Wednesday, December 21, 2011

State of the Blogosphere 2011

How is the blogosphere doing? Several post have been written in 2011 about it being dead. At the beginning of the social media revolution everyone was told to start blogging. Now, most think microblogging is enough, it seems. Twitter has become a popular why to (micro)blog. And other types of blogging are showing up, like Posterous and Tumblr. As well as photo blogs, like Instagram.

Since 2004 Technorati publishes an overview of the State of the Blogosphere. Recently ‘The State of the Blogosphere 2011’ was published. I’d like to share a summary of this interesting report with you (as I’ve done in previous years).

Who are the bloggers? 
4114 bloggers were surveyed for this report (about 3000 less than in 2010). According to the research 75% of the bloggers are 25-44 years old. The level of education of blogger is high, mostly college and university level.
Technorati distinguishes four types of bloggers: hobbyists (60% of the respondents), part-time and full-time professionals (18%), corporate (8%) and entrepreneurs (13%).

Blogging patterns
The majority of the bloggers has been blogging for at least 2 years. It is remarkable that all bloggers maintain more than one blog. 60% of the respondents blogs up to three hours per week, the rest (40%) blogs more. 13% say they spend more than ten hours per week.
The majority of the participants blogs 2-3 times a week. Professional full-time bloggers blog more often. 26% says they post at least three times per day.
The general trend among bloggers is to spend more time on blogging than in 2011 and to post more often. When bloggers decide to blog less this is due to, just as last year, spending more time on other social platform and especially microblogging.

Blogging and business
What is the influence of blogging on brands? This year blogs are listed as having the most influence on brands. Compared to 2010 this is a huge leap forward. As a second and third brand influencer friends and other social media are mentioned. All types of bloggers are asked regularly by brands to blog about their product or service. Even though most bloggers think that companies find them less professional, compared to traditional media.
A remarkable finding from the survey is that blogs are still considered to be most influential under consumers when they look for recommedations about products and services. Facebook is also influential, but less than blogs. Twitter’s influence has also decreased in this respect.

Blog inspiration and success
To find input for blogposts, most bloggers tap into social media sites (21 uur/week). Bloggers don’t watch a lot of TV.
Professionele bloggers measure the success of their blog by the number of unique visitors and financial gain. Hobbyist measure success by personal satisfaction. 70% of the bloggers blog to share experience and expertise with others. Another way to measure the success of a blog is if it has been quoted in traditional media. 36% of the bloggers say their blog has been quoted.
An interesting fact is most bloggers don’t want advertisement on their blog, although most bloggers admit they do not have enough readers for advertisers to be interested in advertising on their blog.

Blogging and other social media
82% of all bloggers uses Twitter. Under professional bloggers almost all use it. Hobbyists have about halve as many followers on Twitter as professionals. Professional bloggers have around 1000 followers. In most cases blogposts are automatically published to Twitter.
89% of the bloggers has a Facebook account. Setting up separate Facebook pages for your blog has increased by 15% in the previous year. In most cases the blogpost is not automatically posted to Facebook.
More than 6 out of 10 respondents uses Google+. The reasons to use Google+ are comparable to Twitter and Facebook: promoting your blog and finding interesting links. As with Facebook, automatic publishing of blogposts to Google+ is not done often. 
The participants find Facebook and Twitter as most-effective to publicize a blog. LinkedIn comes in 3rd place.
Wordpress is the most popular blog hosting service. 51% of the participants uses it. Blogger en Blogspot are popular as well (21% en 14%).

Blogging and mobile
A nice question was about the impact of tablets and smartphones on blogging. 45% said they use more pictures and images and 43% said they write shorter posts because of mobile.

Questions
You can read the whole report online. Have you read it? If so, what were the most remarkable findings according to you? And what’s your vision on the future of blogging? Is it doomed, as some say? Or does it have a (certain) future? 

Note: This post was also published in Dutch on FrankWatching and Teed.

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