What the heck happened? Content happened.
In 2014, 555.7 million blog posts were created on WordPress alone, and the average shelf life of an online blog post is 48-hours. No more do we read from lede to kicker. We consume only the key takeaways; the rest is irrelevant.
But is this necessarily always true? I decided to test the idea that blog posts are ephemeral, so I crunched the numbers for Articulate’s blog. Here’s what I found:
- A 2015 post titled Operation Know-it-all: the indispensable guide to choosing good project names received 8,652 views in January 2017 alone. The last social push we made for this post was more than seven months ago.
- A piece titled 10 provocative questions that will bend and blow your mind, published in 2014, has received 3,211 views so far in 2017.
- How to interview someone like a journalist, published in July 2016, has received 1,776 views this month also.
In short, we’re holding up strong! So why are our blog posts surviving beyond the 48-hour benchmark?
We create a lot of content that is evergreen. In other words, we write about things that aren’t time-sensitive, and have a lasting message. Take our piece titled ‘Quantity vs. quality in content marketing‘ for instance. So long as content marketing exists, this post will remain relevant. It has no expiration date.
We’re in it for the long run
Traditionally, blog posts are like opening weekends at the movies: they experience a spike in views within the first few days of publication, and then die out.
Blogs like HubSpot, however, produce content that is compounding – consumption of it stays steady, and doesn’t just peak and fizzle out. With a clear story and good SEO practice, the HubSpot blog develops organic growth and loyal readers over time.
We conduct refurbishments
Team Articulate recently conducted refurbishment on the following articles:
- Apple, Google and you: How to create a distinctive tone of voice for your startup
- The end of the hard sell: Content marketing for sales people
Originally published in July 2014, new and relevant content was added to keep them current. They were updated in December 2016.
We freshen up our CTAs too
Older blog posts will need a CTA facelift so they reflect our brand and promote our latest offers. These posts have recently been updated with new CTAs:
- Essential business grammar lesson ten: differentiating good and well
- How we work: What does a copywriter do?
So just how accurate is the 48-hour lifespan?
Not very. With good SEO practice, keyword research and evergreen content, blog posts are likely to exceed this benchmark with complete ease.
This is, of course, dependent on the content you are producing. The current affairs blog Huffington Post produced 61,688 blog posts in 2011 to sustain lasting readership. The ‘opening weekend at the movies’ theory is extremely relevant to this channel; news is forever evolving.
Buffer’s blog, however, tells a rather different tale. They produce far less content, but because of the nature of their blog, their content remains relevant for a very long time.
As for Articulate, well, one of our earliest blog posts published in 2006 – titled ‘What is a “solution”?’ – has received two views already in 2017. This piece is still surviving a decade on, even though it’s now a part of the Articulate legacy.
The death of the blog post? That’s hogwash. Content never dies.
(Hat tip to GC TV for the feature image!)