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What’s blogging best practice in 2023?

Posted by Dan Hatch on 11th October , 2022 in The Write Fit
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There has been a shift in the blogging trends. Did you feel it? Like a Jedi knight senses a shift in the Force, I felt it.

But my fingers tingling as they hover above a keyboard, telling me, “this blog post is too long, or too short, or should be a white paper instead”, is not really enough to go dashing across the galaxy to change my general advice to our clients.

No, when it comes to shifts and trends in content fashions, a bit of data always helps. And, very usefully, Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina has released just that. His ninth annual blogging survey is out now — and you should absolutely read it. But before you do, here are the important take-outs, as I see them.

We’re choosing quality over quantity

Blog posts have stopped getting longer. The average length topped out last year at 1416 words and this year came in at 1376. Meanwhile, the average time taken to write a blog continues to grow — up another nine minutes to four hours and 10 minutes. This suggests we’re working harder on quality.

Roughly a third of blogs are between 500 and 1000 words and another third are between 1000 and 1500 words. Those who write 3000+ word blogs are 2.5 times more likely to report strong results from their blogging activity.

We’re also blogging less often. In 2014, near enough 30 per cent of bloggers posted two to six times a week. Now, it’s more like 13 per cent. About a quarter publish weekly and another quarter publish several times a month.

Three-quarters of us are also busy updating old blog posts – and those who do are 2.8 times more likely to report strong results from their content marketing activity.

And let me shout this one from the rooftops: Bloggers who work with professional editors are 90 per cent more likely to report strong results.

We’re getting better results by producing lead magnets

There’s also been a shift in the types of content we’re producing. While three-quarters of us are still producing how-to blog posts and 55 per cent of us are still producing list-type articles, we’re also focused on producing solid “lead magnet” type content.

Forty-three per cent of us are producing guides and ebooks and around one in four bloggers are using gated content (which requires readers to enter an email address to access the content). Why? Because they work. Thirty-five per cent of respondents said guides, ebooks and gated content were the most effective content formats they used.

Forty-two per cent of us are creating our own original research. Those who do are 41 per cent more likely to report strong results from their content marketing.

We’re using more people stories

You know what else is effective? People stories. These come in a few formats. About a third of respondents said interviews were effective for them. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Telling someone’s story — taking the time to interview them, asking them about their lives, experiences and expertise — invariably leads to really engaging content.

Another way to tell people stories is to collaborate with influencers. It’s something Andy does in his blogging report. It’s laced with quotes from top content marketers, which is a huge value add on the report.

The survey found bloggers who usually or always collaborate with influencers are 70 per cent more likely to report strong results from their blogging activity.

Do or do not. There is no try.

The blogging survey brings together the experiences of more than a thousand bloggers. That’s Yoda levels of insight that we’d all be silly to ignore. You don’t have to act on everything it teaches us, but if Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that it’s smart to pay attention to a change in the Force.

Dan Hatch
11 October 2022


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