Bloggers are predominantly female, often earn from their blogging, and frequently find approaches from the communication industry irrelevant, according to the first IPREX Blogbarometer survey, conducted by EMEA member firms part of the international PR network IPREX, along with one Asia-Pacific firm and one from the US.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of the bloggers surveyed were women, although there were differences internationally: in the US, the figure was 92 percent, while in Germany two-thirds were men. On average, the bloggers surveyed were 33 years old, with the oldest in Germany (40), and the youngest in the Czech Republic and Finland (31).

The blogs had an average readership of over 28,000, although 22 percent had fewer than 500 readers. A third (34 percent) of blogs were over five years old, while only 4 percent were under a year old.

The main blog themes were
• Fashion, style and clothes (15 percent of those surveyed, but 31 percent in Italy)
• Food and beverage (13 percent)
• Beauty (13 percent)
• Travel (12 percent)

Bloggers generate their material mainly through their “own experiences and thoughts” (87 percent) and current events, issues and news (72 percent). Bloggers found 40 percent of their material from press releases or product samples from the communication industry. The majority (72 percent) said they had been approached for PR or marketing reasons—and 34 percent said they were contacted daily.

These approaches were much more frequent in the USA (97 percent of bloggers said they were targeted) and Finland (94 percent), compared with 48 percent in Slovenia and 34 percent in the Czech Republic. In addition, 47 percent received invitations to company events, though only 30 percent of bloggers received photos or other images.

Two-thirds (65 percent) of bloggers viewed these approaches positively and would like more, but there were many complaints about the irrelevance and quality of much of the contact work from the communication industry.