study: advice from established (business) bloggers

Dr. Nora Barnes, Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has recently published a paper about blogging based on interviews with 74 "authors and managers of blogs".

Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere: Advice from Established Bloggers is available as a 60 page .pdf – but, thankfully, the first 16 pages summarise the data that makes up the rest of the report.

The bloggers interviewed are leading bloggers – "some of the biggest and best in the business" – within their topical area but I’ve only heard of three of them, two of which for their non-blogging activities. Perhaps it’s because the blogs are primarily business related blogs rather than personal blogs. Some of results:

  • 65% said that blogging takes less than an hour per day, 31% spend 1 – 3 hours [pg 30]
  • 73% use their blogs to express opinion whilst 53% use them to encourage debate [pg 36]
  • 95% report that their blog has been very or somewhat successful in achieving their aims [pg 37]
  • the downsides include 49% reporting that blogging takes a lot of time (surprising given that 65% said it takes less than an hour a day!) and one respondend complaining that he bumps into strangers that know his dog’s name [pg 38 – 39]]
  • from the community management angle, 78% had no comments policy (only 18% did) – but the blog managers do report that they moderate with only 35% reporting that posts appear exactly as submitted, 24% allow posts only if they don’t break the rules (note that only 18% have rules!) and 27% review posts on a case by case basis (apparently applying made up rules as they go) [pg 40 – 44]
  • promoting a blog successfully often depends, according to respondents, on having great content and getting linked to from other blogs [pg 56]

(Link spotted on Roland Piquepaille’s Blogs for Companies – thanks Roland)