5 Salient Attributes of Bloggers [Research]

What Bloggers Can Learn From 2011 State of the Blogosphere

Bloggers invest a lot of time and effort in their blogs to produce content on a designated topic for an audience on a regular basis. Since writing isn’t easy, what drives them and how do they track their progress?

Technorati’s 2011 State of the Blogsphere provides insights into these highly personal, social media content vehicles.

4 Major types of bloggers

Technorati divided bloggers into four major categories based largely on how blogging was integrated into their work.

  1. Hobbyist Bloggers. Representing three fifths of survey respondents, hobbyists blog for fun and don’t report any income from blogging. Three out of five respondents spend less than three hours per week blogging and half of these bloggers respond individually to reader comments. Two-thirds of hobbyists cite personal satisfaction as their main metric.
  2. Professional Bloggers. Representing roughly one fifth of the participants, these independent bloggers blog to supplement their income or as their full-time job. For most professional bloggers, blogging isn’t their primary income source. (Note: Part-time and full-time bloggers are displayed separately in Technorati’s charts.)
  3. Corporate Bloggers. Roughly one tenth of the blogosphere, corporate bloggers blog as part of their full-time job or full-time for an organization for which they work. Further, they primarily discuss technology and business on their blogs. No surprise, these bloggers do so to improve their business by sharing expertise, gaining professional recognition, and attracting new clients. Blogging yields greater visibility for them and their companies. About two thirds measure success based on the number of unique visitors.
  4. Entrepreneurs. About one eighth of the blogosphere consists of entrepreneurs or individuals blogging for an organization they own. Most of these bloggers communicate primarily about the industry they work in. These bloggers aim to share their expertise, gain professional recognition, and attract new business clients.

5 Salient attributes of bloggers

Based on the results of Technorati’s 2011 State of the Blogosphere, here are five salient facts that show how bloggers approach their craft. (Here’s how different types of blogs stack up. Chart included.)

  1. Most respondents update their blogs two to three times per week. This is in line with Hubspot’s research showing that blogging two to three times per week yields most of the impact of blogging every day.
  2. Three out of five respondents blog up to three hours per week and two out of five blog over three hours per week. A little more than 10% of respondents blog more than ten hours per week
  3. On average, bloggers have three blogs. Hobbyists tend to have two blogs and professional bloggers have four blogs.
  4. Roughly half of respondents are employed full time and a quarter are self-employed.
  5. Less than 40% of bloggers derive their main income from blogging. This is logical given that half of respondents are employed full time.

How does your blog measure up?

Regardless of your reasons for blogging, you need to track your progress. Even if your blog’s a personal journal, you’ll still want to measure your progress over time.

For hobbyists who seek personal satisfaction from blogging, comments are the third most popular metric. This is no surprise; CMOs look for the same thing. From a bloggers’ perspective, comments provide a sense that people are interested in and paying attention to your content. The problem is that comments as a metric don’t get you any closer to your goals. What can you do with “Great post” as a comment?

Here are five more effective blogging metrics. 


  1. Unique visitors. Give a sense of how large your audience is. It’s best combined with time on sight to show how engaging your content is, and bounce rate to show whether your content is aligned with your keywords. If people are driven to your blog by the wrong keywords, they bounce off and are gone before you know it.
  2. Inbound Links.  These show that other sites perceive your content is valuable. It’s an important component of search optimization ranking. For businesses, this translates to higher search placement for your key terms.
  3. Email addresses. Enable you to communicate with readers and provide the basis for building a relationship can be converted to sales. It’s an important element for driving affiliate marketing revenue and is surprisingly missing from this list.
  4. Revenue. This is the report card for the sales your blog’s generated. Ideally, you link your content directly to specific product pages. Blogs can drive prospects along the lead generating process in other ways such as a white paper download.
  5. Costs. Interestingly, this metric is absent from the list. Even if you’re blogging for yourself as a hobby, your blog requires a minimun investment.

While three out of five bloggers are hobbyists spending minimal time on their blogs, two out five bloggers have a business rationale for creating content. This translates to the need for serious metrics to assess progress over time.

Did the results of this survey surprise you? If so, why? How do your blogging habits compare to these results?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles that you may be interested in.

How to turn your blog into a lead generating machine
Who will write our blog?
The One Social Media Metric You Need

Chart source: Technorati 2011 State of the Blogsphere

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmoneyyyyyy/6046349308/

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