The Sports Blogger 2009- Part 1

smjblogger2009If you read my earlier post you noticed that I ended the piece wondering how to make Sports Media Journal (SMJ) better.  One way to do this is to not re-invent the wheel but to see how some of the successful sports blogs operate and view the blogging world.

I created a simple survey using Google Docs and sent it to the owners of some of the most popular sports blogs on the web, as tabulated by Ballhype.  My intention was to stick to independent blogs only, although some bloggers write for a few of the big media companies.

Thanks go out to all the bloggers who responded to my request.   The results you will see are by no means an accurate barometer of the sports blogging community, just a snapshot of those who took the time to help me out.

I’m going to split the results over the next three posts, and add my answers and commentary.  Let’s get started first with the demographics of the sports bloggers who responded to our survey…

QUESTION: How old are you?

26-35      49%
18-25      31%
36-45      15%
46-55        5%
Over 55     0%

I’m 44, so I fall under the 36-45 category.  As has been evidenced in the past,  the sports blogger trends younger.  No surprise here.

QUESTION: Marital Status

Single        77%
Married      23%

I am married.  The age of bloggers would lend credence to the response here that most would not be married.  Other surveys of bloggers have shown similar results.

QUESTION: How long have you owned your blog? (years)

2-3 years                     38%
1-2 years                     28%
3-4 years                     18%
More that 4 years         10%
Less than 1 year           10%

I have owned SMJ for 2 years, so I fall into the top response.  With blogs such a part of our lives, we sometimes fail to realize that this form of communication is still relatively new.  We should all take a moment and appreciate how far the blogging community has come in such a short period of time.

QUESTION: Is working your blog your full-time job?

No     75%
Yes    25%

SMJ is not my full time job.  These numbers are not surprising as most bloggers work their sites on their free time.  But I would suspect that as more blogs become successful these numbers may change.

QUESTION: How many hours a day do you work on your blog?

More than 5 hours      30%
1 to 2 hours               25%
2 to 3 hours               18%
3 to 4 hours               15%
4 to 5 hours               10%
> 1 hour                      2%

Even though I do not post every day,  I do work on the blog between 2 and 3 hours a day, primarily through reading what’s happening in the sports media world.

Surprisingly the numbers showed that just as many married bloggers work as hard on their blogs as those owners who are single.  Also, those in the younger demographics tend to spend more time blogging then those who are older.

QUESTION: Do you sell ads or display third party ads on your site?

Yes     93%
No        8%

SMJ does sell ads and also displays third party ads.  Again no surprises here.  Many of us are looking for some monetary return for our effort.

QUESTION: How much revenue did you generate (from all income sources) in 2008?

$1-$1000                 33%
$10,001-$50,000      18%
$1,000-$5,000          13%
$0                           13%
$5,000-$10,000        10%
$50,001-$100,000      2%
More than $100,000    2%

SMJ falls into the top response.  We made more than $1 in 2008.  Looking at the numbers, those who worked their blog full time tended to earn more money off their website, although there were a fair number of part-time bloggers who made some good money in 2008.

QUESTION: Why do you blog?

As you can imagine there was a multitude of answers to this question.  They ranged from their work being a hobby to those who looked at it as a way to improve their writing skills with the hope of someday becoming a sports journalist.  There was also a feeling among some bloggers that they wanted to expand the dialogue with like-minded fans of their team or sport.

Why do I blog?  I have worked in the media for over 20 years.  Sports has always been a passion of mine.  I thought it would be fun to interview and examine those in the sports media in an informative, objective manner.  I also reserve the right to provide my personal commentary on the industry where I see fit.

In looking at these first set of questions, the only question I wished I would have asked was surveying the group’s educational background.  Other studies I have seen show that most sports bloggers have a higher education degree of some sort.  Those without an education generally tend to face bigger challenges just connecting to the Internet and would not have the capacity to blog.

Part 2 of our series will look at how sports bloggers view their craft, and their place in the sports media world.

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