According to our 2023 State of Marketing report, blogs are among the top marketing channels that offer the highest ROI.
Despite numbers showing how blogs can benefit business, some marketers and business owners wonder, “Do people still read blogs?”
To determine where blog readership might stand today, I surveyed 325 people about how often they read blogs. Here's what I know:
Do people still read blogs anymore?
As a blogger who writes daily, my findings were encouraging; most respondents (29%) read blogs 1-4 times a month, 18% read every day, and only 17% never read blogs.
The graph below illustrates a breakdown of how often respondents read blogs.
While the percentage of people who never read blogs surpasses that of people who read 1-3 or 1-4 times a week, more people read blogs daily than never at all.
So, we know more people are reading blogs, at least sometimes than not all, but are they reading more or less than in the past? According to our respondents, it's about the same or more.
57% of people in the survey say the amount of blog content they consume is the same as last year, while 35% say their blog consumption has increased. Only 9% say their consumption is less than the previous year.
You may also wonder how people are reading blogs. Are they barely skimming through or deeply reading the content?
According to the survey, 35% of people skim through blogs most of the time, and 38% do a mix of skimming and deep reading.
13% deep read more than they skim, and only 6% navigate to the information they need as quickly as possible and then leave without reading the rest of the content.
Our research shows blogging is still an excellent way to reach consumers and expand your business. People are still reading blogs; most are doing more than just skipping to the information they want and leaving.
To help you grab attention from large audiences — even if they less frequently read blogs — here are five ways to innovate your blog strategy.
How to Get More Blog Readers
1. Experiment with video and text in your posts.
As of 2023, video is the most popular and most effective marketing media format for the fourth year.
Including video in your blog can add depth to your content and boost engagement since people will be compelled to click on the video and watch it.
On the HubSpot Blog, we regularly add videos to our blog posts to give more thorough details or expert tips on the topic we've written about. This way, readers who find the blog post can read or watch the content.
Here's one example of a blog post where we included a video related to its topic:
On top of improving the user's experience, placing videos on your blog can also make web content rank in video-based search results. Additionally, video content can also be incredibly engaging when you share them on your social media channels.
This step-by-step guide walks you through how to brainstorm, script, and affordably shoot videos for your blog or other platforms, even when you don't have a big budget.
Many AI video generators are also available, making video creation quick, easy, and cost-effective.
2. Add infographics or other original images to your content.
You don't need to be an expert graphic designer to create visually appealing infographics. When I worked as a digital journalist for local newsrooms, I often had to design graphics on short notice for breaking news.
I wasn't familiar with Photoshop and had no real graphic designer experience — but I did have Canva. And that got the job done.
With all the technology and design-related apps today, creating basic graphics isn't impossible, complex, or time-consuming. In fact, I used Canva to make the first few infographics in this article.
If you hire a graphic designer or get the hang of creating graphics quickly, you can also test posting infographics as the center point of your blog posts. Here's a post where the HubSpot Blog did precisely that:
While it might take a little bit longer to create branded designs and templates for your blog initially, these visuals will be beneficial for gaining image search traffic.
Like video content, original images can be highly shareable and engaging on social media.
3. Publish original data, quotes, and expert insights.
Some bloggers think they can get away with writing short, light-lift blog posts between 200 and 300 words. While tiny, low-effort posts might get some search traffic, they won't make your content feel original or interesting to the reader.
To compete with more experienced blog sites, write in-depth posts with data and facts to back up each point you discuss. If you need assistance crafting lengthier blog posts, try HubSpot's AI Blog Writer or Free Blog Maker.
You can post on your blog if you leverage data collection platforms like online survey platforms to collect original data. This will make your content look more credible and trustworthy, but it also can boost search traffic. Here's how:
When you include your data in blog posts, other bloggers or journalists looking for data to back up their points might link to your posts as evidence.
Like data, original quotes also encourage backlinking. Aside from this benefit, blog posts with quotes or expert insights from industry thought leaders might be shareable or engaging on social media platforms like LinkedIn.
Data, expert quotes, and insights also provide knowledge, and many readers are drawn to blogs that provide an opportunity to learn something.
In the survey, 61% of respondents said they were attracted to the last three blogs they read because they wanted to learn something, educate themselves, or answer questions unrelated to their career or schooling.
4. Use SEO strategies to build traffic and rank on search pages.
While many of the tips above will help you boost your non-organic traffic and the reader's experience, you should also pay attention to organic traffic -- which will likely account for most of your views.
Aside from videos, visuals, and encouraging backlinks with original information, you can also improve organic traffic by leveraging keyword research and other SEO strategies.
If you‘re new to SEO or search engine optimization, getting up to speed on these strategies is easy.
While some tactics are as simple as adding alternative text to your images, others include internal linking related blog posts to a new piece you’re publishing.
Check out this blog post to get up to speed on a few easy and effective SEO tactics.
5. Promote your content on the right platforms.
Although SEO will likely be your primary traffic source, you'll still want to ensure you promote blog posts on social media channels.
Why? While it will take time for blog posts to rank in search result pages, you can share your content on social media, email, or other channels to gain non-organic traffic immediately after you publish a post.
Lastly, promoting any content from your website effectively boosts brand awareness. Our survey shows that most blog readers (30%) discover blog posts via social media posts and promotions.
Just 18% find blogs via search engine results.
By posting valuable blogs on your channels, you could gain more followers, post shares, and engagements from audiences you didn't have before building a social media strategy.
Building a Better Blog
As we go into 2024, we will see even more bloggers adopt competitive strategies that embrace new content formats to gain audiences and prevent low readership. Regardless of which tactics you decide to test out, keep these things in mind:
- Add videos and visuals: Video and graphic marketing are getting more abundant and effective in generating traffic and leads. Additionally, younger generations engage with this content more than others. If you have the bandwidth, be sure to experiment with visual content.
- Offer original insights and tips: Original quotes and data will boost your search and non-organic traffic while making your blog more credible.
- Leverage search and social opportunities: Most internet users are still finding blog posts primarily through search and social media platforms. So, even when experimenting with new content types, leverage keywords, alt-text, and other SEO tactics to ensure you're paying attention to search opportunities. You should also give them additional promotions on your social media channels.
If you keep the above methods in mind, you can increase readership and boost awareness and conversions for your organization.