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The History, Evolution and Popularity of Blogging – Quick Facts and Stats

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Blogging gained enormous popularity over the last 20 years, but where did it all start?

Looking at the history, evolution and popularity of blogging can give you some valuable insights into this modern “phenomenon.” Today there are an estimated 600+ million blogs on the internet!

The “evolution explosion” of blogging is directly linked to the thousands of modern online platforms and tools that make it a breeze to set up a blog.

I can’t help but sometimes wondering what the internet would’ve looked like without the hundreds of millions of blogs that provide most of the information we search for online today?

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Brief History of Blogging

Blogging transformed the internet entirely over the last 2 decades and it’s still evolving.

Blogging has gone from a hobby to sharing your thoughts and personal experiences online; to creating an online business, you can monetize. Not to even mention the millions of companies utilizing it as a very effective marketing tool.


Evolution Timeline of Blogging (Infographic)

Evolution of Blogging Infographic

1994: Do you know who was the first blogger? This honor goes to Justin Hall, who started his personal blog, Links.net, in 1994. In December 2004, New York Times Magazine referred to him as ‘the founding father of blogging,” and this is generally recognized.

1997: The name “Weblog” was invented by Jorn Barger, describing the process of “logging the web.”

1999: The name Weblog was rebranded to “Blog” as we know it today by Peter Merholze.

2000 – 2006: During this timeline, blogging accelerated beyond anyone’s imagination. In 2000 only 23 blogs were listed. In 2006 there were an estimated 50 million blogs. From here on, blogging kept on gaining popularity at a tremendous speed.

2004: Video blogs emerged for the first time and YouTube was created in 2005 to provide a platform for video sharing.

2010: By the end of 2010, there were 152 million active blogs online.

2021: The total number of blogs online today? An estimated 600+ million and still counting!


The First 4 Blogging Platforms

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The first pioneers of blogging platforms are:

  • LiveJournal (created March 1999) – Currently a Russian-owned social network.
  • Blogger (created August 1999) – Owned by Google.
  • b2/cafelog (created early 2001 and discontinued in 2003)
  • WordPress.org (created May 2003) – Open source and not owned by anyone. (Don’t confuse it with WordPress.com)

Today, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform, with more than 60+ million users. More than 40% of websites are created using WordPress.

It’s free, open-source, reasonably easy to use (slight learning curve), flexible and gives you design freedom for any type of blog or website.


The Start of Dynamic Websites

1998: Moving from static to dynamic websites was another significant step in the evolution of blogging. In 1998 OpenDiary introduced its visitors to comments. Visitors had the opportunity to leave comments on someone else’s article.

For example, at the end of this article is a comment section. If you enjoy my article, I would love a comment from you 🙂

Example of comment section
Example of a comment section

Commenting enabled readers to interact with the author. Conversation between readers and writers was now possible and not a one-way street anymore.

Commenting laid the foundation for creating higher trust levels with readers. Popular bloggers and websites gained large followings of loyal fans. This, in turn, increased traffic to their websites and blogs.

Can you guess what happened next with this influx of traffic? …

Online marketing exploded and people started to make money using blog websites and business websites. This is a story for another day!


The popularity of Blogging Today (Stats)

Do you want to know if blogging is still popular? Here are a few stats to give you an idea of what is going on in the blogging world.

How Many People Read Blogs?

How many people read blogs

  • 77% of internet users read blogs – this is a good enough reason to start a blog.
  • An estimated 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month.
  • Blogs are rated as the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering online information.

How Many People Create Blogs?

How many people create blogs

  • An estimated 600+ million blogs exist today – this is only a rough estimate. It’s not easy to determine exactly how many blogs there are at any given moment. The stats also include inactive sites, and not all platforms share their data publicly. This can affect the real numbers.
  • WordPress has about 60 million blogs.
  • About 70 million posts are published each month by WordPress users.
  • Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages.
  • Companies with a business blog get 97% more links to their websites.
  • Blogging has grown by 12% since 2015.

SOURCE: Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics and Facts (Updated for 2021)

It’s an undeniable fact that blogging is very popular and growing each year.

Is it still worth starting a blog? This is debatable across the internet. Some say yes, and some say no the market is saturated and competition is fierce.

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Blogging is here to stay. It’s now easier than ever to start your own blog or add a blog to your business website. It’s an excellent marketing tool and allows anyone to become an online entrepreneur.

Unfortunately, about 95% of new bloggers fail soon after starting a blog. The main reason for this is the wrong mindset and secondly, they give up way too soon.


Conclusion

Here are the actual facts about blogging. Anyone can start a blog, but blogging is not for everyone!

It’s not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. Blogging is hard work, time-consuming and it can take a while before you reap the benefits.

A blog needs content that attracts traffic. Without traffic to your blog, you’ll get nowhere. It also needs time to mature and grow into something people and search engines will trust and find helpful.

There’s definitely a learning curve to blogging, but if you’re patient and get it right, you’ll never look back.

The most significant benefit for me is the knowledge and skills you gain as a blogger.

Many people ask me if they should start a blog and I always tell them that if you never try, you will never know. Yes, start a blog and see where it takes you. Maybe it’s as life-changing for you as it was for me.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill


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Do you think blogging is still popular and worth it?

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4 thoughts on “The History, Evolution and Popularity of Blogging – Quick Facts and Stats”

  1. You really seem to have done some great research to compile all of those interesting facts on the history of blogging.

    Why do you think blogging has become so popular over the last 20 or so years? I assume that most people believe it is a benefit to society, but what are a couple of drawbacks you see to the modern blogging craze?

    Reply
    • Hi Chase,

      In my opinion, the massive evolution of technology definitely plays the most significant role in blogging. Better computers, mobile devices and the ease of internet access give people the opportunity to search for nearly anything online.

      With more and more people using the internet to search for solutions comes the opportunity to provide those solutions. Most blogs are created around the search intent of people.

      I think blogs mostly have a positive effect on society. Blogs provide information and are great educational tools (mostly). From a blogger’s perspective, it can be a different story. There are pros and cons to starting a blog. Anyone can start a blog, but blogging is not for everyone.

      On the other hand, my perception of social media is entirely different. It’s got its place and is a good marketing tool, but sometimes I’m not sure if it really benefits society.

      All I can say is that I’ve swopped social media for my blogs and never looked back.

      Reply
  2. Hi Rika,

    A very interesting article with a lot of facts. Thank you for sharing!

    I think that blogging is definitely still a ‘thing’ today.

    Reply

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