New Pew Internet Study on Bloggers
Posted on July 19, 2006
The Pew Internet and American Life Project has a new report that is the result of over 200 in-depth phone interviews with bloggers. Pew has posted a 33 page PDF file of the results from the study. The study found that most bloggers use their blogs as personal journals and cover a wide variety of subjects including themselves -- 37% of bloggers said they blog primarily about "my life and experiences."
Here are some interesting findings from the study.
- 55% of bloggers blog under a pseudonym, and 46% blog under their own name.
- 59% of bloggers spend just one or two hours per week tending their blog. One in ten bloggers spend ten or more hours per week on their blog. So, over 10% spend more than one hour per day attending to their blog.
- 34% of bloggers consider their blog a form of journalism, and 65% of bloggers do not.
- 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either "sometimes" or "often."
- 49% said their blog readers are people they know personally.
- 87% of bloggers allow comments on their blog.
- Just 18% said they have an RSS feed. However, 23% did not know if they had a feed or not!
- 41% have a blogroll and of bloggers with blogrolls 18% have a blogroll with 50 or more links.
- The median number of inbound links was 13.
- Just 7% said making money was a major reason they blog.
On Money: The study found most people don't blog for money. This wasn't a surprise at all because other studies have also shown that most bloggers simply don't care about making money.
The least common reason people blog is to make money. Only 15% of bloggers report this as a reason for their blog-keeping, and just 7% call making money a major reason. Bloggers over age 30 are more likely than younger bloggers to give making money as a reason to blog.Publishing2.com calculates that this means there are about 3 million people blogging for money. Some of these 3 million may be very vulnerable to quitting should a significant drop in pay-per-click revenues be on the way thanks to high click fraud rates. However, it won't result in a significant reduction in the number of bloggers since most bloggers don't care about how much money their blog makes.
The study also included these two paragraphs about how people make money from blogs. One statement said 20% of blogging for money bloggers claimed to sell premium blog content? That seems awfully high.
Selling items is the most popular way for this group of bloggers to raise money. About seven in ten bloggers who make money do so by selling things on their site. Bloggers can sell items branded with their own logo or sentiment through fulfillment sites such as CafePress.com or they can join something akin to the Amazon Associates program that allows individuals who recommend an item for sale on the Amazon site to receive a small payment every time someone uses the link the individual provides to purchase the recommended item.
Blog advertisements are another popular way for bloggers to earn money; about half of money-earning bloggers do so through ads. About a third of money-earning bloggers say they get cash from online "tip jars" where readers can leave donations, either through PayPal or another online payment source. Premium content, which readers must pay for, is a source of income for about one in five money-earning bloggers.
A post by Joe Wilkert has us taking another look at the "premium content" information. The study found that 1/5 of the "blogging for money" bloggers sell premium content on their blog. Using Publishing2.com's figure of 3 million for the number of "blogging for money" bloggers gives you about 600,000 bloggers selling premium content. That might be reasonable if you include items like books and music in the premium content category. There are quite a few authors and musicians blogging.