State of the Blogosphere 2011: Part 1
Welcome to Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2011 report. Since 2004, our annual study has followed growth and trends in the blogosphere. This year's topics include: blogging and social media, bloggers and traditional media, traffic and analysis, brands and marketing in the blogosphere, bloggers' motivations and consequences, monetization, and changes within the blogosphere over 2011.
Richard BrewerChief eBay Blogger
Who are the Bloggers?
Bloggers and Traditional Media
Brands in the Blogosphere: What do the bloggers say?
Media Habits of Bloggers
Consumers in the Blogosphere
WHO ARE THE BLOGGERS?
We started with a basic inquiry about the identity of the respondents. Roughly three fifths are male, a proportion that holds true over all blogger types. Not surprisingly, a majority of bloggers are in the 25-44 age range – but a third are over 44.
Although our survey was administered only in English, bloggers responded from 45 countries, with nearly half from the United States.
U.S. bloggers are pretty evenly distributed across the country. The states with the highest concentrations of bloggers are: California 15%, New York 7%, Texas 6%, Florida 5%, Illinois 4%, Massachusetts 4%, Virginia 4%, Washington 4%, Georgia 3%, Maryland 3%, Michigan 3%.
We inquired into the education level of the respondents:
Income: While half of Corporates receive no annual salary for blogging, and the mean non-salary income of that blogger type was $17,101, 54% report an annual household income of $50,000 or more. This seems to indicate that the majority of Corporates are using any revenue from blogging as a supplement to their household income.
The majority of every blogger type reported being married, and in most categories, close to half were parents:
A quarter of respondents reported being self-employed, while just under half told us they were employed full-time:
Overall, fewer bloggers reported this year that they are making a living via their blogs.
From the series of charts above, we can make a number of revealing observations:
Interestingly, only 37% of Professional Full Time respondents say they derive their primary income from blogging.
- Of these Professional Full Time bloggers, 55% are a parent (and 57% of Entrepreneurs are a parent). That's almost 10% higher than other segments of bloggers (46% of Hobbyists, 48% of Professional Part Timers, and 48% of Corporates).
- As we would expect, Professional Full Time bloggers are much less likely to be (otherwise) employed full time, much more likely to be self-employed, and somewhat more likely to be a stay-at-home parent or retired.
- Professional Full Timers (56%) and Entrepreneurs (63%) are also more likely to be married than Hobbyists (51%), especially Entrepreneurs, who are 12% more likely.
- Professional Full Timers skew older when compared to all other bloggers: Only 28% are under 34 years old, vs. 38% overall.
- Professional Full Timers are fairly highly educated – 41% have at least some graduate work (31% have an actual graduate degree). This is lower than the 55% of Corporate bloggers who have done at least some grad work, but likely high relative to the general population.
Combining these demos, we see a picture of Professional Full Timers as slightly older and likely to be in life circumstances (such as having another income due to marriage, or being currently a stay-at-home parent) that allow them time to pursue professional routes such as blogging. While they are not more educated than other bloggers, it is interesting that they are still relatively highly educated compared to the general population and therefore more likely to have expertise in specialized topics which their blogs give them an opportunity to leverage.
The majority of bloggers have been blogging for at least two years.
The average number of blogs per respondent has increased slightly since 2010, from two to three.
Nine out of ten who own a company or maintain a blog for their company blog about their industry.
Among those whose blog is a business, 81% manage the blog themselves. Corporate bloggers are most likely to have a paid full- or part-time staff (38%).
60% of respondents say they blog up to three hours per week, with the rest (40%) blogging more than three hours per week. 13% of all respondents say they blog more than 10 hours per week—as do 63% of Professional Full Timers.
The majority of respondents update their blog two to three times per week. Professional Full Time bloggers tend to update their blog more frequently than any other bloggers, with 26% reporting that they update their blog at least three times per day.
With the exception of Professional Full Time bloggers, most indicate that they are updating their blog about as often as when it first launched. 44% of Professional Full Time bloggers report blogging a lot more frequently than they did when they first launched their blog.
Overall, there is a rise in the number of bloggers who say they are blogging more, and fewer bloggers report they are blogging less.
A large number of respondents who are blogging more are driven by both personal and professional benefits to do so. Along with their interactions with their audience, many Corporate bloggers (64%) and Entrepreneurs (73%) say they are blogging more because it has proven to be valuable for promoting their business and also valuable to their profession (60%)
The key driver of decreased blogging is an increase in work and family commitments, which is reported as a factor by 61% of respondents who are blogging less. Consistent with last year’s findings, a fair number of respondents who are blogging less said that their devotion to social networks (31%) and microblogging (29%) has curtailed their blogging.
Continued on the next page