There’s an old saying that figures lie and liars figure. Data is hard to trust sometimes, but when you get a well constructed and documented article about blogging statistics, you gotta dive in and see what it says. That’s what I’m sharing with you today.
The Big Blogging Survey from BlogTyrant is just such an article (reference below). Ramsay Taplin, who’s been “dabbling with money making blogs” for a long time, surveyed 350 bloggers about goals and challenges. What he came up with is very enlightening and led me to several observations and questions.
Here are my impressions. See what you think as I walk through the ones that piqued my interest. I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts with everyone in the Comments below!
The Survey Results
Blogger age distribution in the survey results is highest between 21 and 60+ with the highest group, by a small margin, between 30-39. There is a slight taper off as you get to the older folks but what I enjoyed seeing was that there was a good share from age 60 and up. Seems cool and healthy to me.
Length of time that respondents have been blogging is about equal, between <1 year and 5+ years. So for this sample set of bloggers, there’s a fairly balanced range in terms of experience. Interesting to note was that almost half of the bloggers spend less than 5 hours per week on the blog. Not really surprising, since if you have a full time job or a hobby blog, you may not have the inclination or time to spend writing.
It appears the bloggers in this survey do make money, since the next question was about earnings. I wasn’t surprised to find that the large majority of bloggers had zero income. However, I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t monetize or because they don’t have a good way of converting subscribers to buyers. Those who did earn money seemed to be in the under $10,000 range.
- It’s subjective, but if you were starting a blog to make money and knew that the majority of money-makers were earning up to $10k in a year, that might be encouraging. Especially if it’s a side hustle.
Related to that, though, is the next set of data. It shows that most of the respondents have income from another source.
Regarding what bloggers spend money on, I noticed that the biggest chunk of spending was on the essentials (hosting and a domain name). Themes seemed to be next, and I can see why.
If you’re starting out or looking for a new host, I recommend the hosts I use on my blogs, but for themes I’m all about free (for now 😁)
Worries – what worries them most? Think about it, what would you say? [here comes the spoiler] Lack of an audience. I mean, who wants to make a blog and have no readers?I mean, who wants to make a blog and have no readers? What bloggers worry about - my commentary on a great piece from @blogtyrant Click To Tweet
There’s a very interesting forward-looking question in there about what blogging format to adopt next. The answer is lodged between the practicality of text and the trend of blogs with video.
I won’t run you through all of it. The survey goes on to touch on other interesting subjects, from Google to blogging careers. Later this week, you ought to search around for other blogging statistics. Use the phrase blogging statistics or blogging industry statistics. Seeing what fellow bloggers are doing can be very educational. They can help you see how your approach compares, either providing a sense of comfort or spurring you on to new heights.
Another interesting thing to try – develop your own statistics. Here’s one from a Twitter poll I ran about how long it takes to produce a blog post…
What do you think about my thoughts on these blogging statistics? What do you take away from the survey data?
Just for Fun
Doing a meaningful survey to generate blogging statistics like these requires a lot of participants. Hats off to Ramsay for putting this together. Some of you may be asking yourselves how representative this data is. Taking a gamble (it’s been awhile since I had statistics class), I pulled up a sample size calculator from surveymonkey.com and figured out that at a 95% confidence and a 5% margin of error, his sample group represents a population of about 5,000 bloggers. That’s not the world but it’s a very decent number. Nice job Ramsay!