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It’s Time to Take Blogs Seriously




While blogs are becoming more and more popular, there’s still a lot to be desired, according to reports from MediaPost and eMarketer today. While many people have heard of and even read blogs, there’s still a lot of room to grow in the blog advertising and business blogging arenas.

“It’s getting to the point where everybody knows what a blog is,” begins an article in today’s MediaPost (registration required). In an online survey of 1000 U.S. adults by Synovate eNation, nearly 8 in 10 said they knew what a blog was, and half had visited the blogosphere. (The other half, I suppose, were lying when they said they knew what a blog was…)

MediaPost adds that blog familiarity was more prevalent in the under-65 set:

Nearly 90% of 25- to-34-year-olds know what a blog is, compared to 64.5% of those age 65-plus. Similarly, 78.4% of 18- to-24-year-olds report they have visited a blog, compared to just 44.7% of older Americans.

Also, 54.4% of blog readers surf a variety of blogs without much loyalty.

MediaPost goes on to explore blog monetization and the untapped potential there for bloggers and advertisers:

A consulting group called Marketspace reports that 99% of gross online ad revenue is spent on the top 10 Internet sites. . . .

But the eNation study, conducted in late July, shows there is real potential for ads on blogs. Among people who have visited a blog (485), 43.2% said they have noticed ads on blogs, and three out of 10 people in this group said they have clicked on ads while visiting a blog. Among the youngest consumers, a whopping 61.2% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they have noticed ads on blogs.

The survey indicated that 8% of Americans blog, skewing more heavily to women.

While MediaPost seems optimistic for the future of blogging, eMarketer is dismayed at the present. Today eMarketer reports on a study that shows that only 5% of UK corporations use blogs on a regular basis. Conducted by Loudhouse Research, the survey indicated that only 10 of 200 corporations “often used blogs,” while 78% “never used blogs.” The only online media that were used less frequently were podcasts (4%) and Webinars (3%).

On the other end of the spectrum, 46% often used e-mail marketing, 37% used web analytics and 36% used “web optimization,” though who knows what that’s supposed to mean.

Before you start pontificating about the superior state of business blogging in the US, eMarketer also found that only 5.8% of Fortune 500 companies and a mere 1.5% of the Fortune 200 Best Small Companies blogged.

The studies were conducted in April 2006 (Fortune 500), June 2006 (Fortune 200) and January 2007 (UK). Naturally, things could certainly have changed quite a bit between now and then, but if your company still isn’t blogging, I do know where you can find some good business blog consulting.

  • http://www.wmtoolbox.com Oleg

    I think that there has been a substantial increase in the number of bloggers/blogs over the past couple of years but I also find it hard to believe that 8% of Americans blog. That seems like a very steep number to me.

  • Jordan McCollum

    Hm… that’s probably better phrased as 8% of online Americans blog. I’m sure that’s what they meant when they said that. (And what they really learned was that about 80 people that they surveyed had a blog.)

  • http://www.u-g-h.com Owen

    It’s interesting to see the statistic that there were more female bloggers than male in the sample.

    Traditionally, IT has been a pretty male-dominated area; but I suppose blogging is less about IT and more about expressing yourself …

  • http://www.blogmyway.org BLOGMYWAY.org

    Statistic can get outdated fast. Blog definitely has more influence in today world than before. Politicians are watch out for what bloggers got to say about them. Businesses used blogs to give out update news, and so on. Just like everything else, blog is not immune to spams. Very rare, but some blogs had make some peoples very wealthy. :) Blog ruled!

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    After both my mom and dad sent me articles about blogging I figured it meant that most people were at least aware of them. Mom is somewhat savvy, but dad still can’t remember my domain name. Yet he does seem to know what a blog is.

  • http://www.wordpress.com samrajyam srinivasa rao

    In India, the print and electronic media are not interested in picking-up any blog created for highlighting the same for wide coverage even in cases of grave nature and public importance. The print and electronic media are controlled by big business/corporate houses and they are least bothered about the issues of public concern. My blog titled “How to uphold dignity and honour of judiciary in India?” is an example of media apathy.
    One can see the blog by clicking the mouse on Google Search with the above caption. I shall be highly grateful if the blog is picked-up by western press and at least then I can hope the Indian Press will reproduce the story.
    samsrirao@gmail.com 91119312267393

  • http://www.nerdzapper.com/ Mike

    You can’t watch the news anymore without some reference to a blog or two. TMZ.com is quoted whenever the news covers a celebrity.

    That has to be increasing awareness of what blogs are and leading more people into writing them.

  • http://flektor-blog.com kristen

    I think it is very important to keep in mind that while some think they may know what a blog is, and some actually read a blog or even have a blog, that there are those who really don’t know the difference from a blog to a website. Blogging is different than writing and it’s those “real” bloggers that know the difference. So of the percentage that are familiar with blogs, there is probably only a handful that knows what they really are and how to actually blog.

  • Jordan McCollum

    “Blogging is different than writing and it’s those ‘real’ bloggers that know the difference.”

    Oh, really? Because I’d certainly say that blogging is a form of writing. Last time I checked on my five blogs, at least…

  • http://flektor-blog.com Kristen

    I would not call blogging a form of writing at all. I would actually call blogging a form of community building. Sure, writing a post is an aspect of maintaining a blog, but there are so many other aspects involved and this is where some miss the boat. Being a “real” blogger includes reading other blogs, leaving comments on other blogs, linking to other blogs, thanking those that leave comments on your own blog and a whole myriad of things that let readers know they are important. I’m not saying I have this down to a science but really it is an online adventure that you want anyone and everyone to be involved in.

  • Jordan McCollum

    If blogging isn’t writing, it’s nothing. You can build a community around a traditional website, too.

    While building a community around your blog is very important, I really think it’s more important to work on what you have to say–writing. If it’s not something worthwhile or of value to your readers, the community will either never materialize or soon drift away.

  • http://flektor-blog.com Kristen

    Very true, but you can build a blog around videos, slideshows, pictures etc. with no writing at all. Of course, it’s the content that attracts the readers but it’s the relationships you create in the blogosphere that make someone a blogger.

  • Jordan McCollum

    I think that’s probably why vlogs and phlogs are distinguished by those names (or at least ‘video blogs’ and ‘photo blogs’) rather than being lumped together with all other blogs. They’re different from written blogs.

    I’m still of the opinion that anyone who cares to publish using blogging software—or anything like unto it—is a “real” blogger, regardless of whether they can or will build a community around their publishing.

  • http://www.musiccitybloggers.com Ivy

    Sure, the writing is important. You have to have interesting content or nobody’s going to read you, but if you don’t get out there and build the community aspect, nobody’s going to read you anyway. If you’re writing out into the void, you’re more of a journaler than a “real” blogger, in my opinion anyway.

  • http://www.findyourcoach.com Bill Dueease

    Blogs are an easy way for anyone to say their piece and be heard. Newspapers and magazines are being upstaged and exposed by blogs. I find much of the blog content and writing equal to and frequently superior to mainstream newspaper writing. This is especially true when you consider that newspaper writing is done by committee to suit several different masters and agendas. Blogs are personal and direct.

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