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How To Be in the Top 5% of Bloggers [Survey]

Orbit Media Studios conducted a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers to better understand the processes of industry experts. Respondents answered questions about time spent on a typical post, frequency, editing, promotional tactics and more.

The survey revealed that most bloggers (54 percent) spend two hours or less creating content. Only 5.5 percent of them spend six or more hours on a post.

Only 15 percent of bloggers have a formal editing process, less than half use multiple images and only 14.7 percent use videos. Less than five percent of bloggers write 1500-plus words per post.

In terms of quantity, more than half of bloggers post weekly, with 32 percent publishing more than once per week and 3.3 percent publishing daily. Only 4.3 percent of those who publish weekly are spending six-plus hours per post.

Four out of five bloggers, or 78 percent, write outside of work hours (eight percent say they write all the time, including nights and weekends). Of all the respondents, only 22 percent answered “during business hours” and gave no other answer.

Bloggers create content everywhere — more than 80 percent of respondents said they work from home. The “other” category included answers for writing in trains, planes, buses, libraries, at a child’s soccer practice, in bars and more. According to the report, “Blogging invades the brain. There is no off switch.”

Fifty-three percent of the survey respondents say they blog for others at least some of the time; only 14 percent report blogging for other businesses most of the time.

The majority of bloggers publish on others’ websites at least some of the time. But the survey doesn’t show what kind of websites these are. These may be clients’ sites, press or media outlets, or guest posts for other blogs.
 
For most bloggers, their posts are predominantly for one site. Only around one in 20 bloggers publish on others’ websites most of the time. Still, the majority of bloggers (58 percent) produce content for more than one site, highlighting the importance of Google Authorship and digital signatures.

“Knowing that so many bloggers are writing for more than one business, we can better understand the job of blogging and the skills required. Writing for multiple companies requires the ability to do research, client service and possibly sales,” said the report.

Most respondents, while dedicated bloggers, are disappointed with their own output (“I should write more.”). The survey results indicate high consistency, however, with 83 percent of bloggers publishing monthly or more often.

There is a inverse correlation between time invested per post and publishing frequency. Unsurprisingly, bloggers who spend more time on posts don’t publish as often.
 
Still, roughly one in six publish less than monthly or irregularly, reflecting the general challenge associated with producing quality content. There seems to be a trend away from quantity and toward quality.

“In the trade-off between quality and quantity, they’ve made a choice,” says Copyblogger. “A monthly post that your reader remembers (and shares) is worth a lot more than a weekly post they’ll forget. A memorable monthly article beats four soft weekly posts every time.”

Working with deadlines makes it difficult to produce compelling, thoughtful content, but unless content in genuinely worth reading, content marketing is not effective. As Copyblogger notes, “routine, phone-it-in content won’t get you the audience, the leads, the prospects or the conversions you need.”

Additional findings include: 94 percent of bloggers use social media to drive traffic (but only one in six bloggers who use social are reaching out to influencers), and nearly half of bloggers don’t typically check analytics.

To find yourself among the top five percent of bloggers, Orbit recommends doing the following:

  • Put in the time
    Just 5.5 percent of bloggers spend six-plus hours on a typical post.
  • Go deep
    Only 4.9 percent of bloggers write 1500+ words per post on average.
  • Flood the zone
    Only 4.7 percent of bloggers publish daily.
  • Build a team and a process for perfection
    Just 2.8 percent of bloggers use more than one editor in their process.
  • Add audio
    Only 2.6 percent of bloggers are producing audio content.
  • According to Copyblogger, interesting real-world content does the following:

    • Solves audience problems
    • Reflects the character, passion and knowledge of an authoritative person
    • Finds a fresh approach to the topic (especially if it’s a popular topic)
    • Is interesting and easy to read

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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