Blogging in 2022 seems to be getting harder when it comes to writing time for individual posts, according to a new survey.
OK, bloggers, have you seen an increase in the writing time you’re devoting to your site? If you have, a new survey says you are definitely not alone.
Orbit Media‘s annual survey on the blogosphere includes the responses of 1,016 bloggers in 2022. This year’s survey results show 80% of bloggers believe their blogs deliver “some results” or “strong results.” That figure, they say, has remained steady since 2016.
What’s different, though, is that bloggers say it’s taking them longer to write their posts:
In 2022, bloggers spend an average of 4 hours 10 minutes writing an article. That’s 74% more time than in 2014 when we first conducted this research.Orbit Media
The time commitment could be a problem for some bloggers.
“Most bloggers struggle to find time to create and promote their content,” Orbit Media writes. I can’t argue with that. But back in 2017, I gave the real answer to the question, “How do you find time to blog?” Getting into the right mindset is critical if you’re thinking about starting a blog. You have to make your schedule work for your blog, just as you have to make it work for everything else you’re committed to doing in your life.
No, I’m not saying that changing your mindset means it’s always easy to set that time aside.
There are still plenty of times I find myself behind on blogging. But I know going in how much time I can reasonably expect to spend if I want a post of at least minimal quality. So I know sooner if I’m going to accomplish my goal based on how much time I did or didn’t set aside.
And because I know how much time I need to craft a post — including the time spent just letting it “simmer” in the back of my head before I start typing, I know better how to plan my time when I have a post due!
How much writing time does a post take these days?
More than half of those who responded — 52% to be exact — said finding time to create and promote content is their top challenge as a blogger. For 46%, getting traffic and attracting visitors is the top challenge.
Attracting visitors and getting traffic, it seems to me, first requires building quality content. Sooner or later — but never soon enough — the traffic will come if you stay dedicated to the content.
But if you’re looking at the time to write a “typical” blog post, you can quickly see a major time drain in the survey results.
In 2014, the first year Orbit Media conducted its survey, it took two hours and 24 minutes. It crossed the three-hour mark in 2016. Last year, it crossed the four-hour threshold.
In 2022, it now takes four hours and 10 minutes to create a typical post. That’s an increase, Orbit Media says, of 74% over 2014’s initial time.
If you were to consider yourself as a full-time blogger, one post takes a little more than half of an entire workday. If you’re writing five posts per week, that’s half of your workweek right there.
That doesn’t count time spent marketing those posts or any other aspect of blogging: that’s just the writing time alone.
For most of us, blogging is not the full-time job. For most of us, I would wager, blogging doesn’t pay the bills at all. Some of us have been losing money on blogging when you figure the time spent on hosting and various services we pay for.
That amount of time, therefore, can really seem daunting if you think too much about it.
My advice: don’t waste a lot of time worrying about the time. If you do, you’ll really have a struggle on your hands!
Writing time goes up, word count goes down.
If there’s any good news in the battle over blog post writing time, it may be that the average post length dropped a bit this year. The 2021 survey found the biggest word count in average posts for any year, at 1,416. For 2022, it dropped a bit, down to 1,376.
I didn’t say it was a huge drop. But as you get better at writing, you may find you need fewer words.
Still, you might feel a bit discouraged to see that bloggers are spending more time to write fewer words. Again, don’t overthink it. You have to decide for yourself when a post is long enough.
I don’t stress out over word count. I set my minimum word count at 300 words, only because Yoast, the WordPress plugin I use for SEO, recommends that as a minimum length. Otherwise, I write until I feel I’ve made the point.
The majority of bloggers — a total of 65% — write posts with an average length of between 500 and 1,500 words. Thirty-four percent say their average falls between 500 and 1,000. The remaining 31% write between 1,000 and 1,500-word posts. Only a tiny fragment — 4% — go longer than 3,000 words.
By my count, at the end of this sentence, this post now stands with a word count of 876. I only mention that to give you an idea of what a 500 to 1,000 post looks like.
The time it takes to write is a sacrifice a blogger won’t be able to escape. You’ll have to commit to writing. But the longer you do it, the faster you can write. The more you streamline your process and build your writing groove, the better your blog will be.
The good news is no two people write the same way — whether it’s the word count or writing time. Just because we know the averages doesn’t mean you know what your process will take!
The only way to answer that question is to begin!