A Look Into the 2010 State of the Blogosphere Report by Technorati

Back in August, I wrote a post about trends within the blogosphere including insights into who was blogging, where growth may occur, and other statistical evidence.

Today, I will take a look into the findings of Technorati’s most recent report, the State of the Blogosphere 2010. This report delves into the demographics and statistics of the bloggers and the latest trends throughout the blogosphere. This report covers a wide range of information; however, I will focus on factors most relevant to social media and brand outreach to bloggers.

In collecting this research, Technorati gathered data from 7,200 bloggers. These respondents were then divided into four categories for analysis purposes: Hobbyists, Part-Timers, Corporates, Self-Employeds. Technorati also separated a fifth category that encompasses bloggers who responded to research for the 2009 State of the Blogosphere report. You will see these distinctions in some of the findings below.

About the Bloggers

Unchanging from last year’s report, the majority of bloggers are males who are more affluent and more educated than average. However, this report pays special attention to the rise of mom bloggers, which I will discuss more fully in the next section.

Since 2009, all categories of respondents except for Hobbyists report that they are blogging more frequently. The top reasons for blogging more frequently were for valuable business promotion and for the enjoyment of interacting with readers. Blog growth is supported by other statistics:

  • BlogPulse reports 51,938 new blogs created in the last 24 hours; 152,948,304 blogs overall
  • WordPress reports continued growth with 27 millions publishers and 13.9 million blogs hosted on WordPress.com. See more WordPress statistics here and here.

At Ignite, we often consider blogger outreach as a fundamental element to spread awareness and generate conversations surrounding clients’ campaigns. According to the 2010 State of the Blogosphere report, 42% of bloggers write about brands – positively and negatively. A majority of bloggers conduct product reviews sparingly. Bloggers also report that the reputation of the brand affects their willingness to review a product. This is not surprising as bloggers want to provide content/reviews of products that will be beneficial to their readers.

Product reviews by bloggers are especially successful because their readers often view them as trusted and candid sources of information. In fact, trust of blogs seem to be on the rise, as shown in the statistics below. This is also evidenced in the increasing likelihood of readers to make consumer recommendations based on blog referrals. These three graphs that follow show some important statistics surrounding the relationship between bloggers and consumers.

If you remember, Technorati made these conclusions based on a sample that consisted only of bloggers, so it seems that the statistics supporting blogs may be slightly skewed. So I did some digging to find outside support for these claims if possible. Jeremiah Owyang, author of Web Strategy, analyzed data by eMarketer to draw some conclusions about the power of blogger recommendations. As expected, recommendations are met most positively when coming from friends.

However, if you recall, earlier in the post I mentioned that one of the reasons bloggers contribute to an increase in blogging is interaction with readers. Blogging opens up opportunities for readers to develop a strong connection to the blogger as they learn more about the blogger’s experiences and tastes. It would seem that as these relationships grow, consumers/readers will feel more inclined to trust and act on the recommendations made by bloggers. This is supported by the fact that this year’s report by Technorati shows that 62% of bloggers have made friends through their blog.

2010 Blogging Trends

The blogosphere is producing a wide range of niche topics. Bloggers participating in Technorati’s research indicated a wide range of topics covered by their blog. Even among 23 categories, nearly half of all respondents said that the primary subject of their blog was “Other.”

Use of Social Media:

Around 80% of bloggers reported using Twitter, which represents a slight increase from last year. The most popular reason for using Twitter was to promote their blog. 56% of bloggers link their Twitter account with their blog.

Meanwhile, 87% of bloggers use Facebook. However, only 34% of bloggers have a Facebook page dedicated to the promotion of the blog. A majority of bloggers do not link their Facebook account with their blog.

Facebook and Twitter were regarded as the most useful tools to promote blogs by a large margin over other social networks.

 Use of Tablets & Smartphones for Blogging:

An increased amount of bloggers report using mobile devices for creating posts and updating their blog. In fact, WordPress recently announced reaching a milestone; WordPress now has 1 million users across their mobile platforms. This inherently causes a change in the way people blog by encouraging short, spontaneous posts.

Mom Bloggers:

Here at Ignite we often reach out to the subgroup of bloggers popularly known as “Mom Bloggers” to conduct reviews and giveaways on behalf of our clients. We have noticed great success and responsiveness when reaching out to these bloggers. This is not surprising as Technorati reports that this segment of bloggers is “strikingly connected to their communities.” Mom Bloggers establish these connections by actively commenting on other blogs, maintaining blog rolls in which they show support for fellow bloggers, and interacting with readers via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Another distinction of Mom Bloggers is their strong tendency to follow brands and participate in marketing campaigns geared toward bloggers. In fact, 60% of Mom Bloggers write about their opinions of brands and a majority of Mom Bloggers have been approached by a brand to participate in a campaign.

Mom bloggers write in a tone that they often call sincere and conversational. This tone along with a focus on building relationships enhances Mom Bloggers’ appeal to consumers as a trusted source for product reviews and advice.

Implications for the Blogosphere in 2011

In 2011, we can expect continued growth in the blogosphere. Ease of access to blogging through mobile technology will continue to make posting easy, quick, and frequent. WordPress has over a million mobile users and these numbers will only rise as mobile blogging becomes easier through apps like these.  WordPress is also taking a new initiative to encourage consistent management of blogs through its postaday2011 (or postaweek2011) challenge. As indicated by Technorati’s findings, bloggers will also continue to use and integrate social media channels into their blog.

Demographics of bloggers seem relatively unchanged from Technorati’s results from 2009 to 2010. However, there is a rise in niche topics of blogs. This makes sense as the blogosphere allows individuals the opportunity to write freely about personal interests. The power of the web allows these bloggers to develop a niche following.

In recognizing the potential of Mom Bloggers for brands, many bloggers are joining networks that  make the process of connecting with brands even easier. Networks such as Mom Central and Business 2 Blogger will continue to grow as brands realize the potential and influence Mom Bloggers hold in the blogosphere. These networks are changing the way that brands reach out to bloggers and are making it even easier to find bloggers to match the audience of the brand. So, for example, if you are looking for Mom Bloggers who also focus on fitness, these blogger networks have the resources to connect you with the bloggers that fit that mold.

These are some of my predictions, but what do you see in store for the blogosphere in 2011?

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