Last week I attended Vuelio’s UK Bloggers Survey 2019 – The Results webinar during which the researchers broke down the results from their 2019 UK Bloggers Survey. In addition to this, the webinar included insights from guest experts from Hand Luggage Only and Keep it simpElle, who further expanded on the findings from a blogger’s perspective.
Below are five of the key findings from Vuelio’s survey alongside some top tips from the experts.
The rise of the professional blogger
Over the past year, there has been an increase in the number of professional bloggers who are using blogs as a platform to generate an income. The rise of professional bloggers over those who run their blog as a hobby is something that has been shining through over the past few years, with an increase of 17% since 2016. Professional bloggers made up a majority of those included within the survey (51%) which further cements the movement towards bloggers looking to monetise their work.
Further analysis into why many bloggers have made the switch found that there was a significant rise in those who rely on their blog as their main source of income. In addition to this, there has been a drop in the number of bloggers who see it as a hobby, highlighting a trend in those who initially start blogging as a hobby, and then see the money making potential.
Below is a further breakdown of the main reasons why individuals write their blog.
The growth of the supersector
The same five categories have dominated the blogging world over the past few years: fashion & beauty, lifestyle, parenting, food & drink, and travel make up a large majority of blogs, with 62% of respondents falling into one of these categories. Due to the fact they make up nearly two thirds of all blogs, these categories are known as the ‘supersectors’.
A surprising finding from this section of the report is the fact that fashion & beauty bloggers have declined significantly over the past three years. Fashion & beauty blogs only account for 8% of respondents, a 14% reduction since 2016. An interesting reason as to why this might be was raised during the webinar; Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years with the photo sharing network now attracting over 1 billion active monthly users, making it a perfect place for fashion bloggers to share their content. Instead of having to spend long periods of time writing blog posts, the bloggers can simply share fashion related images with their followers on Instagram. Fashion & Beauty blogs are usually highly visual and Instagram is the perfect platform for that type of content.
See below for a further breakdown of the most popular blog categories:
An insight into a bloggers work
The research also went on to take a look into the blog posts that are being produced, examining the frequency, word count, and other key factors. Over the past three years there has been a significant reduction in the number of posts being written, with bloggers moving from uploading multiple posts a week to just writing one post a week. 44% of respondents said that they post once a week, a 20% increase from 2016. However, those who use their blog for professional reasons are more likely to post 5 or more times a week in comparison to those who blog for personal reasons.
During the webinar, all guests stated that the reduction in frequency is due to a rise in long form content, and many bloggers now focusing on quality over quantity. There are multiple studies pointing to the fact that long form content performs better in search due to the depth bloggers can go into on a topic. Longer posts are likely to be more naturally keyword rich and are often more likely to include a range of long tail keywords, giving them an extra boost in search results. Additionally, due to the greater length they are likely to answer all of the reader’s questions and queries, which in turn makes it more likely to attract links from other sources or to be shared on social media.
Following on from the previous point, the report went into further detail about how bloggers share their content and the channels they use to amplify blog posts. Twitter and Facebook are by far the most popular platforms used by bloggers to share their content – I know shocker! It was, however, interesting to see the gender divide across the various social platforms.
Facebook and Twitter are used fairly evenly by men and women, whereas the difference in Instagram usage is quite significant. The fact that women are more likely to promote their blogs via Instagram is not a huge shock, but the size of the difference was (88% vs 50%). This is believed to be a reflection on the main categories of blogs that both genders produced, as women are more likely to write lifestyle and fashion related blogs which, as we saw earlier, work better on Instagram.
Spotting the way in which different social media platforms are used is really useful as it can give you a good indication of where you should be promoting content and where you can engage with influencers. If you know that a large percentage of bloggers you are looking to work with use a certain platform, then it could be a good idea to connect with them on that platform so they are more likely to recognise you once you pitch to them.
Working with PRs
The research goes on to look at the relationship between bloggers and Public Relations professionals (PRs), and throughout the webinar the guys from Hand Luggage Only and Keep it simpElle shared their opinions on being approached by PRs. Overall, there appears to be a shift in the way PRs contact bloggers, with a rise in the number of bloggers being contacted once a week and a decrease in bloggers being contacted multiple times a week.
When taking a closer look at these figures there is a significant difference when it comes to the size of the blog. Typically smaller blogs, with 0-1,000 unique monthly visitors, are most likely to be contacted less than once a week, while over half (51%) of large blogs, with 10,000+ unique monthly visitors, are contacted seven or more times a week. These findings are not the most surprising as it is obviously more beneficial to work with bloggers who gain most visits, however, you should bear in mind that competition to work with these blogs will be higher.
One point that was extremely interesting to listen to was the bloggers opinions on PR pitches, and whether or not they expect compensation for collaboration. The survey found that over three quarters (78%) of respondents said that up to half of their work is compensated. Additionally most bloggers typically receive up to £250 for collaborations or paid blogs.
When discussing the topic of PR pitches, all guests agreed that they are typically more receptive to personalised individual pitches that will add value to their blog. Additionally, they are more likely to accept a guest blog opportunity that will be specifically produced for their site over a press release that is likely to be distributed to a number of contacts. Again, this is not overly surprising but hearing it directly from a blogger’s mouth emphasises the point.
In general, the report pulled out some really interesting findings and helps answer a number of questions around the world of blogging. Be sure to check out the full findings, here.