Blogs are sometimes overlooked as a significant source of online buzz in comparison to social networking sites, yet consumer interest in blogs keeps growing. By the end of 2011, NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million only five years earlier in 2006.
It’s no surprise that the growing number of blogs mirrors a growth in bloggers. Overall, 6.7 million people publish blogs on blogging websites, and another 12 million write blogs using their social networks.
So, who are blog writers and what else do they do online?
Three out of the top 10 social networking sites in the U.S. – Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr – are for consumer-generated blogs. Blogger is the largest of these sites with more than 46 million unique U.S. visitors during October 2011, making it second only to Facebook in the social networking category, and Tumblr was the fastest-growing social networking or blog site on the top 10, more than doubling its audience since last year from home and work computers to 14 million unique visitors. Overall, these three blogging websites combined for 80 million unique visitors, reaching more than 1 in 4 active online users in the U.S. during October 2011.
Like Tumblr, Pinterest is a visually-oriented social media site that is also growing rapidly, with over 10 million unique U.S. visitors in December 2011, almost double their audience from October. This growth is led by young adults aged 25-34, who are most likely to view pages on the social network. Pinterest could also be of particular interest to online retailers, as 92 percent of Pinterest’s audience also visited Mass Merchandiser sites during the same month.