New report highlights growing commercial value of blogs as bloggers move from hobbyists to professionals and careerists
A new report released today shows that two thirds of UK bloggers now make money from blogging and over a quarter of British bloggers blog as their main career. The results published by Mason Williams Communications show a commercial shift in the bloggersphere demonstrating the influence and power of the blogger in the new marketing and media landscape.
The results are published as part of a Pan-European BlogbarometerTM, a study of over 1,200 bloggers in nine countries across Europe by IPREX, a network of over 70 independent communications firms around the world of which Mason Williams is the UK consumer partner.
The UK’s bloggers are far more commercially orientated than others across Europe. Of the UK bloggers surveyed 65% earn money from their blog and 27% blog as their full-time profession. Income from blogs is made up from banner advertisement, Google Marketing, and through the sale of licensed products directly through the blog. Interestingly only 16% of bloggers in Europe get paid for blogging whereas 49% of UK bloggers are paid to blog.
The BlogbarometerTM found that in the UK 93% of bloggers had been contacted for PR and marketing purposes, compared to just 68% in Europe. This demonstrates the awareness that companies and brands have of the power of blogs to influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. Brands are constantly looking for ways to market themselves, reach new audiences and build relationships with existing customers. For many brands, blogs provide a great platform to do this, whether as a tool for promotion of a product or for longer-term work across an entire campaign.
Due to this shift it has become apparent that blogger’s attitudes have changed towards their work and more aware of the earning potential that they can unlock.
The majority of bloggers across the UK and Europe also receive payment in the form of product samples and event attendance in return for coverage or feedback. Over 60% of bloggers in the UK advised they had based their content on press releases or samples that they had received, which makes them more appealing to brands that are looking to achieve third party recommendation.
Commenting on the study, John Williams, CEO Mason Williams, said: “Since their launch in 1997 blogs have changed the way we consume media. Their power and influence has grown and brands have slowly but surely taken note. Now it’s the bloggers turn to change – what was once the arena of the young and digitally savvy sharing ‘web logs’ has now become a commercially viable and powerful media vehicle. Bloggers are, quite rightly, realizing the power of their voice in the changing media landscape and are monetizing that voice, many even blogging professionally as their sole career.”
The ability of bloggers to monetize and promote their work is very good. 96% of bloggers surveyed in the UK use Twitter, which is the most popular form of social media for bloggers, and assists with generating vast amounts of traffic back to their blogs. 83% link to Facebook, 61% to Pinterest, 59% to instagram, all demonstrating a greater awareness of multiplatform promotion than across the rest of Europe where Facebook is dominant with 73% of bloggers linking to the social media site and only 59% to twitter.
Further findings revealed that whilst blogging has been embraced by people of all ages, the average age of a blogger in Europe is 37. This is mainly driven by the far older profile of bloggers in the UK, Germany and Italy. Bloggers in the Czech Republic and Finland are a lot younger. Unsurprisingly the majority of bloggers across UK and Europe are women, 70% across Europe, however, the country with the most male bloggers is Germany, where two thirds of those surveyed are male. Parenting dominates the UK blogger sphere with travel and food and drink dominant topics across the UK and Europe.
Williams added: “UK bloggers lead the way in Europe with their commercial savy and digital connectivity, with the vast majority of UK bloggers promoting their message across multiple social platforms, growing their audience and increasing their digital influence.
“The blogosphere is changing. Just like other forms of media, brands are aware of the impact that the opinions of trusted voices can have on consumer behaviour. In an age where communication plays such an important part in the success or failure of a brand’s strategy, working with bloggers has become essential for many brands looking to have an impact in spheres that they may otherwise not be able to reach.”
EUROPEAN TOP 5 BLOG TOPICS
Fashion – 15%
Food & Drink – 13%
Beauty – 13%
Travel – 12%
Health – 9%
UK TOP 5 BLOG TOPICS
Parenting – 21%
Travel – 19%
Arts & Culture – 15%
Food & Drink – 15%
Fashion & Style – 15%
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Mason Williams is the UK Consumer PR Agency for IPREX – a $350 million network of communication agencies, with 1,800 staff and 115 offices worldwide. Read More