Blog readership in the United States is very healthy.
As of 2007, there were 215,088,545 Americans (representing 71.4% of the US population) online. Of that segment, 48% (about 103,242,502) were online “Spectators” (including those who read blogs) in 2007 according to “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.”
How does that data translate in terms of consumer-buying behavior? Recently, the Opinion Research Corporation released the results of a survey indicating that “nearly two-thirds (61%) of respondents reported consulting online reviews, blogs and other sources of online customer feedback before purchasing a new product or service, with search engines being the preferred method of conducting the research.” In addition, 83% of those surveyed said that online reviews and product evaluations had a direct impact on their purchasing decisions.
If you own a business and you want to stay “open” for business, you need to consider the implications of these trends. At one time, it was okay if your website was like the Sun – the center of your online universe. Today, your website needs to be more like Jupiter – massive in size – in terms of its online pervasiveness…with its multiple moons representing different facets of social media, including blogs. And Jupiter’s super-strong magnetic field would represent your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and your website’s interactive elements.
So what or who now holds the distinction of representing the Sun – the center of your universe? Your existing and prospective customers, of course.