With a quarter of all blog content now being sponsored, it pays to be an influencer
The UK Blogger Survey, conducted by software specialist Vuelio alongside Canterbury Christ Church University, also revealed that four per cent of the 534 bloggers questioned charged more than £1,000 per post.
Shedding light on a world in which the hashtags #spon and #ad have become commonplace, the results show more than a quarter of all blog content is now compensated in some way.
Recent months have seen calls for greater regulation across the paid content industry, as the lines between gifting and sponsored content become increasingly blurred.
Joanna Arnold, CEO of Vuelio, says: “The influencer marketing industry is still in its infancy, so we expect to see further calls for transparency and regulation as it finds its feet.”
In line with these calls, the Advertising Standards Agency and the Competition and Markets Authority have collaborated to create the Influencer’s Guide – a handbook on the dos and don’ts of the advertising industry.
“Bloggers and content creators have had a bad press recently,” says John Adams, author of fatherhood blog, Dad Blog UK. “As a dad blogger operating in a market heavily dominated by women, I was interested to see that female bloggers are three times more likely to charge hard cash for writing blog posts compared to men.”
The survey also revealed that the notoriously crowded lifestyle, fashion and beauty sectors have seen a 14 per cent drop in blog numbers over the last two years.
Despite these findings, influencers affirm the quality and relevancy of their content remains a top priority.
Elle Linton, author of health and fitness blog Keep it simpElle says: “First and foremost, it’s about the brand; are they a good fit for me and my audience demographic, are they a brand I am happy to be affiliated with and do our values align?”
The news comes as the number of full-time bloggers citing blogging as their main source of income has risen 50 per cent year-on-year.
The survey also shed light on the direction bloggers believe the industry will take. Almost a quarter of bloggers surveyed believe blogs will become driven by advertisers’ needs, with 42 per cent believing their audiences will become more sceptical of bloggers’ motives as a result.
Mr Adams says: “As the blogging industry gets more professional, I would also hope us bloggers come together to create a blogging trade association. It’s an industry worth billions and there’s lots of talk among bloggers about it being a supportive community.”