Sunday, December 11, 2016

It’s Great You’re Blogging—Are You Blogging Efficiently?

Many of you are now publishing blogs. That’s great because blogging—if done well—is one of the most impactful thought leadership tools that professionals and businesses can use. According to the 2016 Blogger Research Study from Orbit Media Studios, the typical blogger publishes several posts per week with a typical post averaging 800 words in length. Bloggers write both in the office and at home after work. According to researchers, a typical blog post takes about 2.5 hours to create, with 46 percent of bloggers spending more than two hours per post and only one in six (17.4%) getting their posts done in one hour or less.  

Our Take? 150 minutes is WAY too long to be spending on a short-form post and if you’re running 800 to 1,000 words, you might be spending too much time “clearing your throat” and struggling to get to the point. If you’re not getting your posts done in roughly 60 minutes and getting your thoughts together in 500-600 words, then maybe you should review your thought processes or your internal bench strength.

Three in five bloggers (61%) are writing posts averaging 500 to 1000 words, which according to researchers makes 800 words “seem like an unstated, but agreed-upon standard length for blog posts.” Again, we’ve found you are better off writing on the briefer end of that 500-1,000 word scale.

Length Of A Typical Blog Post
Length of Post
% of Respondents
Less than 500 words
500-1,000 words
2,000+ words
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

How long it takes to write a typical blog post?

  Time to Write
% of Respondents
Less than 1 hour
1-2 hours
6+ hours
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Part of the reason that blogs are taking many so long to write is that three in four bloggers (73%) act as their own editors, according to the Orbitmedia survey. Only 15 percent of bloggers use a formal editorial process. Nine in ten (90.6%) survey respondents said they either edit their own work or use an informal process. What’s more, researchers found that most blog posts have never been seen by anyone but the author before they go live. Ouch!

Bloggers Use Of Editors
Use Of Editor
% of Respondents
Edit own work
“Show it to a person or two”
Formal editor
More than one editor
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Researchers also found that social media is by far the most common promotion tactic, typically used by 94 percent of bloggers since it’s fast and easy for most bloggers. The Orbit folks also note that best practices for SEO are so well known that most bloggers now produce search optimized content, adding that only 5 percent of bloggers are paying to drive traffic to their posts.

How Bloggers Are Driving Traffic To Their Posts
Traffic Acquisition
% of Respondents
Social media marketing
Search engine optimization
Email marketing
Influencer outreach
Paid services
Source: Orbitmedia, November 2016

Our own blog has more as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


Credit: The New York Times
On a personal note, I wanted to mention the recent passing of John Glenn, American astronaut, U.S. senator and all-around hero who died on Thursday at the age of 95. I never met Glenn personally, flew or served in the military, but I have long since felt a special affinity for Glenn. Here is an iconic photo from the New York Times on the day after I was born, March 1, 1962. You see Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth 9 days earlier—basking in the glow of the first of his two Canyon of Heroes parades in New York City. I learned many years later that my parents almost gave me the first name of “John” or “Glenn” but that decision was later nixed for reasons to lengthy to discuss here. Now scroll down the page to the side by side photos of the front page of the Times on 3/2/62.

For most Americans, Glenn’s ticker tape parade overshadowed an unfolding tragedy just 16 miles away in what is now known as JFK International Airport. That same morning (March 1, 1962), American Airlines Flight 1 crashed in Jamaica Bay, killing all 87 passengers and eight crew members. It was the deadliest commercial airline crash in United States history at that point.

As so often happens in life, exhilarating highs are mixed with agonizing lows. Give The Times credit for devoting equal space to both stories in 1962—in today’s media environment by contrast, that ratio would probably have been 90 percent tragedy/10 percent celebration. I’m sure many miss those days.


Tags: Blogging, thought leadership, John Glenn, Orbit Media Studios, blog length

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