Search useless for blogs

Interesting little piece from eMarketer about how people find the blogs they read. It’s really no surprise to discover that 67% of respondents find blogs through links from other blogs, and 23% via recommendations, but I like the way they analyse this for the benefit of businesses used to dealing with old-style websites who try to use search engine optimisation techniques to make their site more visible:

The fact that blog awareness is effectively spread by word-of-mouth is key for anyone using one in a campaign. Not only can you not build it and expect them to come, you cannot even build it and optimize it for search and expect them to come. Blog launches must be accompanied by links on established blogs, and some good recommendations from established, influential bloggers.

My only quibble with that advice is that you have to launch your blog without links from established blogs – you can’t just go round emailing influential bloggers and asking them to link to a blog they’ve not yet had the opportunity to read! Trust – and links – have to be earnt over time and there’s just no way round that. You can’t have a “launch accompanied by links on established blogs”, you have to launch, write what you write, and the links will come if you are good.

Another quote:

Two-thirds of blog readers said that they read to be entertained, and 43% said that they read to keep up with personal interests or hobbies (multiple answers were allowed).

Businesses really need to understand this point. People don’t read blogs to be marketed at, they read blogs to be entertained and kept up to date with stuff they are interested in. If your blog doesn’t do either of those things, it just won’t be read. Bunging any old crap up on a blog isn’t going to cut the mustard – you’ve got to be passionate, interesting, and entertaining.

Of course, none of this is news, but it’s good to see some statistics to back it up.

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