eMarketer estimates nearly 28 million US Internet users write a blog in 2009, and those bloggers run the gamut from hobbyists and part-timers to self-employed and corporate bloggers.
According to a Technorati survey of bloggers worldwide, most are men, ages 18 to 44, affluent and well-educated. About one-quarter work for a traditional media outlet in addition to blogging, and most still don’t make any money from their self-publishing activities. But there are other ways to create value.
Fully 70% of bloggers polled by Technorati said they talked about products or brands on their blog. The most common activity was to post about brands they loved—or hated—as well as to write reviews or post about experiences with stores or customer service.
Bloggers who post about products and services may get some attention from brands in the form of free items and other perks—enough to attract the notice of the US Federal Trade Commission, at least—but the visibility they gain through publishing their thoughts also helps them in less-tangible ways.
Nearly six in 10 of all the bloggers surveyed said they were better known in their industry because of their blog, and one-quarter had used their blog as a resume or sent it to potential employers.
Further, bloggers who post for a business reported even higher levels of success: 71% had increased visibility for their company, 63% had converted prospects into purchasers through their blog, and 56% have seen their blog bring their company recognition as a thought leader in the industry.
Negative personal consequences, such as losing focus on work or getting in trouble on the job, were far less common than gaining visibility or even changing professions entirely based on blogging activity.
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