Find the original blog post about the survey here.
Results of the survey:
We did a study amongst prominent local bloggers in the Austin scene to gather data about the community, and here’s what we found (a list of featured blogs are listed below the data):
90% of the bloggers survey were age 30 or older. It looks like the blogging community in Austin is compromised mostly of people who are already established in life. But, have no fear if you’re in your 20’s! There are still young bloggers out there, and you can set yourself apart from the pack by starting today.
Well, the jury has reached their verdict on this one: the blogging scene in Austin is overwhelmingly female. We were also pleased to see that we have non-binary representation as well!
90% of Austin bloggers have had some form of higher education. The majority have a Bachelors or Masters degree, with 20% having studied for some period of time in college without getting a degree (or possibly still enrolled). This is probably a correlation more than causation, as people who go to college end up with better writing skills, making them more likely to start a blog in the first place. But either way, stay in school, kids!
No love for the divorcees, apparently! It could be that people with spouses have combined income, and thus spend less and have more free time to blog. This is just a guess, though! This one remains largely a mystery.
Here’s where things get interesting. As you can see, blogger revenue is all over the map. 1/10 bloggers are making an astounding $5000 or more every month from their blog alone! This should be a huge motivator, imagine what you could do with an extra $5000 every month! That’s a luxury vacation in the Carribean with your partner or friend every 30 days. Pretty awesome.
The most surprising thing about this data is that most bloggers are already making money. We were expecting 50% or more to be making no money from their blog, but we were pleasantly surprised. There’s a pretty even spread of how much revenue Austin bloggers are making, but we have to take a second to give you all a hand for keeping up the hustle. Let’s all strive to be that $5000+ a month blog.
We reviewed a very diverse spectrum of blogs during this study. They range from barely established blogs, to massive local personalities pulling in literally 750 or more readers every single day. Even if you’re in that 50 to 100 category, that’s still a lot of eyes watching your content.
Now our favorite part:
Stay tuned for more updates from Easyway Maid Service, we have some big things coming down the pipeline for you local writers. We’re making blogger outreach and giveaways a much larger part of our day-to-day activity. There’s no downside to connecting with other bloggers, both parties win every time.
Reader giveaways are a critical part of attracting and retaining an audience. Almost every blogger does it, and if you’re not one of those people, it’s time to start! Keep an eye out for our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway later this year.
Again, most bloggers are actively collaborating with others in their area. Reader crossover is a great way to bring in new eyes, and after all, your network is your true net worth. Knowing people in your niche is how you boost your business or site to the next level.
We’ve got some workhorses here. This isn’t a huge surprise; building a website is exciting and sometimes it’s hard to put down the laptop and go outside. More importantly, for some people blogging is a full-time job (how awesome is that?) and it requires a LOT of work behind the scenes in addition to writing and posting content. We have to applaud our participants for their dedication, like anything else in life, you get results when you put in the work.
Do you have a job?
As you might expect, it was mostly the higher-revenue blogs that reported not having a job. For the rest of us, working part-time is a great way to keep the bills at by while also building our audience and putting out great content. This is especially great if you’re in the majority of bloggers that are also married. That two-income household is starting to look pretty good right now… do we hear wedding bells?
4/10 bloggers reported not having any particular financial goal for the future. The other half planned on making a significant chunk of change over the next few years. From the more established bloggers we talked to, many of them also didn’t have any expectation of making money when they started their site. As readership grows, monetizations becomes more and more realistic, and many of these bloggers end up changing their goals as they realize anything is possible!
Writing is hard. Writing online amidst the noise of a million other bloggers is even harder. But, what’s important to remember is that almost every successful blogger spent years making little to no money before they had their breakthrough. You may find that if you put in the hours, you could end up with a much bigger brand than you originally expected.
The most popular method of monetization was sponsorships, by far. Mind you, this chart only shows the favorite monetization method of all the participating blogs. Most blogs reported using both affiliate links, and sponsorships.
Some other creative ways of making money included:
- Digital content sales
- WordPress ads
- Paid blogging
Adsense appears to have fallen out of vogue with bloggers. Readers don’t like in-your-face ads, and most people use AdBlock anyway, rendering this method significantly less effective than it was in the earlier days of the internet. Affiliate links are the easiest and most fundamental method of monetization. There are a lot of great affiliate programs out there, like Amazon’s.
Having an email list is an absolute requirement for blogging in 2018. Direct contact with your readers is consistently shown to be one of the most effective ways to keep readers hooked and potentially driving sales. Social media outreach is great, but emails are a surefire way to convert readers into customers.
90% of bloggers take 2 hours or less to finish the average blog post. While there are often additional research hours put in that aren’t counted here, this goes to show that it is completely attainable to post multiple times a week without dedicating a huge amount of time to it. Many of these bloggers are masters of their domain, and therefore don’t need to do much preparation for an article. If you already have a wide body of knowledge in a niche, you can blast out posts efficiently. To the remained that spend 3+ hours on a blog post, congratulations! We are sure readers appreciate more polished articles as well, it’s just harder to be as prolific.
Keep those readers coming back! Almost everyone is producing 1 or more A lot of these blogs also timed their posts to certain days of the week. Readers will be more likely to come back if they know a new article is posted every Monday and Thursday, instead of random times throughout the week.
Short blog posts are the name of the game. SEO experts will say you *need* 1000 or more words for maximum benefit. This may be true, but the slight SEO boost is not as important as regularly releasing content. Unless you know yourself, and know that you can consistently produce weekly 2000 word articles, we suggest you start with something more attainable like 500 words. Posting consistency is more important than post length. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the technical weeds, but at the end of the day readers want frequent content more than long content.
It’s 2018: we all know our attention spans are shot, anyway.
Few bloggers are regularly updating their previous content. This fits into the theme of the last chart as well: your time is better spent producing new content than refining or lengthening old content. You need to get your 10,000 hours in anyway, so each post you make is a +1 to your writing skill!
It’s a lottery to determine which of your posts will go viral. The ones you love often end up undiscovered, while a random post you didn’t put much effort into ends up linked on Huffington Post and gets 100,000 views. Therefore, the shotgun strategy is the best strategy: keep blasting out content until you find something that sticks.
Half of the participants in our study reported being satisfied, or very satisfied with their current blogging success. 1/10 even report transcending the physical universe due to sheer joy 😉
To those less than satisfied: good! Use that insecurity as jet fuel and take your blog to the next level. While it’s always good to appreciate what you have, our motto is never be satisfied. Always strive for improvement and refinement of your skills. Doing this consistently is what makes a great writer or social media maverick.
Bloggers tend to be control freaks: we never want to let anyone else touch our work, lest it fall short of our audience’s standards. You know what they said: “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”.
That said: the bigger you are, the more you would benefit from having an editor. Even if you think you edit your articles perfectly, it’s always good to have a second pair of eyes. Typos and grammatical errors don’t reflect well on you, and your best bet to reduce that risk is to hire an editor.
Here at Easyway Maid Service, we are huge fans of automation and outsourcing administrative tasks. The less time you spend editing, the more time you can spend producing new, fresh content.
If email lists are the holy grail of closing sales, social media is the best broad marketing strategy to keep your readers engaged. It’s an expectation at this point that you will interact with your readers across Twitter, Instagram, etc. With unprecedented communication technology, you can be fully plugged in to your niche at all times. Back in the day, you’d have to manually reach out to your readers to get feedback. Now with all the world’s information at our fingertips, you can get instant feedback and build relationships with your audience in real time.
If managing all these different social media channels seems like a burden, use a program like Hootsuite to crosspost on all your profiles. There’s no need to manually re-post that new article about the best Texas BBQ when you can use an automation to do it for you.
We learned a lot this year about the most popular marketing channels and monetization methods. The biggest takeaway from the data is that the blogs that put the most time and effort into their site made more money and had more readers. This comes as no surprise, of course, but blogging is a domain where you really get out exactly what you put in.
Social media and email lists are used to keep in touch with readers, and blog posts tend to hover around 1000 words, posted once or twice a week.
Most bloggers in Austin are married, female, and have some form of higher education. Excellent job to the ladies, and to the male bloggers out there: let’s get some equal representation! Pick up those laptops and get to work before we fall too far behind 😉
Most importantly of all, we learned how critical networking is to success. Austin is a small community, in a lot of ways, and you’d be remiss to ignore all the benefits of guest posts, reader giveaways, and other collaborations! Keep an eye out for more content and events like this from Easyway Maid Service.
And make sure to check the participating blogs for referral codes, all of the below blogs have been given a special discount code for their readers!
Featured Participating Blogs:
We had a lot of excellent bloggers take part in our survey this year, but these are the heavy hitters who really made this study work:
Live Grow Play Austin
Founded in 2018, “Unleashed Thoughts” is a unique lifestyle blog which communicates about the innumerable perceptions of a human mind. Considering the intricacies of life, the author offers a refreshing and uninhibited take on every aspect of life (mostly inspired by personal experiences).
The Nueva Latina
Cha Ching Queen
Michael’s Lifestyle Blog ATX
Thanks again to everyone who participate in this year’s survey! If your logo or site isn’t up and listed in this article yet, it’s because we have not received your logo yet. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Olin – Owner @ Easyway Maid Service