Blogging has completely changed the way content is created on the internet. It’s not just about creating content going live with a new website or blog, it’s also a driving force behind how individuals, celebrities, brands, businesses, and bloggers connect with each other in the world today. Blogging in itself is quite amazing, but it simply wouldn’t be what it is today without the use of WordPress, a free content management solution. WordPress has made the process of creating a blog so simple, anyone can do it — all leading to the massive growth of blogging that we continue to see today.
It’s no surprise that 2016 was yet another important year for the internet, blogging, content creation and social media. With more people now having access to faster internet and mobile devices, internet usage numbers are going through the roof — which ultimately leads to more blogs being read, created and contributing the internet we all use today.
A Look at Blogging in the World Today
As another year of blogging comes to an end, it’s time to take a look at the content marketing landscape and how it remains one of the most critical strategies for B2B and B2C markets, businesses, and brands around the world. Follow through on the “State of the Blogging World 2016” infographic below to learn more.
Blogging has a long history of success. It all started back in 1994 with a few individuals using a blogging platform like Links.net. Today, the world of blogging has drastically changed and scaled in size since then. With more than a billion active sites on the internet, blogging and WordPress-powered sites make up a great majority of them.
This has greatly been influenced through the many different blogging platforms on the market. Blogger.com and WordPress.org are the two most popular blogging platforms today. They both have their perks, and many people have trouble deciding between the two. Blogger.com is owned by Google, and the advantage to starting a site on their platform is that it’s 100% free and very easy to set up. However, there are many disadvantages to running a site only through Blogger.com — such as not having complete ownership over your content, being limited on customizations and not being able to make money with your blog as well.
WordPress has some robust features that make it look more like a website, which makes it a better option for businesses. They have niche-specific templates in every industry, and you can also download third-party plug-ins and themes. In short, WordPress has become the platform of choice for blogging and helping it turn into the massive beast it is today.
Data About Blogging Today
In this section, we will share some interesting data on blogging that should get you interested in looking into this avenue of communication for your business, if you have not done so yet.
76% of Marketers Plan to Produce More Content
This study was put out for 2016 but the trends show that it will only continue into the future. This can influence the popularity and use of certain keywords as well as to increase the competition in some niche areas.
Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.
TechClient.com noted this fact when studying some infographics about blogging. Other notable statistics on blogging included:
- 23% of online time is spent on the blog or social media sites.
- Small businesses with blogs have 126% increases in leads generation.
- 12 million people blog via social media networks (Facebook posts, etc.)
- 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites
- Blogger, the nation’s leading blogging site, has over 46 million unique visitors per month.
- The majority of bloggers are women.
- 97% of companies that blog has 97% more inbound links.
All of these facts are fascinating about the state of blogging today in 2016. Our predictions are that it will only get more prolific as time goes on. Blogging, which started with just a few people documenting vacations and keeping an online journal, have now escalated to millions of bloggers, businesses, and individuals, including authors, musicians, and specialists, who use their blog to promote their brand.
The results are astounding as you can see from the above statistics. So how and why does blogging work? Here are a few reasons:
Blogging is Good Business
According to Socialmediaexaminer.com, 45% of online marketers say that blogging is an important part of their sales strategy. This is because they understand the value of information.
When you blog, you are giving people information that they need. It may be information about your products or services. It may be sharing your views on some relevant topic. You can use your blog for just about anything you wish to tell your viewers, subscribers, and customers. The main thing is that you are communicating with them in a personal way that is informal in nature. This creates a kind of connection with the individual reader that you don’t have on your website.
Linking Opportunities: Building Backlinks
Another reason it works is the link opportunities. You can put links to your other web properties such as your main website, books you have written, your online store, and YouTube channel within your blog and lead people to the places you want them to go.
This increases your Google ranking, engages more people, and creates more leads simply by being present in more places and having more doors from which customers can enter to your main site.
Blogging is good for another reason as well. You have the opportunity to present a multimedia slideshow or PowerPoint, video, or other media presentation through your blog. Why not put a video or photo slideshow within the main body of your blog and share the information that way?
This is a great opportunity to engage readers of your blog and create a call-to-action to collect more leads and customers. Statistics show that 94% of those who share links within blogs do so because they feel it has helpful information. By creating more shareable content, you will increase the tendency to get your blog content shared and thus increase your potential for more sales and conversions.
HubSpot reports that business owners who utilize blogs within their marketing strategy get 67% more views and leads than those who do not.
This is a powerful statistic and well and reminds us of the importance of using the tools that are out there to enrich your visitor’s experience.
Blogs Increase Your Credibility
Let’s face it: anyone can put up a website. They can get a graphic artist to create some stunning graphics, put some components together and put up a shopping cart. We’ve all come across websites like this. But when you have a blog, you are adding a personal touch to your website that you can customize. You are speaking to your potential customer directly. You are coming out of the closet, so to speak, as a business owner, to let them know that you are for real.
Google is encouraging more businesses to take the approach of transparency by letting others know who you are. By creating rich and valuable content on your blog that is linked to your website, along with a biography of you as the writer, you are coming face-to-face with your potential customer and addressing their concerns head-on. This can go a long way toward increasing your level of credibility and improving your reputation on the web.
The topic of your blog should be related to your business type. But it can be somewhat off-topic if it is something your customers want.
Blogs today are often focused on key “pain points” that their customers have said that they have through customer service emails, calls, and complaints. This can help minimize the number of such calls in the future by telling thousands of people the answer to their concerns, rather than having to deal with them on a case-by-case basis.
Some Other Blog Stats to Take with You
In addition to these stats, here are a few more to consider. Think about what these stats mean and what they can mean for your business. Simply by having a blog, you can tap into money that is left on the table and increase your engagement and leads by several percentage points.
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging (related to content) are 13 times more likely to (Source: Hubspot and State of Inbound 2016)
- By 2020, humans are predicted to manage 85% of their relationships without actually talking to a human.
- There is a positive correlation between blog connectivity and customer acquisition. This graph from B2C illustrates the strong connection between a visitor’s engagement with blogs and their tendency to purchase. The more they visit the blog, the more their purchasing increases.
- Blogs have been rated as the fifth most reliable source of online information. (Source: Hubspot.com)
All of these statistics show the value of a business blog. Even if you have not considering having a blog before, these facts should convince you that it is one of the best things you can do to increase your potential leads, engage your audience, and promote your brand.
Keep your blog informal, casual, but professional, and offer value to your customers in some of the ways we have discussed above such as:
- Talking about customer concerns
- Taking surveys to see what they want
- Offering free eBooks or information
- Include media such as podcasts and videos
- Using infographics and images to spark interest
Finally, a blog encourages customers to make comments. So, unless you are afraid you will not be able to maintain your blog regularly, you should allow comments. This increases interaction among your clients and visitors and can help you to inform them about what you are doing as well.
If you do not have time to maintain or write your blog, hire a ghostwriter. While you want to be transparent with your customers, many business owners just don’t seem to find the time to keep a blog going. If that is the case (and you need to post at least once per week or more to increase traffic), hire a ghostwriter.
Ghostwriters are paid for content they write on behalf of someone else. It is totally legal, but you maintain the rights once the content is written. Look into this by going to a freelance content site such as Textbroker.com or Constant-Content.com.
How to Get Started
Blogging has completely changed the way content is created on the internet and the way brands continue to connect with their audience. While many facets of the industry will continue to change, the core basics of blogging are going to still be in play and matter most. To continually find success with blogging you need to create content that provides value to your audience, while also making sure it’s better than your competition. At the same time, it’s also important to put in the time, work and effort to make sure you are promoting your blog content effectively.
Once you decide to get started with a blog of your own, we highly recommend you go with a domain name and a shared hosting plan of your own. Don’t worry, the costs are quite minimal and the set up is easier than ever before. Not only have we personally helped thousands of people get started with a blog, we’ve also walked them through the complete process and how to get live in just a few minutes time.