Ask most people about social media, and blogs are often left out of the conversation. Part of the problem is that blogs just aren’t as sexy as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube: since no one “owns” the blogosphere, it’s rare that anyone promotes the growth of blogs as a whole. The other issue is conventional wisdom, which argues that blogs are becoming irrelevant in an age of sound bites delivered via status updates, Tweets, and 30-second video.
As usual, however, the conventional wisdom is wrong. According to a recent eMarketer study, more than half of all Internet users read blogs at least monthly. And by 2014, that number will grow to 60%.
What’s fueling that growth? According to eMarketer, “blogs have become an accepted part of the online media landscape.” In other words, blogs considered trustworthy are being read alongside traditional online news sources. Blogs are just another outlet for news and information and no longer a novelty or fringe phenomenon.
There’s another factor that’s bolstering the growth of blog readership: the overall growth of social media use. Twitter was once thought to be a “replacement” for blogs, but the relationship between the two is much more symbiotic. It’s hard to write something substantive in a status update or a 140-character Tweet. And with all the activity on Twitter and Facebook, it’s hard to build readership if you don’t use those tools to promote your blog posts. Using Twitter to direct attention to a blog post, for example, leverages the strengths of each tool.
How about you? Do you find yourself reading more or fewer blogs? If you’re a blogger, have you seen your readership grow or decline?