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!

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