2014 reader survey results

I am super excited to share the results of my first reader survey. I was doodling with a sharpie, trying to think of the best way to present this information... and decided to use my doodles to make things more interesting. [side note: not all drawings are to scale, or geographically accurate. oops.]

first, I want to say thanks to everyone who participated. I learned a lot about my readers [you guys!] through this survey. and I think the results will help guide some of my future content, based on what you liked most and least.

readers like most:
travel stories + photos
personal posts
life in Taiwan / expat experiences

readers like least:
book updates
recipes / food posts
post about blogging
[though many people skipped this question]

readers would be interested in:
travel / destination guides 64%
photography tutorials 57%
writing tips 45%
packing guides 43%
blogging tips 32%

one thing that really jumped out at me was the number of expats reading this blog. nearly 2/3 of readers have, do, or plan to live abroad. since I myself am an expat, and write about expat life often, I guess that makes sense. I know that [for me] connecting with other expat bloggers has been a wonderful thing in helping to deal with culture shock and commiserate about missing home.

here's how it broke down:
NOT expats 37%
currently expats 37%
former expats 16%
future expats 10%

considering that this blog is written in the English language [or something close to it, anyway] it shouldn't be surprising that 53% of my readers live in the US and UK. [and sorry if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or any portion of any of these countries which my sharpie skills missed or messed up.]

many of you read ink + adventure because you have visited or lived in Taiwan. a few of you are fellow Michiganders and Spartans. others just enjoy reading travel/expat blogs and learning about life across the world. and 16% of you claim to know me in real life.

another discovery was the number of readers who are bloggers. I mean, we all know that if you write a blog, you are likely to also read blogs. based on the survey results: 66% of readers are bloggers, 34% are not [but 13% might like to be.] not shocking - almost everyone who said they enjoyed posts about blogging, or were interested in seeing blogging tips here, were bloggers.

I think this result might be a little skewed, since I know people who are bloggers are more likely to comment, and I think they are more likely to do something like a survey as well.

another crazy statistic [that is probably quite typical of blog readers and people likely to take surveys] is that 80% of readers are between 18 and 35 years of age.

51% of readers have started following in the last 6 months. I've been putting effort into growing this blog as of late and - it's working! in fact, 61% of you said you discovered this blog via social media or a feature or linkup on another blog. so... welcome, and I hope you'll stick around!

but I have to show some love for my longtime readers too. 28% have been reading for over a year [which dates back before I was taking this blog business seriously] and 14% have been following since the beginning back in May 2012. that includes several people who used to read my food blog before then, and have stuck around all this time. have I told you guys you're amazing recently?

length of readership:
less than 1 month 6%
1 to 3 months 20%
3 to 6 months 24%
6 months to 1 year 21%
1 to 2 years 14%
since the beginning 14%

and of course, the cat rating. when I saw this as an option I couldn't help but add it. some readers commented that they have cat bias [dog people!] and so rated it lower. overall, you guys awarded your survey experience an average rating of 4.39 cats. or... 4 black cats and 1 white cat with a black tail.

the general consensus seems to be you all love my photos, but many of you also enjoy reading for the "personality" and "honesty" in my writing style. one criticism I received was that I don't share enough pictures of myself in posts. well... I have to agree! [and I'm hoping to change that.]

I also wanted to share some of my favorite comments I received in the free response sections. these gave me some serious warm fuzzies. you guys are so sweet, and this is as much to remind me when I get discouraged as it is to share with you:

"the main reason is your honesty - it's not always easy to come by in this world, 
so it's so refreshing to see a take on life as an expat that isn't all travel and rosiness"

"I first fell in love with the pictures, then slowly with the way Jamie writes."

"I'm not authorized to work [in my current country.] So when I read about your personal work 
(your book, blogging habits etc) it makes me feel empowered. 
Even without a "real job" you can still be an accomplished person."

"I really like the way you write, it feels like hearing news from a friend"

"because it's warm & filled with color & opens a window to a world I might never see"

and several of you made statements to the effect of 
"I think I would like Jamie in real life"

thank you so much again for taking my survey! I hope you enjoyed reading the results and that my sharpie doodle graphics kept all the data interesting. this whole experience was both very enlightening and encouraging for me, and I can't wait to compare the results to next year's. hopefully you'll be around then too :)

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