Blogging ain’t what it used to be.
If yesterday’s blogs were about personal expression, today’s are about two-way conversations that take place on many fronts: independent, standalone blogs; social networks; e-commerce and mainstream media sites; and microblogging platforms such as Twitter.
“This blogging activity presents new opportunities for marketers to influence—and monitor—conversations that may be relevant to their businesses,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, The Blogosphere: A-Twitter with Activity. “These conversations will continue to happen with or without participation from marketers, but those who join in—whether through their own sites or through a brand presence on independent ones—will have a place at the table.”
And the opportunities are large—larger than many people and pundits expected only a few years ago.
“Blogs are now mainstream media,” said Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati. “You’re also seeing mainstream media coming in the other direction by adding blog content.”
This point of view is echoed by David Tokheim, of Six Apart Media. “The lines are becoming blurred between a standalone blog that might be created on TypePad or Blogger or WordPress and blog content that’s created by The New York Times.”
Currently, 27.9 million US Internet users have a blog they update at least once per month, and they represent 14% of the Internet population. By 2013, 37.6 million users will update their blogs at least monthly.
Several sources put the number of US bloggers even higher (Note: Though often reported in 2009, the estimates are for 2008.)
Even more important than the number of bloggers, though, is the number of blog readers.
eMarketer estimates that in 2009 96.6 million US Internet users will read a blog at least once per month. By 2013, 128.2 million people, or 58% of all US users, will do the same.
“Blog sites now touch tens of millions of people in the US, and the numbers of blog readers and creators are projected to continue growing,” says Mr. Verna.
The numbers tell the tale—or long tail, if you prefer.
“Blogging activity presents new opportunities for marketers to monitor and influence conversations relevant to their businesses,” says Mr. Verna. “Opportunities no marketer should ignore.”
Before you read your next blog, or tweet, download the new eMarketer report, The Blogosphere: A-Twitter with Activity.