That should be the standing headline for blogging. Because it’s been dead so many times, I’ve lost count. Thankfully, bloggers are like zombies – dead, but somehow still walking around (or in this case still posting).
While it is true that blogging has lost ground – and continues to lose ground – to other forms of online expression – from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and YouTube, it is also true that blogging isn’t quite ready to kick the undead bucket:
Here are some recent statistics on the state of blogging:
- There are 164 million blogs on the Internet as of 2011 (from 3 million in 2004)
- 27 percent of bloggers work full-time (in other words fully a quarter of bloggers are professionals). But hobbyist still make up the bulk of bloggers at 64 percent.
- About 20 percent of blogs focus on business or technology
- Despite all the focus on mommy bloggers nearly two-thirds of bloggers are male
- 54 percent of bloggers post at least four times a month
- 71 percent of blogs get less than 5,000 unique visitors per month on average (only 12 percent of blogs get more than one million unique visitors per month)
There are so many new and dynamic ways to communicate online that in many ways blogging has begun to feel very old-fashioned.
Hard to believe that I can even write a sentence like that about an online platform that didn’t exist until midway through the 1990s. But that’s where we are.
But blogs are still a powerful medium. They offer a lot of advantages that other platforms do not:
- SEO Juice: Blogs, if optimized efficiently for search, can be powerful drivers to brand content. They constant updating of new content and the long tail of archived material are the stuff of dreams for search engine algorithms. If you search on various topics you’ll find that blogs are often in the top 10 in search results because of this.
- Content Flexibility: Unlike other social platforms that have both formal and informal conventions for length, blog posts have the ability to dive deeper into the details. It is difficult to provide thought leadership and expository writing with the 140-character limit on Twitter, for example. Blogs allow a lot of flexibility
- Global Reach: Unlike other platforms (like Facebook, for example) you don’t have to be connected to connect. Most people find and read blogs via search and RSS. There’s no need to be “friends” and/or “followers” to see the content. As a result, blogging has a global reach, a non-exclusivity that makes it part of the greater Internet rather than a segmented group within it.
- Debate Instead of Engagement: Yes, you can engage on any social network, but a blog’s comment section is a place for debate. It’s a place for questions and answers. It’s a place where people agree and disagree. It’s also less polite and reserved than a Facebook page – so you can learn a lot more as a result.
Are you still blogging? Still reading blogs?
Don’t give up on the medium yet!
Right Mix Marketing post on blogging statistics
Wikipedia’s entry on blogs