Blog readers younger, richer than average Web surfer

Users who visit blogs tend to be wealthier and younger than the average Internet user, a study has found.

Good news for Web log publishers with aspirations of making money off their sites -- compared to the average Internet user, visitors to Web logs, or blogs, tend to be younger and to belong to a wealthier household, a study has found.

Blog visitors are also more likely to shop online and to connect to the Internet using a broadband connection, according to the study "Behaviors of the Blogosphere" conducted by comScore Networks. Unsurprisingly, blog visitors are also more active online, visiting almost twice as many Web pages as the average Internet user.

ComScore defines blogs as "mostly amateur online diaries." By unique visitors, FreeRepublic.com ranked first in the first quarter, followed by DrudgeReport.com, Fleshbot.com, Gawker.com and Fark.com. By visits, DrudgeReport came in first, followed by Fark.com, FreeRepublic.com, Gawker.com and Slashdot.org.

"ComScore found that blog visitors represent a demographically attractive advertising audience. Blog visitors are disproportionately likely to be affluent, young and broadband-enabled," reads the study, published this week.

Blog visitors are 11 percent more likely than the average Internet user to have incomes of US$75,000 or more, and are 30 percent more likely to live in households headed by someone between the ages of 18 and 34, the study found.

During the first quarter, the average blog visitor viewed 77 percent more Web pages than the average Internet user, and spent 23 hours per week online, compared with 13 hours per week for the average user, according to the study. Regarding e-commerce behavior, blog visitors are 30 percent more likely to shop online than the average user.

Proof of the rising popularity of blogs is that about 50 million U.S. Internet users (about 30 percent of all U.S. Internet users) visited blog sites in the first quarter of 2005, up 45 percent compared with 2004's first quarter, according to the study.

The most popular type of blog is the political one, according to the study, which was sponsored by blogging software and service vendor Six Apart and by blog publisher Gawker Media.

The study was based on comScore's tracking of the online activity of over 2 million Internet users.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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