Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 State of the Blog Address

Thanks to everyone who took my reader feedback survey a couple of weeks ago. I found the info fascinating. Here are some of my results:

1. Reader Demographics

Haven't you ever wondered who's reading?

Since I'm a Christian and a mom, when I first started blogging, I aimed my site toward Christian mommy bloggers. Unfortunately, I had a hard time gaining a foot hold in that demographic.

Then I discovered book bloggers. When I started Edgy Inspirational Romance, I had no idea there was such a huge community of people who blogged about books. I thought I'd be the only one!

Here's how my audience breaks down. I estimated about 75% of my followers were readers and 25% writers, so I was pretty close. I am surprised that I have so many visitors who aren't bloggers at all. I didn't really read blogs until I started writing one myself.

96% of my readers identify as Christians and those that don't said they visit because of the "friendly atmosphere" and "it's different in a good kind of way."

2. Reader Interests

I asked participants to rate how interesting they found these types of posts on a scale from 1-5. The results were surprising.

Clearly, book reviews are the main event around here. But I'm surprised that personal posts made such a strong showing. I can count on one hand how many of those I've written. Based on these results, I'll make a point of sharing more about my life in the future.

What was truly shocking is how low the Author's Studio posts were rated. The survey results don't match the statistics I see on Stat Counter either. The Outside the Author's Studio posts get some of my highest hits, especially when combined with a giveaway or when the author pops in to respond to comments.

I also polled participants on their favorite genres:

3. Reading and Buying Habits

I wanted to know if blogging about books translates into actual sales so I asked:

Have you ever purchased a title based on a review or author interview seen here?

34% responded "Yes, I have purchased books based on your content."
66% responded "No, I have not purchased books (but may have sought them from other sources like the library or paperbackswap)"

I didn't expect as many as 34% of participants would check yes. I figured if most of my readers were other book bloggers, they'd get their books for free. But from my results it seems book bloggers also buy a lot of books.

I would love to know if authors ever notice spikes in their sales that correlate with blog appearances or reviews. Not my blog in particular, but in general. Feel free to email me if you'd like to share some numbers.

I make a conscious decision to promote e-books. So I asked:

How often do you read e-books?

50% of responses indicated "never" or "one book every couple of months." (Joy faints here).

There is clearly more work to do in this area. I'm on a mission to convert you all. :)

4. Final Words

Some of the great comments I received:

"I enjoy your reviews, but actually the thing I enjoy most about each of your posts is your personality. That's why I stick around!" (I'm blushing.)

"Your blog is fun, fresh, and relevant."

"I love your blog posts and enjoy your sense of humor. Visiting your blog is like visiting an old friend." (Yay! Exactly the vibe I'm going for!)

Re: the blog design:

"Taste is personal, but I'd like something a little more romantic."

(LOL! Can you believe initially I told my designer I didn't want her to use any hearts at all? I'll keep this in mind if I ever go for a redesign.)

"I think it's user friendly. The google search is what I use most often when I'm not simply reading a blog, and it's close to the top."

Thanks for reading everyone!


  1. what a fun break down! That is so interesting you were able to get all that info! Great job!

  2. Hey JOY! Very interesting indeed! You don't have to convince me to read the Ebooks! I am LOVING my IPAD and have the Kindle APP. It is far better than my Kindle because it is in color and keeps the books in alphabetical order rather than in the order I purchased or downloaded them!

    Let me know what I need to do about the Questions for the book club and Crossing Oceans ok! :)

    Love ya :)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing that! I LOVE the author posts, so don't stop them anytime soon!

  4. Wow. How cool. It was kinda fun reading this :)

  5. Looks like you had fun analyzing your results. I was surprised encouraged to see so many readers liking romantic suspense and historicals--two of my favorites. Love the pie charts!

  6. Interesting Survey, I love your analysis and commentary. I'm an author and I have seen sales spike when I do an interview or giveaway with a fellow blogger. Especially for my ebook.

  7. Thanks for stopping by Casey, Katie and Juju!

    Loren- I have decided I'm gonna get the iPad eventually too. Right now, I read books my phone using the Kindle, Nook and iBooks apps. I can't imagine only doing either the Nook or the Kindle, so the iPad seems like the best choice.

    For book club, schedule your post for the 29th. Then that morning, check over at Lydia's blog (link in my left sidebar) for the McLinky. Glad you're joining us!

    Hey Renee Ann- I found a great little website to make those pie charts. It'd be great for the classroom too. Here's the link: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/

    Myne-Thanks for sharing that info, I'm filing it a way in the vault (for when I get published). :)

  8. I'm really surprised that contemporary romance isn't a higher percentage! And romantic suspense is higher than I would have thought. Very interesting! :)

  9. I'm slowly, but surely, working my way over to ebooks, and while they're tons more convenient, having an actual book in my hands is something that I'll never pass up. However, I did get a Kindle for Christmas, and my hubby is thrilled that I'm passing along some of my print books just to have some freed up bookshelf space!

    I've only been a follower of your blog for a couple of months, and when I filled out the survey, I didn't even know what Outside the Author's Studio was until your Kristin Billerbeck post last week. After book reviews, the Studio posts would be a close second for what I'm becoming a fan of on your blog. :o)

  10. @Bluerose- I was surprised by how high romantic suspense turned out as well. I think I need to review more in that category. I LOVE contemp. romance, it's my favorite of all the genres.

    @Christy- I wondered if people weren't sure what the Studio posts were. That probably explains the lower votes. Enjoy your kindle!

  11. Obviously the historical authors PAID BIG BUCKS to have their handsful of readers check that box...


    We all know contemps do it better. It's in the shoes... You know what I mean. And in the end, it's all mathematical.


    I bet that Mary Connealy woman stopped by and voted a butt-zillion times.

    She's like that. Always padding her stats.



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