A few weeks ago, I did my first ever BLOG READER SURVEY, and asked you all to help me get a better idea of how to engage YOU with more relevant content on my blog. I was cautioned to keep my expectations low concerning feedback, but I have to say, the responses were beyond what I expected for a fairly new blog. Within the first 10 hours, I received over 80% of all the responses, and the last few trickled in over the next few days!
While I've had ample opportunity to read through the results, I'm still in the process of analyzing it for its FULL implications on how I create blog content. But I didn't want to leave you hanging, so without further ado, here's a "reader profile" of the people visiting my blog. (Since the 10-question survey didn't capture every user activity that I've personally observed on the backend of the blog, I’ll add some additional thoughts to fill out the portrait.)
WHO MY READERS ARE:
- A significant number of my readers are female (65%) between ages 25-34 (43%) and 35-44 (25%). The guys (35%) ranked mostly within the former age range, (25-34). While I take great joy in the fact that I'm apparently in touch with my "feminine side", something I'll need to work through in the coming months is how to create content that speaks to the heart of men.
- (51%) of my readers are married and (34%) are single. (15%) are either engaged, divorced/separated, or in a domestic partnership/civil union. This I found interesting because I was under the impression that my content was being read by mostly singles, (that and the fact that I actually gear a lot of my content towards single young adults.)
- The majority of my readers have some college education. (39%) have a Bachelor’s Degree and (23%) have a Master’s Degree. (33%) have "some" college.
- Caucasian make up the majority of my readers (75%), followed by (19%) African Americans. Surprisingly, (0%) Africans. The racial make up didn’t surprise me because it reflects the cultural dynamics of the ministry context in which I’m presently engaged in. The lack of an African readership did come as a shock though. While it doesn’t mean that zero-Africans have actually read the blog, (because they have, and in fact have interacted with me several times in response to content on the blog), it does mean that I’m not speaking in relevant ways to where they are. (Or perhaps I'm not even called to speak to them since I'm so far removed from the culture?). Gotta think/work through that!
- Though a good number of my readers read the blog contents sporadically through the day (41%), it was very telling that (20%) mentioned that they read blog content in the evenings, late at night (20%), or super early in the morning (15%).
- (59%) of my readers have been followers of Jesus Christ (Christian) for 10 years or more. (15%) have been Christians for 7.1 to 10 years and another (15%) have been so for 1 to 3 years.
- Most of my readers described their Church denominational affiliation as either; non-denominational, Evangelical, or “whatever Grace Church is” (Baptist). What I learned from this question that my readers aren’t as pre-occupied with denominational titles as some of us in the Church tend to be.
WHAT MY READERS WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT:
The responses to the question, “What is one thing you wish I would discuss more thoroughly on my blog?” were incredibly insightful. Without listing out every response, let me sum up what I discerned readers were trying to say.
About a third of you indicated that you were satisfied with the theological quality of what I was producing each week and even encouraged me to continue in it. While I have a personal preference for theological heavy lifting in my writing, a large percentage of your responses indicated that you simply wanted to know how to do the “practical aspects of life” (relevant blog content you'd be proud to share online with your non-Christian friend who doesn’t speak Christianese).
As I prayed about it and thought some more about it over the week, an illustration of eating vegetables came to mind. I’d like to think of my weekly blog content as healthy vegetables that are necessary for growth (spiritual maturity). But let’s be honest here, every now and then, you need some bacon! And steak! Heck, even some cheese-fries with chili or a bowl of ice cream on a difficult day can melt your pain away! Right?
So here’s the picture I ended up with during my meditation. Serve up some steamed vegetables to my readers, but for goodness sake, put some bacon strips next to it! Give them a salad, but make it a Chicken Caesar salad! Let them snack on a lean yogurt with some almonds, but later that week, go out for some ice cream! (It was lunch time when I was meditating!)
By no means is this a watering down of the Gospel, nor does it imply that I’m going to bait-and-switch my readers. It was simply a visual illustration that helped me understand how the average reader engages content online; hence, continue writing relevant theological content weekly, but make it relevant to the actual weekly affairs of reader. In fact, based on your responses, I started compiling some potential blog topics that I will at some point address.
Each blog title actually reflects key words that were mentioned in the last two responses of my survey questions. It will take a while to develop content for each, but here's what's in store:
- How to Help a Friend struggling with _____________
- 5 Things Your Coworkers Need from you
- 3 Times I saw the Gospel Live in [Recent Blockbuster Movie]
- My Deepest Fear as a Parent
- When I don't like my [Wife….Husband…]
- 3 Things No one Told Me about trying to _______________
- The Truth about _______________________
- Drink from your own well... (sexual sin)
- 5 Ways to Kill your spiritual mojo
- 5 Ways to reignite your love for _______________
- 10 Things I Wish I knew before I said I do (Marriage preparation)
- 7 Times You Were a Missionary and Didn't know it
- The one thing you must do before making that relationship “official”
- How to agree to disagree with your non-Christian friends
- When the Bible doesn’t make sense
- Dating and Relationships (any theme)
- How to Really Rock at Singleness
- How to Suck Less at Singleness
- Why Boring Church History Matters (and how it’ll affect your Monday)
- When to Leap by Faith and When to take a chill pill
- Why You Should Totally Date Wisdom
- The easiest way to share your faith
- When you and your money have different ideas (Finance)
- Why Fear is really a coward
- I really want my children to love Jesus (even when I don’t get Him!)
- How to win at parenting
As you can see, I have a long journey ahead of me that I'm actually looking forward to! Can't wait!
Before you read the infographic below, I just want to say: If you participated in the survey, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for taking the time to do it! It’s the most important window I have into what concerns and motivates you. I consider it a gift. Most of all, thank you for entrusting me with your time and attention. Now, enjoy!