Here are some facts about blogging that might surprise you, even shock you...
On the face of it, the first three statistics in this article are not encouraging.
They suggest that you have only a one in 5 chance of making a living from your blog.
But skim down to the last of these facts about blogging. The one that says that more than 66% of bloggers have not updated their blog in the last year.
That statistic should fill you with hope!
Because it means that the 81% of bloggers who never make $100 from blogging includes the 2/3rds of bloggers who haven’t written a new blog post in the last 12 months.
And I’m assuming that doesn’t include you. After all, if you’ve taken the trouble to read this article, then it’s safe to assume that you’re looking for ways to improve your blog and that you are regularly writing new blog posts.
Now, I’m not a mathematician, but if we exclude the 2/3rds of bloggers who haven’t updated their blog within the last year, then the percentage who never make $100 from blogging would decrease dramatically while the percentage who make a living from blogging would increase dramatically.
Fact #2: Only 17% are able to sustain their lifestyle or support their family with their blogs
This is one of the grimmest facts about blogging, but see my comments about Fact #1.
Fact #3: A whopping 81% of bloggers never make $100 from blogging
This statistic is misleading because you have to factor in that a large percentage of bloggers do it as a hobby and never intend to make money from their blogging. Also, see my comment in relation to Fact #1.
Fact #4: Businesses that blog 20 times or more per month get 5x more traffic than those who blog 4 times or less per month
No surprises here.
Its well known that one of the keys to building a loyal reader and customer base is frequency, and consistency, of blog posting.
Some people put more emphasis on the consistency rather than frequency. Readers don’t mind whether its 2 posts a week or 5 posts a week, but they like a predictable pattern.
Of course, from a purely SEO point of view, a business that blogs 20 times per month is going to have a lot more pages in the search results than a business that blogs 10 times a month.
For some great tips on how frequently you should publish new blog posts, read Mark Schaefer's What is the ideal blogging frequency for your business?
Fact #5: The #1 position on Google search results gets 33% of all search traffic
This is one the facts about blogging that most bloggers will have seen before. If you target long tail keywords there’s no reason why you can’t reach the #1 position in the search results for your chosen keyword.
Here’s a tip to help you climb up the search results.
One of the factors that the Google algorithm measures is amount of time a visitor spends on your web page. The more time a person spends on your page, the more likely it is that your web page answered your visitor’s search query.
And because Google is constantly trying to improve the match between what people search for and what they find, Google is going to move your page higher.
Let’s say you’re in position #7 on the first page of results but visitors spend fractionally more time on your page than they do on the page that ranks #6. Google is going to move you up to position #6.
Now, a very effective way to get people to spend more time on your page is to embed a YouTube video on your page.
Just do a search on YouTube using the same keyword that you are targeting in your web page. Get the embed code for the video and place it ‘above the fold’ on your web page.
Fact #6: If a blog post is more than 1,500 words, on average it receives 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes
This is no surprise either.
Kissmetrics reports that the average length of content in the top 10 results of search queries is over 2000 words. Google clearly favours long form content.
But now we know why. The Google algorithm measures social signals such as number of shares, tweets, and likes. If people are giving more social shares to long form content, it will naturally rank better on Google than blog posts of 500 words.
Fact #7: Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%
Fact #8: Articles with images get 94% more views
Hopefully this will not come as a surprise to anyone reading this post. I don’t think anyone publishes text-only posts anymore.
But the quality of images in posts has gotten so good that you really need to make your images pop if you want people to keep reading your post.
For some great tips on how to easily create blog post images that keep your readers engaged, read Andy Libunao's article 3 Simple Blog Graphics You Can Create (Even if You’re Not a Designer).
Fact #9: More than two-thirds of bloggers have not updated their blogs in over a year
This is one of the saddest facts about blogging, but as I mentioned above, it’s also very hopeful. It means that most of the statistics in this article are based on bloggers who aren’t serious about their blog.
But if you’ve published a new blog post within the past month, most of the statistics in this article don’t apply to you.
For example, the percentage of bloggers who make a living from blogging and who have published a post within the last month will be much higher than the 17% mentioned above.
So, keep going! Publish a new blog post twice a week, try to make at least a third of your posts 1500 words or more, and make sure your images pop!
The barrier to entry in blogging is very low but the barrier to success is quite high
Based on these facts about blogging a number of conclusions can be drawn:
- the barrier to entry in blogging is very low but the barrier to success is quite high
- Frequency of publication (i.e. how many new articles you publish per month) is one of the predictors of success in blogging
- The #1 position on Google gets the lion's share of the traffic
- Articles that are more than 1500 words get a lot more enagagement on social media
- There's a threshold (21 - 54 blog posts) - once you cross that threshold, the going gets easier.
- Images are one of the keys to getting more engagement with your blog posts
- If you update your content at least once a year, you'll be ahead of 70% of all bloggers.