Habits of the Top 5% of Bloggers, Why Content Goes Viral, and More!

Welcome back from your Fourth of July vacation! While you were boating, grilling, and parading, a lot happened in the world of content marketing. To get you up to speed on the latest stats, surveys, and news, we’ve curated a short digest.

In this post, you will find out:

  1. The habits of the top 5% of bloggers
  2. The psychological reasons why content goes viral
  3. How Facebook decides what to show on your news feed
  4. The latest research into millennials and content marketing
  5. The results of Hootsuite’s experiment related to online reading habits
  6. A more scientific way to determine when to post on Facebook and Twitter

1. How to be in the top 5% of bloggers: New research results

By Sonia Simone on Copyblogger

Andy Crestodina conducted a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers. The results confirmed what many already knew. Good blogging takes a lot of time, but not many people are willing to put in that time.

• 54% of bloggers spend fewer than 2 hours on a typical post.• Just 5.5% of bloggers spend 6+ hours per post.

Summing up the results, Sonia Simone writes:

Most bloggers spend around 2.5 hours writing 800-word posts and publish weekly. They share it on social media (94%) and move on to the next post. Only half check analytics on a regular basis.

How do you fare in comparison to the typical blogger?

2. This is your brain on viral content: What psychology says you’ll click on

By Kelsey Libert on Hubspot

What creates viral content? It’s the question that many content marketers are trying to answer. According to Kelsey Libert, here’s the formula:

  1. Mashing up seemingly unrelated data because unexpected connections delights the brain
  2. Presenting information in a novel way, using methods like motion graphics, parallax scrolling, or interactive experiences
  3. Creating a gap between what your audience currently knows and what your audience wants to know (Think: All those Upworthy headlines on your Facebook feed.)

While Kelsey’s article is informative, I found myself being somewhat skeptical. Why are we obsessed with virality? Should “going viral” be a realistic goal for marketers?

3. How does Facebook decide what to show in my news feed?

By Stuart Dredge on The Guardian

Last week was a tough week for Facebook. The social network revealed that they had manipulated nearly 700,000 users’ news feeds in an attempt to understand whether Facebook could alter users’ emotions.

There have been many responses to the news, many of which have been rather vitriolic. Perhaps the most helpful response is Stuart Dredge’s primer on Facebook news feeds.

Generally speaking, Facebook’s algorithm takes the following factors into account:

  1. How often you interact with a friend, page, or public figure
  2. How many likes, shares, and comments an individual post has received
  3. How you have interacted with that kind of post in the past
  4. Whether the post is being hidden and/or reported a lot

As Dredge explains, there are ways to take control of your Facebook news feed. You can change your news feed from “top stories” to “most recent.” To see a reverse-chronological feed of updates, click the downward arrow next to the words “News Feed” at the top left of Facebook’s website.

You can also spend time sorting your friends. You can list some as “close friends” to see more of their updates, and others as “acquaintances” to see fewer.

4. 45% of millennials aren’t compelled by content

By Perry Simpson on Direct Marketing News

Every day, there seems to be a new article about millennials. I guess that’s not surprising, seeing as it is estimated that this demographic will boast a cumulative $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020.

That’s a lot of dough! And Yahoo! is trying to capitalize on all of that dough. Recently, the company conducted a survey of 15,000 people between the ages of 18 and 34, and they found that:

• Millennials have an average 7.1 devices they use to engage with content• 72% of millennials tend to find themselves lost in a vortex of entertainment• 75% of millennials want to cultivate information and become more intelligent.• 45% of millennials look for financial crisis advice and information.

The study provides five tips to help marketers target millennials:

  1. Be native, not deceptive
  2. Be an individual and be ready to evolve
  3. Deliver on an emotion and know that humor rules
  4. Reserve judgment
  5. Be part of the community

5. Is anyone actually reading? The results are in!

By David Godsall on Hootsuite

As I’ve stated in a previous blog, there is no correlation between social shares and people actually reading an article. To test this finding, Hootsuite did an experiment.

Hootsuite based its test on the famous high school pop quiz. The teacher asks students to read the whole test before they do anything. Then, there’s a series of questions. The last question states, “Ignore everything else; don’t do anything.”

Well, Hootsuite modified that idea:

• Hootsuite took a post that was popular in the past.• The original post contained 5 marketing tips.• When Hootsuite experimented with the post, the writer added a sixth lesson.• The sixth lesson instructed readers to comment and to refrain from sharing the post on social media.• Of course, people shared the article.

In two weeks, the experiment post was shared 300 times. In Hootsuite’s view, the experiment supports the notion that people share without reading.

But is that a bad thing? David Godsall muses that blind sharing attests to the strength of a company’s brand and to the strength of a company’s relationship to its audience. After all, would you blindly retweet a post from a brand you didn’t know, like, or trust?

6. Curation 101: When should I post on Facebook and Twitter?

By Mark Bajus on the Trapit Blog

There are 24 hours in a day. Of those 24 hours, when should you post on social media?

Believe it or not, posting to Facebook and Twitter isn’t a crapshoot. With 2 free analytics tools, you can take a more scientific approach to your social media curation. Read the post to find out more.

So, there you go. A quick summary of 6 articles from the last week.

Until next Monday,


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