Learning about bloggers (Site building study #2)

These are the results of a user research study investigating mental models related to building and customising a website. Results are split across five posts:

Background | Segments: Bloggers · Small Businesses · Site Builders | Conclusions

The research group grouped participants into three segments, based on their current understanding of how people use WordPress. These segments are based on a handful of data points and warrant further study to confirm the categories. For now, these segments allow researchers to group WordPress’ extensive userbase into behavioural categories and learn characteristics specific to each group.

For this study, we focussed on three segments: bloggers, small businesses, and site builders (people who build sites for others). Let’s learn about bloggers first. (Hat-tip to @jarahsames who studied this segment!)

Bloggers wear many different hats: they are the writers, admins, and IT for their websites.


Bloggers are generally self-taught and look online for answers to their technical questions. This can be a pain point when the content they find is either poorly written or too technical for them to understand.

Most of the WordPress controls are very simple and easy to figure out.

Many hats

Bloggers don’t have a full staff to help with their websites. Instead, they are writing, editing, marketing, and acting as their own IT. They need to be very organized if they want to be successful.

[Do you post daily?] No. I wish I did. I only have time for about one post a week at the moment because it takes a bit of time.

Content first

Bloggers want their sites to look good, but the content is more important than format or styling. That said, bloggers spend as much time tweaking the site as they do writing an actual page or post.

I know I’m not going to have a blog that looks as good as Buzzfeed. I don’t want it to look like I threw it together.

From a hobby to a passion

A website is an outlet for a blogger to explore or share a hobby. This exploration reinforces their passion and the blogger finds themselves more invested. Many bloggers would like this to develop further into a professional pursuit.

If this was a product that I was starting to sell, I would probably have to hire somebody to market it for me.


  • Create a website (blog) about a topic they are passionate about.
  • Drive visitors to the site.
  • Find a way to monetize the site.

Pain points

  • Their site represents a hobby, and they don’t have enough time to cultivate it fully.
  • Moving beyond to a professional level presents a significant barrier to entry.
  • Available themes aren’t a perfect match for their content needs.

Typical sitebuilding journey


  1. Find more engaging ways to help hobby bloggers move from part-time to full time. Write tutorials that are easier to read and learn.
  2. Help bloggers find themes or layouts to suit their needs. Teach them about page layouts and how to take advantage of GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/.
  3. Introduce bloggers to the community and make spaces for them to learn from one another.

#gutenberg, #research