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 conducting our blogger survey, we interviewed 15 of the most influential women in social media and the blogosphere.
Bloggers and Traditional Media
Influencing the Influencers
Brands in the Blogosphere
Media Habits of Bloggers
Consumers in the Blogosphere
* Motivations and Consequences of Blogging
* Company Blogging
* Blogging Topics
* 2010 Trends: The Impact of Social Media on the Blogosphere
* 2010 Trends: Traction of Tablets and Smartphones in the Blogosphere
* 2010 Trends: Moms who Blog
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.