What brought the five of you together?
Most of the team got together in 4th grade. I guess we were somewhat of the dorky kids that really like to dream up ideas and play with computers.
At the end of high school, my brother Daniel Swenson suggested that we should start a bar-community together to get free beer. We gathered our long-time friends (the team) and everyone got very excited about the idea as any 18 year old would be about free beer.
The project never worked out, but we really enjoyed building things together. We decided to pivot to building a fashion community, which we later pivoted to build Bloglovin’.
At what point did you see a need for Bloglovin’? Was there an aha-moment?
Yes! We got the aha-moment when we were building the fashion community and got in touch with Carolina Engman of Fashion Squad, a popular fashion blogger and friend-of-a-friend.
During one of our feedback sessions, she checked if any of her favorite blogs had updated. So she picked up a laptop and started opening 50 of them via her bookmarks. A bunch of new windows flew up in her browser. Some blogs were updated and others weren’t. It was crazy.
We figured that we could build a feed that would show the latest posts from the blogs she followed, and really simplify her fashion blog reading.
Are you surprised by the way blogs have become a source of news for so many?
Yes and no. All of us on the team are all big internet junkies. We’ve grown up with forums and communities. It feels like a natural extension of the internet that people want to read news and ideas from people, and not ”publications”.
You can relate and trust people and build a stronger relationship than with any brand or publication. For news, trusting and relying on your source is very important. We see the same type of trust that happens in fashion is it does in news content.
However, there was no way we could have anticipated that the blogging world would become so gigantic and global as it is. Today you can find blogs that are about anything, all from fashion in Denver, Colorado to car enthusiasts in South Korea. Whatever people are interested in, there’s a blog about it.
How does the site work? Do you have to be a member?
It’s quite simple. You sign up, add any blog you want to follow, and whenever one of them has updated it will show up in your feed, which you can check through the website or our mobile app. Quite similar to a twitter feed, except your feed consists of blog posts from your favorite bloggers.
Are any of the site’s features accessible to non-members?
If you’re not a member, you can still discover blogs via our directory that ranks blogs in various categories after how many followers they have on Bloglovin’. We have category and geographic drop down menus that help users search for new blogs.
You can visit the popular section to see which blog posts are the most popular among our community of 1.7 million members. You can sort it by category, so you can discover the best fashion, food, and interior design posts, for example. We also have an “Up and Coming” feature that allows you to see which blogs are growing really quickly in terms of followers.
There are blogs in many different languages…how do you manage aggregating from so many different countries?
We’ve built the technology such that people can add and follow blogs from any country and language. It’s up to the member to decide which blogs they want to follow. One nice thing is that we notice that borders—especially in fashion blogging—are no longer relevant. Fashion is truly global now, so if you want inspiration from someone in Australia but you live in NYC, it’s easy to find that inspiration by using our search menu.
Is there one country that far surpasses the others for most blog readership?
The US is still the biggest country in terms of blog readership. However, in some countries like in the Nordics, a lot more people read and write blogs. In Sweden for example, every 1 in 4 girls between 18-25 have a fashion blog.
What are the most popular blogs in the US?
It really depends on the category. In terms of #1 across Fashion, Home Decor, and Food, the blogs that lead in terms of followers are: Fashion Toast, Design Sponge, and Smitten Kitchen respectively. We see a lot of growth from blogs like The Man Repeller,Olivia Palermo, Kenza, and Style by Elin Kling, to name a few.
Which category gets the most traffic?
We started off as a fashion blog reader for the most part—we built great relationships with the world’s biggest fashion bloggers. But, we are now moving into other categories. In fact, we have added several new categories to this year’s Bloglovin’ Awards—which will reflect the growth we are seeing in categories like interior design, food and travel.
Is there one that is of most interest to you?
It really depends on who you ask on our team—one person may be really excited about beauty, while another is really excited about food. But, that’s what makes it fun. We all love lifestyle and we are constantly pushing our business to embrace content and taste makers around the world that add a little something extra every day whether that means fashion, food, design, and so on.