State of Beer Blogging 2013
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.
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
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
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.
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
asked, “Why do you blog?”, 89.1% of respondents replied
“Beer is my passion.” Four additional answers that drew
heavy response included:
have a voice so I can say what I want to say (53.7%)
- To create a name for myself in the beer world (50.2%)
- Writing is my passion (41.6%)
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:
satisfaction, what makes a successful blog is whether people are paying
attention: the number of unique visitors, sharing of their content via
social media, the number of Twitter and Facebook followers, and the
number of comments left on the blog. Google Plus does not yet score
highly will but probably will next year.
- Revenue is not an indicator of satisfaction for the vast majority of beer bloggers.
such as incoming links and RSS subscribers are not very important.
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.
When asked to characterize their blog, there was relative equality
between the various types of subjects covered in a beer blog. Brewery 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
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.
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
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
peers. For example, one blogger reported having 231,644 Twitter
followers; the next highest count was 46,000.
Part V: Traffic and
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.
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).
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.
What Has Changed in Beer Blogging
asked a general question: What has changed since you first started
all bloggers are spending more time on social media.
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%)
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.
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
who have attended a conference have 2.9 times more Twitter followers and 1.8 times more Facebook followers
- 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.
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.