August 31 is World Bloggers Day🎉. Sounds outdated? Think again, blogs are still as important as ever. We’ll prove it below!
Blogging statistics in 2018
The subject of the death (or not) of blogs is open to debate. Some were quick to foresee its demise, somewhere alongside Myspace and Lycos (may they rest in peace). With this type of situation, it might be interesting to examine the facts, in particular the figures, which don’t lie.
Let’s base it on one of the leading blogging platforms, much appreciated by millenials: Tumblr. Is the service declining or growing? The graph below provides an unequivocal answer, and illustrates the undeniable interest of users for the activity. Enough proof to provide a scathing denial to the naysayers of blogs!
While it’s still popular, blogging has changed significantly. The latest study by Orbite Media reveals a change in practices: bloggers are posting less often but are creating articles with richer content.
- In 2014, most bloggers stated posting “2 to 6 times a week”. In 2018, the most common frequency is “several times a month”, which is significantly less.
- The length of an average article has increased by 41% in 4 years, reaching 1142 words. This is the most significant change highlighted by the study.
On the editorial side, blogs are becoming in fact a more mature media, sometimes semi-professional. They can go so far as to compete with pure players, the 100% online news sites, like the Huffpost. One thing is certain: the distinction between influential blogs and professional sites is fading.
Blogs won’t disappear but they’ll evolve
Blogs are no longer systematically a weblog, that is to say a logbook composed mainly of text. Indeed, Tumblr has popularised a broader conception of the blog, where a post can simply consist of a photo, a video, a simple quote or an animated GIF. For its part, WordPress has established a standard, especially for semi-professional work, providing varied themes suitable for new types of blogging, such as the ultra popular photo blog. To date, WordPress has been downloaded 1 billion times (source: codeinwp), an undeniable success since its launch in 2003. Yes, it was 15 years ago!
And even for essentially editorial blogs, bloggers have clearly adapted their practices. The attention span of internet users is decreasing? Time is precious? Not worries! Bloggers knew, even before journalists, how to work on the readability of their content. They have popularised short paragraphs, bullet lists, the massive use of visuals, computer graphics, and so on. 58% of bloggers say they include more than one image per article… Exactly as on getfluence.com’s blog, have you noticed?
This trend in readability has even allowed authors to increase the length of their texts, as we’ve seen above, belying those who announced the death of content of substance and long articles on the web. Content is King!
The niche blog trend
As we’ve seen, the number of blogs continues to increase. Internet users face a plethora of offers. Newcomers must therefore differentiate themselves. The number one strategy is to take on a niche. It can be a demographic target, a specific topic, a particular industry. In any case, the focus must be precise enough to justify the term niche. No, a new yoga site is not a niche blog. Yes, a blog about AcroYoga (practiced with 2 people) is one. Get the picture?
The niche blog is experiencing a surge in popularity for the following main reasons:
- It forces the blogger to concentrate their efforts on a specific theme and to stick to it, without diverging unnecessarily,
- It allows the blogger to enrich their own knowledge through each new post,
- It helps to find a loyal audience more quickly,
- It opens the doors to partnerships with brands operating on the same niche, for example the ordering of a sponsored article,
- It’s faster to monetize.
Blogging for referencing
In fact, blogs experienced a resurgence when brands appropriated the phenomenon. They understood that old marketing, simply stating the characteristics of their products or services, no longer cut the mustard. It was necessary to be useful to consumers to earn their trust and make them loyal customers. This is even more true for B2B where credibility is paramount.
With Google prioritizing editorial content in its search results, brands have realised that a content strategy is now paramount to their SEO. The blog is therefore a gateway to their domain, it’s then up to them to bridge the gap between the articles and the commercial part of the site.
(Bonus) Reactions on Twitter to the death of the blog
Blogs are decidedly the ancestors of the Internet, as are search engines and email. And guess what: all these oldies still have good days ahead of them. We’re ready to bet on it: in 2025, blogging will still be as important as ever!