Quality vs Quantity Debate Rages in Content Marketing

Orbit Media’s Annual Blogger Survey Reveals Bloggers Struggling to Balance Quantity and Quality

November 13, 2016

Bloggers are spending more time writing their posts. They’re producing longer blog posts with more of a visual bent. And they’re posting at a significantly reduced frequency.

These are some of the key conclusions from a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers by Orbit Media Studios. In a blog post, Andy Crestodina, an Orbit Media co-founder, outlined some of the implications of his company’s third annual survey and concluded that bloggers were focusing on quality over quantity.

Read on to find out how bloggers are changing their approach and why reducing frequency may pose hidden problems for your blog and overall content marketing.     

Bloggers are taking more time to create blog posts

The average blog post, according to Orbit Media’s survey, takes three hours and 16 minutes to write — an increase of 26 percent over the 2015 survey. Additionally, the survey found that twice as many bloggers are taking more than six hours to create the average post.

The survey found that 32 percent of bloggers who spend six or more hours writing posts report strong results, while just 23 percent of blogger who spend fewer than six hours per post report strong results. “This is evidence that the extra effort is worth it,” Crestodina writes in his post on the survey.

Bloggers are writing longer posts

Blog posts are getting longer. The survey found that the average blog post is 1,050 words long. That’s up 19 percent over last year. At the same time, posts that are 500 words or fewer are half as common as they were in 2014. In the same vein, the percentage of super-long posts of 2,000 words or more have doubled, just as they did last year.

Bloggers writing posts of fewer than 500 words report dismal performance: Just 13 percent of these bloggers say their results are strong. Meanwhile, about 40 percent of bloggers writing 2,000-word posts reported strong results.  

Bloggers are getting more visual

The survey also found that posts are becoming more visual. More than 75 percent of posts feature a visual, and 51 percent of posts contain more than one visuals. And 15 percent of posts use videos.

More than 35 percent of bloggers who include videos in their posts report strong results. Just 25 percent of those using a single image report strong results. But almost 30 percent of bloggers using multiple images report strong results. These finding suggest that the more visually-based a blog is, the stronger its performance.

Bloggers are reducing posting frequency

The backlash against high frequency in blogging continues, according to Orbit Media’s survey. Daily blogging has plunged in the past year, dropping 53 percent. Weekly is the more common frequency for blogging, and the percentage of bloggers who publish monthly has increased 38 percent in the past year. 

“Quality is winning as the more popular strategy (over quantity),” Crestodina writes. But he finds that the data doesn’t show that less frequent posts deliver better results. In fact, bloggers who post daily or more than daily reported the strongest results in Orbit Media’s survey.

Crestodina speculated on the reason. “Probably, bloggers with higher-frequency content programs are doing other things well, including distribution, promotion and measurement,” he said.

In other words, they are committed to blogging in particular and content marketing in general. Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group, likens spending on frequent content marketing to investing in an annuity. “Investing in content is like investing in a 401k,” he said. “It delivers returns like compound interest.”

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