When they first came into being, weblogs—“blogs” for short—were individuals’ journals or opinion sites. The assumption that they would remain informal and personal disguised their early transition into a more businesslike format.

In the early 2000s, blogs began to prove that they could gain a following and influence not only popular culture, but national and international politics. Advertisers noticed. By 2004, Merriam-Webster chose “blog” the “Word of the Year.” Ad prices and readership numbers continued to soar throughout the decade, making blogs major contenders in the media arena. At the same time, companies were recognizing the benefits of hosting blogs of their own.

Today, blogs are some of the most powerful media forms in existence. Content marketing specialists at Copyblogger recently looked at how blogging has “grown up” in their article and infographic, “How Do You Compare to Serious Business Bloggers?” A key finding—as the history of blogging thus far might suggest– was that blogging today is “more of a respected profession and less of a hobby.”

The article cites data showing that contemporary blogs are short (most are 500-1000 words) and publish regularly. Quite often they are written by professionals who work on a contract basis and write for more than one outlet. 2.5 hours is the average time invested in writing a blog post and people are blogging during office hours, which is no surprise considering that more blogs are being created by professional writers on behalf of clients. And the effort companies have invested in blogging has paid off: according to Copyblogger, B2B companies that blog produce 67 percent more leads than those that don’t.

Orbit Media Studios co-founder Andy Crestodina, who collaborated with Copyblogger on their infographic, has said that modern marketing is “a contest to see who can be the best teacher [and] who can give the most information, so that sets your priorities.”

With a goal of educating your customer, answering their questions and helping them solve their problems, blogging as a marketing activity should be on your company’s radar. You might even find that it has become a priority.

How do you compare to serious business bloggers? See the infographic here courtesy of Copyblogger which shows their key findings on the state of blogging.