How Long Does Your Content Last? A Data-Driven Look (& Why Blogging Dominates!)

lifespan of content

So much work goes into great content.

Time. Investment. Effort. Money. Planning. Talent and brainpower. Multiple creators. Various software tools and programs. Editing checks and double-checks. Strategy.

And on and on.

With all that behind-the-scenes sweat, the final product, your shiny content, needs to perform to make the effort worth it.

And good content does perform. 77% of bloggers say blogging drives results, and 1 in 5 say those results are strong, according to Orbit Media’s annual blogging survey.

The next question is…

How long will those results last?

What is your content’s lifespan? How long should it continue to perform, to work for you – bringing in traffic, prospects, interest, engagement… sales??

Ideally, the work you put in on the backend should bring in greater returns on the front-end.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Especially if you phone it in. Especially if you’re focusing on the more ephemeral types of content and neglecting longer-lasting, foundational pieces.

What are they? How long should your content investment last for blogs? For videos? For tweets and TikToks? For Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram posts?

Let’s discuss the data and break down the lifespan of each type of content. After that, we’ll zero in on the content type with the best ROI for the long-term (it’s blogging, people!) 🏆

It’s true – content done right has mega impact. It’s the “done right” part that trips up so many of us, but with the right coaching, you can get there. Inside my transformative coaching program, The Content Transformation System, you’ll learn how to build an incredible digital biz without burning out, with live coaching help and a powerful five-phase pathway.

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The Lifespan of Content by Type Infographic

lifespan of content

The Lifespan of Content by Type: Broken Down

Overwhelmingly, the lifespan of your content depends on its type. Want longevity? Think beyond social media – think blog and website content. Want impact in the moment? Focus on social platforms serving bite-sized information to their users right here, right now.

In other words, when deciding what content to focus on for various situations, consider lifespan.

The Lifespan of Social Media Posts

While your social media posts live on your feeds indefinitely, they don’t stay on your followers’ minds nearly as long.

Instead, most content you post on social will peak within just a few hours before petering out – with some notable exceptions.

While there are outlier users who do comb through hashtags or old posts on specific accounts, most users ride the wave of their feeds and never look back on old social media content.

That’s why most posts on social media won’t last very long, as you’ll see below.

Instagram: 21-48 hours

Instagram posts are one of the most unpredictable types of social media content as far as lifespan. No one really agrees on how often you should post there, or how much impact your post may have before it gets lost in your followers’ feeds.

So, what’s the shelf life of an Instagram post?

A study by Wiselytics found that most posts received 75% of their total comments within the first 48 hours. However, the best-performing Instagram posts took at least 12 hours to build momentum with likes, comments, and reach, peaking at 21 hours.

Facebook: 5 hours

Facebook is a crowded platform. The social media giant has estimated that every time you log in, as many as 1,500 stories could appear in your News Feed. And that number only grows with the more people and businesses you follow.

As such, Facebook posts don’t last very long. According to the Wiselytics study, 75% of the engagement you’ll receive on a Facebook post happens within the first 5 hours after it’s published.

It makes sense. So many people are posting on Facebook, your posts are like a single stone dropping in the never-ending stream of content. If they don’t garner attention, they’ll disappear quickly from your audience’s radar.

Pinterest: 4 months – 1 year

Pinterest is the rare social platform with more staying power.

In fact, 50% of the visits/page views on a single pin happen 3.5 months after it’s first pinned.

cumulative visits from oldest pins

Pins have great longevity simply because the Pinterest platform is “old content friendly” and doesn’t solely rely on the “here and now” feed to serve pins to users. Instead, users can search for pins by topic, keyword, or hashtag; check out boards of pins others have curated; and view their daily feeds.

Pinterest also lives on the premise of repinning, which just means pins can be saved and shared by different people over and over, which helps them live a long, happy life.

TikTok: a few minutes

TikTok, the most ephemeral platform on this list and a favorite of U.S. teens, has an abysmal content lifespan.

The short video clips you share on TikTok are literally there one minute, gone the next – unless you can generate a viral hit.

And, most TikTok users are there for entertainment or to find a laugh or two, so if you’re not posting either type of content, it may have even less longevity.

Twitter: 15-20 minutes

Twitter posts have the second-shortest lifespan of all social media content, coming in at a mere 15-20 minutes.

According to Moz, we can measure the life expectancy of the average tweet by its retweets, since retweets put the original tweet in front of new audiences, who may then pass it on to their own followers.

Moz analyzed 2,770 Twitter users with low follower counts and found, on average, half of all users’ tweets received half of their total retweets within 18 minutes.

median retweets on twitter

In other words, any given tweet by an average user peaked within 18 minutes as far as engagement.

Since it’s so easy to fire off a couple of sentences on the fly, and Twitter both lives and dies by the witty/sarcastic/snarky quip, it’s hard to tweet anything with a truly lasting impact. Hence, most posts will flow into the fast-moving Twitter stream and disappear into the horizon without much fanfare.

serious business owner

The Lifespan of Video Content

Rejoice, video devotees! 🎺 Video content has a pretty decent lifespan, as we’ll explore below.

YouTube: 30+ days

According to an in-depth research study on the lifecycle of a YouTube video, any given video on the platform may not have just one life, but rather multiple lives, or phases of rising and falling in popularity.

After the initial publishing date, when your video is brand-new, there is a 30+ day window where it will either gain momentum or peak in engagement. After that, it might continue earning traffic and engagement, or it might slowly lose them. These increasing or decreasing curves can shift up or down for a span of anywhere from 3 months to 2 years.

This is where views and engagement increase for a period before reaching a peak and falling. Views stay low until the next phase begins and engagement once again increases.

These phases may repeat over several years, and many videos gain enough popularity to see as many as four or more phases over their total lifetime.

This means, even if a video you post to YouTube receives disappointing initial engagement or fizzles out quickly, other users may rediscover it later and give it a new life.

That means the videos you post on evergreen topics have the potential to reach new viewers years after the fact! 🧓

The Lifespan of Blog Content

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

How do blog posts measure up??

The lifespan of blog content is truly impressive when compared to social media.

If you’re not investing in a blog now, these stats might make you rethink that.

Blog content: 2+ years

The results from a few different studies all point to the lasting power of blog content. Done right, blogs can live up to two years (and maybe more!) as they rack up traffic, impressions, engagement, and results.

Take, for example, this study by The Halvorson Group and IZEA. They looked at a sample of 500 blog posts, each from a unique blog, and evaluated their daily impression changes over two years.

The result: By day 700 (about 1.9 years into its lifespan), the average blog post will get 99% of its total impressions.

The study also found the average blog post has three distinct phases of life:

  1. Shout: Day 1 of publishing to 1 week after posting. 50% of a blog post’s impressions happen during this time.
  2. Echo: 1 week to 30 days after posting. Impressions decline but still occur – about 22% happen during this timeframe.
  3. Reverberate: Day 30 – 700 after posting. This is the second most important stage in a blog’s lifespan! 28% of all impressions accumulate during this time.

What’s also important to remember is different kinds of blog posts drive different results. A news story about your new bakery opening will not garner the same long-term ROI as a blog guide on how to bake French macarons, for example. That’s why a main focus on evergreen content is vital for the lifespan of a blog.

blog post impressions data

Source: IZEA

Need help getting your blog rolling? Check out my video on how to create content without burnout:

How to Increase the Lifespan of ALL Your Content

What if I told you ALL of your content could live longer with a few tweaks? Try these tips:

1. Focus on Blogging!

Hands down, blog content has the longest lifespan and the best longevity. It can continue performing years after you first hit publish, which makes it a total rockstar in your content lineup.

Bottom line: Don’t neglect your trusty blog!

2. Focus on Quality

Quality content has a few key ingredients baked in. You need these to stand out so you become the blue ribbon-winning brand pie in the content bake-off happening online. 🏅

Quality content is:

  • Audience-approved
  • Well-researched
  • Well-written and structured
  • Well-timed
  • On-brand
  • Goal-advancing

NOT:

  • Half-a$$ed
  • Thrown together
  • Topically missing the mark
  • Poorly written and structured
  • Randomly published

3. Post at the Right Time/Frequency

Don’t just post wherever, whenever, however. To make content work and finesse its longevity, no matter the platform, you MUST have a plan.

When is your audience online? When are they perusing Twitter, or Instagram, or Facebook? When will your zingy (or fun, or hilarious, or informative) social media posts land in front of the most eyes? Post accordingly.

For your blog, consistency matters. Choose a posting schedule and stick to it. Build your audience’s expectations, meet them time and again, and build trust.

The Lifespan of Your Content Matters (And Old Content Shouldn’t Be Underestimated)

All content has a lifespan – a window of time when it will be most profitable and bring in the most ROI.

Some content types are just more robust than others when it comes to longevity. 👵💪

Don’t make the mistake of putting all your stock in one type. While social media is great for staying relevant and current, blog posts are real heroes that work in the background and bring in results without you having to lift a finger, often for years after you post them.

If you want staying power, blogs are the way.

And there’s no better time than now to get started with content marketing.

But what if you’re unclear on how to implement it seamlessly into your business + marketing? What if you don’t know how to craft a content strategy?

No worries. Just answer “yes” to this question:

Are you ready to learn how?

Because if you’re raring to roll up your sleeves and put in the work, if you’re dedicated to growing through content and dream of sustainable success, I’m ready to teach you.

You don’t have to be a newbie, either. This is a skill set so many are missing, from budding entrepreneurs to business vets with decades of experience.

Get rid of the guesswork and invest in teaching you can take with you years into a successful future. Apply for my coaching program, The Content Transformation System, and you’ll get all the knowledge and tools you need to make your online business soar.

Learn to set up your biz, systems, marketing, and all the bells and whistles in 90 days or less in ways both sustainable AND profitable.

Because winning with content is not just possible, it’s probable. ✅

lifespan of content

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content that leads to real growth. At 19 years old, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers. In 2021, she successfully exited her agency. Today, she runs The Content Hacker where she ghostwrites books for industry leaders, and coaches creative entrepreneurs on how to build a self-sustaining business they love in 90 days so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.

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