Over the last few weeks we’ve been conducting the State of the Blogging Universe survey in an effort to get a better understanding of people opinions and use of blogs and how they’ve changed over the last 2 years. Well, the results are in and I spent some time analyzing the data.
Here are 5 noteworthy insights from the survey.
1) People are reading more blogs and reading them more frequently.
51% of respondands said the number of blogs they read has gone up compared with 21% who said it went down. 44% of respondants said they read blogs somewhat or much more frequently than 2 years ago compared with 21% who said they read blogs somewhat or much less frequently Additionally 53% said reading blogs has become more important over the last 2 years compared with 28% who said it’s become less important.
2) People read blogs in a wide variety of ways.
When asked about the primary way they read blog posts, 26% said in an RSS reader, 23% said by visiting the blog when they think of it, 20% click links in Twitter, 16% by email, 5% click links in Facebook, and 10% said “other.” What’s striking is how evenly distributed the numbers are. No one method got more than 26%. That shows how important it is to distribute blog posts in a multitude of channels and give people as many subscribe options as possible.
3) People want insight.
Of all the factors we asked about, that a blog be informative/insightful was considered most important. 82% indicated it’s important or very important that a blog be informative/insightful. 61% consider the connection developed with the author to be important or very important. Funny or entertaining was important or very important to 47%. Friendships and interactions with other readers was rated important or very important by only 26%
4) Blogs have grown in marketing clout.
Of those respondants that write blogs, 44% indicated blogging is a very or extremely important communication/marketing tool. 48% said blogging has become somewhat or much more important over the last 2 years compared with 15% who said somewhat or much less important.
5) Company blogs influence purchases.
31% of respondants said they had started reading a blog published by a company and then later decided to purchase products or services from that company. 63% said reading a company’s blog made them somewhat or much more likely to purchase from that company.
Before we draw any conclusions, note that this was an online survey. The sample was not randomly selected and therefore the results are not scientific.
With that caveat, the survey results support the conclusion that over the last couple of years blogging has become fully embraced as mainstream. Blogs are an important source of information and insight for individuals. And because they build trust and influence purchasing decisions, blogging has become an important part of the communications and marketing strategy for organizations.
What are your thoughts on the survey? How have your opinions and habits regarding blogs change over the last couple of years?