Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

22 Why Reasons People Go Online: Which is Your Blog Connecting With?

Posted By Darren Rowse 21st of July 2009 Other Income Streams 0 Comments

This afternoon I came across the results of an interesting study called the Ruder Finn Intent Index which I think makes useful reading for bloggers.

In essence it surveys those going online on the reasons that they go online. Here’s a screen grab of the results (although it’s well worth visiting the site because this chart is dynamic and you can drill down further by clicking on different areas of it).


Overall they classify people’s reasons for going online into 7 broad categories:

  • Learn
  • Have Fun
  • Socialize
  • Express Yourself
  • Advocate
  • Do Business
  • Shop

Interestingly the order they’re listed above is the order from highest to lowest that they found people go online for.

Within the categories ‘pass time’ was the most responded to result with 100% of people saying that they go online for this reason.

You can also look at the results based upon gender and age. For example

  • Men go online to do business, be informed of news and be entertained more than women
  • Women are more likely to go online to socialize and express themselves than men)
  • Youth go online more for socializing, advocating and self expression than seniors
  • Both Youth and Seniors are going online to have fun

Other highly rated areas (80% of responses or more) included:

  • Educate Self (96%)
  • Connect with Others (92%)
  • Research (89%)
  • Share (86%)
  • Be Entertained (82%)

As I read through the categories and sub categories I realized that this list of reasons for people to go online is gold for bloggers looking to improve their blog (or particularly for those starting out and wanting to choose a topic that has every chance of being successful).

I’m constantly talking about how a blog needs to be useful or needs to be fulfilling a need that a potential reader has. Here’s 20+ such needs that people have that a blog can help fulfill. Which one is your blog positioned to connect with.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Ok. I love that chart. It definitely reinforces the need to provide great, high-quality, value added content and help others schieve their goals/solve problems. It also reinforces the importance of building relationships and interacting online, whether it’s on blogs, social networks, forums, or membership sites. But, what I love the most is the focus on fun… if people don’t enjoy your content and have a good time interacting, they’ll leave. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Bang on, however I think most go online as a measure of pleasure :p If you get what i mean!

  3. I think my blog falls into the ‘learn’ section. As it learns people how to make money.

  4. It would be interesting to see an even more detailed breakdown of this information into subject-specific chunks, i.e., “People who are interested in philosophy tend to go online to advocate and express themselves, while people who are interested in news tend to go online to educate themselves and pass the time…” (these are just examples I made up).

  5. Learning is my # 1 reason for going online so I would have to agree with study. Its nice to know so one knows how to target blog post’s.

  6. Thanks Darren! This confirms my post of the two main reasons why people read blogs:

    1. Education
    2. Entertainment

    More info here:

  7. Darren, Thank you for sharing information about this index. I have been blogging for less than 6 months and my blog is about learning and development, so I am very hopeful. Avil http://www.twitter.com/avilbeckford

  8. Great points..

    My blog is about Content Management System. I focus on providing Joomla template ….

    After reading this post I think, I have to start serious planning targeting market segmentation…

  9. Interesting that business is far down on the list. I’m sure 50 other people have noted that as well, but it’s definitely a cue not to miss….

  10. I Can Be Taught says: 07/22/2009 at 8:24 am

    This is perfect. It really tells me that I am sure Heading in the right direction with my newest venture (I Can Be Taught), which is to be an online series proving that anyone can learn.

    I am gearing up for a launch date of Jan 1st, and have been wondering how it will be received.

    This study certainly gives me the answer I needed :)



  11. Really interesting statistics. No surprise though that most people go online to learn.

  12. This is perfect. It really tells me that I am sure Heading in the right direction with my newest venture (I Can Be Taught), which is to be an online series proving that anyone can learn.

  13. Targeted market segmentation is indeed important. My target visitors are bloggers and online copywriters.My business is providing tips and ideas to enhance blogging activity positively and profitably.

  14. I accomplishment bodies see my annual blog/podcast as a way to acquire fun and to learn. But I am consistently afraid that because my interviews covering a avant-garde abuttals of accommodation I may be too scattershot. Still in acclimation to get astute annual accommodation I am all-around to abalienate some specificity in the annual of creating the a lot of entertaining/enlightening blog I can create.

  15. I think they forgot to mention “addiction”

  16. Janet Smith says: 07/23/2009 at 6:17 am

    Good post. I really liked the graph.

  17. HI Darren,
    almost every day i need to visit your Article. so good. Thanks for sharing those valuable informations.

  18. thanks for the chart. I though expression will be the first and most important reason people want to blog. Now I know well about this.

  19. Interesting post Darren! And a very informative one for serious bloggers. Once I know what people are looking for, I can channelise my content to meet those needs.Thanks fo sharing!

  20. Interesting post on the online trends. It’s amazing to see how the social community is expanding. Nevertheless, this part of your post This part reminds me with “No Woman No Cry” :)

    Women (48%) are much more likely than men (39%) to go online to advocate for an issue or position.

  21. Kiran says: 10/08/2009 at 2:28 am

    Nice Post .Very well written. In these internet ruled information world, People go online for myriad reasons. The category of users ranges from Professionals to businessmen, Students to Old people. These categories of people access internet for same and or different reasons. Now a days the score updates of different sports makes sports enthusiast also browse the web for getting the live updates of the scores. Any way wonderful endeavor by you for dwelling in to the reasons to find out the purpose of Internet.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…