2015 Women's Blogging And Business Report: 'Blogging Is On The Decline'

It seems influencer marketing is on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. So it’s particularly interesting to hear that one of the findings of the 2015 Women’s Blogging And Business Report put out by iBlog Magazine showed blogging was on a decline. The report found that 55% of bloggers work on their blog 5-20 hours weekly, and that only 22% claimed to work over 30-35 hours or more.

So what is causing this decline? 

It’s hard to keep up with social and blogging changes.

According to Matt Cherry, CEO & founder of iBlog Magazine, "Bloggers are not changing their business models quickly enough to keep up with changes in social media and blogging. Surveys show 70-80% of people access social media via mobile devices and iBlog's report confirms that bloggers are interested in learning more about video production but they are still apprehensive about investing their time and effort in video marketing, podcasting and responsive design and marketing of their websites.”
In addition, visual imagery is taking over as the lead traffic generator for blogs. As visual imagery strengthens, many bloggers are finding it more difficult to keep up the pace. To capture quality imagery and edit it for a blog and several social media channels takes time and knowledge. “Bloggers surveyed shared that they are not experts at editing photos and often spend hours of extra time on this process,” explained Cherry. “This extra time is often overlooked by bloggers when calculating their hourly rate and how they are compensated for their efforts." 



Many bloggers are not business-savvy marketers.

Cherry said, "I found it very interesting that women influencers do not invest more time in becoming experts in a few social media channels or specific skills they can build upon to stand out from the crowd with brands and agencies. Many know and understand the basics but when it comes to validating their true value in marketing reach, effectiveness and results, many bloggers cannot quantify their true value."
The iBlog report found that bloggers had very little knowledge of social marketing on Facebook, which is a preferred social channel. Also, top-tier bloggers are savvier when it comes to tracking and preparing analytical reports to show they understand their influence and true reach across their audience. Many bloggers are still lagging in this aspect of their business model.

The study also showed the average revenue of bloggers to be consistent with industry averages of under $400 monthly. This parallels the results of another question in the report, which exemplifies the lack of time bloggers spend marketing themselves and reaching out directly to brands. There is a definitive lack of education for bloggers in the industry. Bloggers need real life access to people and training to learn how to monetize their businesses.

Feedback from brands/agencies will help influencers learn/grow.

"Feedback from bloggers in our report spoke loudly when it comes getting feedback from brands and agencies. There is an industry wide lack of feedback to bloggers and influencers on their performance when completing sponsored posts or jobs for brands,” said Cherry. 

The report found that over 80% of blogger said they felt they would perform better on projects if they knew the results of their efforts and if brands provided follow up feedback on their performance. And 74% reported the pitches they receive don’t fit their blog, theme, tone or business. 

Brands/agencies confuse bloggers/influencers with their instructions.

Bloggers need direction from brands. While it may be nice to have a brand leave the parameters of a project for bloggers to interpret, the majority of blogger feel they would perform better with more detailed instructions from the agencies of brands on a project. Cherry added, “Often bloggers are confused as to what a brand wants them to do without stricter parameters and timelines." 

What does this mean for brands/agencies?

Sophisticated blogger and social influencer selection is going to be paramount. Bloggers are looking for guidance and feedback, so brands and agencies will need to set aside time to do this if they wish to build a relationship with these potential brand ambassadors.

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