One of the aspects of running blogger conferences is we tend to have a bird’s eye view of blogging communities, in contrast to the ground-level viewpoint one would have as a blogger. Following are a few observations about the state of beer blogging, composed in part from our role running the beer, food, and wine bloggers conferences.
1. There are at least 515 “Citizen Beer Bloggers” in North America (including bloggers connected to the press). (Edited: Now up to 547.) We define citizen beer bloggers as those who blog about beer or the beer industry and whose blog is not designed to promote a brewery or other business. There are another 45 beer examiners on examiner.com, at least 78 English-language beer blogs in other countries, and probably hundreds of brewery-related beer blogs. These statistics compare to an estimated 1000 wine blogs and 12,000 food blogs. See our Complete List of Beer Blogs.
2. The average Alexa rating of the citizen beer bloggers signed up for the November 5-7 Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder is 7.9 million. This means the average blog popularity places it as the 7.9 millionth most popular website on the internet. The average Alexa rating of attendees at the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference was around 6 million and at the most recent International Food Bloggers Conference was around 4 million. In an unscientific observation, we have found many beer blogs to have an improving Alexa rating in the past few months.
What do these two items tell us? There are fewer beer bloggers than there are either wine bloggers or food bloggers and the beer blogs, on average, have fewer visitors. But that might be changing.
3. When one searches for “beer journalist”, in quotes, Google returns 4,620 results. “Food journalist” returns 20,000 and “wine journalist” returns 32,400. This shows the trade of beer journalism is not nearly as established as that for wine. We think this means the opportunity for beer bloggers to have an impact is great. If there is no established trade for beer journalism, the public might easily seek out beer bloggers for advice.
4. We have found citizen beer bloggers in 44 states and 3 provinces. We have not found beer bloggers in Arkansas, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma (edited: Nick from The Thirsty Beagle is from Oklahoma), West Virginia, and Wyoming. Nor in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, or the Yukon. We haven’t specifically looked in these states and provinces, so please point us to bloggers who reside there so we can add them to our list! The greatest concentrations of citizen beer bloggers are in California (46), New York (32), Oregon (29), Illinois (26), Texas (22), and Colorado (20).
5. There are at least 52 female citizen beer bloggers in North America and likely more, since we don’t have names next to all the blogs. This is about 13% of all citizen beer bloggers, taking into account multiple authors at some blogs.
6. Over 100 beer bloggers do not provide their name on their blog and well over 200, or approaching 50%, do not provide an email address (although some of these have a contact form). We understand the desire for privacy but think 1) you should be proud to be a beer blogger and 2) providing contact information allows breweries, other bloggers, the public, and even potentially beer magazine editors to contact you. We strongly encourage you to provide your name, location, and contact information on your blog as it will help you connect to the connectedness of the internet!
7. 191 blogs or fully 40% do not have a distinct URL but instead use a URL at a blog hosting site, most prominently wordpress.com and blogspot.com. We understand this is an easy way to start. However, when you are ready to move up in terms of professionalism, consider purchasing your own URL (that matches your blog name) and hosting package. A URL costs less than $12 per year at GoDaddy.com and a hosting package is only $4/month. You can install WordPress on your site and then usually transfer your existing site automatically to the new one.
8. And finally a few more hints for beer bloggers, based on our constant contact with blogs. First, choose a niche. Don’t just write a general beer review site but write about beers in your local area, a certain type of beer, beer marketing, or whatever really interests you. Second, once you have a good name and URL, spend the time (or bribe a buddy) to create a good logo and look for your blog. Third, blog at least weekly. Fourth, visit and comment on other blogs. Fifth, contact your local breweries to set up a tasting and then alert all breweries when you write about their beers! They are happy to know and will often link back to you.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment here. And if you did not receive an email from us today (September 8th), please contact us and let us know who you are so we can add you to our Complete List of Beer Blogs.
And now a pitch for you to attend the Beer Bloggers Conference. If you blog only for your own reasons and don’t really care about reaching more readers or connecting with others in the beer industry, then the conference is probably not for you. If, however, you are interested to improve your blog’s look, your writing, your technical knowledge, your number of visitors, or your interactions with the beer community, you should definitely attend the upcoming Beer Bloggers Conference, November 5-7 in Boulder. It’s well worth your time and money – don’t sit out this momentous turn of events in the beer blogging community.