff or filler content.
Remember that your reader is closer to a level 1 and you’re closer to a level 10. So, you should be very thorough with your content and not try to cut corners.
BUT on the other hand, you should never add fluff for the sake of hitting some obscure word count.
If you’re adding fluff to reach a number, you’re going to end up losing people halfway through your article and this will just increase your bounce rate (and consequently decrease your Google rankings).
4. 43% of Readers Skim Blog Posts (While 29% Read Them Thoroughly)
Raise your hand if you’re a skimmer!
I certainly am. I must confess that I often even use the Ctrl+F function to find the specific word or topic I’m looking for so I don’t even have to take time skimming!
A lot of people still prefer written content over video, but that doesn’t mean that they read the whole thing.
According to Hubspot, 43% of readers skim blog posts while 29% read them thoroughly.
Most people hunt for the specific information they are looking for and really don’t care about any of the rest.
And that’s fine. It shouldn’t dissuade you from writing long, epic posts.
There will still be some amount of people that hang on your every word. THOSE are your most loyal fans (and often your buyers).
You DO need to format your articles a bit differently!
Include clear headlines and subheadlines, appropriate space between sections, images, etc. to break up your text and make it easily readable and skimmable.
You’re a blogger — not a novelist.
5. The Average Blog Post Now Takes 3.5 Hours to Write
According to a survey conducted by Orbit Media, bloggers used to only spend about 2.5 hours to write.
If you’re writing one new blog post a week, that’s not too bad, especially if you’re trying to blog while working a full-time job.
The average blog post today now takes an average of 3.5 hours to write.
If you’re a beginner blogger, this number may be a lot higher for you. But you generally get much faster with experience.
So, why the extra hour?
For one, it could be because of the increase in blog post length. We already mentioned that the average word count for a blog post that shows up on the first page of Google is 1,890 words.
Orbit Media says that in 2014, the average blog post was 800 words. Today, the average blog post is around 1,151 words – a 42% increase in 5 years.
Still, 55% of bloggers these days still write less than 1,000 words per post.
If your posts have been coming up short, work on your blog writing skills and see if you can increase the value with longer content without taking too much extra time.
This could help put you ahead of your competition in the coming months and years.
6. 50.1% of Traffic on Average Still Comes from Organic Search
If you’re a blogger that’s been wondering if you HAVE to run ads to succeed, you’ll be happy to learn about what BrightEdge discovered.
On average, HALF of online traffic comes from organic search.
Even if you’re throwing money at paid search, organic content should be your #1 priority.
In 2014, the same analysis showed that 51% of traffic came from organic search. In 5 years, that number only dropped by 1%.
And paid search only takes 14% while social media grabs a measly 5%, the rest being contributed to a mix of other sources.
And while social traffic only takes up 5%, remember that driving traffic from social platforms can HELP boost your organic Google traffic.
Anyway, it doesn’t look like this trend is going anywhere anytime soon.
7. 70% of Bloggers Who Earn Over $50,000 Per Year Are Active or Very Active Promoters of Their Blogs
Writing killer content is only half the battle, folks. Maybe even less than half the battle.
Actively promoting your content (and promoting it well) is what brings in the big bucks.
Growth Badger conducted an informal study with 1,117 bloggers about their techniques and results.
They found that 70% of bloggers earning over $50,000 a year say they are active or very active promoters of their blogs, as compared to 14% of lower-income bloggers.
It’s not enough to hit publish and wait. You have to get out there and tell the world how and where to read your post and WHY they should read your post!
Here’s a little personal story about our experience so far…
Alex and I have been able to quit our 9-5 jobs to blog full time.
But guess what?
For the first two and a half years since we started, we worked WAY more than the 40 hours/week that we worked at our full-time jobs.
As I learned from listening to Virtual Freedom, we were spending all our time growing our business to free up our time.
But as we grew our business, we only created MORE work for ourselves.
Work = growth = more work = more growth = MORE WORK.
This realization along with a lot of growing pains led us down the path to outsourcing some of the tasks of our business to help free up our time for what mattered most:
Creating great content and promoting that great content.
8. Over 50% of Google Searches Are From Mobile Devices
Hitwise, a leading consumer research group, states in their recent report that “US mobile search is roughly 58 percent of overall search query volume.”
That’s based on an average of 11 key categories and associated queries (i.e. fancy marketer talk for “searches”).
Hitwise examined “hundreds of millions of online search queries” between April 10 and May 7th, 2016 to arrive at these conclusions.
But you don’t know who Hitwise is, and neither do I, to be honest…
Do you know what’s a lot more important?
Google agrees with these results.
Amit Singhal, the senior vice president of Google Search, openly stated that half of the 100 billion searches a month on Google come from mobile devices.
And that doesn’t even include tablets, so that number would be even closer to 58% if you include tablets.
Sooo, what does this mean, y’all?
ALL of the content on your blog or website should be mobile-friendly (i.e. optimized for mobile viewing).
We also know that Google already prioritizes mobile-first content.
So, if you’re already designing all your content for mobile, great job. Virtual high-five!
If you aren’t checking every single blog post on your phone after it’s published, it’s time to start! Yesterday.
The same goes if you make any design changes to your website. ALWAYS. CHECK. MOBILE.
With the way things are going, mobile searches will only continue increasing as more people ditch desktops for much smaller screens.
9. “62.96% of People Perceive Blogs With Multiple Authors to Be More Credible
Social Marketing Writing conducted a survey to understand if and how blogs add credibility to your website.
68.52% of survey respondents said that a blog itself adds credibility to a website.
When asked about the factors that affect the credibility of a blog, the majority of respondents said quality content (30%).
Which brings us to our next question…
Do multiple authors add more credibility to a blog?
Respondents overwhelmingly said that multiple authors DO increase the credibility of blogs (62.96%).
Multiple authors?? What does that even mean?? How do I go about finding authors for my blog??
This is when you allow another blogger to write a post on your site. You can choose the topic or you can have them suggest topics.
Guest posting is a pretty common blogging strategy that bloggers use to get backlinks to their blog and it helps the blog owner because it’s one less piece of content that they have to write.
They also get a stream of additional traffic and exposure to a new audience, and your blog gets increased credibility.
It’s a win-win in multiple ways.
You can usually identify guest posts when you see an author that is different than the blog or website owner. Here is an example from a guest post that was written for our blog:
Having trouble finding good guest posting opportunities?
Share this blogging statistic with other bloggers to convince them that allowing you to guest blog for their site is in their best interest!
Just make sure that you only ever allow high-quality content on your blog and to only write high-quality content for others!
10. SEO Has 20x More Traffic Opportunity Than PPC on Both Mobile and Desktop
Back to the subject of paid traffic…
Here is some with some interesting data from Moz.
- The click-through rate (CTR) for organic Google search results on desktop searches is 62.2% and just 2.8% for paid search.
- The CTR for organic Google search results on mobile is 40.9% and about 2% for paid search.
That’s a MASSIVE difference!
Google search engine optimization (SEO) gives you a 20x higher traffic opportunity than Pay Per Click (PPC – aka Google Adwords) on mobile and desktop.
I know we’ve gotten a little technical here for those of you that aren’t familiar with how ads work with our acronym talk of SEO, PPC, CTR, etc..
So, what does this mean?
It means that you should be spending some time optimizing your content to be found in organic search. A few basic ways to do this:
- Proper headline tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- Including keywords in your article title, meta description, and throughout your article
- Using alt text to describe your images
- And more — if you want to dive deeper, check out this article by Backlinko.
Even if you don’t spend a whole lot of time on SEO, you should download a plugin like Yoast SEO to help with the basics!
Yoast will help you make sure you’ve got your posts optimized in just a few extra minutes.
11. Articles with Relevant Images Get 94% More Views, on Average, Compared to Articles Without Images
Are you a visual learner?
Probably, because according to MDG Advertising, two-thirds of people claim they’re visual learners.
Either way, they help to break up your text and make your content easier to skim — as we said earlier in one of the previous blogging statistics.
Images are more attractive, memorable, and engaging. They can also evoke emotions from your readers in a different way than text does.
Emotions are what drive people to take action — signing up for your email list, buying your product, reading more of your articles, etc.
In fact, people tend to only remember 10% of the information they hear 3 days after hearing it…
BUT if you heard that same information while looking at a picture, your recall could jump up to 65%!
Just figure out what type of images work best for your blog and your content.
On our health and wellness blog, we used a lot of stock photos to depict colorful, healthy foods. On this website (Create and Go), we try to use a lot of screenshots.
The screenshots work best for our audience because we are usually showing pictures of software that we use and its capabilities, or results from using certain software, or tutorials on how to implement software.
Because that’s the blogging world.
And when in doubt, throw in a funny meme or gif for good measure:
We personally love memes and they generally land pretty well with our audience because of their age group, so we try to include them in many of our articles and other content!
Don’t forget that we also live in a visual world, people! Most social platforms favor images as well.
Images on Facebook get 20% more engagement than videos (like comments, shares, etc.) and 352% more engagement than just sharing a link.
Bottom Line: Use images as often as possible in your posts and on social media.
12. Blog Traffic Generation Increases by 77% After Publishing More Than 52 Blog Posts
We have personally said this before in our articles and in our courses.
The more content you publish and put out there, the greater or visibility and your reach.
Hubspot analyzed 1,400 companies to see if the more pages a website had (and that were indexed by aka know to Google), the more traffic they would get.
And this is what they found…
Once you’ve written about 24-51 posts, your blog traffic could increase by 30%.
But even crazier than that…
Once you’ve published between 51 and 100 blog posts, the amount of traffic coming to your site from Google could skyrocket by 77%.
But I must stress the importance of quality over quantity.
You still need to make sure you niche down and before you start writing. If you write about everything under the sun, your content won’t reach anyone.
You don’t want to be the random blogger who gives fitness tips on Tuesday, cleaning tips on Thursday, and homeschooling tips on Sunday. That’s a recipe for blog failure.
Google also recognizes people and websites as “authorities” on certain subjects. So choosing a niche and writing targeted content for that niche will help your content get seen more over time.
We recommend getting on a regular schedule of posting at least 1-2 times a week.
Sometimes it helps to publish more in the beginning when you are growing your social media accounts. We used to publish as much as 2-3 new blog posts per week when we started.
Now, we publish one per week and it’s a schedule that works out really well for us!
13. 79% of People Prefer to Read Blogs in the Morning
Are you a morning person?
This recent study found that most blog consumers are definitely morning people.
The number of people reading blogs seems to peak at around 10 am.
And people commenting on blogs seems to slow down by 8 am.
The study also found that people sharing blog posts on social media like Facebook or Twitter starts to drop off around 7 am.
What does this tell us?
SEND OUT YOUR EMAILS IN THE MORNING!
People drastically lose willpower and motivation by the end of the day. The later you send your email (after morning) the lower your open rates will be.
We personally try to send our emails between 6-7 am.
Publish (or schedule) your posts to be shared in the early am for the highest open rates and engagement!
14. The 1st Organic Article on the First Page of Google Gets 32.5% of the Average Traffic Share
How often do you make it to page 2 of Google search?
Pretty rarely, right?
I only make it there if I’m DESPERATE for some kind of information. Otherwise, it just ain’t worth my time to sort through THAT much information.
In general, if your article isn’t on page 1, it has a very low chance of being seen by most Google searchers.
If you can manage to get on page one for a few keywords, that’s awesome!
But competition on page 1 of Google is FIERCE!
According to research done by Chitika, the organic articles (not including paid ads at the top of the page) in the first two spots captures the majority of the traffic.
And the percentage drops pretty quickly from there:
|Google Result Page Rank||Average Traffic Share|
This is why it’s important to use even basic SEO strategies in all of your blog posts.
You won’t reach that first page super quickly, but if your content is awesome and you drive other traffic to it (like from Pinterest), you may have a chance of ranking higher over time!
And Now, This Case Draws Nearer to a Close…
We hope you enjoyed those blogging statistics and make good use of them!
As the great Sherlock Holmes once uttered to his trusted sidekick:
“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”
And so it is with this blog post.
If you’re just getting started on your blogging journey, check out our How to Make Money Blogging guide to see the basic steps we’ve used to earn over $100,000 a month from our blogs!
Lastly, if you enjoyed this article or have any questions for us, please leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!