Friday, June 8, 2012

We Asked, You Answered

Image: Statistics Image
Today is all about looking forward and projecting the future of blogging. However, the accountant in me would argue that we can't looking forward without setting a baseline to be able to determine just how far we've come. With that in mind, a few weeks ago, we created a survey to get a feel for just how diverse we truly are as a community. And boy, did you answer. All 504 of you!

Let's break it down a bit, shall we? First, the basics:

25 percent of respondents have been blogging for 3+ years. How's that for longevity?
Most of us started blogging to talk about books (85 percent), to connect with other book lovers (63 percent), and to express oneself using a creative outlet (49 percent). 

For those of us who have been blogging for more than two years, we continue to blog because of community, connecting with other book lovers
around the world, and to express ourselves using a creative outlet. This is also how we keep things fresh. Remaining active in the community was the most popular method for remaining passionate about blogging and exciting for readers.

We like to read, averaging at least two hours a day or more. Personally, I want to know the secret to finding the time to read 4+ hours a day. I may actually be able to whittle down my TBR pile at that rate!!

Blogger is by far the most popular platform, with a whopping 65 percent of you using it for your primary site. Wordpress is a distant second with only 21 percent of the respondents using it.

Blogging takes work. That we all know. Most of us work on our blogs one to two hours each day.

Book reviews are by far the most popular feature on blogs, as 99 percent of the respondents said they feature them. Giveaways and Memes were practically tied for second and third, as an active feature on 67 and 65 percent of the respondents' blogs. Surprisingly, author interviews were a feature on more than half of the respondents - 56 percent. Authors have definitely gotten the word that bloggers are good marketing tool!

Speaking of marketing tools, 74 percent felt that marketing helps their blog. At 82 percent, Twitter is the biggest marketing tool most bloggers like to use with blog hops, 52 percent, another popular method, followed by Facebook at 42 percent. 

Goodreads is definitely the most popular book network (85 percent) with LibraryThing coming in a distant second with only 8 percent of the respondents stating they use it as their go-to book network.

Twitter is by far the most popular social network, followed closely by the various book networks. Surprisingly, there are still a few bloggers who do not utilize any social networking.

We are a group that loves our Young Adult! 82 percent of respondents reported reading YA, with an equal number also reading Adult. Teen readers came in with 71 percent and Children's books only generated interest among 30 percent of you. Are you as surprised by this as I was?

Pretty self-explanatory.

Paperbacks make up our primary mode of reading (44 percent), while at 29 percent e-readers come in second. Interestingly, at 34 percent, e-readers are tops when it comes to secondary modes of reading, with paperbacks a very close second. Even though it is Audiobook month, audiobooks ranked last as a primary mode, garnering only one percent, and fifth as a secondary mode, with 7 percent of respondents reporting their love of audiobooks.

This week was all about networking and looking beyond the blog. This is one area where a majority still struggle. 66 percent do not monetize their blogs. A resounding 95 percent do not partner locally, and 87 percent do not freelance at all. This will be an interesting statistic to watch in the years to come as the lines between author/publisher/blogger blur and combine even more than they already have.

Lastly, outside of Armchair BEA, bloggers like to be challenged. Reading challenges were the most popular blogging event, followed by blog hops and readathons, BBAW, and readalongs.

So, after all of these mind-numbing charts and numbers, what does it mean for the future of blogging? We are a group of relative newbies, meaning most of the respondents have been blogging for two years or less. Partnering locally, monetizing, and freelancing are - in my opinion - evolutionary aspects of blogging. One needs to get comfortable blogging before expanding beyond their blogs. I see the number of bloggers who partner with their local bookstores or publishers, who start freelancing, and who begin to earn money from their blogs increasing as the new bloggers mature in their blogging comforts. This area, to me, will be the biggest change in future years.

For those who have been blogging longer than two years, community was the top reason for continuing, and this is one trend I do not see changing any time soon. In fact, I see this becoming even more important in the future, as learning about the community is the one aspect about blog hops, readathons, readalongs and even Armchair BEA which excites people the most. We are a friendly bunch and love any opportunity to get to know each other! Once those connections are made through such events, they are only strengthened over time, binding one to the other and building an even stronger sense of community.

However, I do see the idea of community changing and morphing. It used to be that the blogging community was so small, everyone "knew" everyone else. We all read different things, as the opportunities of finding similar niche blogs were fairly limited. These days, however, as the community has grown, there are a lot more of us to go around. We all want to network and work with bloggers with similar interests, and there is no need to network with YA bloggers if you don't read YA or LBGT bloggers focusing on LBGT literature or nonfiction for fiction bloggers or whatever. I predict the community is going to fracture into its individual parts because honestly, it has gotten too big. Sometimes, in order to survive, a group needs to divide into subgroups, and I feel that the book blogging community has reached that point.

The numbers do not lie. More than the books, it is the community which unites us and keeps us blogging. Not only do we learn more about the book industry from one another, we learn more about ourselves and the rest of the world. Together, we truly are making the world a smaller place. 


  1. Wow! these are some great stats :)

  2. Thanks for the stats! It is fun to see it all in black and white. :)

  3. Really interesting! None of that really surprised me, but it is very cool to see the numbers and percentages laid out. I agree about the community fracturing off... I think it's already doing that to an extent, but I think it is necessary. You can't connect with every single person, so it makes sense to break off whether it be by genre or geographically (or both). Nice insights!

  4. I really appreciate the time y'all spent in creating the survey and putting the stats together in an understandable format!

    I'm not surprised by the YA stat - seems like every blog I've been to this week is a YA blog...It's great to see so many people involved in that group but man, has it been overwhelming!

    Anyways, thank you a tremendous bunch for all you've done to make Armchair BEA for 2012 so fantastically amazing!

  5. I love stats. This was all interesting if not surprising in some areas.

  6. Very interesting. Thanks for crunching the numbers.

  7. Thank you so much for putting this together! It is really interesting to see how the numbers play out...

  8. Loving the stats! Been waiting all week to see what the results would be.

    Thanks for taking the time to do the stats as well as the week in general.

    It has been a great experience and I'm already looking forward to next year!!!

  9. Wow, great stats!! (Tried to leave a message earlier, so hope this isn't a duplicate.) The Romance Bandits blog has been around for about 4 years, so seeing all these great numbers is fabulous, and really validates what we do. Thanks!!!