State of the Blogosphere: Introduction
Welcome to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report, which will be released in five consecutive daily segments. Since 2004, our annual study has unearthed and analyzed the trends and themes of blogging, but for the 2008 study, we resolved to go beyond the numbers of the Technorati Index to deliver even deeper insights into the blogging mind. For the first time, we surveyed bloggers directly about the role of blogging in their lives, the tools, time, and resources used to produce their blogs, and how blogging has impacted them personally, professionally, and financially. Our bloggers were generous with their thoughts and insights. Thanks to all of the bloggers who took the time to respond to our survey.
Blogs are Pervasive and Part of Our Daily Lives
There have been a number of studies aimed at understanding the size of the Blogosphere, yielding widely disparate estimates of both the number of blogs and blog readership. All studies agree, however, that blogs are a global phenomenon that has hit the mainstream.
The numbers vary but agree that blogs are here to stay
- comScore MediaMetrix (August 2008)
- Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors in the US
- Facebook: 41.0 million | MySpace 75.1 million
- Total internet audience 188.9 million
- eMarketer (May 2008)
- 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users)
- 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)
- Universal McCann (March 2008)
- 184 million WW have started a blog | 26.4 US
- 346 million WW read blogs | 60.3 US
- 77% of active Internet users read blogs
What is a Blog? The Lines Continue To Blur
Wikipedia defines blogs as:
- A Blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
- The Blogosphere is the collective community of all blogs. Since all blogs are on the Internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked. Discussions "in the Blogosphere" have been used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues.
What is Technorati Looking At and Why?
With blogging so firmly entrenched in the mainstream, the story now is about the Active Blogosphere. The trends, stories and behaviors here influence not only the rest of the Blogosphere but mainstream media as well.
Technorati defines the Active Blogosphere as: The ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation.
For the 2008 State of the Blogosphere Report, we wanted to go beyond the numbers to deliver insights into bloggers and the state of blogging today. Who are the bloggers, why and how do they do what they do, and what is the impact on their lives and work?
To find out, we conducted a survey from a random sample from more than 1.2 million bloggers who have registered with Technorati. In addition, we have supplemented the survey results with our traditional analysis of Technorati’s index data.
For more information, please see Technorati’s methodology.
Key findings from the report include:
All Blogs Are Not Created Equal
Take a quick journey into the size of the Blogosphere
- A truly global phenomenon: Technorati tracked blogs in 81 languages in June 2008, and bloggers responded to our survey from 66 countries across six continents.
- Here to stay: Bloggers have been at it an average of three years and are collectively creating close to one million posts every day. Blogs have representation in top-10 web site lists across all key categories, and have become integral to the media ecosystem.
- Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.
- Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.
- Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.
Blogs are Profitable
The majority of bloggers we surveyed currently have advertising on their blogs. Among those with advertising, the mean annual investment in their blog is $1,800, but it’s paying off. The mean annual revenue is $6,000 with $75K+ in revenue for those with 100,000 or more unique visitors per month. Note: median investment and revenue (which is listed below) is significantly lower. They are also earning CPMs on par with large publishers.
Bloggers are sophisticated in using self serve tools for search, display, and affiliate advertising, and are increasingly turning to ad and blog networks. Many bloggers without advertising may consider it when their blogs grow – the inability to set up advertising will not be a factor.
Brands Permeate the Blogopshere
Whether or not a brand has launched a social media strategy, more likely than not, it’s already present in the Blogosphere. Four in five bloggers post brand or product reviews, with 37% posting them frequently. 90% of bloggers say they post about the brands, music, movies and books that they love (or hate).
Company information or gossip and everyday retail experiences are fodder for the majority of bloggers.
Companies are already reaching out to bloggers. One-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates. Continued on the next page