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Analyzing Influence and Popularity of “Blog Marketing”

Onalytica have posted the results to a study they’ve done exploring the question of Who are the most influential authorities on “blog marketing”?

In their research they attempt to explore the difference between ‘influence’ and ‘popularity’.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve woken up with a migraine and that coffee doesn’t seem to be working this morning – but I’m left a little underwhelmed by the research to this point.

I’m interested in exploring the difference between popularity and influence of blogs but even after reading their full report (pdf) I’m still not completely sure how they’ve come up with the figures or how they’re really defining either popularity or influence. Like I say – it’s a worthwhile thing to explore, but I’d like some practical outlining of how they come up with the figures.

The other thing that leaves me wondering how useful the information is is that the topic of ‘blog marketing’ is obviously being written about in different ways by the different sites that they’ve tracked in their study.

For example I was surprised that my blog was ranked at all for the term as it’s something I rarely write about. The only times that I can think that I’ve used the term are when I’ve written about marketing your blog (as promoting it) or when I’ve linked to others who have used the term in their title and have linked using their title.

Others on the list used the term quite differently:

For example Seth Godin talks about marketing ON his blog. Others in the list talk about marketing THROUGH blogs. Others talk about other topics (like PR or advertising) that are similar or have some cross over with the topic of marketing. Others yet again talk about search engine marketing primarily.

So while the study might be looking at one term I wonder whether it’s actually a good one as there are so many different contexts that it is used in. Perhaps a similar study on a different and less loosely defined term might be a better way to illustrate the difference between influence and popularity.

Anyway – I’m interested in finding ways to compare popularity and influence as it is an important distinction to make in my opinion but I’m just not sure that this study is quite there yet in terms of illustrating how to do it.

Thanks to Duncan for the heads up.

PS: I was also a little surprised that Onalytica chose a Sunday to release their study. I almost missed it myself and would have thought a weekday would have been a much better day for it’s release if they were hoping to get the wider blogosphere’s attention with it. Perhaps holding it off until Monday or Tuesday would have been a better strategy? Just my two cents worth.

For more on the study you might also like to read hyku (2nd most influential – congratulations Josh) and Business Blog Consulting.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Good points on the Sunday release. It’s as if they wanted to bury their findings. I enjoyed this blog, keep up the good work.

  2. Alex says:

    I must admit, that I don’t recall seeing the word ‘marketing’ on your site very often. At the same time, you *do* write about marketing (which I like and find very interesting – the way you do it). That’s my subjective impression after reading problogger.net you for a while. A matter of keywords?

  3. Terry says:

    Just read the PDF and I think it’s bunk. There is no REAL way to gauge a blog’s power of influence.

    We can see stats for traffic, earnings, ratings, etc., but trying to get inside the head of readers is ridiculous.

    Total baloney,

    Terry

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