People blog for a lot of reasons. Some do it to keep family and friends apprised of personal news. Others do it out of frustration with a particular company or product. According to some reports, there are even bloggers who do it out of guilt. (The popular IndiaUncut blogger, Amit Varma once confessed, “When I log on to my site meter and see that a couple of thousand people have come to my blog while I’ve been sleeping, it makes me feel guilty like I’ve let them down. So, I blog on.”)
Well, Technorati has just released a fascinating and comprehensive report on The State of the Blogosphere detailing who is blogging; why they blog; topics covered; tactics used to drive traffic and profitability, and much more. I highly recommend you read the entire report. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at some results:
— Bloggers are adding new posts at a staggering rate — more than 37,000 per hour.
— On average, Technorati tracks 900,000 new blog posts every 24 hours or 10.4 new posts per second.
— The majority of bloggers use advertising on their blogs, with a mean annual revenue of US$6,000.
— The most popular form of blog advertising is search at 38%; followed by display ads at 28%. Next is affiliate marketing making up 20%. (An example of affiliate links would be the books, magazines and movies I recommend to the left). Paid-for-posting comes in at 6%; serving as a spokesblogger at 5% and use of rich media ads at 4%.
— 28% of bloggers use three or more advertising streams.
— Bloggers who pull in 100,000 or more unique visitors per month generated an average annual revenue of $75,000. (To this, I say – click on those magazines, books and movies I’m recommending, people. Come on! Y’all are slacking on me!)
— The bloggers surveyed have been posting for an average of three years. Two-thirds of them are male and 70% have college degrees.
— Four out of five are personal bloggers who write about topics of personal interest.
— About half are professional bloggers – defined in the report as those who blog about their industry or profession in an unofficial capacity (like this blog).
— About 12% of bloggers blog in an official capacity for their company.
— The majority of corporate and professional bloggers reported seeing a positive impact as a result of their blog. Half said they are better known in their industry, and one in four have used their blog to bolster their resume. Less than one in 10 has seen a negative impact from blogging.
— While women bloggers are more likely than men to be personal bloggers, they are also more sophisticated about advertising and are twice as likely as men to sell through an ad network and more likely to have affiliate links. They are also more likely than male bloggers to link to other blogs, get listed on a blog directory and produce content for other blogs.
— Four out of five bloggers had posted a brand or product review, with 37% of them posting frequently.
— One-third of the bloggers reported that they have been approached by corporations to be brand advocates.
— Nine out of ten blog about brands that they love or hate. (Interestingly, men and women are equally likely to blog about products or services.)
— 37% of bloggers have been quoted in traditional media based on a blog post.
— Bloggers are generally the first to learn about new web technologies and applications, such as RSS and Twitter.
— Bloggers participate in many other Web 2.0 activities: 84% comment on other blogs; 69% subscribe to RSS feeds; 68% watch videos online; 64% participate in social networking; 48% in photo sharing; 45% in professional social networking; 41% are on Twitter; 41% use bookmarks (41%); and 30% download and share podcasts.
Again, this is just a snippet of the report. You should definitely visit the above link for all the details. Incidentally, the vast majority (over two-thirds) of all bloggers openly disclose their identity online, so the notion that all bloggers are anonymous (as Andrew Keen recently stated while attacking the blogosphere) is bogus.
The bottom line is the blogosphere is continuing to grow. The quality of the content is improving and people are getting better at promoting their musings. I’ve personally seen a major surge in video blogs and YouTube or Vimeo channels; I hope Technorati explores that trend in their next study.