Last week, I launched my annual reader survey. This survey is designed to help me create more relevant content for you. This blog is a relationship and the road goes both ways.
This is why I do this survey. I want to give you a voice in what I write and create. This year’s survey was not the success that I was hoping for. Maybe it was the timing and maybe people are tired of taking surveys.
You may have noticed this blog post is being posted much later on Wednesday. The reason, I wasn’t sure how to write this post on my reader survey results.
So instead of going into the details of the survey, because the data was very incomplete, I want to write my heart. There were so few answers to the questions that I did not have the data to draw out a proper results post. I want to talk about the main thing I learned because of this survey, and the changes I’m planning over the course of this year.
What’s gone before?
For the past two years, my main focus has been on leadership development and writing. Yes, I’ve had personal/spiritual development, productivity and social media mixed in-between the posts.
Largely, my focus on providing writing tips, tricks and ideas have been well received. I cannot tell you how many people are wanting to write their first book or start that blog they’ve been wanting to create. But one thing is certain, the stats have shown me people desire to learn more about the craft of writing.
I have worked tirelessly and hard to create an environment where you come to get the tools you need, to find your voice and succeed in your family, ministry and life. But, something’s been missing.
While over two years ago I mainly focused on church leadership, I made the shift toward writing as that was what people desired. So, I’ve backed off of the spiritual and personal development topics.
What is the data telling me?
As a blogger, I find it difficult to find the balance of writing what I’m passionate about and what my readers are wanting. Now, don’t get me wrong, everything I write about I’m passionate about, but there’s varying degrees of passion.
When I look at the data I can clearly see people like the how-to posts. Something they can have an easy win. While some of the more generic posts have done okay, they mainly fall flat.
I also found that last year, some of my more personal posts on [eg. marriage] and [spiritual development] have done just as well as the writing posts. That tells me I’ve been looking at what I’m doing without using the data to my reader’s advantage.
Not all surveys will be successful, but what I’ve learned in every survey, my focus is becoming more defined and clear. There is a particular niche that I can write for that most other bloggers cannot.
I am a pastor, blogger and author – I help worn-out writers and leaders find their voice so they can succeed in their family, ministry and life. I write for the person who needs to take their life to the next level: spiritually, vocationally and personally.
That data, is telling me I’m on the track I need to be while giving me further clarity on what I need to do moving forward.
How do I move forward and what’s next?
When I started this blog in 2009, I had no clue how to run a blog. Today, I sometimes feel that way. Yet one thing I know, I have a much better idea what you, the reader, want.
This blog was an experiment and I used it for the Young Adult ministry I ran at Life Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. I began writing devotionals and encouraging posts to help uplift those who needed something refreshing to read. I looked at it as a way for people to escape the daily grind of news and hatred being strewed across the internet.
Nearly 8 years later, I still have that desire. I want to give people something that they can go home, think and have their lives forever changed. I believe I’ve lost some of that original passion of why I started this blog and why I started writing to begin with.
So what now?
After taking this survey the one thing that stood out to me was people’s desire to see more spiritual and personal development material. I took a major step forward last year in the release of my book, Grace: What’s So Amazing About It?. This year, I’m going to be releasing a small group ministry package to go with that book.
Right now, I write a blog post on Mondays in the Leadership, Writing and Productivity space. Every Wednesday I have a podcast episode.
Moving forward with the recent severe news, I’m planning on having a Friday devotional or spiritual lesson. Some weeks it will be a written blog post, a post I share from around the web, and I may even begin a new podcast show that is geared toward the spiritual side of my life.
I came to the conclusion that my faith life and my writing life cannot be separated. They are so interconnected that any deviation seems forced and unnatural for me. It was time to bring that piece of my life back into my blog in a larger capacity.
To Recap what I’m going to do this year:
- Every Monday Post and Wednesday Podcast episode the focus will be on writing, productivity and leadership.
- Every Friday:
- New podcast show.
- Shared blog post/news story.
- Devotional or spiritual lesson.
- The release of a brand new online small group course based upon my book, Grace.
I know this was a long blog post, but I hope you’re hearing my heart. My desire is to not be two-faced, but be someone who reaches out to those who desire to take their spiritual lives to the next level and develop their writing and leadership skills.
I know the vast majority of bloggers out there encourage one to focus on a very specific niche, but I felt that I can’t focus on just writing in leadership – there are a ton of people out there who need refreshment personally before they can begin tackling their first or next book.
This is why I do what I do. I what to help worn-out and frustrated leaders and writers find their voice so they can succeed in their family, ministry and life. This blog is about the whole person. If you’re whole, then you can write from that wholeness to help someone else see life from God’s perspective.
In other words, this blog will serve as a way to help equip you with tools so you can transform lives and reach the world with the message that God has placed on your heart.
As Robert Browning said… “The best is yet to come…”
Question: What do you think of my new direction? Anything you would have liked me to focus on? Leave a comment by clicking here!