– Diane Zidek

Recent market research has found that blog readers are strongly influenced by blog content regarding purchase decisions across a number of categories, and that blogs play a key role in leading readers to the point of an actual purchase. BuzzLogic, social media analysis company and ad network, sponsored the market research and JupiterResearch, a Forrester research company, conducted the survey of more than 2,000 online consumers in the US.

This survey, called Harnessing the Power of Blogs also found that blog readership has grown 300% over the past four years. 300%! The results also suggest that consumers who read blogs more than once a month are using blogs as the top online navigation tool to discover other blog content, ranking higher than general web or blog search. This means that links on your blog are even more important than you might have originally thought.
The survey also found:
• Blogs influence purchases: 50% of blog readers say they find blogs useful for purchase information.
• Blogs sway more purchases among readers than social networks: More frequent blog readers say they trust relevant blog content for purchase decisions than content from social networking sites. • Niche focus ups influence factor: For those who have found blog content useful for product decisions, 56% said blogs with a niche focus and topical expertise were key sources.

Also, according to the study, blogs factor in to critical stages of the purchase process, weighing most heavily at the actual moment of a purchase decision. When it comes to respondents who said they have trusted blog content for purchase decisions in the past, over half (52 percent) say blogs played a role in the critical moment they decided to move forward with a purchase. Knowing this, it’s really a no-brainer that your business should have a current, useful and properly back-linked blog up and running.
The study also suggests that ads on blogs spur a number of activities: 40% of blog readers have taken action as a result of viewing an ad on a blog; 50% of frequent blog readers say this is the case. Top activities per the survey:
• 17% read product reviews online,
• 16% sought out more info on a product or service,
• 16% visited a manufacturer or retailer website.

Those relying primarily on search engine marketing may be surprised, but blog readers do not appear to rely as heavily on using search engines as a means to find new blogs as consumers of traditional online media do. The survey shows that one in five consumers who have read a blog in the past 12 months (general blog readers) use blog links to discover new blogs. Further, the study suggests blogs are rarely seen in isolation. Forty-nine percent of blog readers and 71% of frequent readers read more than one blog per session. Other key findings include:

Links more powerful than search: For frequent readers, links beat search as a navigation tool: 38 percent said blog links were the top tool for discovering new blog content as compared to 34 percent who voted for traditional web search.
Links signal trust: Again for frequent readers, blog links appear to have similar impact as a trusted friend recommendation (a response from 39 percent of survey participants).

If you need powerful blogging tools to get your site benefiting from these statistics, visit Here
For more information on the survey’s methodology, go to JupiterResearch.

DIANE ZIDEK resides in Denver, CO. She currently works in business development, empowering people seeking to start in the home business industry. To Get Your Own Blogging Started Right, Visit Learn To Blog

Filed under: Home Business

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