It’s difficult keeping up with the constantly changing stats and facts about blogging. These updated 2022 blogging statistics form a picture of what bloggers and doing, comparison with previous years, and how content marketers can improve results in 2022. Many of the items about the current and most effective techniques for articles, while others relate to other aspects of blogging strategy. If you run your own blog, it’s important to be in the loop with the latest trends so that you’re not missing out on any opportunities to increase your traffic or revenue. If you outsource your blog, find a copywriter who’s up-to-speed on the blogging trends and can guide you to success. If you don’t yet have a blog, you’ll see that there are many positive reasons to start one.
The nine topics discussing in this article are:
- Value of Blogging in Content Marketing
- The Important of High-Quality Writing
- Using Blogging for SEO
- The Use of Content Elements and Formatting
- Blog Article Length and Time Spent Writing
- Frequency of Publishing
- Posting Dates and Times
- Leveraging Headlines
- Social Media Promotion of Blog Articles
Most Recent! Please note that I have scoured the internet to attempt to publish the most recent statistics from reputable sources. Many are from research done in 2021, with reports published in 2022 (or from 2020, published in 2021). I have not included statistics that are older than 2019.
2022 Blogging Facts Clearly Show the Value of Blogging in Content Marketing
Research anything on the internet, and you’ll see snippets of blog articles, blog articles, and more blog articles. There’s no question that bloggers are prolific. Users produce about 70 million new posts and 77 million new comments each month (WordPress). This meets the enormous demand of the 77% of internet users reading blogs (Social Media Today). That’s a lot in pure numbers, with 409 million internet users read about 20 billion blog pages monthly (WordPress). Blogging is one of the leading strategies to build SEO, drive traffic, and get inbound leads, so it’s given a high priority in any content marketing program.
- High Content Marketing Priority: 89% of marketers used blogs in their content strategy in 2020 (Content Marketing Institute). In fact, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority (HubSpot, 2021). Another way to measure it is that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI on their efforts (Optinmonster).Why? Blog posts remain the most effective form of content, second only to video. They come in above email, ebooks, and white papers (Hubspot).
- Leads: Companies with a successfully-run blog as part of their content marketing strategy generate 67% more leads on a monthly basis, than those that do not have one. Among B2B businesses, 81% of businesses have reported their blog as useful or critical to B2B lead generation (Marketpath). More specifically, B2B marketers who have blogs get 67% more leads than those who don’t. In particular, small businesses get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.
- Website visits: Companies that use blogs in their content marketing strategy generate 55% more website visits than companies without blogs (Hubspot). If you don’t already have a company blog, note that adding a blog to an existing website can increase traffic by as much as 434% (Tech Client).
- Customer Acquisition: 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging. (Optinmonster)
- ROI: 56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it’s effective and 10% say it generates the greatest ROI (Hubspot 2021).
Takeaway: A company’s blog is a high priority for most businesses’ 2022 content marketing strategy because it’s seen as a highly effective inbound marketing strategy, no matter how you measure it—leads, ROI, website visits, and more. This is true for every size company, and especially for small- to mid-sized businesses.
Focus on Quality to Get Ahead of the Competition in Your 2022 Blogging Program.
- Versus Email: Internet users in the U.S. spend 3X more time on blogs than they do on email (Social Media Today).
- Skimming: 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts, while 27% consume posts thoroughly (HubSpot). The median average time spent reading an article is 37 seconds (semrush). With this high number of skimmers, it’s no surprise that the average time spent reading an article is 37 seconds (semrush). That doesn’t even count the number who abandon a blog before the 30 seconds Google requires to be recorded as a “session.”
- Trustworthiness: You rely on credibility to get readers, subscribers, and clickthroughs—especially if you have a B2B business. Blogs have been rated as only the fifth most trustworthy source for gathering online information (Optinmonster). Then consider that fully one-third of readers (32%) of readers agree that accurate content is amongst the most crucial factors in quality content, and nearly one quarter (23.84%) say bad content quality destroys a blog’s credibility (semrush).
Takeaway: Blogs are still going like gangbusters as far as readership is concerned as far as how many people read blogs and how much time we spend reading them. However, the facts seem to indicate blogs aren’t seen as highly trustworthy because they may be viewed as inaccurate, not credible, or lacking high-quality content. The lesson? Write good content that is backed up by trustworthy data (Note that every item on this list has a reputable source listed).
Boost Credibility: Avoiding Sloppy Copy and Content Mistakes
Marketers use blogging for SEO for higher page ranking and web traffic.
- Organic Traffic: The #1 traffic source for high-income bloggers is organic traffic from Google, (Growth Badger) with 71% of bloggers saying that SEO is the most important source of traffic (Orbit Media). This means your blog article must have a sound SEO strategy for it to drive traffic from search engines.
- Marketing Priority: Marketing efforts for bloggers include social media (94%), SEO (63%), and email marketing (66%) (semrush).
- Keyword Research: 85% of bloggers are doing SEO keyword research to strengthen performance (Orbit Media).
- Close Rates: SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as from direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate (Optinmonster).
Takeaway: If you’re using a blog to drive traffic to your site (and who isn’t!), it’s well worth learning and applying SEO technique to your posts. There are many free and for-pay tools for helping do basic keyword research and SEO (such as the Yoast tool on WordPress and the Google Keyword Planner), and more advanced tools and techniques.
Each Element and Overall Format Matter.
- Images: Bloggers who include 10+ images per post are the most likely to report “strong results” (Orbit Media). However, the majority of bloggers add around two to three images per blog post (Orbit Media). 90% of bloggers include images in their blog posts (semrush), which makes sense given that articles with images get 94% more views than those with no visuals.
- Research: 41% of bloggers are conducting and publishing original research (Orbit Media). 9 out of 10 companies who do original research found that it’s successful (Orbit Media).
- Updating: Only 38% of bloggers are updating older articles (Optinmonster), and around 60% of marketer will reuse blog content 2-3 times (Optinmonster).
- Video: Video content is 50x more likely to drive organic search traffic than plain text. Note that 43% of consumers increasingly want video content from marketers, and with one in four bloggers responding by adding videos in posts (semrush).
- Influencers: Bloggers who collaborate with influencers get better results (Orbit Media).
- Format: The most popular type of content among bloggers are “how-to” articles (76%), followed by listicles (54%), and ebook (45%) (Orbit Media).
- Popularity vs Effectiveness: It interesting to note that the most common types of blog posted are often not the most effective. For example, 76% of bloggers have done how-to articles in the last-12 months. However, they rank as the least effective. Similarly, only 24% of bloggers have done roundup articles, and they are the viewed as the most effective (30%) (Orbit Media).
Takeaway: There are no ifs, and, or buts that including images is a necessary blogpost component, and there is an increasing demand for video. As always, How To articles and Listicles are highly popular. The question is which types of blogs are most effective—yes, usually things that are more challenge to write, such as high-quality gated content and round-ups.
Blogs are Longer, and It’s Taking Longer to Write Them.
- Average Length: Orbit Media Reports that the average blog post is 1,416 words (Orbit Media). At the same time, Hubspot reports that 2164 words is the median length of blog posts in 2021. Another number, from TechJury, states the ideal blog length for 2021 was between 2,100 and 2,400 words. We can see it depends how you measure it. Looking at it another way, according to Medium, engagement starts to drop for posts with a reading time longer than seven minutes (Medium). Amazing, according to semrush, long reads (7,000+ word articles) are absolute leaders in terms of content performance, as they drive almost 4 times more traffic than articles of average length (900-1,200 words) and outperform in terms of backlinks (Backlinko).
- Time Writing: The average blog post takes somewhere between 3.5 hours (Orbit Media) and 4 hours (Optinmonster) to write. Then again, semrush reports that in 2020, the majority of bloggers spent over six hours on each post! It further says that the six hours spend is well worth it, with 31% of those who spend six-plus hours on a post reporting strong results. Regardless of the exacting amount of time, the trend in writing time has gone up significantly—in 2014, bloggers spent only two hours on a blog post before hitting publish (Semrush).
- Outsourcing: If that’s too much time to spend writing, or you want an expert, 64% of B2B marketers outsource blog copywriting (Optinmonster). Or perhaps they understand that a professional copywriter is valuable, since the most common complaints about content—too wordy, poorly written, or poorly designed (Adobe). Another factor is that marketers are still challenged to produce engaging content (60%) on a consistent basis (57%) (TopRank Marketing).
- Performance: 75% of the public prefers reading articles under 1,000 words (Contently)—so 1,416 and 2,164 words both miss the boat. On the other hand, Optinmonster reports that articles of 2,000+ words are far more likely to have strong results. This begs the question, “what is a strong result,” since each company has a set of metrics that are important to them.
Takeway: It looks long-form is the clear winner overall. However, it’s always important to remember that it will vary depending on your audience, the type of article, your key metrics, and many more factors. I go back to the fact that, in most cases, quality is much more important than the length of the article. First, Google’s algorithm is placing more emphasis on quality than ever before, and it takes time to write a high-quality article.
Second, people will read a longer article if it’s engaging, well-written, and trustworthy. On the other hand, they may stop reading if it’s not professional, full of fluff, hard-to-read, or otherwise flawed. To get a general idea of the length your articles should be, you may want to look at the blog posts by your most successful competitors, as well as articles with high page ranking. No matter how long your article is, the best approach is to concentrate on giving the audience what they want, rather than just slapping a quick article together.
The More Frequently You Publish, the More Effective You’ll Be, Up to a Point.
- Results: Bloggers who publish more often are more likely to report “strong results” (Orbit Media).
- Activity: About 50% of bloggers publish weekly or “several posts per month” (Orbit Media).
- Traffic and Conversion: Results: Publishing two to four times per week provides the highest results in terms of both traffic and conversions. This gibes with the “magic number” of 11+ being the magic number to get a noticeable increase in traffic for both B2B and B2C businesses. (Marketing Insider Group). On the high side of frequency, 57% of bloggers that publish every day get better results (Envisage Digital).
- Publishing Less: Despite greater frequency being important, Envisage reports that while in 2014, 27% of bloggers would post 2-6 times a week, in 2021, 23% of bloggers only publish a few times a month (Envisage Digital).
Takeaway: The rule of thumb is that you get better result by publishing more frequently, but the question is, where is the point of diminishing returns? If you have strong metrics by publishing once a week, is it worth the time and effort to publish two or three times a week? This requires performance analysis, understanding your goals, and the resources you have to create blog content.
Try Different Posting Days and Times to Reach Your Key Objectives.
- Traffic: The best time to publish to attract the most traffic is Monday at 11 a.m. EST (WPbeginner).
- Comments: To get the most comments, the best time to publish is Saturday morning from 9 a.m. EST (WPbeginner).
- When Read: Blogs are most often read in the mornings (9am is peak time, Nighttime is lowest), with Mondays having the greatest blog views by day (Shareaholic).
- Shares: Tuesdays get the greatest number of social shares, followed by Thursdays. Weekends are lowest (by far) (Buzzsumo / Okdork).
- Inbound Links: The average blog usually gets the most inbound links on Mondays and Thursdays (Kissmetrics).
Takeaway: It’s hard to reach any firm conclusions here except that it may be useful to post on different days, at different times, depending on your key objectives. Much of this likely has to do with your audience and whether you’re in a B2B or B2C marketing. My best advice is to experiment, know what metrics are important to you, and use an analysis tool to lead you in the right direction.
A Good Headline is Essential, So Don’t Make it an Afterthought.
- Long vs Short: “Very long” headlines (14–17 words) outperform short headlines by 76.7% in terms of social sharing (Backlinko). Reinforcing this idea, semrush reports that 10 to 13-word headlines drive twice as much traffic and X1.5 more shares than shorter ones (< 7 words) (semrush). But not everyone agree. Making your headline 6-8 words, which is fairly short, can increase your CTR by 21% (Optinmonster).
- Formatting: Headlines with a question mark get 23.3% more social shares than non-question headlines (Backlinko). 36% of readers prefer list-based headlines (Optinmonster). The how-to headline—a close cousin to the listicle—is the third most popular headline preference at around 17%. (Optinmonster). 30% of blog readers prefer blog headlines that include a number (BloggingWizard). Having a hyphen or colon in the headline increased click-through rates by 9% (SocialMediaExaminer).
- Generation: 91% of bloggers write only a few headline drafts (around six) before publishing (Orbit Media). 58% of bloggers write 2-3 headlines before deciding on one. Only 1% of bloggers try out 11 to over 20 headlines for their blogs before making a decision. However, the number of headlines is directly related to the success of blog posts (Orbit Media).
- Importance: This number varies, but in generally, readers just take around five seconds or less to decide whether they are going to click on your post on the search engine results page. 80% of your visitors will read your headline, but only 20% of them will read the rest of the article (Copyblogger).
Takeaway: From SEO for page rank, to clicks, to keep reading instead of bouncing, a good headline is critical for success. A headline is something to take seriously and not just throw it away. To get ideas for SEO keywords to put in the title, try examining which articles on your topic are at the top of the search page.
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Promote Your Blog Using Social Media.
- Content Length: 1.3% of articles get 75% of the social shares (Backlinko). This indicates that very few to viral—or get shared at all. You best bet is to go with the ideal content length for maximizing shares–1,000–2,000 words (Backlinko). You may be surprised to know, as was I, that 59% of people will share an article without reading it first, or ever (Medium.com).
- Publishing Time: There’s no “best day” to publish a new piece of content. Social shares are distributed evenly among posts published on different days of the week (Backlinko).
- Channel: 95.9% of bloggers promote their blog posts via social media (Serpwatch). But which channels work? Over 50% of bloggers report that it has gotten harder to get traffic from Facebook over the past two years, and nearly one-fifth say it has gotten harder to get traffic from Google. LinkedIn is an especially good source for discovering leads. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
Takeaway: It’s hard to get social shares, so do everything you can—such as adding social share button, directly asking readers to share, write substantial articles—but realize there’s enormous competition, so promote your articles aggressively.
It’s not always each to see what will make your blog articles perform because there are so many factors and each business and business is different. You can use this article to get some ideas on what bloggers are doing now and what is successful—and they are not always the same! If you’re writing your own copy, do you homework, experiment, and them analyze the results so you can refine your blogging strategy over time. If you outsource your writing, choose a copywriter who is well-versed in using SEO techniques and can write high quality articles. Westebbe Marketing provides strategic copywriting that can help your blog articles drive traffic and improve website performance.