Did you know that the earth isn’t just comprised of four hemispheres, but there’s actually a fifth we’re living in? It’s called (cue dramatic music) …the Blogosphere! Did you also know that “blogosphere” is a real term? I’m not even making it up! The term was coined in 1999, as a joke initially, but is now used, in all seriousness, to describe blogs as a connected community or collection of communities.
The blogosphere is an ever-changing and evolving hub and Technorati, a blog search engine directory, has been examining the growth and trends within the blogosphere since 2004. Since then, they’ve been reporting and releasing their findings, which they collect through a series of surveys. The findings may surprise, interest, please or appall you. They reveal who bloggers actually are; what, where, when, why & how successfully they blog, and for the second year, the findings also discuss consumers. To get to the heart of the good stuff, here’s a breakdown of interesting facts to note from 2011’s State of the Blogosphere findings:
- 65% of bloggers are ages 18-44; 1/3rd are over 44.
- 59% of bloggers are men (down from 64% in 2010).
- The annual household income of a blogger: $50,000+.
- Majority of bloggers are married and half of all bloggers have children.
- 1/4 of bloggers are self-employed, and just less than half are employed full time.
- 1/3 of bloggers have worked for traditional media, with a monthly magazine being the most common form (41%).
- Of the 14% of bloggers who earn a salary for blogging, the average annual amount is $24,086.
- States with highest concentrations of bloggers: California 15%, New York 7% and Texas 6%.
1. Hobbyists – 61% of bloggers within the blogosphere are blogging “for fun,” and don’t report any income from blogging.
2-3. Professional Part and Full-timers – This group makes up 18% of the blogosphere and are independent bloggers. Most of these bloggers don’t consider blogging their primary source of income and tend to blog about personal musings and technology.
4. Corporate – 8% of the blogosphere. They blog as part of their full-time job, or blog full-time for a company they work for. They primarily talk about technology or business.
5. Entrepreneurs – 13% are entrepreneurs or individuals blogging for a company they own.
BLOGGER HABITS – WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY & HOW?
- 70% of bloggers write to share expertise, 61% blog to gain professional recognition/personal satisfaction and 52% blog to attract new clients.
- 60% of bloggers blog up to 3 hours a week and 40% blog more than 3 hours a week. Professional full-time bloggers (26%) update their blog at least 3 times per day. Majority of bloggers update their blog 2-3 a week.
- 80% of bloggers have been blogging for at least 2 years.
- 79% describe their blogging style as “sincere,” 67% describe their style as “conversational.” Professional, Corporates, and Entrepreneurs also describe their style as “expert.”
- WordPress is the most popular blog hosting service among all respondents, used by 51% of them, followed by Blogger (21%) and Blogspot (14%).
BLOGGER MOTIVATON & SUCCESS
What’s the leading metric of success? Among Professionals, Corporates, and Entrepreneurs, they gauge success according to the number of unique visitors they receive. 69% of Hobbyists say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog.
- 54% of bloggers say they’ve made friends through their blog, and have become more involved with their passion areas as a result of blogging.
- More than 60% of Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers have gained greater visibility in their industry through blogging.
- 82% of bloggers use Twitter, 89% use Facebook.
TRAFFIC & REVENUE
- Across bloggers, Google Analytics is by far the most popular service used to follow blog traffic.
- 50% of Professional bloggers receive more than 10,000 views per month.
- Display ads, affiliate marketing links, and search ads are the most common ways bloggers generate revenue from their blogs.
- 60% of Corporate bloggers said they do not have any advertising on their blog.
- Overall traffic drivers to blogs: Twitter, Facebook, and blog tags.
- Number one influence for bloggers regarding the topics they blog about: Other blogs (68%). Second and third most influential for blog topics: Conversations with friends and social media.
Blogs continue to outpace other social and traditional media in terms of gaining consumers’ trust and generating their recommendations/purchases. Almost 40% of consumers now believe blogs are being taken more seriously as a source of information. “Facebook remains somewhat influential, but less so than blogs, and Twitter has seen a drop in influence over the past year.”
Now that we know the depths and demographics that make up the blogosphere (if you’d like to dive in further, you can find the full report here), does anything surprise you? One of the most important aspects to note is that 60% of Corporate & Entrepreneur bloggers have gained greater visibility purely from blogging. This means, if you don’t currently have a blog, it’s probably an excellent time to jump on that blog bandwagon (plus, it’s pretty fun too!). And, while most of us won’t be living purely off a blogger’s salary alone, the blogosphere as a whole is still strong and striving. Blogs also continuously climb the ranks as a trustworthy reference for consumers.
If blogging charters unfamiliar territory for you, have no fear, there’s a webinar for that! Join us on Wed, January 25th at 1pm (PST) for Getting Started with Blogging, and soon, you’ll be a blogging fool, too (in a good way, promise!).
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