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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 13947
Evaluating blogger credibility - How blog readers perceive the credibility of fashion and lifestyle bloggers and blog content
Author: Mielonen, Ninja
Title: Evaluating blogger credibility - How blog readers perceive the credibility of fashion and lifestyle bloggers and blog content
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; viraalimarkkinointi; viral marketing; sosiaalinen media; social media; blogit; blogs; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; luottamus; trust
Pages: 70
Key terms: blogs; blogit; communication; viestintä; consumers; kuluttajat; marketing; markkinointi; social media; sosiaalinen media
The objective of the study:

Nowadays, with regards to the development of information technology and online communities, bloggers are seen to have a great impact on consumer decision making. While consumers generally perceive blogs as credible information sources and word of mouth is seen to be one of the most effective channels to influence consumer behaviour, the increasing commerciality of blogs has raised discussion about the credibility of blogs and bloggers. In addition, the electronic nature and lack of personal ties in online environment makes it difficult for consumers to evaluate the credibility of electronic word of mouth in blogs. Therefore, the objective of this study is to increase the understanding of eWOM credibility and effectiveness by studying the relationship between bloggers and readers and analysing how readers evaluate the credibility of bloggers and blog content.


The study is qualitative and interpretive in nature since the aim is to gain deeper understanding and identify meanings behind the blogger-reader relationships and blog credibility. The empirical data for the study was collected through 8 semi-structured consumer interviews focusing on young females who are active readers of fashion and lifestyle blogs. The interviews were recorded and transcribed and furthermore analysed based on the theoretical framework, which consisted of previous literature of blogs, eWOM and opinion leadership.

Findings and Conclusions:

The main findings of this research present that social aspects and perceived relationship are the main determinants of blogger credibility. Blog readers tend to evaluate the credibility of blogger and blog content through their previous reputation, which is ensured by building strong relationships that are based on the personality and privacy shared by the blogger. However, findings from this empirical research suggest that the relationship between blogger and reader is a complex entity since opposing to previous literature, blog readers do not actively communicate with the bloggers. In addition, the increasing commerciality in blogs has caused that blog readers nowadays consider more carefully the trustworthiness of blog postings by demanding integrity and transparency in order to evaluate the credibility of blogger and the content.
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