A big thank you to everyone who took my reader survey this past week! There were 42 responses total, though I threw one out because the person wrote some really nice comments intended for Melissa at Permission to Live, who is an awesome blogger but is not me :)
I especially appreciated those of you who took the time to write comments, some of which I'll share below. It was helpful to get a clearer picture both of who's reading the blog and of what you're getting out of it.
The reader demographics were close to what I suspected, but it was good to get confirmation. Here are the stats on FPL readers (based on those who responded):
- 90% are female
- 93% are straight/heterosexual
- 83% live in the United States
- 49% are married or engaged, with an additional 5 people (12%) in a long-term or life partnership
- 12% have children
Two-thirds of you are in the 25- to 34-year-old group:
I was honestly a little bit surprised that 80% of you not only believe in a higher power but belong to an organized religion:
And I was more surprised that 18 people said they identify as Catholic, since I have only a few regular commenters who have mentioned being Catholic. Other common responses were non-denominational (4) and Lutheran (3).
Most of you are bloggers or former bloggers, and based on the comments I think most (if not all) of the non-bloggers are my friends and family members:
Another surprise was how many people originally found me through 20SB, since I haven't been on there in forever. Other than that, people most commonly found FPL through a comment I'd left on another blog, through another blogger linking to me, or through my personal Facebook page (friends and family).
The most popular post topics were
- Christianity in modern culture (30)
- Faith/belief (27)
- Marriage -- making marriage work (24)
- Privilege and social justice (22)
A few responses to "Are there any topics I haven't written about that you wish I would?"
All the ways you aren't perfect- I know there have to be some!
[ALL the ways?? That might take a while...]
I know you didn't kiss Mike until you were married (and I don't think you'd been kissed at all prior to that), but I don't think you've ever said exactly why you waited for that. I did go back through your dating/engagement posts, but I could have missed it. I was wondering your reasons--if it was something like you didn't want to start down a road to sin or wanted to live a life that was 100% chaste before marriage? Did anyone give you that idea or did you come up with it on your own? I don't know anyone else who waited to kiss until they were married besides those shows on TV, so I am interested in the reasons behind the decision.
[I mentioned it briefly here and sort of here but could write more about it.]
Some responses to "What do you like best about reading Faith Permeating Life, or what do you get out of it?"
I like that you're not afraid to share what you believe. You seem to think very carefully about the opinions you form, which comes across in your writing. You also seem quite open to a variety of other opinions.
seeing an approach to religion that really is open to reason and science, rather than rationalizing why the religion's claims don't match up with science/evidence
You have a moderate, reasonable Christian perspective. You're not homophobic, I'm assuming that you're not bigoted, and you don't scream your opinions at people. That's become increasingly rare in the public arena, where believers are portrayed as all of those things (although I could be stereotyping Christians a bit). It makes me think of a quote my mom told me: "Be a spiritual fruit, not a religious nut".
You are a very articulate writer and create well organized and well thought-out points of view, with citations. You invite dialogue.
And responses to "What suggestions do you have that would make Faith Permeating Life better?"
You can be a funny person. Maybe a few more "lighter" posts?
Upon looking over your "What Marriage Means to Me" series, I assume most of the posters are straight, white women. I like the diversity of their views and experience on marriage, but would love to hear from, say an LGBT person or person with a disability.
[I would love that also! I was supposed to get a submission from the gay friend who helped me come up with the series in the first place, but he backed out, as have some other friends. Suggestions for soliciting more diverse viewpoints -- or more guest submissions generally?]
Could you talk more about resolving issues in other relationships, not just marriage?
[The honest answer here is that too many friends and family read my blog, I try not to write about work, I get Mike's approval on most posts involving him, and when I tried writing about some family members previously it went badly. So I'd like to, but... it's tricky.]
----Interesting stuff, huh? If you didn't get a chance to take the reader survey yet, your feedback is still more than welcome!
I will probably be switching up my posting schedule again soon, once I land a job and figure out which days will work best. Even if no one even knows I have a posting schedule, I like having a regular schedule to keep me writing. Currently my posting schedule is Wednesday and Friday, with (non-existent) marriage guest posts on Monday.
I'd love to start up a new guest post series since What Marriage Means to Me died out -- any suggestions? Given that my posts about religion and faith seem to draw the most readers, something along those lines might be good.
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. I sincerely appreciate all your feedback, and it will make me a more informed blogger going forward. You all rock!