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Blah, Blah, Blog!

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From backpacks to books, fashion to facials, bloggers have plenty to say about consumer products and services – and you might be surprised who’s listening.

What is a blog? “Blog” is short for “weblog,” and describes a type of website or part of a website written by an individual with regular entries including commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets. It is this interactivity that distinguishes blogs from other websites.

Blogs are not new — the first blogs emerged in 1997 — but their popularity has redefined the ways people connect with one another in cyberspace. Many researchers claim that bloggers have more influence than any other social media. How? Put simply, bloggers form personal relationships, allowing consumers to quickly find and connect with individuals who share similar interests or get information about consumer products from real people in real time.

Juniper Research conducted a recent study indicating half of all web surfers qualify as blog readers, and 62% of blog readers value bloggers’ recommendations and opinions on consumer products above other sources.

Blog advertising is powerful stuff – frequent blog readers trust blog advertising more than social networking site advertising and other web-based ads. Consider that:

25% of blog readers say they trust ads on a blog they read, and paid search links account for 25% of their responses.

40% of blog readers have taken action as a result of viewing an ad on a blog.

If you aren’t a blogger or blog-ee, get on board! Just Google a favorite subject and find a blog of interest.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Bluebird Vintage

Twila’s Vintage Clothing

Cupcakes and Cashmere

The Pioneer Woman

Little Pink Book PR