BlogHer, a network of mostly female bloggers and readers, took a look at both the general online population and its collection of more than 2,500 blogs and 25 million bloggers and readers.
Among its findings, 97 percent of its respondents — mostly women — said they trust the information and advice they read from the blogs they’re familiar with, and 80 percent of its respondents said they have purchased something based on a recommendation from a blog, compared with 53 percent of general active blog readers.
Respondents cited several reasons for depending on blogs for reviews: 73 percent said that the bloggers they follow have similar attitudes and opinions, 58 percent said that they feel they know the bloggers like a friend, and 57 percent said that they have been reading the blogger for a long time and find that they share similar tastes.
The top three categories for reviews and recommendations were food and beverage, clothing and shoes, and movies. To a slightly lesser extent, they also turn to bloggers for advice about cosmetics and beauty, music, and consumer electronics. Sweepstakes, at 58 percent, were also a large driver for online advertising, much more so than banner ads (25 percent) and video ads (24 percent).
In addition, in looking at BlogHer’s audience, it found that unemployment is lower than the general population while small business ownership is greater.
What can we learn from this report? Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare have been getting a lot of attention in the social media space recently, but for small business owners looking to market their products or services to women, it’s important to reach out to bloggers, too, as their endorsements still carry a lot of weight and can help drive sales and awareness.