Blogging Trends: The Individuals Perspective
As Facebook demonstrates, sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words, but sometimes just one: anonymous
Today, people are utilizing blogs at a rapid pace for several different facets: news, entertainment, education, business/career, social media and personal logs/daily diaries. But do readers really know who they are reading, and do writers really have a target? While these questions might seem irrelevant, the sociologist in me knows better. In order to truly understand why a person wrote what they wrote, what their motivational factors were and how their perception of society influenced their blogs, readers must know who the writers are (not to mention it helps verify a viable source).
If I am reading a blog from 2000 written by a 20-year-old, liberal, upper-middle class, homosexual man, their perception of the world is going to be different than a blog written yesterday by a 50-year-old, conservative, upper class, heterosexual woman. In order to contextualize some things, we really have to understand who our writers are. Trying to decipher gender, ethnicity and age from a writer’s name and blog content can only get readers so far—but most times, that’s all you are going to get.
Why does it matter? The Internet is one place where people feel like they can find their perfect matches: significant others, friends and, yes, even bloggers. When matching my interests and preferences to a blog, and certainly before I subscribe to a blog, I must have a good indication that this blogger will post information relevant to my interests. The same goes for company blogs; if their blogs don’t interest me or drive engagement, I’m not likely to become a reader or subscriber.
As far as targeting blog readers, writers have to have some sort of “aim.” No one can write something, pleasing and relevant to everybody in the world, especially on the Internet where people typically do not feel inclined to withhold negative feedback. Marketing is all about aim. Advertisers cannot simply place an ad and say: “this will get everybody’s attention.” That’s a farfetched dream, but never a reality. Therefore, think of directing blog posts to particular blog markets: this blog will be relevant to business professionals or teens or Fantasia fans—some demographic but not everyone.
When I blogged in college, I had fellow and perspective students in mind, I did not intend to reach anyone else. When I blog personally, I tend to spend less time editing and use more micro-blogging formats to relay information to friends and family. And when I blog professionally, I’m aiming for you, current blog reader. In reality, I’m simply trying to communicate relevant information.
Maybe I’m pickier than others and take sociology and literary theory a little too seriously outside the hallowed halls of my alma mater, but I’m always asking who’s my reader and who’s my writer?
“In order for writers to post successful blog posts, they will have to gauge their audience and relay information in a way that will be culturally appealing and relevant to them,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer of The San Jose Group.
At The San Jose Group, we got curious as to what are blog readers’ habits? Does age or ethnicity play a role? And what can marketers gain from blogs? Stay tuned for a future blog on the latest blog trends, readers’ habits and what it means for marketers.