A Revealing Blogging Survey

Syndicated

A blog post about blogging habits. How meta of me.

The first 100 people to click a survey link I recently posted brought into focus some questions I'd pondered about our shared avocation: blogging. The results revealed a few things that I didn't expect -- one being that respondents came from 11 countries on 5 continents.

What?? No Antarctica?

I asked a non-representative sample of bloggers (we all know this community is a cut above) questions regarding:

  • the relationship between the amount of time and energy you put into the post and the amount of attention it generates
  • whether you are a net giver or receiver of comments
  • the tendency for bloggers to have kept a diary or journal
  • which comes first, the title or the post?

So what did we learn?

1. Relationship between time and energy into creating a post and the response to that post:

  • 26% reported a direct relationship (more effort = more response).
  • 58% of you say there’s no relationship between the energy you put into a post and the response it garners.
  • 16% reported an inverse relationship (more effort = less response and vice versa).

One respondent said: Sometimes posts that I took enormous pains over sank without a trace. Sometimes posts I dashed off (usually in a temper) garnered dozens of comments. And sometimes, vice versa. I still don't quite understand it.

And this comment is quite insightful: It seems to be more the amount of EMOTION and energy, rather than time and energy.

Bottom line for a 84% of us? Don’t try so hard!

2. Comments, giving and getting:

  • 19% of you lament that you give waaay more than you get
  • 34% say you give more than you get, but that it's not outrageously out of balance
  • 27% consider yourselves even-steven
  • 15% of you confess you get more than you give, but that it's not terribly imbalanced
  • 5% of you admit you get waaay more than you give

So more than half of you are net givers but only 20% of you are net getters. Hmmmmm.....

This comment both helps to explain the anomaly and to dismiss it: My blog is quite small, and the number of blogs I follow is larger, so I think at times I definitely give more comments than I get, but hey, who's counting?

Suggestion: Check out the monthly ICLW for an organized commentathon.

3. Journaling as a precursor to blogging:

  • 77% say you had never faithfully journaled or kept a diary prior to blogging
  • 23% say you considered yourselves a journaler or diarist before embarking on your blogs.

This result surprised me. Not that more people didn't journal, but that so MANY more people didn't journal. When I asked this same question back in 2008, the results were statistically even.

Because of my own experience, I thought there would be a stronger tie between a childhood habit of keeping a diary and an adult habit of writing a blog. Color me oddball.

Representative comments: I only journaled during certain periods of my life. Usually when things were more stressful and I had a lot to deal with. And I never maintained a diary or journal even though I set out to multiple times throughout my life.

4. Which comes first: title or post?

  • Only 5% of you say the title comes first
  • 36% of you write the post first and then title it
  • And 59% say it's 50-50; sometimes it's the title first and sometimes it's the post

Among the 5%: It's the blank at the top. Therefore, I fill it in first. And Some titles are too delicious to waste.

Among the 36%: The title is the hardest thing for me to write.

Among the majority: Sometimes the title is in my head first or becomes clear as I'm writing; other times the title I had in mind doesn't fit when I'm done. Sometimes I can't ever think of what to title something.

Any surprises in the findings for you? In which questions might you be somewhat freakish in the minority?

Lori is a mom via open adoption to Tessa, 10, and Reed, 8. She writes regularly at WriteMindOpenHeart.com, the public equivalent of the private journal she began in 1980, only with more comments. Her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield and available in mid-2013.She lives in Denver and on Twitter she's @LavLuz.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee.

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