Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sports Bloggers: Few in Number, Loud in Voice

To help sports bloggers better understand their industry, I've been diving into Technorati's State of the Blogosphere this week. I first introduced you to this annual study before summarizing the colossal shift in the industry over the past year or so.

Today, I want to answer two questions:

1. What's the DNA of the blogosphere? (Demographics, types of bloggers, motivations, influences, interests, etc.)
2. Where do sports fit in the blogosphere? (Prepare to be humbled.)




BLOGOSPHERE DNA

Bloggers can be divided into four distinct types, each with their own set of goals and purpose when they write or record their posts. The quick and dirty:

Hobbyists (64% of all blogs): The backbone of the blogosphere. If you're reading this blog, or you write a sports blog as a fan, chances are this is you. You blog for fun to express your opinions and typically don't expect an income. You measure success by personal satisfaction over all else.

Self-Employeds (21%): The second largest group, over half own companies and blog about their businesses, while 1 in 5 say the blog IS their business. They're driven by gaining greater visibility via their blogs (though they do so alone - 66% said they run the site as the lone writer/contributor).

Part-Timers (13%): These bloggers find supplemental income through their blogs, or else blog as part of their day jobs. Success for them is a mix of personal satisfaction and unique views.

Corporates (1%): Many corporate bloggers arrive on the digital scene with traditional media backgrounds. Over half blog to share know-how in the industry, while 39% say they blog to be featured in traditional media.


DEMOGRAPHICS
  • 66% Male
  • 65% ages 18-44
  • affluent/education:
    • 79% have college degree (43% grad degree)
    • 33% Household Income $75K+
  • 81% blogging for more than 2 yrs
  • Professionals average 3.5 blogs, 10+ hrs/week
  • 11% use it as primary income source
  • 33% used to work in traditional media
  • Evenly distributed by region
    • Top 5 states with most blogs (in order): CA, NY, TX, FL, IL

SPORTS BLOGGING

Sports creates arguably the best excuse to blog: everyone has an opinion, you brand yourself with your team's logo and loudly express your opinions for the public to hear in reality…why not do that digitally?

However, despite the millions of sports fans globally, sports comprises a very small percent of the overall blogosphere. Just one percent of all blogs (and one percent of Hobbyist bloggers) focus on sports as the primary topic. To compare to other common topics: five percent of blogs focus on business; eight percent focus on politics; 10 percent tech; and 18 percent personal musings (the largest primary topic in the blogosphere).

There is some nuance to this number, however, as this discusses just the primary topic. Ten percent of all blogs at least touch on sports, which is significant considering the breadth of topics available.

Additionally, major sporting events tend to dominate the space seasonally: in 2010, the World Cup was the fourth "most blogged" topic and seventh "most read"; the Winter Olympics were ninth and 10th, respectively.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

The number of true sports bloggers is small in comparison to other topics. This promotes exactly what Blog Don't Lie seeks: a tight community of passionate, identifiable sports bloggers who create compelling content online across multiple types of media.

Over the next five years, I expect the blogger community to find new channels, new technologies or adaptations of existing technology to locate each other and engage.

The result will be epic: fans thrust into the spotlight and given credibility like never before.

Other thoughts? Where is the blogosphere heading in your opinion, and where does sports fit? Leave a comment or @ me on Twitter!

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