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Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere: Advice From Established Bloggers

Project Director: Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D.

Advice From Experienced Bloggers image Blogs will make or break your business. They have the power to disseminate information and host global conversations on any topic. Every publication from Business Week, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal to online white papers from Marqui (www.marqui.com/blog) warns businesses that blogging is not an optional endeavor. Those that don’t will not survive. With over 40 million conversations going on 24 hours a day, the question becomes, how does a business enter and thrive in the blogosphere?

The answer to this question is that smart businesses will seek guidance from the experts. The talented and generous bloggers in this study candidly offer thoughts and ideas on how to succeed in the blogosphere, how to promote your blog and even what characteristics they feel will make you a great blogger. These innovators share their view on how to get noticed in the online world.

The 74 bloggers included in this paper are some of the biggest and best in the business (or the most successful independent blogs). The blogs in this study have been operating an average of 2-3 years. Seventy-three percent of these bloggers have been running their weblogs for over a year, including 20% who have blogged for more than 3 years. Fifty (68%) of the bloggers in this study have direct or indirect ties with a corporation or business. The independent blogs are some of the most established in the blog community. These are amazing statistics given that blogging began in 1998 and corporate blogging is only a few years old.

Each of our 74 respondents listed key words that describe their blog. We searched using their keywords on Google to see which blogs appeared in the results. Twenty-six of the blogs in this study (36%) come up in the Google top ten using their key words search and sixteen ranked 1st or 2nd.

This report is based on the most experienced, business savvy and respected bloggers who are at the forefront of innovation in the blogosphere. In this report, they talk about everyday challenges of running a blog and how they deal with them. Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere (www.umassd.edu/cmr) looks at the time it takes to run a blog, feelings about a public policy for comments and how blogs tie into existing business websites, products and promotions. Take their advice on the best way to promote a blog and hear about the next set of changes these blog leaders plan to make to stay competitive in the blogosphere.

This report, like the blogospere itself, is based on conversation. Through extensive written comments, phone interviews and numerous online exchanges, rich data was collected that provide statistics as well as a plethora of anecdotal information. Those researchers who are veterans of blogger studies know what I have now learned; bloggers are generous, helpful, unselfish and friendly. Discover what these experts have to say, and move your business into the blogosphere.

Two hundred and ninety-eight bloggers were contacted for this study using published lists to locate business or corporate blogs. Through the assistance of many of the early participants who posted or linked to the survey, seventy-four bloggers provided information for this report. Many offered to be interviewed, and were. Most provided links to other articles or studies they felt would enhance this project.

In many ways the data in this study was blogger driven. Respondents offered comments on the wording of questions, suggestions for new questions and help in disseminating the survey to be filled out. The final version of the survey presented here is more personal and revealing thanks to the bloggers who wanted the findings to be meaningful, useful and unique in perspective.

This report contains chapters that incorporate the statistical findings, as well as quotes from the bloggers surveyed. They provide a very real look at the human factor that is so important in any blog. Each chapter conveys the knowledge and experience of successful bloggers with words of wisdom and caution.

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