A total of 1,786 UK adults aged 18 and over were surveyed anonymously for the study by Optimus Marketing Performance, which primarily aimed to discover the motivations and reasons behind secret blogs, as well as the most common subjects and themes prevalent within the editorial content of such blogs. Of those taking part in the research, 957 of the individuals were female, and 829 were male.
Participants were initially asked if they kept a blog, which was linked with their name and personal details, and which their family, friends and co-workers would be able to find easily through a simple search on social media or a search engine. Only 37 per cent of those taking part stated that they did.
Respondents were then asked to disclose if they authored a blog which had been created to maintain an online presence but keep strict author anonymity through published content and opinions. Some 11 per cent of those polled admitted to keeping a secret blog , with ten per cent of these individuals simultaneously confessing to keeping a public blog. Of the 11 per cent that confessed to being secret bloggers in the study, 80 per cent were revealed as female.
The self confessed secret bloggers were asked to disclose the motives behind wanting to keep their work anonymous, with the main reasons emerging as follows:
- Embarrassment regarding personal content (weight loss journeys, health/relationship problems etc) – (41per cent);
- Fear of revealing too much information that could harm personal reputation (sexually explicit content, discussions about friends and family members etc) – (34 per cent);
- Fear of revealing too much information that could harm my career/job prospects (opinions regarding co-workers or work-place confessions etc) – (19 per cent)
When asked if they would ever consider sharing their true identity with followers of their blogs, or their family, friends and co-workers, just 22 per cent of secret bloggers admitted that they would do so. Whats more, 43 per cent said that the only way they felt comfortable sharing their opinions and thoughts online would be through total anonymity, and they would discontinue writing if they were ever revealed as the author of their secret blog.