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One-Minute MarketerA List of What Studying 912 Million Blog Posts Teaches Us

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A List of What Studying 912 Million Blog Posts Teaches Us

I’ve written many blogs in nine years, but nothing compares to the study done by and BuzzSumo. The sponsor name may reflect some bias toward backlinks, but with that many blog posts, you’re sure to find some trends.

words new blog post written on vintage manual typewriter

For this study, they use social shares and backlinks as the measure for successful blogging. Here are my Top 5 takeaways:

  1. List posts, like this one, are more heavily shared on social media. List posts get 218% more shares than how-to posts.
  2. Long-form content generates more backlinks than shorter blog posts do. That’s hard news for this one-minute blogger. The ideal content length for maximizing social media shares is 1,000 to 2,000 words. This blog is always under 300 words.
  3. Longer headlines are correlated with more social shares. Headlines with 14 to 17 words in length generate 77% more shares. This one has 11. My journalism writing teacher would scoff at this.
  4. The novelty of infographics has worn off. Infographics may work for link building, but not shares.
  5. “There’s no “best day” to publish a new piece of content. Evidently, social sharing occurs evenly on every day of the week.

My blogging experience shows that holiday weeks and Friday-Sunday are the worst days to publish. In the PR world, Friday is a bad day to release good news.

The study, while extensive, has a caution: “While it’s impossible to draw any firm conclusions from our study, our data suggest that backlinks are at least part of the reason that long-form content tends to rank in Google’s search results.” Back to the sponsor of the study. Then again, this was 912 million blogs in the study. Longer blogs and longer headlines seem to sell shares and backlinks.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.