TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
AOL’s business news blogs continue to show strong growth in viewers and revenue, three years after its acquisition of Weblogs Inc., part of its strategy to focus on original content.
BloggingStocks.com, which launched in 2006, had 336,000 unique visitors in May 2006, its first full month, according to comScore. Last month, its unique visitors was 1.8 million.
The site had 3 million page views in September, compared to 800,000 in September 2006. In addition, SmartMoney recently named the site one of its “Power 30” blogs.
The Engadget tech news blog had 1.4 million unique visitors in August 2008, up from 700,000 in October 2005. Its page views rose during the same time period to 6 million in August from 2 million in October 2005.
And Autoblog, which covers the auto industry, had 2 million unique visitors in August, up from 200,000 in October 2005. Its page views rose to 9 million in August, from 500,000 in October 2005.
“You look at any of the other major online companies, no one is pursuing a branded multi-vertical content publishing strategy with the same focus and success,” said Marty Moe, vice president and general manager of AOL Money & Finance, Small Business, and Education. “Really what we’re doing at AOL is creating what we believe is the first true new media publishing company at scale in the Internet era.”
AOL’s blogging operations, which include non-business sites such as BloggingBaby and TVSquad, are projected to have $30 million in revenue in 2008, up from less than $6 million in 2005.
And it’s expanding internationally. Autoblog will expand into France, Germany and Great Britain by the end of the year.
“The growth of blogging at AOL has really occurred during an important transitional time for blogs in general,” said Moe in an interview on Wednesday. “We’ve seen the mass consumer adoption and acceptance of blogs and the blog format and the blog editorial ethos. Leading blog brands now stand on the same level with blue-chip, traditional media brands.
“We’re seeing the rapid acceptance of blogs by the broader advertising community,” added Moe. “And we’re now seeing the increasing professionalization of blogs with respect to content production.”