Nothing has enabled the democratisation of sharing opinions as much as the rise of blogging. Where 50 years ago only established media personalities could share their views with the public, it’s now possible for absolutely anybody with an internet connection to do so, with the entire world. The meteoric rise of social media - especially Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube - might now achieve the same goal, but blogging came first.
Even in 2020, blogging continues to be enormously important. In this article on modern-day blogging statistics, we’ll show you exactly how popular blogs are, the recent trends of how blogs are created and consumed, and share some of the biggest blogging success stories. Read on!
Having only really started in the mid-90s, blogging has now grown to become one of the dominant forms of web content. This stat goes some way towards illustrating the sheer scale of modern blogging. To put it another way, though, if you were to read 10 different blogs per day, it would take you over 41,600 years to work your way through the blogs that are currently online.
The first of our blogging statistics might already seem pretty staggering… but it’s still rising all the time. The growing popularity of blogs, combined with how easy it is to create and publish a new post, has led to levels of content creation which would have been unimaginable even 30 years ago. On the one hand, this could be seen as overwhelming. On the other, it’s allowed untold numbers of people to share their passions with others, learn more about the world around them, and - of course - to profit financially.
You probably already knew blogs were popular. Based on demographics which we’ll look at in more detail later; the chances are you’re someone who reads blogs regularly yourself. We doubt, however, that you were aware of the amount of space they take up on the internet. A full quarter of all websites now are blogs, which - when you consider how many different types of sites there are - illustrates a pretty significant amount of dominance.
Anybody can start a blog without investing too much time, effort, or money. Accordingly, there’s actually a fair spread of ages amongst bloggers, and - unlike some platforms like Twitch - blogger demographics aren’t dominated by younger people. Those aged between 40-49, 50-59 and 60+ each represent approximately 20% of the total bloggers, with the percentage of those aged under 30 being slightly lower. With that said, the biggest section is those between 30-39. This would seem to represent a sweet spot between being young enough to have the time and energy to run a blog, combined with being old enough to have a good level of knowledge in the chosen niche.
According to Babbel Magazine, the percentage of people worldwide who speak English sits at around 20%, with only 4.8% speaking it as their first language. The blogger demographics from 2018 diverge massively from these stats, though, with the vast majority of blogs being written in English. Perhaps that’s because a disproportionate number of bloggers come from English-speaking countries, or maybe it’s because non-native speakers want to reach the broadest possible audience. Either way, this is an example of how blogging trends don’t always match up with those in the wider world.
Back in 2014, bloggers spent an average of 2.5 hours writing a post. Fast-forward to the blogging statistics from 2018, and that number had already risen to 3.5 hours. Such a large increase in such a relatively short timespan clearly shows an important development in the blogging sphere. Given the aforementioned stat that a new blog is posted every 0.5 seconds on average, the sector is getting more competitive by the moment. That said, the only way for bloggers to differentiate themselves is by putting in more sheer effort, both through increasing the quality of their blogs and the length of their posts.
Out of all blogging stats, this one probably proves best how easy it is to start a blog nowadays. That accessibility has led many people to start their own blogs on a whim. However, this statistic also shows a significant number of them don’t manage to keep their blogs running for very long. Simply having the determination and consistency to stick with the project has become a key differentiator in who succeeds blogging.
One of the clearest blogging trends in 2019, that has actually been developing for years now, is that many people make money blogging… about blogging! There are a staggering number of resources out there now, meaning would-be bloggers are far more informed than ever. Something you’ll read in just about every one of these ‘how-to’ guides is the importance of analytics. Whether it be one of Google’s tools, or something more advanced like AHREFS, even the least experienced bloggers can now analyse exactly what is and isn’t working for their sites, and adjust their content accordingly.
Even though we’re here to focus on blogging statistics from 2018 and beyond, it’s worth taking a moment to look at how long has blogging been around. In fact, one of the founding fathers of the personal blogging scene - Justin Hall - started writing about his life all the way back in 1994. Blogs might have initially been dismissed as a novelty but, two and a half decades later, they’ve become an integral part of modern culture, and one which is clearly threatening traditional media (particularly newspapers).
If you didn’t know much about this area coming in, this might be one of the most shocking facts about blogging you read in this article. Why on earth would one want to write for someone else’s site when they’ve got their own blog to worry about, right?! Well, guest posting has actually become a massive part of building a successful blog in 2019. Not only does it help to build potentially useful relationships with other bloggers in a certain niche, but it is also an easy way to reach a whole new, relevant audience, and drive traffic back to the blogger’s site.
Some sites have thrived on writing extremely short ‘micro-blogs’, often capitalising on news events which have just happened, whilst others specialize in much more detailed ‘long form’ content. Based on blogging stats from 2018 - if you aim for around 1,100 words for each piece, you’ll fit right in!
Knowing how long to make their posts is something which many inexperienced bloggers struggle with. Fortunately, there have been plenty of investigations into this topic over the years. As it currently stands, business blogging statistics from 2018 suggest that 2,250-2,500 words represents the optimal length needed to get the most possible organic traffic in B2B areas, like finance (although different niches might have different ideal word counts).
As we mentioned above, there is a strong mix of short form and long form blogs out there. The extent to which shorter form dominates over longer form content is pretty surprising, though, with vastly more posts being pumped out at under 1000 words. This is understandable, as shorter posts generally require far less time to produce than their longer counterparts. However, this also represents something of a gap in the market. Given that longer pieces generate more leads, being one of the fewer bloggers to hit the higher word counts is a solid bet for increasing blogging ROI.
When it comes to blogging, the headline is almost as important as the article itself. In fact, some people would argue it’s even more important. After all, bloggers can spend hours and hours writing a killer, SEO-focused copy, but if its title is weak, not many people will click on the post when it shows up on SERPs. To provide some basic guidance, blog statistics from 2018 suggest that the perfect range for titles is 11-14 words, and they should be 70 characters at the very most.
S.E.O. These three letters will quickly be drilled into the mind of any new blogger, but the mechanics of search engine optimisation can take years and years to master. At a fundamental level, the better the SEO, the higher do pages appear on Google’s SERP. The higher on SERPs, the more clicks, and - as per latest stats on blogging - the top spot is disproportionately more valuable than any other.
When it comes to starting a blog, users have an enormous range of options as to where they’ll host it. Joomla, Drupal, Squarespace, Wix and the like are all pretty popular choices, but they’re absolutely dominated by WordPress. 33.6% of the entire internet is powered by WordPress. Of websites which use a CMS (content management system) - like blogs - WordPress holds a massive 60.5% market share. Thanks to a whole host of reasons - from its enormous library of plugins to the simple fact that it’s free - the number of blogs on WordPress dwarfs those hosted on other platforms.
This is another way to look at the dominance which WordPress currently holds over the blogging sphere. When we take into account our earlier stat, that there are a total of approximately 152 million blogs on the entire internet, the number of those which use WordPress is pretty jaw-dropping.
It’s no stretch to say that blogs weren’t always taken very seriously. In some places, they still aren’t, particularly if they’re not associated with a more traditional media company. The stats speak for themselves though, and this one clearly shows that blogs are now a massive part of popular culture. Over 3/4 of internet users regularly read blogs nowadays, covering an untold number of niches and interests.
Yup, 37 seconds. That’s it. Bloggers might regularly spend 3.5 hours on carefully crafting their posts but, on average, a visitor to their site will barely spend half a minute on that page. This is a mean average, of course, meaning that people who only spend a couple of seconds on the post are also included. The reasons for that vary between the readers not being able to find what they were looking for or clicked on blog posts accidentally. That said, this stat should definitely not be dismissed. In fact, it’s indicative of how many people read blogs in 2019. Rather than reading every single word, most visitors will simply skim through the article, gain a couple of takeaways, then leave.
Contrary to the stats above, it’s certainly still possible to get people to read blog content thoroughly, and one of the keys to that is keeping it to the right length. People who are genuinely interested in a topic will stick around, if bloggers are able to get their message across in around 7 minutes of their time. To put that in a more practical light, 7 minutes of reading equates to approximately 1,600 words. So, if you were wondering what is the ideal blog post length, there’s your answer!
There has been a big shift from text to video in recent years. That goes not just for blogging, but also for social media, with posts containing videos achieving consistently superior engagement rates. However, this is not a massive concern to those who prefer putting out the written word. Many people blogging in 2019 look to have the best of both worlds, by either embedding videos into their posts, creating video content as well as writing articles, or even making video versions of their written content.
The rise of analytics has allowed content creators to gain an unprecedented level of understanding of their readers. Within mere moments, one can see where their readers are based, how long they’re spending on the site, which posts are proving the most popular, and even the time they’re visiting the site. That last point suggests that if a blogger has a loyal base of subscribers, the morning - when people are checking out what’s new before they head to work or school - may be the best time to post an article. Blog readership statistics from 2018 could well change in 2019 though, particularly for your own site, so make sure you keep checking those analytics if you own a blog.
While we’re sure there are plenty of bloggers out there who simply want to share their passion for a hobby, or pass along some useful knowledge they’ve accumulated, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that most people really want to earn from it. Since the internet became popular, creating a website and making a living from it has been a dream for people around the world, and it’s certainly no different today.
For those of you wondering what percentage of bloggers make money, contrary to the above stat, not many of them do. In fact, only 31% of them make any money whatsoever from blogging. The potential reasons for this are numerous; from new bloggers not having a monetization plan, to the high levels of competition in many sectors.
There are two ways to interpret this particular statistic. On the one hand, you could say that - given how many people blog - this represents a very low number. On the other, you could say that 2 out of every 100 bloggers manage to make a very nice living indeed. Either way, this shows that the dream many people have of getting rich from blogging is tough to achieve.
While we’ve concentrated mainly on individual blog writers so far, they have become an increasingly popular tool for professional marketers too. Blogging is now a cornerstone of modern content marketing strategies, with the majority of marketers - as this statistic shows - actually prioritising it over all other inbound marketing strategies. Given the wealth of SEO and leads that are generated by blogs, it’s easy to see why.
Following on from our previous point, B2B marketers actually regard blogs as so important that a comfortable majority are willing to pay specialists to write them. As we’ve touched upon, arguably the biggest advantage of business blogs is that they are so cost effective. When done in-house, it costs nothing but time to put a blog out, as opposed to something like PPC advertising. A B2B marketer’s main aim is to generate leads, and this statistic clearly shows that - when it comes to blogs - they’re worth paying for, with the results outweighing the cost of hiring a writer.
As we established in an earlier blogging statistic or two, it can be pretty tricky to actually earn money from a blog. One of the main ways people do manage to achieve it is through advertising, whether it’s done through affiliate partners or something like Google Ads. The bad news is that it’s becoming harder and harder to do the latter, thanks to the rise of ad blocking software. The number of people doing so - on both desktop and mobile devices - is already significant, and it’s only getting bigger.
We touched upon this earlier in our blog statistics, but when it comes to the length of an article, there’s a pretty simple rule - more is better. The metrics across the board suggest that the longer the posts, the better they perform. That applies to user engagement, the number of leads generated, and particularly SEO performance, with Google judging longer posts to be more valuable to their readers, thus giving them a bump in rankings.
We’ve briefly looked at one of the most popular sources of income for bloggers, which is on-page advertising, but the top bloggers prefer a different approach to offset the cost of blogging. Adverts can be inconsistent in the amount of money they bring, and - even when they are working - bloggers only get a relatively small percentage of the income. Selling their own products - be it merchandise, a book, subscriber-only content or just about anything else - is a more reliable money-maker, and one in which they get to keep the majority of the profits.
The battle between outbound and inbound marketing has been going on for a while now. We don’t want to get into all that, but most of the blogging statistics definitely support the inbound approach. Rather than being shouted at by a big old advert, modern consumers prefer the softer approach of simply reading about a product, and deciding for themselves whether it sounds appealing or not. In blogging terms, this means product reviews and affiliate marketing have become extremely popular types of content.
You can comb through as many blogging industry statistics as you like, but the simple fact remains - more is better. The more blog posts it has, the more traffic does a website attract. It’s simple math; when a site has multiple blog posts ranked on Google, or going out on social media, more people are going to see them, and more people are going to navigate to it.
For those of you wondering who is the highest paid blogger of all time, Bill Simmons would have to be pretty high on the list, if not top of it. Few bloggers have achieved the level of success (both financial and cultural) of sports writer Bill Simmons. After blogging part-time while working as a bartender and waiter, Simmons grew his site to 45,000 hits per day, and landed a writing job at sports media giant ESPN. His salary there eventually reached the millions and - since leaving to found his own independent website - is estimated to be around $7-9 million per year.
The groundwork for many of the blog trends in 2019 was set years ago, and few sites have had as much influence as The Huffington Post (now rebranded as HuffPost). Arianna Huffington had already made a name for herself, as both a writer and political activist, but the founding of The Huffington Post in 2005 made her internationally famous and incredibly successful. It was essentially a giant blog, which attracted a number of famous writers and put a premium on the quality of its writing (it was the first online-only media publication to win a Pulitzer Prize). It now brings in millions of dollars each month, with Huffington herself (who has now left the site) believed to be worth approximately $50 million.
Fishkin’s story ties together a few of the blogging facts we’ve looked at here. Moz - which he co-founded with his mother back in 2004 - made its name as an SEO-focused site, helping other people drive traffic to their websites through search engines. Its success was built on inbound marketing, rather than splashy adverts, with its blogging proving particularly helpful to millions around the world. In turn, this encouraged readers to purchase the brand’s products - particularly their SEO tools - which brought about significant income to the site’s founders.
Blog writer Mark Manson started blogging back in 2009 and, by 2016, his blog had 2 million visitors per month. His first self-help book, published in 2011, sold 15,000 copies in its first three years. His second book - ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F**k’ - debuted at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2016. It continues to be one of the biggest sellers on Amazon and has been bought over 6 million times.
There’s no question that blogging is here to stay. Any lingering questions about whether it was simply a fad, which would be inevitably crushed by bigger media companies, have been definitively put to rest by blogging statistics like these.
The vast majority of internet users in 2020 regularly read blogs, and - even though the space itself is becoming ever more crowded - it’s still possible for a new blogger to break through and be successful. As we’ve seen here, doing so doesn’t just require good writing, but also an understanding of how people consume content nowadays, a monetization plan that works, and the sheer determination to stick with it in the long run.