In spite of all the claims that Blogging is dead, the numbers show Blogs are still a great way to get your message out there and to gain exposure and credibility in your industry.
We’ll get started with some interesting stats on “The State of the Blogosphere” and then I’ll share some tips and advice for Blogging your way to more traffic, exposure and revenue.
All of the stats are courtesy of “2009 State of the Blogosphere by Technorati”
- More than 133,000,000 blogs have been indexed by Technorati since 2002
- 77% of Internet users read blogs according to Universal McCann
- Two-thirds of Bloggers are male (c’mon ladies, start Blogging!)
- More than half are married and more than half are parents
- 60% are 18-44
- 75% have college degrees and 40% have graduate degrees
- One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
- Around half of Bloggers are working on at least their second blog
- 68% have been blogging for two years or more
- 86% have been blogging for at least a year
- 70% of all respondents say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog
- 72% say they blog in order to share their expertise.
- 61% say they blog in order to supplement their income.
- 53% of professional Bloggers are interested in attracting new clients from blogging.
- 72% of those who are self-employed and blogging are interested in attracting new clients.
- 57% say that their future plans include blogging even more (including 74% of 18-24 year olds).
- Part-Timers, Pros, and Self-Employed Bloggers are blogging as much as or more than ever (73%, 76% and 80%, respectively), while Hobbyists are blogging somewhat less.
- 15% of Bloggers spend 10 or more hours each week blogging.
- One in five Bloggers report updating on a daily basis.
- The most common rate of updating is 2-3 times per week.
- The majority of blogs use tags (85%).
- 82% of respondents say that they post photos to their blog, making images the most popular form of multimedia.
- Bloggers participate in an average of 5 activities to drive traffic to their blogs.
- 72% of respondents are classified as Hobbyists, meaning that they report no income related to blogging
- Of those who have monetized their blogging to at least some extent:
• 54% are Part-Timers
• 32% are Self-Employed Bloggers
• 14% are Corporate Bloggers
- 51% of Corporate Bloggers – 58 respondents – report receiving a salary for blogging.
- 56% say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry.
- 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog
Take some time to read and absorb the stats and draw whatever conclusions you will. Please share your comments and feedback below. I would love to hear what you think.
If you haven’t read one of my previous posts on how to write a killer Blog post, check it out.
I’ve compiled a collection of tips and advice that I have found useful when Blogging. Feel free to add your tips and advice in the Comments section below.
The very step is to ask yourself: Why are you Blogging and what do you hope to accomplish?
Here are some of the common reasons to Blog:
- To build brand awareness
- To boost search engine rankings
- To improve customer relations
- To show knowledge & earn credibility
- To get new clients/make sales
Once you have determined why you are Blogging, you need look at it from the other side…
Why would people want you to Blog? If you aren’t meeting a need of theirs, they aren’t likely to read your Blog – at least not more than once.
You need to marry your goals with your customers wants and needs and come up with a Blogging plan that will help you reach your goals and will give your Blog visitors what they are after, so they will return, buy, spread the word about your Blog etc.
Let’s look at a scenario here:
You sell kitchen ware – all the cool gadgets and tools that every kitchen must have. Your goal is to sell more gadgets.
I’m online frantically googling recipes for crab dip because my mother-in-law just informed me she loves crab dip and I really need to impress her with my domestic skills.
I come across your Blog and find the most adorable dishes to serve dip in – but that doesn’t help me now. So I leave your Blog and go to another one that has a crab dip recipe that will blow my mother-in-law’s mind.
If you had just added a couple recipes to put in those cute little dip bowls, I would have found your site helpful and would have likely returned to buy those dip bowls.
I’d also tell my friends about it. So, you will likely still accomplish your goal of selling your gadgets and cool kitchen wares, but you also created someone out there in the world that is happy with your Blog and sees you as a helpful resource. That’s pretty valuable!
Remember, you need to satisfy your visitors needs first, or you will never reach your goals. It also helps to remember that although you have a goal with your Blogging, you are ultimately Blogging for the site visitor and not for yourself.
Now that you’ve established your goals and you’ve made sure you are delivering information that will interest and compel your site visitors, you are good to get started! Some more tips:
- You should be reading the top Blogs in your industry to see what your competitors are doing, stay on top of industry news and track the Comments to see what your customers and potential customers are interested in and talking about.
- Creating an open dialogue is the best way to be sure visitors will respond to your content. Always invite people to comment.
- Set up a Feedburner account.
- Do RSS Submissions to increase your Blog’s exposure.
- Write “How to” articles, they are very popular and tend to draw a lot of attention.
- Include an RSS Subscription option on the sidebar.
- Make it easy for visitors to contact you. Always answer comments and questions.
- Add podcasts. Add video. Add photos and images.
- Consider the types of things that spread virally across the internet. They are usually funny, outrageous, shocking, and unique.
- After you’ve written a post, look at it with different eyes. Ask yourself, if I came across this post on someone else’s site would I care about it? Does it have some kind of impact on me?
- Optimize for the RSS feed – use keywords in title tag, less than 100 characters. Most readers display feeds alphabetically – it helps to be an A or B.
- Add a poll to your Blog. This is a great way to get your readers involved and it can help you tailor your Blog’s content, based on the feedback you get from your readers! (Resource: Vizu is a site that lets you add free polls to your Blog).
- One study found that only 16% of people read word for word online. This stat reminds us that we need to write our Blogs (and web pages) so they are scan-friendly. Someone should be able to scan and at a glance get the main points and also feel compelled to read further.
- Be controversial. Be bold. Have an opinion. Have personality. So many Blogs are devoid of any real personality – especially corporate Blogs. Blogs are meant to be informal (they must be professional and respectful) but that doesn’t mean that you can’t show some personality. Write your Blog as if you were talking to people – not as if you were creating a corporate brochure. Don’t just report news, share your opinion and insights. Don’t be afraid to make a controversial statement. People can get news from a zillion places online – make sure your Blog shares insights that they can’t get anywhere else.
- Invite Guest Authors. Getting a different voice – especially one that is well known is a great way to draw some attention to your Blog and give your readers some variety.
- Idea: Develop a Glossary for your industry (make sure you use keywords in the Glossary). The post will rank well and will become a resource for people.
- If your Blog’s goal is to promote you as an authority, interview other prominent Bloggers in your industry. Your own credibility will improve by association.
- Build your online networks through services such as MyBlogLog, Twitter and Facebook. Drive traffic to your Blog from these social sites.
- Look at stats – determine which posts are most popular and get a feel for the topics and length of your most popular posts and then use that as a guideline going forward.
I kinda broke my own rules on this post, it’s pretty dense with text and there are no images to pretty it up. I just had so much I wanted to share with you. So, do as I say and not as I do, kids!
To sum it all, up I’ll say the same thing I said on my last post – pretty much any Blogging is better than no Blogging, so start writing! Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll do fine!
I didn’t talk at all about optimizing your Blog for the engines, I’m saving that one up for my next article. Stay tuned!
Jennifer Horowitz, Director of Marketing for EcomBuffet.com
Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for www.EcomBuffet.com. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer Horowitz is the author of Twitter Quickstart Success Training System, Blogging For Dollars, Optimization Step By Step: 2010 and more. For the whole scoop, visit http://www.ecombuffet.com. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ecombuffet