Perhaps a 2014 resolution for me should be to gain readers in Africa and South America. I say that because among the dozens of responses to my survey requesting feedback on what to write about in 2014 were readers from the other four occupied continents. I also suppose the time of day I make posts go live isn’t so important when readers are so geographically scattered. To paraphrase an expression I heard uttered more than once last week while in Key West, Florida, “Whenever I publish a post it will be 5 o’clock somewhere.”
Thank you for everyone who participated in the survey! I learned a lot about all of you and what you value here at The Artist’s’ Road. In case you’re curious as to the results:
- It turns out the survey participants were an even mix of new readers, long-haul loyalists, and everyone in between.
- What has become my default posting schedule–about once a week–was overwhelmingly favored by readers. (Several emphasized in the open comment portion that they didn’t want me to feel obligated to write something just to write it, but instead write when inspired; I liked that advice.)
- There wasn’t tremendous enthusiasm expressed for frequent guest posts. About 2/3 of respondents said either once a month or once every two to three months worked; only 6 percent favored guest posts as frequently as once a week. Like the bullet above, the inclination here matches my current pattern. (Side note: I receive about 5 requests a week to write guest posts, but they are almost never from actual readers of the blog.)
- The most fascinating breakdown was on what type of post most resonated with readers. A plurality of the vote–40 percent–went to posts about the challenges and rewards of living an art-committed life. Just behind that at 34 percent was exploration of the creative process, and 23 percent for instructional posts on creative writing. (Only 3 percent wanted more posts on how to blog!) I suspect that percentage breakdown mirrors the frequency with which such posts appear on The Artist’s Road, so that works out well.
It’s hard to summarize the comments, other than to say they were fantastic. I’m so glad I provided that option. For the most part they told me to keep doing what I’m doing (which the numbers above also suggest in a more quantifiable way.) There were expressions of gratitude and acknowledgments of the time and effort I put into the blog, which I greatly appreciated. And if I can be a bit boastful for a moment, a number of the comments echoed this one: “Just keep being you…whatever pops into your head to wonder and write about is always interesting.” Most of my posts come about because a question comes to my mind and haven’t completely worked out an answer, so this suggests I should keep expressing my own intellectual curiosity in the raw, so to speak.
Thank you again to all of you who took the survey, and of course a great big thank you to all of you for being a part of The Artist’s Road community. Together we’ll make this the blog’s best year yet!