I am sitting around on a cold December day trying to decide what my next blog post should be about. I recently received an email from my publisher, Xlibris, offering me another marketing package, this one focusing on Book Blog Tours. I am currently participating in a book blog tour, The Paul Anthony Associates Espionage and Crime Thriller Book Blog Tour, which you can visit at http://wp.me/p3lQub-af . It is a collaboration of seven authors who have joined together to jointly promote our books.
The interesting thing about the Xlibris email was their perspective on the history of blogs. For example, did you know Links.net was the first blog set up by Justin Hall in 1994? He called it his personal homepage.
In 1997, the term weblog was coined by Jorn Barger, referring to the process of “logging the web”.
Weblog was shortened to blog by programmer Peter Merholz in 1999.
The early 2000s was a period of rapid growth for blogs. From 23 in 1999, the number grew to 50 million in 2006. At the end of 2010, there were already more than 152 million blogs.
By the mid-2000s, blogs were reaching the mainstream. (not sure exactly what defines “the mainstream”)
Americans spend 3x more time on blogs than on their e-mail.
4 out of 10 have visited a blog
8 out of 10 know what a blog is.
90% of Americans (aged 25 to 34) know what a blog is
78% of Americans (aged 18 to 24 have visited a blog
20% of bloggers are women
As of November 2013, the top three most popular blogs according to eBiz are Huffington Post (85 million unique monthly visitors), TMZ (25 million unique monthly visitors), and Gawker (22 million unique monthly visitors).
So, what does all of this mean? Almost all of the independent authors I have met use a blog as part of their social media activities. Does it help with their marketing efforts of their books? I get mixed reports, but the general consensus is that it is a useful social media tool for building brand awareness for the author and his/her book(s). I agree.