Research: personal content is success factor of blogs

Amsterdam, 11 June 2015. Bloggers are booming but what does determine their success? 70% of the bloggers get inspiration of private events and also almost 70% of the blog’s posts read the most are about blogger’s personal hints. The cliché that bloggers are read only by young girls is discredited by the research: 80,4% of the readers are between 20 and 35 years old. More than half of all bloggers want to earn their living with their blog. This is shown by the bloggers research that the agency Cherry LAB conducted among 206 Dutch bloggers. The results were presented today at eTravel and on the 22nd May during the first edition of the Cherry LAB #storymakers event where over 130 bloggers and 30 brands were presented to each other.

Dutch blogger’s world examined
In order to get more insights from the blogger’s world, for many yet unknown, Cherry LAB conducted during the months of April and May a research among 206 Dutch bloggers with different passions. From travel and food to interior. Most of the participating blogs (80%) are between zero and five years old. 20% of bloggers are blogging for more than five years and the average blog is now 2 years old. A bit more than the half of all blogs (55%) has less than 15.000 unique visitors per month. More than one-third (35%) draws 15.000-100.000 unique visitors per month and about 10% more than 100.000. From all participants, 85% are women. Ages ranged from 19 to 61 years old, with an average age of 31 years old. The research consisted of an online survey of 27 multiple-choice questions and one shout-out. In the research bloggers were defined as online influencers that make content from their personal experiences and personal capacities.

Sharing passions drive forces behind blogs
The research shows that the number of blogs in the past five years has gradually increased. The passions from which bloggers write vary greatly: from travel to food, from design/architecture to sport/health and from family/kids to fashion/beauty. These passions form at the same time the biggest driving force behind blogs: almost 75% of bloggers indicate that sharing their passions is the main reason for blogging.

Personal experiences as inspiration
What bloggers seem to distinguish the most from (online) journalists is that they mostly get inspiration from their private life (about 70% of all bloggers). Their daily private life and, for example, a private trip they make of the events that they visit in their free time constitute the greatest feed source of their blogs. These personal posts also turn out to be the most popular with their readers. No less than 69.6% stated that personal tips are popular the most. Besides that, about half of all bloggers get inspiration from events or press trips organized by agencies, destinations and/or products. Reviews and experience reports originated from that seem to be well accepted by readers. Furthermore, a great group of bloggers (64,1) find inspiration following other blogs and websites. The traditional press release is used for more than 50% at least once a month as inspiration.

No-go’s in cooperation with bloggers
Bloggers would like to cooperate with brands, products and destinations, but some things are truly ‘no-go’ for bloggers. Almost 75% of the bloggers would absolutely never accept if too much input is required in their content, because they must stay pure and personal. Also 38,4% refrain of a cooperation when there are too many online marketing obligations, such as placing links. Besides that, 36% do not agree to place content based on a bad experience. 

More than half wants to live from blogging
Although most bloggers (57.8%) have their blog as supplementary income, no less than 52,7% have the goal to eventually live from their blog. A small 20% get already now their main income from blogging, while another (almost) 20% do not earn nothing with their blog and see it (yet) purely as a hobby. Over 70% never get a paid (daily rate) to make a trip, to test products or to be present in events. It is striking that more and more bloggers join a media- and/or affiliate office: already around 37% of bloggers work on a regular basis with it. Nearly 80% of all bloggers sometimes post paid content, but almost half shows that this occupies a maximum of 5% of their total content. Furthermore, two-third of them do it once or twice a month. The rates paid for this vary considerably, from less than 50 euro to more than 500 euro per article.

Bloggers: solitaire or social?
Who thinks that bloggers work solitary, has it wrong! The research shows that more than one-third of all bloggers visit 1-3 times per month network/or PR-events. Also 68,8% would like to be part of a network/platform for bloggers in which they can work with each other and can complement and reinforce each other.

Blogs only for young girls?
Blogs seem indeed to be read mostly by women; their target group would be 88,6% women. But against the stereotype, the age of readers appears to be higher than many people think. 80,4% says that their readers are between 20 and 35 years old. 18,1% says that their readers are predominantly in the age group 35-50 years old. Only 1% has a target group of less than 20 years old.

Bloggers, who start a partnership in the form of a press trip, prefer to go on an individual press trip than a group trip (66,5% against 33,5%). This ensures that their content remains unique and is not comparable to content of other bloggers/journalists. The greatest percentage of bloggers (36,8%) thinks that minimum the accommodation and transport must be reimbursed on a press trip. Almost one third of the bloggers believes that at least accommodation, transport, meals and some activities must be covered in the sponsorship. Only accommodation is sufficient for only 7% of the bloggers.

Bloggers pay or not?
Although more than 70% of the bloggers never get paid a daily rate to make a trip, to test products or to be present on events, we see that the request of a daily rate is becoming each time more common. The daily rate requested is evenly distributed, from under 100 euro to more than 300 euro.