There is a harsh new reality to blogging, and it really affects both bloggers and blog followers, particularly those who utilize Facebook, so I thought I’d share what I know and what I’ve learned about it to this point.
Follow along with this line of thought. It all comes together in the end.
The Harsh New Reality of Being a Blogger
- Writing a daily blog post takes me anywhere from 10 minutes to 50 hours. The usual post probably takes me about two hours to write, put together, layout, and schedule on my website.
- I upload 1-2 new posts here on Single Dad Laughing every day.
- For most posts, I record a podcast to go with it. This takes me usually about 30 minutes to 1 hour to record it, convert the music, upload it, and add it into the code.
- I have followers on Facebook (SDL), Facebook (personal), Twitter, Pinterest, RSS, Email, Podcast, Instagram, YouTube, and bookmark/direct entry.
- Even though roughly 75% of my readers are subscribed on Facebook, more than 90% of my traffic is driven through Facebook.
- Each day I spend 5-7 hours in all of those social media platforms liking things, sharing things, bantering with people, commenting, etc. Keeping up with a readership as much as you can is a necessary part of blogging.
- Each week I spend an average of 4-8 hours doing web and blog post design/coding.
- Each day I receive between 5 and 1000 emails from readers. On a typical day when nothing “big” is going on, I get about 30 or 40 emails from readers and 30-40 from companies, advertisers, sponsors, interview requests, etc. Each day I only have about one hour to spend answering emails. Unfortunately I have to spend most of that time with the more official and business-related correspondences.
- At least 3-4 times a month, I have a major issue with the website that takes me anywhere from 20 minutes to eight hours to fix.
- With a blog like mine that is fortunate to have spike-traffic (viral) posts every four months or so on average, I have to have two servers in place. One to handle the databases, and one to handle the processing. Most of the time I don’t need near that much power/juice, but I have to have it in place for the really high traffic stuff or my site crashes during those times and nobody can get on. These two servers amount to about $7,200/year.
- There are seven billion people in the world.
- Two billion of those people speak English.
- It is estimated that there are more than fifty million blogs in existence.
- This is just an educated guess, but I’m guessing about 500,000-1,000,000 of those blogs are from personal bloggers who actively push non-family and no-friends to their blogs, and I’m guessing only 100,000-200,000 bloggers really try to grow their blogs and platforms into revenue makers. So, 150,000 average. These are just guesses (no definitive data exists that I know of), so please note that I may be way off.
- If you take the two billion English speakers in the world and narrow that down to native English speakers which account for 400 million people, you cover about 99.5% of blog readership on my blog.
- Women cover 85% of my readership, men 15%. From what I understand this is typical of many blogs. So take that 400 million people down to 235 million. Now take out the very old and the people under 18 (for which blogs have almost no readership), then take out an increasing percentage of the population who don’t follow blogs by age (the older the demographic goes past age 35, the less blog readers there are) and the number becomes something more around 90 million.
- Now take into account that most people don’t follow blogs, don’t care about following blogs, and never will. So let’s cut that 90 million down to, oh, I don’t know, 5 million for math’s sake. Keep in mind I’m not talking about people who visit blogs here. I’m talking about people who follow them, which is a blogger’s life source.
- This means that 150,000 bloggers are trying to divide the attention of 5 million people. If they were distributed evenly to every blog without overlapping, that’s about 66 potential blog followers for each blog. But we all know that we don’t live in that kind of world. And readership is all relative. Some bloggers think I have a huge blog following. I do. But There are other bloggers who have many more times the readership I do. And many bloggers that are close to the same as me. And the further you get to zero followers, the bigger the numbers of bloggers gets. It’s very similar to the “wealth curve” of America.
- This means that the vast majority of those 5 million blog readers are reading only the top 5,000 blogs or so. And the vast majority of the majority are reading the top 500 blogs or so. And the majority of that majority are reading the top 50-100 blogs or so.