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 BackLinko.com and BuzzSumo. The sponsor name may reflect some bias toward backlinks, but with that many blog posts, you’re sure to find some trends.
For this study, they use social shares and backlinks as the measure for successful blogging. Here are my Top 5 takeaways:
- List posts, like this one, are more heavily shared on social media. List posts get 218% more shares than how-to posts.
- 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.
- 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.
- The novelty of infographics has worn off. Infographics may work for link building, but not shares.
- “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.