Blogging Media: How To Make Your Marketing Succeed [Research]

Blogging Media: How To Make Your Marketing SucceedIs blogging media part of your overall marketing strategy?

Or do you think blogs are “old school”?

Does your blog exist on content scraps that some senior executive once wanted?

Let’s face reality:
Once the darling of digital marketing, blogging media has lost its sex appeal!

Yet ironically, most of the newer content media platforms evolved from blogs and continue to create quality must-read content based on blogging technology.

So, do you still need blogging media?  

Yes–Since blogging media is still your “digital home base”!

Marketers still have blogs because, as Joe Pulizzi puts it, “You shouldn’t build on rented land.” 

BUT:
To get blogging media to attract and engage readers requires marketing resources and a long-term perspective.

According to Orbit Media’s 2019 Blogging Research, you need:

  • Deep content defined by 2000+ words, 10+ images per post, and testing 20+ headlines.
  • Consistent performance defined by always researching keywords, collaborating with influencers and using analytics to measure results. Also add processes for editorial and distribution.

While no longer “free”, blogging media yields business value over time.

Here’s how to develop a revenue generating blog based on research.

Most Effective Blogging Tactics

Why A Blog Remains Critical To Your Marketing More Than Ever

Blogging media contributes to your marketing success in critical ways:

  • Provides media entity and home base for publishing and associating related content, information and data with your business. This supports voice-first full-question searches, hub and spoke article structure, and integration with other business data.
  • Has useful technology structure to support content publication and search. Open source content management systems are flexible over a wide range of publishing needs.
  • Builds addressable audience since it acts as a visitor. Allow email capture with tools like OptinMonster and Hello Bar.
  • Is owned social media. By their nature, blogs are social media. They facilitate sharing, add diverse voices, and build community.
  • Offers low cost content distribution support. In addition to text, blogs distribute images, video and audio. Regardless of where you post these content formats, use your blog to expand distribution.

With changing social media use and trust, blogs keep your information visible and  support content ownership.

In Andy Crestodina’s opinion:

“Blogs (and the general idea of publishing information that entertains, educates, and inspires) are the right way to do marketing. Consider the alternative …self-promotional ads that interrupt the people you’re trying to impress.”

 

How Much Times Does Blog Post Creation Actually Involve?

While on average, bloggers spend 3 hours 57 minutes in 2019 to write one post, 38% of bloggers spend 4 hours or more per post. 

Translation:
Blogging requires a half to one day of employee time to write.

Blogging Media: Blog Post Creation Time CHart via Orbit Media

In terms of length, the average blog post contains 1,267 words. But about 1 out of 5 blog posts is 1,500 words or longer. 

Blogging Media Post Length Chart via Orbit Media

By contrast, 

Based on 'top 10 Google results, the 'ideal blog post length' was between 2,350 and 2,425 words words long. Rand Fishkin  Click To Tweet

 

Before creating lengthly articles, Fishkin advises:

  • Assess your specific search terms and their results instead of a broad keyword sets.
  • Test new content approaches and formats.
  • Match your content goals and results to your audience’s search intent.

Blog post length according to Rand Fishkin

How Often Do You Need To Publish Blog Posts?

As a form of media, blog post publishing frequency matters.

According to  Northwestern’s Medill Research publication frequency builds  reader consumption habits. So it indicates reader retention.

By publishing on a regular schedule, ideally at least once per week, your reader develops a blog content consumption habit. In turn, the creates Share of Audience Attention (SoAA).

Roughly 2 out of 5 bloggers publish at least once a week, according to Orbit Media’s Research:

  • 20% of bloggers publish 2 or more times per week
  • 24% of bloggers publish weekly

By contrast, Rand found that publishing 11 or more blog posts per month yielded the most traffic. This translates to publishing 2+ posts per week and 1 out of 5 of Orbit Media Research respondents do this. 

So determine your blog post publication frequency based on:

  • Blog traffic and other results so they align with your content creation goals and resources.
  • Your need for attention-attracting blog posts to help amplification and support customer conversion.

Blogging Media- Blog Post Publication Frequency via Rand Fishkin of Moz

Actionable Blogging Media Tips:

  • Post at least once a week to build audience expectation for your posts and encourage a reader consumption habit.

 

What Types of Content Do Bloggers Publish On Blogging Media?

While often undervalued within businesses:

Your blog should be at the strategic heart of your marketing.Click To Tweet

 

Why? 
Because blogging media supports content marketing, social media, search marketing,  influencer marketing and customer acquisition and retention. 

So use a mix of blog post types to support your marketing objectives. As a result you provide the content, information and data your audience actively seeks and needs.

Bloggers often follow Marcus Sheridan’s, They Ask, You Answer approach. 3 out 4 of them use “How-To” articles. This Customer FAQ content supplies prospects with answers to their questions.

To drive stronger blog results, bloggers invest in bigger content offerings:

  • 40% of bloggers provide guides and ebooks
  • 39% of bloggers publish original research. According to Andy Crestodina,  “The Blogging Survey takes around 150 hours to create each year. That’s 10x the amount of time we invest in a typical post. But it yields 100x results of a typical post.  It shows how greater efforts can drive much greater rewards.”
  • 37% of bloggers use infographics.
  • 36% of bloggers have gated content. For example, Jay Baer’s blog, Convince & Convert, uses in-depth blog posts to tease visitors into more in-depth research and content.

 

What Content Formats Does A Blog Post Contain?

While most bloggers use images, one 3% add over 10 images per post and this more than doubles their chance for “best results”.

Further:

  • 57%  include statistics adding data and/or charts like newspaper do to make information easy-to-digest. Chart Content Example
  • 39% of bloggers add quotes and/or input from others. But only 1% always do!  Blogging Brute’s Mike Allton suggests:“Since I’ve spent years developing relationships in digital marketing, I reach out to lots of influencers. Since they’ve seen my roundups, they know I will make them look good.” 

To  make your influencers stand out, check Mike’s Top 19 Blogs To Follow In 2019.

Heidi Cohen is number 9 on Mike Alton's list

Make your blog stand out with video used by 26% of bloggers  and audio used by 7% of bloggers. Orbit MediaClick To Tweet

 

blogging media includes multiple content elements chart

Actionable Blogging Media Tips: 

  • Add metadata to non-text content.
  • Also post blog videos on YouTube, the second largest search engine.
  • Include audio. Convince and Convert’s Megan Leap says this increases time-on-site.Audio Version of text added to post

 

Are Professional Editors And Processes Used For Blogging Media?

 

As owned media, social media and content marketing, blogging is no longer a marketing free lunch!Click To Tweet

 

Translation:
To compete for audience attention in light of content marketing disruption, use a professional editor to add writing quality, voice and publishing consistency. 

30% of bloggers have a formal process for editing.  Orbit Media Blogging ResearchClick To Tweet

 

As Content Marketing Institute’s Lisa Doughtery explains,

“It’s difficult to critique your own writing. Since you’re too attached to your work; you may overlook big-picture problems (positioning, logic, flow, readability) or seemingly small details that can hurt credibility.” 

Further according to Lisa, a professional editor will:

  • Make sure your content stays true to your editorial mission, flows well, and is structured appropriately.
  • Find mistakes, correct grammar, provide proper attribution, and follow style guidelines.
  • Provide advice you may not want to hear, but their feedback makes you a better writer.

Still wonder whether your blog needs an editor? 

Behind every decent writer is a fantastic editor! If you want to be a better writer… get yourself a great editor to work with you. Ann Handley Click To Tweet

Actionable Blogging Media Tips:

  • Hire an editor, if you can afford to!  
  • Get someone to check your writing, if you can’t afford an editor.
  • Develop blogging guidelines. Include a mission statement, target audience, tone, topics and promotion schedule.

 

How Do Marketers Distribute Blogging Media Content?

Regardless of results, bloggers use a mix of distribution methods for posts.

What makes the biggest difference to post results?
Investing in paid distribution and influencer marketing.

Like content marketers, bloggers must face the reality that distribution requires budget. This includes:

  • Advertising,
  • Influencer outreach,
  • On-going social media presence and engagement,
  • Additional formats, and
  • New distribution presentation by platform.

Blogging Media Distribution Methods Chart

Want blog post distribution success?
Then promote and curate your best posts over time.
Most bloggers invest more time and resources in content creation than in content distribution.

Further choose your post publication timing with care since it influences your results!

To maximize post distribution results:

  • Focus distribution efforts for the first 3 days.
  • Change blog post format and presentations on different platforms over time.
  • Update best performing blog content on regular basis. 68% of bloggers update or improve their blog posts. According to Lisa, Content Marketing Institute republishes their best posts that are at least a year old. 

Actionable Blogging Media Tips:

  • Email everyone who participated or was mentioned in your blog post. For example, Lisa emailed me with this subject line:“YOU ARE FEATURED / Content Marketing World Crowdsourced Blog Post Preview: Scheduled for August 6, 2019”

 

Do you use paid promotion to distribute blog content?

To improve results, pay for distribution:

  • Best performing blogs (43%) pay for promotion over twice as much as average blogs (17%).
  • Further, best performing blogs (41%) invest in influencer outreach more than average blogs (18%).

Do you use social media to distribute blog content?

While the difference in social media use may be attributable to paid versus free, strong performing blogs (29%)  use less social media than average blogs (97%).

To focus your blogging media distribution on social media, use Trust Insights analysis:

  • Based on net user changes the top social media platforms, include YouTube and Private Communities like Discord, Slack and Twitch. (Get Trust Insights’s full analysis of Talkwalker’s social media data.) 

Net Change in Social Media Search Volumes

Neither LinkedIn Publishing nor Medium appears on this list.

But syndicating your blog posts to these social media platforms helps post distribution.

Actionable Blogging Media Tips:

  • Keep your content visible on relevant social media platforms. But change your text and presentation.
  • Transform  text blog posts into video or just create a video to promote it. Also, share the video on YouTube to help search.

 

Do you use search optimization to distribute blog content?

In terms of optimizing blogging media for search, Orbit Media only asked about keyword research:

  • 26% of bloggers always use keyword research and
  • 17% of bloggers never do, but…
  • 53% of bloggers with strong results always perform keyword research!

But to improve your blog’s ranking in search,
its blog’s site structure matters!

After studying 100 randomly selected blogs, Eric Enge found:
“Only 3 out of 10 blogs examined contained 50% or more blog post pages.” This matters since non-blog post pages (like category and tag pages) don’t rank in search.

Blog pages which are blog posts

Further:
2/3 of the blogs analyzed had an average link depth greater than 5. Link depth represents the number of clicks from the blog’s homepage to the blog post.

average blog link depth

So how do you improve blog searchability?

  • Use a content hub approach to reduce link depth and focus on keywords.

seismic Marketing SHIFT needs structure & relted data

Further:
Use full questions in your content. This support users, voice-first search, and featured snippets in more SERPs.
For example, Andy Crestodina used the Q and A format for the Table of Contents in the Blogging Survey post since questions help engage readers and increases promotional opportunities, like Quora.

Post Table of Content uses Q&A format

Actionable Blogging Media Tips:

  • Always assess how to improve post ranking in search. Consider mobile and voice search too!

 

How Often Do Marketers Measure Blogging Media Results?

While analytics and related performance tracking are low cost and easy-to-use, only 1 out of 3 bloggers always checks their analytics. 

With increased investment in creating longer, quality blog posts,  get the most return on your marketing resources with analytics. (Translation: Return on Blogging!)

Since 90% of B2B marketers use blog posts as a key form of content marketing, you must measure results!  Because marketers have the ability to track and measure key metrics for blog results.

How often do bloggers check their analytics?

Without measuring your blog post performance, you don’t know if your blog supports your overall marketing objectives.

Only 3 out of 10 bloggers knows that their blog yields strong results. 

which of the following best applies to your blog?

Given today’s global economic uncertainty, go beyond blogging performance metrics. Track other marketing and resource tactics to show how your blog increases business value. Include:

  • How the blog extends and provides entry ways for mega-content efforts,
  • Show how your blog attracts email subscribers and prospects, and
  • How restructuring your blog supports changing search and voice-first queries.

 

Blogging Media Conclusion

Blogging media still matters. As a key element of your marketing strategy your blog supports content marketing, social media, search and audience and customer acquisition. 

The 2 biggest challenges for bloggers underscore the seismic marketing shift:

  • Lack of time and resources to create and promote blog posts.
  • Increased difficulty getting visitors to engage.

Despite aligning your blog with your audience’s needs and wants, you still face increased content saturation. So, it remains difficult to break through and attract attention.

How can increase your blog’s traction and visibility?

Exceed what the best performing bloggers do to create and distribute blog posts.

Further, one KEY  blogging success factor wasn’t mentioned:
Blog longevity.

This accounts for the cumulative benefit of blogging regularly over an extended number of years. 

These top bloggers include:

Beyond showing up for their audience, they generate measurable revenues and related business value from their blogging efforts.

To accomplish this, make smart trade-offs based on data, not seat-of-your-pants guesses.

Where possible, integrate post creation and distribution into other marketing tactics to increase results with lower resource use.

But don’t skimp on your content creation quality or weekly posting.

Just keep showing up at your blog. 

And create and distribute content on a regular basis.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

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Photo Credit: Hub and Spoke Chart – https://www.animalz.co/blog/seo-for-content-marketing/..

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