If you've been reading along lately you'll know that I made a very serious business recommendation to a colleague here that he start using his blog to his business advantage. I've had no response from him but that's not surprising. The convergence of conventional media and so-called 'New Media' is causing a great collective denial in the pockets of communications producers and business people who have always made their money 'the old fashioned way'.
A few months ago I had recommended a blog to a management consultant as a way to communicate with his clients and potential clients, and here's the response I received from him:
"No, mate, real men don’t blog, and my clients certainly don’t."
And so with that I want to give you the Cliff's Notes, the Readers Digest version of where blogs are today. And while I do that, will someone please notice, according to Forbes magazine, that Newsweek has just been eaten by The Daily Beast - a blog aggregating news service. Get on the bus boys, we're leaving the station. Here's the 'State of the Blogosphere', according to Technorati.
Overall, bloggers are a highly educated and affluent group. Nearly half of all bloggers we surveyed have earned a graduate degree. As expected in the wake of a recession, we did see a slight drop in income; however, bloggers are still more affluent than the general population. As blogging is now firmly a part of the mainstream, we see that the average blogger has three or more blogs and has been blogging for two or more years. We are also noticing an ever-increasing overlap between blogging and mainstream media.
- Two-thirds of bloggers are male.
- 65% are age 18-44.
- Bloggers are more affluent and educated than the general population:
"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."
Chew on that for a while. And get out your iPads.
"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."
It's a 140 character world folks, and I'm flying in the face of shit by doing long posts like this. Whatever. This pioneer business doesn't have a manual - but smart brands and corporations have already realized the value of blogging, well before they get blogged about and maybe against by others.
"Corporates seem to be more engaged with media online than are other types of bloggers. Overall, respondents are least engaged with print media sources, spending an average of 3.5 hours each week reading newspapers or magazines they subscribe to."
And while a very small percentage of people actually make money off their blog itself, a more than 50% share use their blog to support their business.
"While the majority of bloggers classify themselves as hobbyists, those who make money at blogging tend to do so on their own, and not in association with another organization. Over half of Self-Employed bloggers (57%) own their own company, and have a blog related to that business, while 31% of Part-Timers classify their blog as their company, and themselves as the owner."
And support their business blogs do. The highest percentages of corporate bloggers report overall visibility and thought leadership as benefits to their company's business. I personally have been on TV any number of times, as a voice for my industry, but I've never seen a spike in my business from that - because viewers can't click on my head and get my email or website. So rather than TV, I use Facebook and Twitter to get my message out, and responses back in.
"78% of bloggers surveyed are using Twitter, with even more Corporates (88%) using the microblogging service. Those who use Twitter say they do so to promote their blog, bring interesting links to light, keep up with news and events, and understand what people are buzzing about.
"Almost 9 out of 10 (87%) bloggers surveyed use Facebook, and the majority (66%) do not have a page for their blog separate from their personal account. By contrast, the majority of Corporate and Self-Employed bloggers, 62% and 52%, respectively, do report having a separate page for their blog, indicating that these blogger types are using social media to market their blogs in ways other bloggers are not. Among respondents who have only a personal Facebook page, 60% are not linking their page to their blog in any way."
And ain't that a shame. But sometimes people are just lazy, or busy. Or don't know. But they have plenty of time to throw worthless blather up on Facebook and Twitter. Go figure. I am also a big fan of syndication - getting my blog broadcast to other, larger media services. But how do I do that? How can you do it? I've spent 2 1/2 years studying and replicating and trying and failing to learn this. Teaching others to do it is now something I regard as an income generator. Corporate bloggers haven't quite figured out how to do this - like my potential client mentioned at the beginning of this post.
"Use of particular blogging tools appears to be very widespread among bloggers. These tools include commenting systems (81%), archiving posts by date or category (79%), and built-in syndication (77%). Among bloggers who use built-in syndication, the majority (74%) support full content, although among Corporate bloggers significantly fewer do so (55%)."
And so, where do we go now? Technorati says this:
"Respondents believe that blogging has had the greatest impact so far on the subjects of politics, technology, and celebrity/gossip. Looking forward, they believe blogging will have the greatest impact on politics, technology, and business. Reflecting the fact that they own their own businesses, 27% of Self-Employed bloggers said that blogging has had the greatest impact on business."
"We’ve seen several main themes emerge across the blogosphere in 2010: Bloggers’ use of and engagement with various social media tools is expanding and becoming more sophisticated. Promoting their blogs remains their central purpose. And the blogs of others remain the primary influence on bloggers, far more than social networks or other media. We saw significant growth of mobile blogging, with 25% of all bloggers already engaged in mobile blogging and 40% reporting that mobile blogging has changed the way they blog. "
I will remain committed to blogging for business, and let my colleagues catch up later. Many people ask me whether I'm just giving away valuable consulting by posting it here, and my answer to that is, "No". Everything I post here is available on the Internet to anyone, but doing the work is another story. I do the work, and that's what too many businesses can't get their head around. Showing up, learning something new, believing when others doubt, and just plain doing the work. That's how I get paid. Oh, I'm smart enough, but I do the work. And they can hire me for that.
For more on blogs, blogging and bloggers, check here:
It's Good to be Loved - How to Write the Best Damn Blog in the World VI
Tell Me Your Secrets - How to Write the Best Damn Blog in the World V
Is Your Blog Working Hard Enough For Your Business? - How To Write the Best Damn Blog in the World IV
How (NOT) to Write the Best Damn Blog in the World III
Advertising People & Blogs - The Travis Diaries VI
How to Write the Best Damn Blog in the World II
Throw That Blog a Bone!
If Blogs Are Free Are They Worthless?
What If Gutenberg Had a Blog?
If You Like the Blog, Read the Book
2008 Annual Report - The Wild Wild East Dailies
Blog Redesign WWED
BarCamp Saigon 2008
Attraction vs. Conversion - How To Write the Best Damn Blog in the World
Are the Bloggerati Missing the Market?