Quantifying the Benchmarks of Successful Blogging: How Long is a Piece of String?
According to Virtuoso.com a new blog is produced every half a second! Going by that rate we can expect about 63 million new blogs in 2023 alone.
Research data from Bloomberg cited by Forbes, indicates that eight out of ten blogs fail within the first 18 months.
This means that of 63 million blogs that will be created this year about 80% of those will become the dreaded duds and go into failure statistics.
That enormous 80% share includes newly created blogs.
The grim reality is that only a handful of bloggers are successful in as far as the metrics of reach and revenue are concerned.
However, bloggers and businesses that are new in the game face many challenges and are bogged down by many doubts and manifold questions that are bewildering. The 80% failure rate is a staggering testimony to why blogging is not a walk in the park.
And what is the main reason behind all these casualties? Disinformation!
Most bloggers that dive into the blogging are under-informed, disinformed or both.
If you are new in the space, you will be swamped with half-baked, low value tactics, how-to guides that are mostly either just too simplistic or downright deceptive and far removed from what it really takes to set up and run a successful blog. Most new bloggers just flounder into oblivion due to frustration and running out of the crucial steam and resources.
Blogging, done properly, has immense benefits and value for businesses and for bloggers who run blogs as their business model.
7 Benefits of Blogging (for Businesses)
1. Keep Your Audience Engaged
It’s not easy to market your products and services, especially in today’s cutthroat business environment. The blog comes in handy to shore up the visibility of your brand and keep your audience or community engaged. From a continually engaged audience you can tactfully promote other forms of strategic content as well as your products and services. The critical aspect of your content strategy is ensuring that you publish quality, shareable content that gives value to your readers.
2. Generate new leads
Blogging is a great component of marketing strategy. Done well, it boosts traffic to your website. Blog posts turn into a potent tool for increasing brand visibility with the use of SEO techniques like keywords, titles, meta descriptions, and more. Also, each new blog entry you publish creates a new page for your website. By giving Google and other search engines an incentive to revisit your website in search of fresh content to index, this increases your visibility and findability of your website/blog on search engines.
3. Build a community (audience) around your brand
Most companies and bloggers are leveraging blogs to promote their services and develop enduring relationships with potential customers. Part of this approach is to share links to the blog on social media to expand readership and create a community around your content, brand and products. You generate traction to your blog by sharing blog posts on social media.
4. Become a Thought Leader and Bolster Brand Authority
Nothing can compare to a strong reputation, and blogging is a crucial investment in this process because it enables you to communicate with your audience in new ways while also sharing your views. Your blog is defined by and also defines -how you can express your opinions and ideas about a particular subject. It also gives you a platform to spread word via email, social media, and other channels. As you start to establish yourself as a legitimate thought leader in your field, visitors will keep returning to your website to consume more information.
5. Create more opportunities for sales
According to research, 80% of businesses like content (post) based advertisements over those with a standard “purchase now” call to action. The main reason for this is also that due to ad fatigue consumers are becoming less interested in traditional forms of commercials and advertising. Blogging becomes a formidable way of marketing a product or a service while offering value to your website visitor without wearing off the interest and attention capital of your target audience.
6. Achieve Return on Investment (ROI) in the long term
Wouldn’t it be great if you did not need to pay for ads to get traffic? Better yet, what if you didn’t even need to upload something each day to get people coming to your blog. interested in your content? Blogging makes all this possible. You can step away from your website for days while and still get visitors engage with it on a daily basis. How? Blogging yields long-lasting value in traffic and lead generation. If your blog content has been crafted on the basis of search intelligence (search intent-based keywords), then your content is likely to stick longer on search engine rankings and thereby continue to rake in traffic in the long haul.
7. Blogging can bolster your Digital presence
Inbound links and backlinks are two of the 200 variables that the Google algorithm takes into account. Backlinks are regarded by many experts as being the third most significant SEO component. Generating inbound links is a crucial element. But according to 41% of the expert’s, creating links is the most challenging aspect of SEO. You may increase the number of relevant links to your website by publishing content that offers value to your customers and to other businesses. Internal links (that connect posts within your blog) and external links that connect your blog with other websites and blogs lend weight to your blog and brand. This also increases your trust across your niche or industry. Most importantly, it informs Google of your reliability on the subject-matter. You can increase your domain authority with the use of backlinks, which additionally improves your search engine rankings and positioning your content for more traffic.
Bottom Line:Blogging (done well) gains your brand entry into Google’s all important Knowledge Graph. This bolsters your blog’s findability, visibility and the overall success of your digital presence strategy.
What is the Google Knowledge Graph?
“The Google Knowledge Graph is an enormous database of information that enables Google to provide immediate, factual answers to your questions”SEMRUSH
How Does Blogging Increase Traffic
To understand the importance of blogging we have to think about ways in which people can find products and services online. There are different types of search queries that people use to find information and products on Search engine like Google, Bing and Yahoo, etc.
Navigational Queries: These are navigational keywords used to locate a certain website or page. (see examples below)
Commercial Queries: key phrases people use when looking to research particular products or brands.
Informational Queries: Phrases used to get information on certain topics
Transactional Queries: These are key phrases used to make a purchase or perform an action.
Search Queries and Search Intent Explained
|Type of Query||Description||Examples|
|Navigational||Queries searchers use to get to a particular website||Google or google.comGmailHubspot website Groundzeroe.cometc|
|Informational||Queries used to look for certain information Most of these are W- and H- questions: what, who, how||How to start a blogHow Does Blogging Increase TrafficWhat is a niche|
|Commercial||Queries used to look for certain products||Web Hosting ReviewsTop SEO pluginsWeb Hosting FeaturesBest web hosting company|
|Transactional||Queries used to buy certain products/services||Web hosting discountWeb hosting deals Cheap web hostingBuy hosting package|
Insights (above) on how users find websites on the internet are useful for understanding how blogs drive traffic to a website.
Blogging drives traffic to a website by matching content with search intent with the aim of answering the search inquiry. The implication here is that the piece of content must be Search Engine Optimised (SEO) for search engines to index it and render against the relevant search queries.
If you selling digital cameras, you would use a keyword tool like to find out what key words/phrases users are punching into search engines like Google to find digital cameras.
You may find that people are searching for “best digital camera for beginners”.
If you keyword analysis and competition analysis indicate that you can rank this keyword (ideally on the first page) then you go ahead and craft quality content that answers that query.
In the main, your blogging strategy will focus on targeting informational, commercial and transactional search intent (queries).
The AIDA Content Marketing Funnel – Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA)
With keyword intelligence, you can structure your blog as a content marketing funnel.
At the awareness level, you will craft quality content that is focused on getting traffic and eye balls to your brand or product – without necessarily focusing on what you want to sell ultimately. The aim of the top of funnel content is to raise awareness.
At the Interest Level, middle of funnel – your blog will focus on content that sensitises your audience on the product that you are selling. The main thrust here is to scratch where it’s itching – in other words, highlight the specific problem your target audience has and indicate how your product solves that problem.
Desire and Action
The Desire and Action stages are the bottom of the funnel aspects of a content marketing funnel. In these stages, the focus is in compelling users to take an action
So… what does it take to build a Successful Blog?
What makes a successful blogger?
Can the determinants of successful blogging be quantified? How long is a piece of string?
“Blog More Often?” the self-proclaimed blogging gurus say. But what does that even mean, 2-3 posts a month? a week? or a day, or … what?
“Go for long-form content” they preach. But how long really? Is 500 words good enough? How about a 1000-word explainer? Oh, wait I’ve seen blog posts that scale up to 3000 – 5000 words? So… which is which?
“Success doesn’t come over night”, Fine. But how long is a piece of string?
Rome was not built in a day but neither was it built over a millennium. Catch my drift…?
In this post series on the Benchmarks of Successful Blogging, I am giving you the low down and drilling right down to the actual empirically derived numbers.
After going through the series, you will be equipped with a practical and actionable way of quantifying your goals, strategies, resources and expectations in as far as successful blogging is concerned.
But we have another conundrum to deal with before get into scenarios and figures in the series.
How do we define success in blogging? i.e. What is a successful blog?
How do we define a successful blog: Is a blog getting 30 organic hits a day successful? how about the one getting 1 million views a month, and another that gets 2000 hits per day with few conversions for products/services sold?
Some people just set up web logs (blogs) to rant and vent about whatever is on their minds and they are not really bothered about search engine optimisation (SEO) and traffic, they just want a digital pad (blog) to journal and catalogue their thoughts with little regard for whether somebody else will read what is published or not. How would you evaluate the success of such a blog?
Turns out, to determine if a blog is successful or not, the performance of the blog must be measured against its objectives.
To evaluate a blog, we need ask the following questions:
- Why was the blog established?
- What did the blogger have in mind when they conceptualised the blog and set it up?
- What were the key objectives, timelines and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
If we can answer the questions above then we have a reasonable framework to evaluate the performance of a blog.
That said, for blogpreneurs (those who blog for income), the ultimate end game of blogging is converting traffic to cash in one method or another.
The bottom-line could be in form of increased leads for a SaaS (software as a service product) converting into actual customers, increased sales for a particular product or service, or increased sales from a growing email list, etc.
Whatever the model, strategy and technique, blogging for a business objective must yield the following if it is successful:
Enough traffic to generate sufficient leads, a good percentage of which must convert to paying customers.
But then again, is there a magic number? What do ‘enough traffic’, ‘sufficient leads’, ‘good percentage’, really mean? Again, how long is a piece of string?
So, we need to rework that and rephrase it to:
A successful blog is a blog that generates enough traffic that yields sufficient leads, a good percentage of which must convert to paying customers – at volumes that are profitable to the business.
Now we’re talking!
In this series I will revisit key principles and benchmarks of successful blogging, and validate these by research data. Based on empirical research data from my own experience and other successful and verifiable case studies, I will be quantifying optimal blogging frequency, the question of how long should a good blog be, search engine indexing and ranking (SEO) for various blogging scenarios.
The series will focus on blogging for business as well as blogging models aimed at earning a substantive income through:
- Affiliate marketing
- Ad Display
- Businesses seeking to increase their leads
- Any other related income models
The blog series will answer the following questions:
- What is an ideal blogging frequency?
- Content length – short, bite sized or long form content? What does research say?
- How long does it really take for a new blog to start making money (take off)?
- How long does it take for Google to index New Posts?
- How long does it take for Google to rank New Posts?
- How many posts do you need to publish to make money?
- How to calculate the ROI of a blog
- How to calculate the value of your blog
The objective of the series is to demystify successful and profitable blogging through empowering prospective bloggers to make adequately informed decisions about the blogging business model: ideally before they start.