I used to write in a journal. Her name was Lily. My Grandma bought her for me at Hallmark. She had a flimsy little keyed lock that somehow made me think my secrets were safe. If I lost the key, I would just jiggle the lock and pop it open. It never occurred to me that others could do the same.
I destroyed Lily in middle school after receiving trusted advice that I shouldn’t write down anything I didn’t want to share with the world.
Many of the students I teach today also had journals when they were younger. Instead of keys, they had passwords. Instead of attempting to hide them from others, they purposely shared their diaries with the world online.
The original purpose of web logs (now blogs) was for the people who wrote them (now bloggers) to share their thoughts and feelings. Perhaps we can think of them as Lily 2.0.
Today’s blogs are much different. People share their feelings in snippets on Facebook or via text message. Good bloggers share focused content on their rapidly growing blogs. Some even question whether blogs will replace traditional media outlets.
In 2011, there are millions of blogs in the blogosphere, with nearly 1.3 million blogs registered on Technorati alone.
Make no mistake, there still are personal blogs, with arguably the fastest growing blogging segment being Mommy Bloggers. But many of today’s blogs are corporate, organizational or niche, with a fair number of blogs acting as the sole storefront for entrepreneurs.
Technorati performs an annual assessment of the blogosphere. The most recent report, released in 2010, provided responses from 7,200 bloggers who participated in the study.
Here are some noteworthy trends from Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010 report that help give an idea about the advancement of blogging:
The majority of the respondent bloggers were men between the ages of 18-44 with college degrees (80 percent).
More than 30 percent of bloggers had worked in traditional media and nearly half of corporate bloggers had worked for media outlets, with print media being most common.
To learn more about different types of bloggers, check out The 23 Blogger Breeds–Which Are You?
The majority of the bloggers were hobbyist (64 percent) who said they blog for fun. Self-employed bloggers were the second largest group (21 percent), running their business through and/or attracting business with their blogs. A single percent of respondents reported writing for a corporate blog, with most not do so full time.
The majority of the respondents (80 percent) had blogged for more than two years, and most had more than one blog (3.5 was average).
The majority of respondents blogged more than 10 hours a week, updating each blog two or three times. Half of the respondents said they planned to blog more in the future.
Although the majority of respondents had their own blog (WordPress was the preferred method), more than half (52 percent) of professionals wrote for a blog they did not own.
If you think bloggers are writing to make money, you’re wrong.
Only 11 percent of respondents said blogging was their primary source of income. The majority (64 percent) of bloggers said they did not make money from their blogs. The majority (65 percent) of bloggers who profited from their blogs made less than $2,000 for the year, although part-timers and self-employed bloggers reported blogging more because it was valuable in promoting their business (57 percent).
Bloggers overwhelming supported blogging as having a positive impact on their personal lives with 63 percent of respondents saying they had become more involved with their passion areas as a result of blogging and 62 percent reporting that they had made friends through their blog.
Almost half of respondents received fewer than 1,000 unique visitors per month, although corporate bloggers receive an average of 313,000 monthly views. Part-time and self-employed bloggers had the most repeat visitors, with part-timers averaging almost 59,000 unique visitors a month (about 119,000 visits per month) and self-employed averaging about 58,000 unique visitors monthly (about 113,000 visits).
Corporate bloggers updated more frequently than other types of bloggers, with 29 percent reporting that they updated their blog at least five times a day.
To promote their sites bloggers spent on average about 10 hours on social media each week, about twice the amount of the general public.
The majority of bloggers (78-88 percent) used Twitter to promote their blogs, provide interesting links and keep up with news and events impacting their audience.
Nine out of 10 bloggers used Facebook for their blog, but the majority of them (66 percent) did not have a page for their blog separate from their personal page.
Since this data is from the 2010 report, I would assume that Technorati is gathering data for the 2011 version. It will be interesting to see how much has changed in a year in the blogosphere.
Let’s Talk Nerdy!
What do you think has changed in the last year in the blogosphere? Are blogs growing or dying? What surprised you in the last report?
Real Nerds Read!
Considering starting your own blog? Check out:
- 10 Things to Know Before Starting a Blog
- 3 Factors to Consider Before Starting a Blog
- 5 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Blog
Other reading to consider: