September 4, 2007, 12:00 AM

One-third of blog visitors have clicked a blog ad, study says

The use of weblogs is becoming more mainstream in the U.S., where nearly half of consumers have visited a blog, research firm Synovate says in a new survey. Of those who have visited blogs, nearly one-third have clicked on a blog ad, it says.

The use of weblogs is becoming more mainstream in the U.S., where nearly half of consumers have visited a blog, research firm Synovate says in a new survey. Of those who have visited blogs, nearly one-third have clicked on a blog ad, it says.

43% of blog visitors say they have noticed advertisements on blogs, and that figure rises to 61% among visitors aged 18-24.

Indeed, the study found that awareness and use of blogs is more common among young adults. Nearly 90% of adults in the U.S. aged 25-34 know what a blog is, compared to 65% of those aged 65 and over, the study found. Among those aware of blogs, 78% of those aged 18-24 say they have visited a blog, compared to 45% of older U.S. adults, the study says.

Blogs are web sites that serve as personal journals, and many are designed to cover particular topics that can attract marketers to run paid search or banner ads. Synovate, a unit of Aegis Group plc, based its study on a survey of 1,000 adults in the U.S. from July 30 to Aug. 1.

Although the largest percentage of blog readers, or 39%, view blogs less than once a month, another 28% visit them monthly, 15% visit them daily and 5% read them several times a day, the study found.

65% of blog users say they read them to get opinions, while 39% get news and 38% get entertainment. About one in three people reads gossip on blogs while only 2% use them to catch up on news about family and friends.

Almost half of those surveyed say the main reason they read blogs is because they find blogs entertaining, and another 26% say it`s to learn about specific hobbies or other areas of personal interest. Only 15% of survey respoblog readers say they do so primarily for general news.

"Because anyone can start one anytime, blogs are not necessarily seen as legitimate information sources despite the fact that some bloggers are experts in their area," says Tom Mularz, senior vice president at Synovate. "However, as their prominence and influence continues to rise, this could certainly change."

He notes that 8% of Americans have their own blog, and adds, "This is surprising given that a few years ago hardly anyone knew what a blog was."

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