The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 March 2005

How Many People Read Blogs?

Since we're delving into talk radio listenership issues today, why not compliment that with a discussion of blog readership. Michelle Malkin has published an interesting piece that divulges the best guesses on blog site stats.

I've been curious about this since I began mine in October. How do you attract readership?

Primarily, it seems, through referrals from other sites. Malkin talks about what happens when a major site links to yours, hundreds, or thousands of visitors arrive all at once. In tracking mine, I've seen busy days and slower ones. I don't always know why.

She also mentions that some bloggers may be inflating the size of their true readership, either through exaggeration or inaccurate tracking.

I know this: there are more blogs every day, plus more readers as well, but as of now many people I know still don't understand what one is.

In the talk radio business, syndication firms and their employed hosts are also notorious for inflating audience figures. They can get away with it because radio trade publications rely on their advertising to survive and won't challenge wild claims. And, because nobody else has access to all of the Arbitron ratings books, for hundreds of rated markets across the country.

The cost would be enormous to subscribe to almost 300 different books. Only a few big marketing firms and radio conglomerates can afford this. So, it's difficult to piece together a real idea of how many nationwide listeners a show might have.

Be very skeptical of on-air boastings of millions of listeners. Only a few of them can back that up with data.


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