What I Learned from My 2016 Reader Survey


I’ve been blogging for over four years, and since 2013, I’ve done a reader survey every year. It’s pretty exciting stuff as I receive feedback from you and all my other readers. I’ve learned it’s one of the best ways to get real, useful, and solid information so I can better serve you each and every year.

And just like last year, the number of people who participated in this year’s survey more than doubled. And also similar to last year, the feedback I received is helping guide the path and content that I’ll create this year. A survey is like my own little blog roadmap that will help me get the results the most important people, you, need from my blog.

Who are you?

One of the biggest questions I have is exactly who are my readers. Who are you and the other people reading my blog? The results this year were pretty surprising, as the demographics in one particular area changed drastically. Here is a picture of my typical readers.

  • My typical reader is a female (62%) between the ages of 35-44 (34%). This has been a significant change from my 2015 survey when the split was 79% male. The age range of 45-54 represents a large portion of my readers (29%) as well.
  • A whopping 93% of my readers are married.
  • More than 50% of my readers have been married at least 13 years.
  • The household income of my readers is split pretty evenly across four income levels ($30k-$50k, $50k-$75k, $75k-$100k, and $100k+). Each income level makes up between 21-23% of readers.
  • Most readers have two kids (29%), with the most common ages of their kids being 13-18 (33%).
  • While my blog is read by people all over the world, most of you reside in the U.S. (90%).
  • The social media network that my readers use most is Facebook (82%).

What are you most interested in?

Once I know who you are, I want to know what you are most interested in, and what areas I can best help you with. I also want to know if there is anything you’d like to see me add to make my blog even more valuable to you. Here is what I discovered.

  • The biggest challenges my readers are facing now involve three “M’s”: managing time (43%), their money (40%), and their marriage (38%). The category of marriage is popular as 83% of readers say they enjoy reading my marriage content most.
  • When asked what readers would like to see me add to my blog, most (42%) said blog content from my wife Stephana. Many said a podcast (33%), YouTube videos (32%), or an interview-based web show (31%) would be something they’d like added as well.
  • The biggest marriage topic readers would like me to discuss more is communicating and connecting in marriage (67%), and the biggest parenting topic was instilling faith in our kids (48%) followed by effective ways to discipline our kids (41%).
  • Most of my readers are Christians (94%), who are affiliated with a church, ministry, or small group (86%).
  • A lot of you (75%) said you are interested in having a marriage event in your area featuring Stephana and me.

What I learned about how I can serve you even better

So what do all these numbers mean? What have I learned? And most importantly, how can I better serve you based on it all? Here’s what I’ve come up with.

  1. Keep focusing on building strong marriages. The most popular category is marriage, one of the biggest challenges was with marriage, the marriage topic desired more is communication and connecting, and the most requested add to my site is content from my wife. By remaining focused on helping couples connect and providing practical examples of how to do so, I’m confident we can keep building strong marriages.
  2. Provide ways to see and hear us more. Podcasts, YouTube videos, and in-person events were three areas requested in large numbers. To me, that says you’d like to experience more than just reading the words I’ve written. We’ve experimented with some of this in the past with the 7 Rings of Marriage Web Show and the online summit. By committing to creating consistent audio and video content in addition to adding more speaking events nationally, we plan to give you multiple ways to receive the content you desire most.
  3. Keep my faith in my content. In addition to most of my readers being married, most are Christian as well. I’ve also discovered I have a decent number of pastors and church leaders. One of the most requested parenting topics was instilling faith in our kids. Faith is obviously very important to my readers, just as it is important to me. This will remain a central and foundational part of all I create, which is consistent with how I try to live my life.
  4. Read more, hear more, and see more of Stephana. As mentioned already, adding content from Stephana was a big request. Many of the most popular podcasts I’ve shared have been interviews with both me and Stephana. The web show and the online summit was co-hosted by us both. Add to this that most of my readers are female, most are married, and marriage is a primary theme here, having both the perspective of a man/husband and woman/wife makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure how this will look, but I’m excited about seeing it come together and seeing you benefit from it.
  5. Help you communicate and connect. A majority of the survey answers point to communicating and connecting. Communicating and connecting with our spouses, communicating and connecting on different levels with our kids, and even communicating and connecting differently with me and the content I create. Many of the open-ended questions pointed to this as well. I’m confident that illustrating this through Stephana and I interacting, as well as sharing the practical lessons to help, will help you connect better and on a deeper level with those who matter most to you.

Good stuff is coming!

Analyzing your feedback confirmed some things I knew were needed, as well as gave me some new ideas to consider and implement. The remainder of 2016 will be exciting as we begin to create and share the things that will be most valuable to you. I hope you are ready and as excited as I am!

Thank you again to those of you who were able to participate in the survey. If you weren’t able to participate, you can still contribute by answering the question below.

[reminder]What can I do that will best help you in 2016?[/reminder]

photo credit: Feedback via photopin (license)

Mar 28, 2016