What blog readers really want – Survey results, Aug 2010

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The ideal blog architecture revealed?

I’ve been running a survey on my blog this week, attempting to get a clearer picture of what people want from it going forward.

Thanks to a really solid response, I not only have that insight, but some really interesting feedback about the general DNA of an ideal blog.

Below are the key findings from the survey as well as the raw data, I think you’ll find it pretty useful…

What blog readers really want – Results

The big findings (outlined below) tend to indicate that when it comes to blogs, the human connection and ‘realness’ they exude play a huge role in success.

The big general findings:

  • Nearly 70% or respondents feel that 2-3 new posts per week is the ideal amount (only 4% were hungry for new content daily)

  • 70% of new blogs are discovered via Twitter / Facebook, with only 1% discovered via active subject searches

  • Interaction with the blog author(s) is a huge element in blog loyalty / engagement – only 7% of people want a ‘contact-less’ relationship with their favourite blogger

  • Interestingly, while video is recognised as one of the best ways to connect with an audience, only 8% or respondents consider video content as a vital element of a blog’s DNA.

  • When it comes to sharing, we seem to put the interests of our networks ahead of our own (see question 4 results below)

The big PR / comms-related findings:

  • Practical, evidenced-based content is the most desired with nearly 50% of people stating that the level of usefulness and practicality is what makes a PR / comm blogs stand out from the crowd

  • This is backed up by 20% of people saying that case studies are hugely valuable (second only to tools and tips posts which came in at 25%
  • Link round up posts scored quite poorly, with only 3% of respondents indicating that they are the type of posts they are most interested in receiving

  • As far as capacity goes, people tend to have space for up to seven blogs on regular rotation (66% of total) while people who read more than eight blogs regularly formed the minority at 34%

What can we take from these findings?

Without any previous data to benchmark these results against it is hard to ascertain whether certain trends are emerging or not.

Nevertheless, some interesting results have definitely popped up.

I’ll now hand the raw data over to you to see if there are any nuggets / learnings you want to explore in greater detail.

Feel free to use the data as you see fit (but please credit the source if you do).

Thanks again to everyone who took part – hopefully this data comes in handy for everyone.


P.S I will announce the winner of the £50 Amazon.com gift voucher next Monday, 9 August.

NOTE: I can’t reiterate enough how small this survey is (as far as sample size goes) and that it has primarily been completed by PR / comms professionals.


  • Reply August 5, 2010


    Some interesting reading. I don’t know quite what it tells us… Maybe it’d be worth repeating on a semi-regular basis to see if people’s views change over time?

  • Reply August 5, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    I agree – it needs to be conducted every 6 months but some nice lil nuggets all the same.

  • Reply August 5, 2010

    Paul Sutton

    I think this is fantastic, mate. The findings such as 2-3 posts per week, most discovered via twitter/facebook, engagement levels & reasons to share aren’t at all surprising, but they DO vindicate popular wisdom.

    The things that stand out for me are a) only 4% of people really want to read interviews (yours on Tribal Boogie tomorrow is now binned…), and b) so few people read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to about 50 at any one time…but I’m clearly in the majority!

    Nice work, dude!

  • Reply August 5, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    I noticed the interview figure too – important to remember balanced and varied content is just as important as always featuring how-to posts and advice.
    Small sample, nothing to benchmark against but some decent insights all the same.

  • Reply August 5, 2010


    This is invaluable to me as I run a number of blogs for my clients. It is integral to seeding articles online into places their audiences hang out.

    My own blog on my website demonstrates a definite decrease in traffic and increase in bounce rate if I don’t blog for a while.

    It’s the best way of providing fresh content for search engines as you all know. But none of this really means anything if people aren’t engaging with it.

  • Reply August 6, 2010


    Great stuff matey

    Very helpful. Like others have said, I’m not sure this tells us anything drastically new, but does to an extent confirm stuff that we all assume but have little evidence for.

    Let us know if you are going to do it again and we’ll get the survey out to a larger sample!

  • Reply August 9, 2010

    Tracy Gold

    Great information, and very helpful for someone like me who is just starting out. Thanks!

  • Reply August 10, 2010

    Justin Kownacki

    Sounds about right, based on my own experience.

    Of course, are these results specific to the readers of *your* blog, or of PR & MKTG blogs in general? (Or of blogs as a whole?)

    Those of us who try to better understand what our readers want would probably benefit from a way to pool our various data together and get a broader picture of the blogosphere as a whole. (Although sources like Nielsen seem to think they do that for us…)

  • Reply August 21, 2010

    Ashley White

    This is such an interesting blog post. I think it was a great idea, on your part, to conduct the different surveys. In my Public Relations Writing class, along with some other PR classes, knowing what the community/consumers want is crucial to any kind of PR, product, etc. If a company (or in your case, a blog author) does not know what society is wanting or the latest fads, then their efforts to grasp the people are worthless. I am sure that your survey greatly helped you to know what to continue to blog about, and what to not discuss.

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