On the OWC group on blogs, there was a post lately asking if/how it was possible to make money with your blog. Indeed more and more people are writing blogs – as a hobby, sometimes – but more often in relation to their work field and their professional expertise. It would seem logical to try to make some money when sharing experience and knowledge with your readers.
Several studies on blogs, bloggers, brands and trends just came out this week. The market research from Via Nova Spheeris is strictly about French blogs but could open some threads of discussion. First a few figures: 38.2% of French bloggers get some income from their blogging activity; 32% would like to get some revenue out of their blog. For 42.5% of bloggers, advertising is the most obvious way of making money. 17% of them see their blog as a way to comfort their professional status and even to get in touch with the traditional medias (TV, press, radio).
French bloggers ready to advertise brands on their blogs trust the brands’ communication strategy: 82.9% of them think the brands’ communication is “informative” and 68.6% “modern”. But they regret that the brands’ request for advertising on their blog are not always relevant to their blog’s contents. Instead of getting money, they’d rather have products’ samples, invitations to events and/or advance information on new products and services. This strategy would allow them to keep their freedom in judging the brand.
This study shows how blogs are difficult to understand by the traditional brands used to traditional medias. A blog is a media where freedom is respected. That’s why the traditional medias feel threatened by this space of free speech and communities. The last market study conducted by Universal McCann on a panel of 17,000 web surfers in 29 countries shows clearly the exponential growth of blogs, podcasts and social networks as a direct competitor of the traditional medias. There are 184 millions bloggers in the world and 73% of the population read blogs. The video is now the most appreciated media just before the blogs (72.8%), sharing pictures (63.2%) and social networks (57;3%). Podcasts are now considered a major media by web surfers.
A brand can’t ignore those new media. They reach directly the new consumers: young people, women, international consumer. Why wouldn’t a company transfer its media budget to social network to touch the new consumers? It would seem a smart move but I’m afraid most brands are not ready to get in the 21st century… yet.