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Fully two-thirds (67%) of bloggers say paid sponsored/branded content is their most profitable revenue generator, according to a recent report from Zig Marketing.

Moreover, though 90% of bloggers say they use an advertising network, only 17% say it is their biggest revenue source.

Most bloggers surveyed (60%) charge fees to work with brands or publish sponsored content. Fees range from $25 to $500 for most brand marketing activities, including reviews, giveaways, online events, posting sponsored content, and blogging on a brand's behalf.

The Blogosphere Study surveyed 120 bloggers in various verticals, including DIY, fashion, parenting, travel, entertainment, and lifestyle. Below, additional key findings.

Blog Size

  • Blogs are small; most blogs receive less than 25,000 monthly unique visitors (UVs).
  • 61% of blogs have less than 25,000 monthly UVs. Generally, the longer a blog has been active, the larger its audience is.
  • Not surprisingly, the larger the blog is, the more it charges to publish sponsored/branded content.

Why They Blog

  • Only 26.9% of bloggers surveyed said their primary motivation was to generate revenue. 
  • Blogging as a hobby (28.6%) was the most popular response. Sharing experiences (22.7%) and sharing expertise (15.1%) were also key motivators. 

Revenue Sources

  • Most bloggers are not primarily motivated by money, but 86% do generate revenue from blogging.
  • The top three ways that bloggers generate revenue are paid sponsored/branded content (92%), advertising networks (90%), and blog sponsorships (68%).

About the research: The report was based on an online survey conducted by email from May 6 to 19, 2013. The 120 respondents were from a variety verticals, including DIY, fashion, parenting, travel, entertainment, and lifestyle.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji