Blogging. The roots
It all started with people sharing their shit on the internet and other people being interested in this shit.
Long story short of the blogging history.
Officially the first blog was Links.net, created by Justin Hall, while he was a Swarthmore College student in 1994. Of course, at that time they weren’t called blogs, and he just referred to it as his personal homepage.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the term “weblog” was coined. The world’s creation has been attributed to Jorn Barger, of the influential early blog Robot Wisdom. The term was created to reflect the process of “logging the web” as he browsed.
“Weblog” was shortened to “blog” in 1999 by programmer Peter Merholz. It’s not until five years later that Merriam-Webster declares the word their word of the year.
The original blogs were updated manually, often linked from a central home page or archive. This wasn’t very efficient, but unless you were a programmer who could create your own custom blogging platform, there weren’t any other options, to begin with. Which was not that bad, because certainly, the number of stupid people on the internet was less.
During these early years, a few different “blogging” platforms cropped up. LiveJournal is probably the most recognizable of the early sites. Blogger is largely responsible for bringing blogging to the mainstream.
The early 2000s were a period of growth for blogs. In 1999, according to a list compiled by Jesse James Garrett, there were 23 blogs on the internet. By the middle of 2006, there were 50 million blogs according to Technorati‘s State of the Blogosphere report. To say that blogs experienced exponential growth is a bit of bull shit.
When did this innocent hobby become so fucking commercial?
In the 2000s 30 million Americans read blogs. 10 % of the nation’s attention is just partly lost, especially for advertisers. That didn’t last long. The first space where advertising came in was the so-called women’s lifestyle blogs. And afterward, the blogger/advertiser corporation grew bigger and stronger.
Nowadays in terms of content, the blogging space captures every imaginable content category and topic from tech to sports to fashion to food.
With new developments in the advertising space, courtesy of ad blocking and women’s lifestyle bloggers going mainstream, sponsored content with bloggers has become an increasingly viable channel for brands to reach and engage with their target audiences. Sponsored content with bloggers can often look like “native advertising,” but are most often “sponsored posts” or collaborations where the blogger integrates the brand into their content while declaring the sponsorship and brand association.
But still, the most highly paid blogs get their money from pay-per-click advertising. For instance The Huffington Post. Founded by Arianna Huffington on May 9, 2005, The Huffington Post is a blog that has evolved into an online news aggregator. Today reportedly earns $2.5 million per month.
Or the TechCrunch. TechCrunch is now one of the most popular publishers of technology industry news online. In 2007, it registered an annual income of $2.4 million. Today, it is estimated to earn as much as $800,000 monthly. It gets its income primarily from banner ads.
Who are the influencers?
Personal influence is the same as opinion leadership: personal influence represents the power that one individual has in changing the opinion of others who come to him (or her) for a reference.
Influentials are individuals who have access to more information than the rest of a community, either because they are in touch with diverse social groups, nurturing more weak ties, or because of their social position. When in touch with different social groups, the influential gathers and spreads this additional information. When in a privileged position regarding information, the influential becomes a source of referrals for other people, acting as a gatekeeper. Furthermore, inside any specific group, people tend to nurture strong ties (meaning that this specific relationship is important) with each other and to share similar characteristics and values, being in homophilic relations. People in the same groups tend to have similar consumption patterns and are more frequently sought as opinion sources. Marketing literature has explored this process under the word-of-mouth (WOM) terminology.
Using influentials for marketing promotions is a classic strategy
Using influentials to promote certain brands and products is neither a new phenomenon nor limited to the online sphere. Procter and Gamble maintain a program that distributes its products to influential mothers and teenagers, expecting them to spread the information to their friends, for example. This marketing practice tends to be effective because the information sent by other consumers is perceived as more credible than mass media communication. In the online world, however, personal interactions and information access are different: the relevance of physical space decreases abruptly and consumers are able to look for groups with which they identify.
Why are blogs important?
The reason bloggers are so important is that they provide a significant source of online buzz. Forums are great too but they aren’t dependable and some are a bit dated. Why are blogs so good for creating a buzz? This is due to the nature of blogs and bloggers.
Buzz on social media is great but it is mostly limited to the social media website. Blogs, on the other hand, can be shared anywhere and everywhere. Most of the content over the internet is discovered through websites like Reddit, for which it is necessary to create content which can be shared. Blogs also aid social media because people can tweet links to blog posts and spread them all over the world.
At the end of the day we have a more low key advertising strategy, yet it’s also getting quite annoying. But the romance is not dead! There are still lots of blogs out there, which don’t try to sell you stuff, they just share experiences.
If you are interested in how to become an influencer and a successful blogger, stay tuned, my friends.