12 things we learned about you – SL Blogger Support Survey Results 2015
A couple of weeks ago, I asked readers to share their views about SL Blogger Support. 131 respondents answered the survey. 50% live in the United States, 9% in the UK, 7% in Australia, 5% in Canada and the remaining from Europe. We even received responses from bloggers as far-flung as South Africa, Japan, Ecuador and India. The survey results show many interesting findings, however the top 12 results are…
- Most bloggers found SL Blogger Support through word of mouth
- SL Blogger Support is growing in new readership while retaining long-term readers
- Most readers enjoy early access to events and information about destinations in Second Life
- Most readers want to see more posts about photography
- Most readers enjoy the helpful information and the support they get in the in world group
- Many readers like SL Blogger Support as it is, and have a lot of other things they would like from the group/site
- Readers feel helped the most by getting into events before they go public, among other things too
- Readers feel not getting enough traffic to their blog is their biggest challenge now
- Most or our readers prefer to learn by reading
- Most of our readers use WordPress.com as their blogging platform
- Most readers are most active on Facebook
- Almost all readers are happy to use email for their Second Life activities
Read more for details and interpretations. If you want to see a chart bigger, just click it.
1. Most bloggers found SL Blogger Support through word of mouth
38.7% of survey respondents reported being told about SL Blogger Support by someone else. That’s a brilliant result because it shows that we’re enjoying great word of mouth. I’d say that fewer people chose “links on another website” than would have, because many people choosing “Other” commented they saw it on Facebook, Flickr, Blogging Second Life, and Plurk – to me these are “links on another website”. Looking at our stats which show how people get to the SL Blogger Support website, search engines are the largest sole source, accounting for nearly 20% of views. Plurk and Facebook follow.
2. SL Blogger Support is growing in new readership while retaining long-term readers
Most (38%) of survey respondents reported they had read SL Blogger Support between 0 to 6 months. This suggests that we’re growing among new readers, while still staying attractive to longer term readers (44% – 1 to 3 years).
3. Most readers enjoy early access to events and information about destinations in Second Life
The numbers were so close here, the main take away message is that people are enjoying the wide variety of content we’re offering.
4. Most readers want to see more posts about photography
Apart from photography, people also want to see more post about destinations in Second Life, which aligns with Question 3’s answers (what do you most enjoy). This interest area tied with posts about promoting your blog, and followed closely by an interest in posts about social media. In general, people want us to share places to take pictures, and then help promote their blog posts.
5. Most readers enjoy the helpful information and the support they get in the in world group
I’ve selected a few of the 94 comments to represent the the rest (you can see a full answer set here: Question 5 Answer Detail):
“The group is very helpful if there’s anything you can’t find or something you not to sure about the group helps”
“I like that people talk in the chat, help each other out and the articles on here are really enlightening and educational”
“I loved the content (posts) this year the best. The different contributors have put out so much information. I wish it was like that when I first began blogging.”
“I do look at the resources/information it provides and welcome it as a learning tool despite just blogging for fun and an outlet. I’m not sure there is anything I like most, outside of group chat when I have wanted to find something or needed help with say my word press blog, and finding someone who has knowledge in the group chat can be very helpful for some of us who are not technically savvy.”
“The information and the way you help me think new about things I have been doing but can get better in. Helping me understand what to expect in different events and the early access is so appreciated!”
“I love that SL Blogger Support keeps me in the loop, from new fresh events, to new rounds at another event. I love the new releases the early accesses and the community that’s created where bloggers are helping bloggers out. I’ve shot photos on amazing sims as well that I heard about from SL Blogger Support. So really useful, really helpful and great people.”
“I love it as a source of information. When I need to know – I come to Blogger Support in the first instance ALWAYS. Its a wealth of information whether you are new to blogging or more established, like myself.”
“The most helpful on this site was photography tools. There are so many things that could be added that are not there, but maybe someone has not had the time to do them which is understandable.. But I got my start in learning from this site and I love that its a great tool for others to learn from. I always resort to this page first to find out if I can do things better.”
6. Many readers like SL Blogger Support as it is, and…
Some suggested a blogger event. Others suggested contributors pay more attention to non-fashion blogs, and some called for more varied participation from contributors / moderators in both posts and in the group. 79 respondents answered this question, and I’ve included a PDF of their comments here: Question 6 Answer Detail. I’ve also included some interesting comments below:
“I don’t feel as though I can ask for support from the group when I’m inworld and facing a problem. SL generally is not kind to people who are not in the know.”
“I would love when new people come in you could be more friendly on a personal level, no one said hi to me, and no one has IM’d me. I am learning about this group, and maybe you could ask if people would like to be mentors for the group. If people coming into the group learn about this and if they feel like they need one it would be a very valuable thing, I know I would appreciate it. I don’t need hand holding, but sometimes I do need a little more in depth understanding of something.”
“It would be nice if everyone felt included.
Sometimes in the comments sections, or with events like Bloggers Challenges, only some people receive feedback or interaction. Not everyone is comfortable making the effort to participate and when they try, and are ignored, it can make it more difficult for them to try again. Some of these people are left feeling like they are not welcome or part of the group.”
“There is one thing that I wish was different. I’ve been inworld a few times, when others have trashed the personal choices that others have made for their blogs. For example, I wish so and so knew how annoying music is in a blog–especially when it plays right away. Unfortunately, this was a conversation that took place in group chat.”
“Having a panel that reviews content of SL blogs in an effort to point out likes and dislikes in a constructive manner that helps bloggers grow.”
“I guess for me it would be a better updating posts in Designer or Event areas that are looking for bloggers. There were a couple of times I came to check it out after getting ready to rotate sponsors or events, to better grow and a lot of the events were past the due date of applications having to be in. So it brought the search down to maybe 1 or 2 up to date. Other than that I love the communication, the articles are even better to see from someone else’s point of view, making some of us know that we’re not the only ones.”
“I like what you do thus far, I am sure there is only so much a person can do unless they are actively always on the site to updated it. I would love to see more support team members that are actively posting. I see the same ones over and over which is not a complaint, I just notice that you have a team of support that do not always contribute.”
“Maybe host an event that would benefit bloggers – like a bloggers’ convention.
People could give seminars on issues that are relevant to bloggers, both experiences and those who are new to blogging. There could be live entertainment where people can come out and dance (come as you are, formal attire, or themed). Merchants can sell/promote relevant items that benefit bloggers. A press package could be put together as part of the fee to attend composed of a variety of items from different merchants. Bloggers could blog them which would serve as promotion for the stores involved.”
“I’m a strong advocate of ‘lifestyle’ blogs. The SL blogosphere is very heavily weighted in favour of clothes/fashion/household items.”
7. Readers feel helped the most by getting into events before they go public, and…
They also enjoyed photography tutorials and posts about promoting their blog posts, and feeling like they are not alone. 82 respondents answered this question, and you can find all the answers here: Question 7 Answer Detail.
“In the beginning it was definitely the updates about events and designers looking for bloggers, however I have just realized I don’t visit those pages any longer (read as, my plate is full – not that the information is not useful.) I tend to use SL Blogger Support to keep abreast of new topics and new approaches to managing and maintaining my blog.”
“Inspiration, especially with the last couple of posts that I have read. I tend to be a solo person and do not have many if any blogger friends and it is nice to find that it’s not only me running into some issues out there! As well as listing which stores are currently looking for people :D”
“General writing skills, headline writing, inspiration from other bloggers and feeling like their is a community of bloggers that will help each other instead of fighting for sponsorships.”
“I can’t really say it’s helped me a lot in my blogging. It’s great to read the posts of how to increase traffic and using social media, for the most part in just staying up to date with events has been helpful.”
“It is nice feeling part of a group who have some of the same goals as I do.
I really felt a float out in the internet and this has really helped me with a lot of things, thank you so much for your hard work. The ones we know about and definitely the ones we do not!”
“Even though my computer is crap and I have to “fake it til I make it” with photoshop most of the time, the information on taking pictures and the windlights has truly been the greatest help. Finding the information I needed to help me use what I had to its fullest potential has made me a much better blogger and photographer.”
“SL Blogger support has helped me with marketing my blog more than anything. I have found Becky’s articles to be invaluable with getting my blog off the ground and evolving it into something that I’m hoping to be successful in the future.”
“I’ve been very lucky. Others have given me advice on how to link a picture to my blog, so the picture isn’t small. Word press has small pictures,as opposed to linking them with Flickr. I’ve been taught so many skills with the help from others. I’ve read articles that helped to increase my blog traffic and even inspired me to keep going–and appreciate the journey. I’m a better blogger because of SL Blog Support. I hope that it keeps growing and improving.”
“The tutorials is where I first landed. At the time, it was the most complete area of the site and where this group really shines. Also, tuning into group chat every now and then reminded me that I wasn’t alone in this thing.”
8. Readers feel not getting enough traffic to their blog is their biggest challenge now
Apart from the obvious, it’s also clear that bloggers are pressed for time (24%) citing it as their 2nd biggest challenge. This finding, along with answers to the other questions in the survey, suggest that readers want to learn more about promoting their blogs, and potentially, time saving tips and tricks. I pivoted this answer by different the longevity of readers and found that 29% of bloggers reading us for 1-6 months cite this as their biggest challenge). When I looked specifically at respondents reading us for 2-3 years, I found that the greatest (33%) cited not enough time to post as their biggest challenge (followed by not enough traffic – 23%) Clearly, these challenges don’t get much easier as time goes on.
9. Most or our readers prefer to learn by reading
I asked this question to see if we needed to do more multimedia. To my surprise, most people just want to read. People also want video but not as much as I had assumed. What was very interesting to me, and this was also mentioned in several comments to the other questions, is that many readers (22%) want to learn in an event setting.
10. Most respondents use WordPress.com as their blogging platform
This answer surprised me, not because I don’t think WordPress.com is awesome, but because my analysis of blogs listed with Blogging Second Life show that most bloggers listed use Blogger. Most of our readers use WordPress.com, which makes writing technical articles easier. With that said, 23% of readers said they used Blogger, so this will remain an area we’ll be conscious of.
11. Most readers are most active on Facebook
This finding came as no surprise – Facebook, among our readers at least, is king. What really surprised me, given that Plurk is our 3rd biggest all-time referrer (after search and Facebook), that more people are active on Twitter and Google+! Reddit, was a clear loser in this race. One significant oversight (my fault) was that I didn’t include Flickr as a social network, which respondents mentioned 25 times (out of the 42) in the “Other” replies. Another strange finding to me, was that more people chose Pinterest. Perhaps many just forgot about Flickr because I didn’t list it? I’ll include it next time I run the survey.
12. Almost all readers are happy to use email for their Second Life activities
Some respondents might have found this question surprising. Why would I want to know if they used an email address? Well, a very big trend in blogging is mailing list generation (direct-to-email). I’ve always suspected that most people create and use email addresses for their avatars that they might exchange for exclusive content, and now we have our answer, only 2% did not use email for their SL activities.
The inspiration to survey SL Blogger Support readers arose from a conversation I had with our founder, Katya Valeska. She asked me what kind of resources (contributors) we might recruit or reenergize to keep building SL Blogger Support. I said to her, if we really want to know who to get on the team, we need to understand more about our readers, what they like, and what they want from SL Blogger Support. Now, we have the answers we need to not only reenergize the contributor team, but to also recruit new contributors who might be able to offer the talents our readers most want access to.
First of all, SL Blogger Support, while not perfect, is in excellent health and growing faster and faster among new and more seasoned bloggers alike.
Clearly, members love getting early access to events – long may that continue!
Further, I think a few obvious to-dos include finding
- people to help write more photography tutorials – many people want this so quality posts on the subject will no doubt have a very receptive audience
- a more varied slate of writers writing about promoting your blog – readers consider this their number one challenge, so we’ll definitely keep sharing our ideas on how to face that challenge as effectively as possible
- more help around writing more up to date coverage of destinations that bloggers might enjoy learning about – again, a big area we could do better with, which is something I’d love to see improve in the future
It’s wonderful to see how much people value the in world group too. With that said, it’s clear that we could do a better job at welcoming and helping (i.e. supporting) those bloggers who are new to blogging and might not know as much as more seasoned bloggers do.
I believe an exciting area we can look into is hosting an in world blogger event – bloggers clearly want to meet each other, extend the relationships they’ve formed in the group, and learn from each other in 1 to 1 and workshop style conversations. I can’t see why we might not start informally, and I’d be happy to offer my region (Basilique) as a meeting point should we wish to go in that direction.
Thanks to everyone who completed the survey and for helping shape the future of SL Blogger Support.