Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Although there may be disagreement about when blogging was born, one thing is clear. Blogging has been reincarnated and the pandemic deserves a lot of credit for it. The best guess is that blogging got its name in the early to mid-1990s.
The 7th Annual Survey of Bloggers last August and September by Orbit Media reported that nearly a quarter (24.7%) of the 1,279 bloggers they surveyed said their blogs delivered “strong marketing success” while another 54.2% responded with “some results.” Only 8.4% felt their blogs delivered “disappointing results” while 12.7% had no clue if their blogs delivered any value at all. Although the measurements are self-reported, it gives strong support for the continuance of good industry blogs.
In January, OptinMonster reported that more than 20 billion blog pages are read by about 409 consumers each month.
The pandemic has accelerated use of digital platforms. Blogs, and the brands they represented were the beneficiaries. SEO Tribunal reported that companies that blog garner 97% more links to their websites and that 57% of marketers credit blogs for bringing in new customers. A recent Data Box survey confirmed the power of today’s blogs by showing that 68% of marketers found blogging more effective than two years ago.
Of all the industries using blogs, WPBeginner, a WordPress resource site, indicated that the top five most popular blogs are fashion, followed by food, travel, music and lifestyle. Fitness, DIY, sports, finance and politics rounded out the top ten in that order. 11th was parenting, followed by business, personal, movie, auto, new, pet, and gaming.
Ready to blog? Blogging is more about quality than quantity. It’s about building relationships in much the same manner as micro and nano influencers. Bloggers who maintain and build conversations of high quality and content with their readers establish and keep a loyal following that fosters trust and credibility.
Of the bloggers who reported strong results to Orbit Media, most wrote articles of 3,000 or more words. However, this may be changing because of shortened attention spans. Some reports say that more people now prefer to skim through reports and blogs. One way to maintain attention among skimmers while delivering information is by keeping sentences short and segregating content into well-thought-out headers. Lists also help make content easier to understand.
Blogs that set a brand apart as a leader should contain refreshing new content. Nothing turns off and discourages a reader from ever returning than blogs with information they already knew. Content must be unique. Throwing in a tip or two adds even more spice.
Well-written blogs are only half the target. The other half is conversations. Inviting comments as well as responding to them makes it personal and seals the relationship with consumers. OptinMonster reported that new comments by 77 million readers are generated monthly. Successful blogs are an important two-way street.
And although it sounds counter-productive, direct consumers to other blogs related to their area(s) of interest. This further instills trust and confidence. Just be sure to make these other bloggers aware of this as well as it would likely result in reciprocity.
Finally, go deep into content as doing so may likely improve search engine rankings. And by coming at the topic from different angles, it allows readers to appreciate that the brand understands that there’s more than one side or approach to an issue or challenge.