2010 Blogging Trends: There’s Only Enough Room in the Blogosphere for the 144 Million of Us

Posted by | Social Media Trends

I was recently scouring the web for bloggers for a client campaign. As I was searching, I ran across many posts in which a blogger dramatically confessed to loyal readers that he/she was taking a vacation from the blogging world. Others simply left blogs neglected without posting in a month or more.  At first I thought I may be jinxed, but then I realized I may have stumbled upon a trend – people are quitting their blogs.So, in a quest to understand blogging trends and happenings, I researched if blogging was, in fact, on the decline. In my search, I was fortunate enough to speak with Google’s Rick Klau to get an insider’s perspective.

Current Blogging Trends

Despite my encounters with numerous sites fading out, the blogosphere shows signs of astronomical growth.BlogPulse reports that 144,275,043 blogs currently live on the web with 57,472 new blogs created in the last 24 hours. But just because a blog is live/exists does not mean that the blog is actively maintained and updated.When I asked Rick Klau, product manager at Google, of his forecast for the growth and influence of blogs, he said,
“I expect to see sustained growth. And it’s not just Blogger – WordPress continues to grow, and the overall market for blogging is growing.”
Some people say that the rise of short-form content (like updates/posts via Twitter and Facebook) would be the end of long-form content like blogs. However, Klau attributed blog growth, in part, to promotion through short-form content for its ability to direct attention and engagement to blogs. Read more on Klau’s comments to this subject here.  Klau also says that “newer players like Tumblr and Posterous are gaining traction” to reach larger audiences than ever before.WordPress stats report blog growth with seemingly no end in sight, as you can see in the chart below. As of June 2010, Quantcast reported that WordPress.com blogs receive 2 billion page views by 260 unique visitors worldwide to the 11.4 million blogs hosted by the site. Of the 2 billion page views, 819 million views come from within the United States while Brazil comes second with 116 million.On WordPress, however, the daily number of posts, page creations, comments and uploads seem to remain at a fairly consistent, even rate since March 2010. So even with exponential growth in creation of new blogs, WordPress interactions seem to remain the same.

Blogger Demographics

Technorati provides some very interesting data in their State of the Blogosphere reports that have been released annually since 2004. You can view the full reports of the 2009 State of the Blogosphere here. I anxiously await the report for 2010, which is set to come out in October. I am sure there will be an Ignite blog post to follow.Just to give you an idea of the blogosphere from the Technorati reports, here are a few insights taken from 2009:
  • The typical blogger was a man ages 18-44 who is more affluent and educated than the general population. 40% of bloggers hold a graduate degree. These demographics have remained relatively unchanged since 2007.
  • Roughly half of all bloggers were from the U.S. However, in 2007, Japanese bloggers represented a slight majority at 37% of total bloggers. (The U.S. fell in second with 31%.)
  • Among future plans for these bloggers, only 4% anticipated blogging less frequently while 57% wanted to blog more frequently. Those blogging less frequently since launching the blog reported work/family commitments as the number one reason for lack of upkeep. (Take a look at the chart from Technorati below and for more insights, visit http://technorati.com/blogging/article/day-2-the-what-and-why2/page-2/)
  • I think the last of these findings is most helpful in finding answers to my search. Blogging is a huge time commitment. In fact, 15% of all bloggers commit at least 10 hours a week to the upkeep and management of their site. A majority of bloggers confess to “wanting” to blog more often, but through personal research of spending hours searching for bloggers for various clients, I often find the reality of neglected blogs living on in space.

    Future Blogging Trends

    While the space and potential for blog growth is literally infinite, it is my opinion that the ones gaining true traction and following will float to the top. Google’s Rick Klau spoke to this point by saying that “there will always be opportunities for passionate individuals to develop a niche audience through focused content, and use that to grow the audience as they use micro-blog services like Twitter to drive attention and engagement to their blogs.”But how many mommy blogs, style blogs, tech blogs, foodie blogs, fitness blogs, and entertainment blogs can one actually read and remain engaged with?  Once again, leaders will rise in the blogosphere providing readers with a great one-stop for all of their niche interests and passions.So my question that can really only be answered with time is how will blogging develop? There can’t be 144 million successful, engaged blogs with the traffic that so many bloggers desperately desire. Will the leading bloggers take the cake when it comes to traffic and leave the rest of the blogosphere as a public diary space (the most popular blog topic by far according to BlogPulse – See the chart below.) for those needing to release their creative side? As a side note, my recent favorite of the latter is Mila’s Daydreams.Still, the blogosphere represents a new form of the American Dream, where even the smallest of blogs has the chance to combine useful content with functions like Twitter and Facebook to promote and gain traction for their blog to successfully gain thousands upon thousands of readers and followers.It will be interesting to see what the future holds – what’s your prediction?