50% of Web Users Read Blogs

Marketing research firm eMarketer continues finding trends that point toward more growth for blogging.

A recent study indicates that blogging will continue to grow over the next 4 years with 60% of web users reading blogs by 2014.

The Continued Rise of Blogging

eMarketer estimates that this year more than half of internet users will read blogs at least monthly. By 2014, readership will rise to more than 150 million Americans, or 60% of the internet population in the US. One reason for the rise in readership is that blogs have become an accepted part of the online media landscape.

“Trends in blog reading are expected to maintain an upward course as blogs continue to gain influence in the mainstream media,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “The Blogosphere: Colliding with Social and Mainstream Media.”

US Blog Readers 2008 to 2014

Also interesting in the study is the fact that relatively few users actually publish content on blogs.

Blog writing, by contrast, is a more niche activity. Just under 12% of the online population will update a blog at least monthly this year, eMarketer estimates. By 2014 that proportion will inch upward to 13.3%.

This leaves very few people influencing the content the majority of web users consume each day.

Web Users Read Blogs

As you can see from the findings above, web users are increasingly reading blogs. People seek out influence, understanding, and interpretation when looking for content. Blogs and more importantly bloggers offer a personal touch to interpreting the world that people find appealing.

As we saw in an earlier post, blog voice is the most important factor web users look for when deciding what blogs to read. Trusted bloggers are taking over the role of the traditional media and spreading more information and interpretation at a higher rate than ever before.

Writing Blogs

What I found most interesting about eMarketer’s findings is the fact that only about 12% of web users actually publish content on blogs. It seems like a small number of influential people. 12% of the online world is influencing the lives of over half the online population.

There seems to be an opportunity for those willing to create a blog of their own and develop a voice people will follow. With relatively little competition for attention there is room for more quality blogging. It seems likely that at this point a new blog could take over an entire industry with the right team of bloggers and a strong, valuable blogging strategy.

Expanded Thoughts

How much do you rely on blogs for your content, news, interpretation?

Do you have favorite voices in the blogging world you look to for insight, knowledge, and understanding?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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