Last month, I conducted an independent research survey of bloggers to try and gather some research-based information about the often complex (and occasionally thorny) relationship between bloggers and brands.
While I frantically work on the summary report, while simultaneously jetting to the west coast to share some of the findings at Mom 2.0 Summit, I thought I’d share a few discoveries I’ve made since diving into the numbers, just to give you a sense of what’s to come. To get your copy of the summary report when it’s ready, join my email list.
First of all, an overview of the respondents. 227 bloggers responded to the survey during a 5-week period in March and April of 2013. 92% are female, 87% have children. They blog about dozens of topics – however the most frequently named are “Family/Parenting”, “Food, Recipes and/or Cooking” and “Products and Reviews”.
The majority of respondents are experienced, mid- to high-traffic bloggers: 84% have been blogging 3 years or more, and more than half reported having 10K + unique visitors per month.
Finding #1: Bloggers blog, foremost, because they love to write.
Bloggers are occasionally portrayed as money-grubbing opportunists climbing over each other for free swag. Not so. When asked, “Why do you blog?” the most popular response by far is “I love to write.” Even 70% of the highest traffic bloggers, who have the most potential to profit from their blogs, reported that their reason for blogging was for the love of writing.
Finding #2: Bloggers are inundated with pitches from brands that don’t fit their blog.
97% of bloggers get email pitches from brands and PR firms, and 40% of bloggers reported getting 10 or more email pitches per day. When asked how many of those email pitches are “right on target for your blog’s content and tone”, 40% said very few to none were a good match.
Finding #3: Personal communication matters when pitching bloggers.
When bloggers are confronted with an inbox full of pitches that don’t match their blog content, getting personalized emails from brands and PR firms help pitches and opportunities stand out. When asked how they typically connect with brands for the first time, the most popular response was “a personal email from the brand/PR firm” and the LEAST popular response was “a mass email pitch from the brand/PR firm”.
Fact #4: A “chance to win” is nearly never enough to win over a blogger.
Guess what? Offering bloggers “a chance to win” something will usually not compel them to do work on your behalf, despite the popularity of this particular tactic. 78% of bloggers reported having been offered a “chance to win a prize” as compensation for a product post. 90% said they rarely or never accept such an offer.
Fact #5: Bloggers want brands to look beyond the numbers.
The top 3 metrics that brands are asking for as a measure of bloggers’ influence are: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and blog traffic statistics. And although many bloggers agree that those numbers are important, when asked what metrics they wish brands would ask for more frequently, the majority named reader engagement metrics such as comments, subscribers and interactions on social channels.
A blogger with a smaller but loyal and trusting readership often has more influence than one with tons of page views. Some brands get this, but many do not.
For more data from the 2013 Blogger-Brand Relationship Survey, sign up for my email list to get the summary report when it is released.