State of Beer Blogging 2013
Beer Bloggers Conference
The first State of Beer Blogging survey was conducted in February and March of 2013 by Zephyr Adventures, organizer of the Beer Bloggers Conference. 260 beer bloggers completed a 32-question online survey and the results are presented below.

Zephyr also operates conferences for wine, food, and fitness bloggers, creates State of Blogging reports for those niches, and will soon release a State of Lifestyle Blogging report. To be made aware when the State of Lifestyle Blogging report is released, please input your email into the Stay Up To Date box on the Beer Bloggers Conference website. If you author a beer blog and wish to be listed on our Complete List of Beer Blogs, please add your blog information on that page.

Part I: The Bloggers

The respondents of the 2013 State of Beer Blogging survey were primarily Citizen Bloggers (85%) with a minority of Entrepreneurial Bloggers promoting their own company (8%) and the remainder connected to breweries or other businesses (7%). Based on the respondents, beer bloggers tend to be from the United States (70%), male (82%), between the ages of 25 and 44 (75%), and either married or living with a significant other (79%). 41% are parents and 93% are employed or self-employed full or part time.

Location of fitness bloggers  Gender of fitness bloggers  Age range of fitness bloggers

Marital status of fitness bloggers  Parental status of fitness bloggers  Employment status of fitness bloggers

Just slightly over half of respondents at 50.4% have no background related to beer blogging while the other half have some related experience. Interestingly, of those who do have relevant experience, this is as likely to be in the fields of marketing, writing, and editing as in the beer industry.


Part II: The Motivation to Blog

When asked, “Why do you blog?”, 89.1% of respondents replied “Beer is my passion.” Four additional answers that drew heavy response included:
Motivation to blog

Passion for beer is by far the most motivating factor driving beer bloggers. Most bloggers do what they do simply because they love good beer. 30.4% hope to turn their blog into a job and only 8.9% who hope to monetize their blog, which is a realistic message many Beer Bloggers Conference attendees have heard over the years: bloggers are not likely to monetize their blog but are likely to gain skills and a reputation that are directly transferable to the beer industry. 8.2% are blogging to promote their own business and 7.8% who blog to promote a brewery or other business, reflecting that most survey respondents are "Citizen Bloggers" rather than entrepreneurial or corporate bloggers.

When asked how bloggers track the success of their blog, the primary answer was simply “personal satisfaction”. Ultimately, a successful beer blog is one that makes a blogger happy. Other items to note:
Juding blogging success

Part III: The Blogs Themselves

A total of 55% of beer bloggers have been blogging between one and four years with just over 30% blogging for more than four years. This means a full 85% of respondents have at least one year of experience and only 15% have been blogging for less than one year.

How long bloggers have been blogging

When asked to characterize their blog, there was relative equality between the various types of subjects covered in a beer blog. B
rewery stories, beer travel stories, beer reviews, and coverage of the beer industry are all covered in most beer blogs. Beer & food pairing are covered in 51.6% of blogs, and only 13.2% of beer blogs post about spirits. Interestingly, 28% of beer bloggers do not even review beers on their blog and most include other subjects - an important part of making a beer blog interesting to readers.

Type of fitness or health blog

Part IV: Social Media

Almost all bloggers engage in social media and, as presented earlier, many indicate social media is an important indicator of how they judge success. In terms of engagement, Twitter leads with 87% of beer bloggers using it, followed by Facebook and Google Plus.  Pinterest is only used by 15% of beer bloggers.

Use of social media by fitness bloggers

In terms of effectiveness, bloggers clearly consider Twitter to be the most effective social media platform in promoting their blog, followed by Facebook.  Google Plus, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn all lag behind, with Google Plus drawing a strong reaction for the least effective platform.

Effectiveness of social media on blogs

With regard to Twitter and Facebook, the effectiveness of the platform ties into the number of followers/fans on the platform. Beer Bloggers have an average of 1867 Twitter followers and 1187 Facebook fans. The data below is presented without a minor number of statistical “outliers”, those with significant more followers in a certain area then their peers. For example, one blogger reported having 231,644 Twitter followers; the next highest count was 46,000.

Numbers of social media followers

Part V: Traffic and Profitability


The average number of unique visitors per month to beer blogs is over 5,665. This number should be used with care, since each blogger might be getting numbers from different sources and with varying degrees of accuracy. Furthermore, the numbers are skewed because of some very low numbers and some very popular blogs, with a range of five visitors per month to 200,000. The median number of unique visitors per month is 1,000.


73.4% of respondents said they do not make any money at all from their beer blog and another 21.1% make less than $200 per month. Clearly, most beer bloggers are not doing this for the income they receive and many do not even attempt to monetize their blogs. Only 1.2% of beer bloggers are making anything close to an annual salary (over $2,000 per month).

 Profitability of fitness blogs

Of those who do make some money from their blogs, the most successful method is obtaining paid writing gigs. Consulting on beer or social media and direct ad sales are somewhat successful. Other traditional ways to monetize a blog such ad networks (Google AdWords), affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts do not have great rates of success for the beer blogger. This shows that often the most successful way to monetize a blog is to leverage a blog’s credibility and a blogger's newfound skills to create off-blog sources of revenue (like writing or consulting) or, as indicated earlier, to move from blog to industry job.

Effectiveness of blog revenue streams

Part VI: What Has Changed in Beer Blogging

We asked a general question: What has changed since you first started blogging?

  • Almost all bloggers are spending more time on social media.
  • Many are reading more blogs, using more photos in their blogs, and writing longer posts.
  • The only thing that beer bloggers are doing less is updating their blog more often (only by a slight margin of 2%)
What has changed in fitness blogging

Part VII: Beer Blogger Conferences

The Beer Bloggers Conference runs two conferences annually (one in North America and one in Europe). 77% of survey respondents have never attended a beer bloggers conference. When asked what is most important in determining whether a blogger would attend a conference, the most important factors were cost,
whether the timing fits into a blogger’s schedule, and the quality of the speakers and content.

Attendance at fitness and health blogger conferences

Also of interest is that bloggers who attend a beer blogger conference have greater impact and have experienced greater success than those who don’t.
  • Bloggers who have attended a conference have 36% more unique visitors per month to their site than non-conference attendees
  • Bloggers who have attended a conference have 2.9 times more Twitter followers and 1.8 times more Facebook followers (see below)
  • Because so few beer bloggers make money from their blogs, there is virtually no difference in success of monetization between conference attendees and those that have not attended a conference.
Effectivness of attending conferences

It is not clear whether more successful bloggers attend conferences, whether conferences produce successful bloggers, or both but we do believe any beer blogger who wishes to improve his blog, gain more readers and social media followers, or convert his blog into an industry job should plan to attend the Beer Bloggers Conference.

About This Survey
The State of Beer Blogging Survey is conducted by Zephyr Adventures, operator of the Beer Bloggers Conference. Zephyr also operates conferences for wine, food, and fitness bloggers; creates State of Blogging reports for those niches; and will soon release a State of Lifestyle Blogging report that compares these niches. To be made aware when the State of Lifestyle Blogging report is released, please input your email into the Stay Up To Date box on the Beer Bloggers Conference website. If you author a beer blog and wish to be listed on our Complete List of Beer Blogs, please add your blog information on that page.