From the very first blog created in 1994 to today’s microblogging platforms, blogging is at the center of the evolution of the internet. Though today’s blogs and bloggers are a little different from the blogs of yesteryear, they’re still a pillar of the internet as we know it.
Today, there are more blogs on the internet than ever before and they cover a wide variety of topics, from cooking to parenting and from career advice to floral arrangements. Social media platforms may get the bulk of the attention, but blogs are a pivotal piece of the online content space. In order to get a better understanding of the importance of blogs in the digital landscape, we take a closer look at how many blogs are online, how many people consume blog content, and which blogs are the top earners.
In 2017, there are a number of different ways to start and manage a blog online. Where early bloggers often used LiveJournal, TypePad, and Blogger, the field has widened considerably with the addition of services like Tumblr, WordPress, Medium, and Squarespace, which help creators build and maintain sites.
Tumblr, Squarespace, and WordPress aren’t just used for blogging. In fact, in February 2014, it was estimated that 74.6 million websites ran on WordPress, and 18.9% of all self-hosted websites on the internet were WordPress sites. As of December 2016, 75 million websites run on WordPress.
By October 2011, there were an estimated 173 million blogs online. Nielsen estimates that by the end of 2011, that number had climbed to 181 million. That was four years after Tumblr launched, and in May 2011, there were just 17.5 million Tumblr blogs. Today, there are over 360 million blogs on Tumblr alone, and there are millions more on other platforms.
While there are some reliable statistics on the number of blogs in 2011, things have changed dramatically with the rise of services like Tumblr, WordPress, Squarespace, Medium and more. Exactly how many blogs there are in the world is difficult to know, but what’s clear is that blogs online number in the hundreds of millions. The total number of blogs on Tumblr, Squarespace, and WordPress alone equals over 440 million. In actuality, the total number of blogs in the world likely greatly exceeds this number.
We do know that content is being consumed online more widely, more quickly, and more voraciously than ever before. According to WordPress, 76.3 million posts are published on WordPress each month, and more than 409 million people view 22.3 billion blog pages each month.
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Though blogs are relatively easy to start, a select few bring in some serious money, and some of these blogs have grown into major staples of online publishing. The Huffington Post, which was launched in 2005, earns an estimated $14 million each month, according to Forbes. Engadget claims the number two spot for top earning blog, earning roughly $5.5 million monthly. Mashable ($2 million monthly), Moz ($4.5 million monthly), and TechCrunch ($2.5 million monthly) round out the top 5.
Blogging is more than just top online publishers, though. Content creators who focus on niches have found great success in blogging, too. Mommy bloggers like Honest Mum, cooking enthusiasts like My Healthy Dish, and hosts of lifestyle bloggers like The Chriselle Factor, A Cup of Jo, Gal Meets Glam, Pink Peonies, Something Navy, Song of Style, and We Wore What who share style tips, life hacks, DIY projects, and more with followers are key to the blogging ecosystem.
The world of blogging may have changed dramatically since 1994, but the internet’s hunger for content has not. Blogs are still at the heart of the internet, and in less than 25 years, hundreds of millions of blogs have found their way online and into the lives of hundreds of millions of curious readers. How blogging continues to develop remains to be seen, but it’s a good bet that in some way, in some form, blogs may live forever.