A week ago this last Sunday I posted an entry asking readers to fill out a survey. My original plan was to prove that a newsletter was worth publishing. The results were an eye-opener for me — in more ways than one.
Later on last week I published another post exclaiming the quiet shock I experienced as the results of the survey came trickling in. The idea of a quarterly newsletter sounded so fine three weeks ago when I was reaching the climax of the first draft of my first novel. I had thought that after a tiny bit of research including the survey and digging into Facebook and Twitter to find out how to work with those two sites in relation to the publication, I’d be all set to write and publish my first edition.
I’m blessed with readers who aren’t afraid of telling me how they feel and what the truth really is. Without their honesty, I’d be following an ill-schemed dream that, most assuredly, would have turned into a big ugly nightmare. In short, I was promptly told the idea of a newsletter in my particular case was nonsensical (good word!).
Even though the notion of a newsletter is thwarted, I have learned some things about my visitors that will hopefully improve my blog posts. If I had just gone by the comments I’ve been receiving for almost the past two years, I would have been misjudging the druthers of my readers. Yes, surveys are a good thing. I just wish I had used other site that offers a free plan other the Survey Monkey. I’m aware that PollDaddy is offered here at WordPress.Com, but, for reasons unknown, I shied away from it. I’ll know better next time.
What I learned from this survey is this:
- Most repeat visitors read my blog whenever a new post is published. There are a few who opt for once per week and a few stragglers who pop in ever now and then.
- Most readers prefer the WordPress Reader, although email subscriptions came in as a close second. No one uses an RSS feed or goes through the social media sites to get alerts of new entries to my blog. (I should have asked how the visitors found out about my blog. Oh well. Such is life.)
- I was taken aback by what types of subjects my visitors are most interested in. As I stated before, if I had gone by the comments, my conclusions would have been so different. In order of popularity:
Struggles about writing
Fictional stories and scenes
Updates on current novel project
I was blown away by the findings. I thought the writers coming to my blog were interested in the progress I’ve been making with my book. Judging from the response to fictional stories and scenes, I’m now questioning my ability to write this book. (Truth be told, I doubt my ability anyway.)
In spite of my initial reaction to the results, I plan to go on pretty much the same with my plans, that is without the newsletter though. After many hours of reflection, I realize that the personal stories are a favorite because I have little, if any, problem writing them. No one knows my life the way I do, right? The struggles with writing, the insights, and the opinions are more of the same, except that they aren’t stories, are they. Well, that’s easy to fix. As for the fictional stories and scenes, I think what is needed is for me to just do a better job on them. Not an easy achievement but definitely worth trying.
The updates on my WiP will be trashed. There’s only two or three chapters left in my first draft anyway. Whenever I get close to the end of that third or fourth draft, I’ll come here to my blog to ask for beta readers. If any of you are really interested in the progress I make from here on out, just ask.
There’s still a full week and a day before Autumn officially starts, but I’m going to start my new blog schedule now. Posts will be published at 1:30pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. I know the time of day is quirky, but it assures me that the entry is more likely to be completely ready with this timetable. It has to do with my inner clock and my daily life. (These times is according to Central Time here in the U.S.)
As with all of my posts, I welcome all comments so start typing out there.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. — Vernon Law