Rise of the bloggers

Blog
If the digital revolution means one thing, it’s plurality. From marketing to publishing, big and small fish now occupy the same pond.
Blogging is, of course, a prime example. Derived from the concept of online message boards and forum threads as much as the digital diary, once passionate enthusiasts began harnessing the power of the world wide web to spout opinions it didn’t take long before they realised the money making potential therein. Today, for example, Huffington Post– the most famous blog on the planet- is thought to bring in over $2million in monthly revenue.
With popularity comes influence, and today bloggers share honours with editors. Quality news blogs are trusted with equal authority to newspapers, and people like Harry Knowles, founder of film site aintitcool.com, have become some of the most powerful players in their field. Forget the ivory tower, the public wants information and ideas without the journalistic agenda.
So blogs have proven themselves viable business models, at least in some cases, and great outlets for straight talking reportage. But, perhaps more importantly, in 2013 blogs are seen as an essential aspect within all business models. Forward thinking firms and up to the minute marketers have long understood the importance of producing company content on a blog, with 37% of corporate media pros in the States currently ranking this as the most important part of any digital branding push.
PR Week’s annual FTSE100 social media index showed a 50% year on year rise in the number of  leading listed firms using blogs to manage their reputations. Just think Tesco CEO Philip Clarke’s posts on the Talking Shop blog, used as a way of taking the front foot in response to horse-gate. As of last September 62% of businesses in the U.S. owned and ran a blog. WordPress, the most popular platform, hosts 54.9million alone. And today there are 30% more active bloggers- individuals and businesses- than there were three years ago.
Clearly then, one of the earliest forms of social media remains one of the most widely used and vital. Taking this into account, you would expect a formal ceremony to recognise the best offerings. And there is, with the UK Blog Awards 2014 now open for submissions, albeit surprising that this is the inaugural edition. A long time coming, as both avid readers and bloggers ourselves we’re delighted to be working as media partner and lead PR, helping to promote #UKBA14.
Whether you run a blog on arts and culture, automotive, digital and technology, education, food and drink, health, lifestyle, PR, marketing, media and communications, retail and fashion, travel or weddings- as a one person band or brand- entering work for consideration costs nothing, with submissions accepted until midnight, Sunday 1st December. Take a look for yourself at blogawardsuk.co.uk, then keep an eye out for the shortlist of finalists, which is set to be published the day after entries close.