Despite recent stories to the contrary both in online and offline publications, the popularity of blogging shows no sign of abating anytime soon. From its early days as an outlet for bedroom writers to share their personal thoughts to the power it holds today as a business tool, blogging’s popularity is, if anything, increasing.
A recent report from Technorati confirms that blogging is growing at a phenomenal rate. Hailed as Blogger’s Bible, Technorati measures not only how popular blogs are individually, but also how many are currently being written worldwide. In their State of the Blogosphere Report 2008, Technorati shares some impressive figures:
- As of March 2008, there were 184 million blogs worldwide
- Blogs in the US enjoyed 77.7 million unique visitors, compared to 41 million visitors to Facebook and 75.1 million to MySpace
- 77% of all active Internet users read blogs
Apart from confirming that blogging as a pastime continues to find new fans, these figures from Technorati also act as a wake-up call for any businesses yet to have a corporate blog.
The Numbers Game
According to recent statistics, over half of all businesses in North America don’t have a blog, which means that just under half of all businesses do. If your business is in the half that doesn’t have a blog, you’re offering your competitors a major advantage over you – access to your target audience.
One of the reasons that blogs are so popular is that they offer an instant voice, both from the blogger and the reader. A personal blog can share the latest news or pictures of a newborn baby to family and friends in a different part of the world. A business blog works on the same premise.
Working on just some of the figures that Technorati provides, it’s easy to see why blogging should be a part of every business’s marketing or PR strategy:
- 46% of all bloggers are professional bloggers. This may mean that they’re writing a corporate blog, or simply writing about the industry that their company is in, while not necessarily mentioning their company at all.
- This equates to just over 84.5 million bloggers that are, in essence, business bloggers. If your company doesn’t have some kind of blog presence, that’s potentially 84.5 million businesses ahead of you when it comes to reaching your target audience.
- Online sales in 2007 totaled $260 billion. Blogs are known to increase awareness of new products and offers from companies. Less than half are utilizing this, which means that 1 out of 2 companies are losing a large part of $260 billion dollars of online income.
As the economy continues to waver and businesses tighten their belts, not using every tool at your disposal is akin to commercial suicide. The popularity of blogging and blog readers should be seen as one of the most cost-effective and essential business tools available.