It’s constantly changing. That’s why it’s fun. Content marketing is a never-ending cycle of new tools and new tactics. There is always a new trend to watch, a new person to follow and a new trick to try.
As a whole, the business of content is on a slow-moving arc, and when you’ve got your head down and hands on the keyboard, it may not be obvious. But if you take a step back, you can see the gradual change in the industry.
Here’s a look at the latest research on the business of blogging. The data here is from our second annual Survey of 1000 Bloggers. We’ll focus on four areas and ask a few questions. What’s changed? What hasn’t?
Blog Post Length
According to the 2014 survey, bloggers reported that their average post was around 800 words. In 2015, that number jumps to close to 900. That’s an almost 10% increase.
We also see that the percentage of bloggers writing 1,500+ words on average is way up, about 60%. This is a big change in the business of content. The typical blogger is writing longer, deeper posts.
Takeaway: The length of a typical blog post is now almost 900 words, 10% longer than in 2014.
Bloggers are writing longer, but are we writing less often? In the 2014 survey, we learned that most bloggers are publishing consistently, at least once a week.
When we asked the same question in 2015, we saw a bump in daily bloggers, but that most bloggers are still in that weekly range. Not a big change.
Takeaway: Frequency hasn’t changed much. Two thirds of bloggers publish more than monthly, less than daily.
Time Spent Per Post
So if blogging frequency is holding steady, but the length of the average blog post has increased, are bloggers putting in more time?
The answer is yes. Here’s the data:
Based on assumed averages from each time interval, we calculate that the average post takes just over 2.5 hours to create. That number is up 11 minutes over last year. Bloggers are clocking more hours creating content.
Takeaway: The time put into the typical post has increased by 8%.
Analytics and Measurement
Business changes when the people involved see better results with a new approach. With blogging, results are visible in the analytics.
But not all bloggers use analytics. In 2014, about half of the bloggers surveyed reported that they don’t typically check analytics. But that’s changing.
In 2015, we see an 8% uptick in bloggers who regularly monitor performance. The curve on the chart is sliding to the right.
The “Professionalization” of Blogging
Originally a “web log” was just an online journal. A public diary. Gradually it has become a business tool, and the cornerstone of marketing for millions of companies. For most bloggers, it’s a job, not a hobby.
The data here shows that “professionalization” is steadily increasing. Standards are created, best practices emerge and “part of my job” slowly transforms into “serious profession.”
Step back for a second. Can you feel the industry changing? The business of content is evolving. And blogging is growing up.