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Blogger Research: Is it a Job or a Lifestyle?

Blogger Research: Is it a Job or a Lifestyle?

It’s in the back of your mind. It’s your next post. Actually, you’ve been thinking about several topics. You have a dozen half-finished posts and a notebook full of ideas.

You’re a blogger.

Ideas can pop up at any time, any place. So bloggers tend to work at different times and many places. But where and when, exactly?

We conducted a blogger survey and asked 1,000 professionals a few questions. How much time they spend writing? How long are their posts? How often do they check Analytics? But the first numbers to jump out were the where and then when of blogging…So here’s some blogger research.

Bloggers are “always on”

Most business people work during business hours. Bloggers …not so much. When asked, bloggers reported that it’s always blog o’clock.

  • 30% of bloggers write before work.

  • Another 32% blog after work.

  • Almost half of us write at night.

  • And for 40% of respondents, the weekend isn’t a break. It’s a time to catch up or get ahead.

When do bloggers blog?

Blogging Research

People are producing content at all times of day and night. In fact, only 22% of bloggers write during business hours and at no other time. Clearly, this isn’t a normal job.

Bloggers blog everywhere

Although a lot of writers have a favorite space, it’s clear that bloggers are working at home, at work and places in between. Here’s the data…

Where do bloggers blog?

Blogging Research

A full 81% of us are writing from home. That’s more than twice as many as the bloggers who write from the office. The “other” responses show just how many places bloggers are willing to work:

  • …anywhere I have my laptop: in bed, in my mechanic’s lobby, etc.

  • …pretty much anywhere I can write – I will write

  • …I’ll write drafts on my phone while on the bus, then edit on a computer later

  • …on the [train], in the office, at lunch, in the kitchen, everywhere

  • …at the bar with a pint

  • …yesterday? My son’s basketball practice

  • …igloo in winter

Bloggers seem to be saying, “this looks like a good place to blog…” and getting out their laptops. Think of it this way, the mobile-megatrend isn’t just about consuming content, it’s about creating it.

So people are working at all times from any place? What kind of a job is this?

It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle.

That’s not an overstatement. Look at the definition of the word.

life·style (noun) 1. “the way in which a person or group lives”.

If it’s done in all places and at all time, then it truly is the way you live. Let’s call it what it is: a way of life.

This doesn’t mean that bloggers are obsessed, although it looks like some are. A tiny percentage (1.4%) are publishing more than once a day. Most bloggers are spending 2.5 hours, writing 800 word posts and publishing weekly. That’s not crazy, right?

Content, the good life

Most bloggers have simply integrated the activity into their daily lives. It might be a very balanced life. And blogging may even be a carefully developed, productive habit.

We think about it a little bit at random times. We write when we can, where we can. And we have a growing “Lifetime Body of Work” (LBOW) to show for it. And for many of us, that work is part of a vision for fortune and glory.

3 tips to get more from your blogging lifestyle

Let’s take one last look at the data and see how we can set ourselves apart from other bloggers.

1. Collaborate

If you’re spending all the time, spend some of it with an editor. Only 15% of bloggers work with an editor.

2. Optimize

Pay attention to blog optimization, making sure you’re maximizing both traffic and conversions. Only half of bloggers are optimizing their content for SEO.

3. Analyze

Watch your analytics carefully consistently. You’ll learn more making future efforts more effective. 49% of bloggers don’t check their Analytics regularly

If we’re going to live this way, let’s at least get the most out of it!

Guest author: Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You are welcome to connect with Andy on and Twitter.

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  • Holly Pavlika

    It sure is a lifestyle and in my case, my job. I write while on the subway, planes and even from the seat of a stationary bike at the gym in an futile effort to get some of my weekend back. And it’s not just the blog…add up all the hours a blogger puts in to promote the piece and to build relationships and an audience.

    • Andy Crestodina

      Me too, Holly. I write all over the place! …But never at the gym. I haven’t tried that one yet.

      I’m glad you mentioned that some of the time is going toward building relationships. The research was really just about creating content, but half the job (if not more) is about networking, promoting, sharing and building up the readership!

  • For those of us who are supported by blogging it really is our lifestyle 🙂 I find myself writing at home but since moving here to Maui I’m writing outdoors a lot more. I’ve even gotten some writing done on the beach!

    • Andy Crestodina

      That sounds like a great place to write, Kimanzi. I’m in Chicago, so writing outside is only an option for part of the year…

  • Herb Silverman

    Andy, as a new blogger, I am intrigued by your three tips at the end of the article; in your opinion, what would be the first step regarding SEO and analytics that you wrote about. I really appreciate it!

    • Andy Crestodina

      Hello, Herb.

      My best SEO tip for new bloggers is to really understand the relative weight of the search ranking factors (the MOZ 2013 correlation data is useful) and then to really understand keyword research. When researching keywords, don’t just look at search volume. Learn about competition and which sites have a chance of ranking for which phrases. Learn about “domain authority” That’s one of the most important things.

      Pick your battles, Herb!

      • Herb Silverman

        As always, thank you for your input immensely. I was on vacation in South Carolina I just got home, so sorry about the slow response…

        One more question if you have a couple of seconds; the best, in your opinion, regarding SEO? Thanks.

  • The idea of using an editor is a good one.