Welcome to Technorati‘s State of the Blogosphere 2010 report. Since 2004, our annual study has followed growth and trends in the blogosphere. For 2010, we took a deeper dive into the entire blogosphere, with a focus on female bloggers. This year’s topics include: brands embracing social media, traditional media vs. social media, brands working with bloggers, monetization, smartphone and tablet usage, importance of Twitter and Facebook, niche blogging, and changes within the blogosphere over 2010.
SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS
The 2010 edition of State of the Blogosphere finds blogs in transition—no longer an upstart community, now with influence on mainstream narratives firmly entrenched, with bloggers still searching for the next steps forward. Bloggers’ use of and engagement with various social media tools is expanding, and the lines between blogs, micro-blogs, and social networks are disappearing. As the blogosphere converges with social media, sharing of blog posts is increasingly done through social networks—even while blogs remain significantly more influential on blog content than social networks are.
The significant growth of mobile blogging is a key trend this year. Though the smartphone and tablet markets are still relatively new and most analysts expect them to grow much larger, 25% of all bloggers are already engaged in mobile blogging. And 40% of bloggers who report blogging from their smartphone or tablet say that it has changed the way they blog, encouraging shorter and more spontaneous posts.
Another important trend is the influence of women and mom bloggers on the blogosphere, mainstream media, and brands. Their impact is perhaps felt most strongly by brands, as the women and mom blogger segment is the most likely of all to blog about brands. In addition to the conducting our blogger survey, we interviewed 15 of the most influential women in social media and the blogosphere.
These changes are occurring in the context of great optimism about the medium: over half of respondents plan on blogging more frequently in the future, and 43% plan on expanding the topics that they blog about. Bloggers who get revenue from blogging are generally blogging more this year than they were last year. And 48% of all bloggers believe that more people will be getting their news and entertainment from blogs in the next five years than from the traditional media. We’ve also asked consumers about their trust and attitudes toward blogs and other media: 40% agree with bloggers’ views, and their trust in mainstream media is dropping.
7,200 bloggers responded to our survey this year, our largest response ever. As with our report last year, we have chosen to display our results in terms of four different types of bloggers.
Hobbyists – Hobbyists remain the backbone of the blogosphere, representing 64% of respondents. Hobbyists say they blog for fun, and do not report any income from their blog. It’s not surprising therefore that 51% say they blog to express their personal musings, and 74% say they measure the success of their blog according to their level of personal satisfaction.
Part-Timers – Although blogging is not their full time job, Part-Timers (13% of the blogosphere) devote significant time to their blogs, with 61% saying they spend more than three hours blogging each week, and 33% saying they update their blog at least once a day. Part-Timers “blog to supplement their income” or “blog as part of their full time job,” but only report a mean annual non-salary income of $6,333. The fact that their personal and business motives for blogging are deeply entwined is not shocking: 63% say they measure the success of their blog by the number of unique visitors, while 56% say they also value personal satisfaction.
Corporates – The smallest cohort, representing just 1% of respondents, Corporates are the only bloggers who say they “blog full-time for a company or organization”—however, only 24% of them report spending a full 40 hours per week blogging, and only half report that they receive a salary. The mean annual non-salary income that Corporates report is $17,101, while 54% report an annual household income of $50,000 or more, indicating that this blogger type is supplementing his or her household income by blogging, rather than making a living off of it. 57% blog to share their expertise and experiences with others, while 39% blog to get published or featured in traditional media. Corporates are the most likely to have worked in traditional media prior to blogging.
Self-Employeds – After Hobbyists, Self-Employeds make up the largest cohort, representing 21% of bloggers. Such bloggers say they “blog full time or occasionally for their own company or organization.” 57% say they own a company and have a blog related to their business, while 19% report that their blog is their company. 65% say they manage their blog by themselves. Reflecting their professional nature, Self-Employeds are the most likely to blog about business, with 62% saying they have much greater visibility in their industry because of their blog.
Penn Schoen Berland conducted an Internet survey from September 21-October 8, 2010 among 7,205 bloggers around the world. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 1.2% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups. The following audiences are included throughout this report:
- All: Entire sample of bloggers
- 2010 Respondents: Entire sample of bloggers surveyed September 21-October 8, 2010
- N=2,828 / MoE= +/- 1.8
- Blogger Audiences
- Hobbyists (64%)
- N=4623 / MoE= +/- 1.4
- Currently report no income from their blog
- Part-Timers (13%)
- N=972 / MoE= +/- 3.2
- Receive compensation for their blogging, but do not consider it their full time job
- Corporates (1%)
- N=74 / MoE= +/-11.4
- Blog full-time for company or organization
- Self Employeds (21%)
- N=1535 / MoE= +/- 2.5
- Blog for their own company or organization
Respondents were recruited by Crowd Science across the Technorati Media network. Randomly selected network site visitors over the age of 18 participated in the survey. Data collection took place from September 5 to October 22, 2010. A total of 1,091 respondents took part in the survey.
Lijit-collected data for the 2010 State of the Blogosphere report was from two primary sources. The first is the 13,000 active Lijit publishers that have the Lijit Search Widget installed on their blog. The second is the network of 3.8 million blogs that those 13,000 blogs connect to via their Blogroll and other social network connections tracked by Lijit.
Technorati Index Data
Technorati collected blog and post data from the Technorati search index. Technorati Authority is Technorati’s measurement of a blog’s standing and influence in the blogosphere. More information about Technorati Authority can be found on the following page: What is Technorati Authority?
Now you know the overview, and you know the methodology. Read onward with who the bloggers are in Day 1 of the report.