Are you blogging and wondering how your efforts and results compare with other bloggers? ConvertKit recently released its comprehensive State of Blogging Industry 2017 report based on surveys with more than 850 bloggers.
Here are my five takeaways from that report:
Unique subject matter is king.
The most popular blog topics are these seven: personal development, entrepreneurship, small business, online business, productivity, marketing and lifestyle design. If you’re writing in those arenas, it’s time to think about how can you make your content truly unique.
Have a strategy to meet your publishing goals.
There’s a gap between intent to publish and actually publishing. That should come as no surprise to us bloggers. The State of Blogging Industry 2017 report shows that for the most part, no matter how the bloggers stated they intended to publish, they actually published fewer posts. That held true for bloggers intending to publish one post per day; three posts per week; two posts per week; and one post per week. Bloggers who intended to publish just one post every other week or one post each month tended to match their intentions with their output.
If you have a strategy, you are more likely to succeed in your goals.
Related post: 5 Ways to Make Money From Blogging
Increasing the time lag between when you write a post and when you intend to publish it can help.
When I teach blogging at Writers and Books, I encourage students to create a blogging calendar that lists the topics and dates for upcoming posts. But I’ve only touched briefly on how writing a post days in advance can help with consistency, too. The State of Blogging Industry 2017 report showed that 52% of bloggers write either the day before or the same day as they plan to publish. I’m guilty of doing that too often, too.
As the report states, if you write a post one month in advance, it gives you the opportunity to fine-tune it even more; to share it with a trusted person for feedback; to add media to make it more engaging, and so on.
If something urgent comes up the day you want to post, if you have the blog already written, you won’t have to delay posting it.
If you’re not collecting email addresses, you lose a measurement of success.
I’m a firm believe that email marketing is the best way to grow an audience. The State of Blogging Industry 2017 showed that bloggers judge success more by total site visitors and social shares. I’m with ConvertKit on this one, as their report states: “To turn a blog reader into a customer, you have to have a way to get back in touch, and that almost always means turning them into an email subscriber first.”
Social media is the best source of website traffic for blogs.
I want to preface that statement by saying that’s true for “non-pro” bloggers.
The ConvertKit staff used U.S. Census data on median household income to categorize bloggers as either “pros” or “non-pros.” Pro bloggers are defined as people who are earning what can be considered a full-time living from their blog, at least $72, 165 annually in households with children or at least $33,805 annually in a household without children. Non-pro bloggers are people earning less than those income amounts.
The top source of blog traffic for the pros was organic search. The No. 2 source of traffic for both pros and non-pros was direct traffic, such as when someone types your website URL into a search engine to reach your site.
Will you make any changes to your blog practices based on these findings?
To read the full report, click here.
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