What I learned from my first-ever Offbeat Empire reader survey #Site News February 15 | Cat Rocketship 01-29-08 © by Fort Worth Squatch, used under Creative Commons license. I got to experience my first Offbeat Empire survey late last year, and IT WAS EXHILARATING. I won't lie: surveys are hard and can say hard things, but I like it…hard. Let's start with the easy stuff: Demographics 97.5% of you are women Most of you are in your mid-twenties 87% of you identify as caucasian Almost 20% of you identify as lesbian, gay, bi, or trans 49% of you work full-time outside the home, 18% are full-time students, 6% are at-home parents, 3% work from home 60% of you have a BA, Master's, or PhD. 64% percent of you live in cities, big and small, 5% are rural Subcultural Affiliations We know that most of the Empire's readers are Offbeat Lite: quirky, but not into a subculture. This year 56% of Home readers ticked that box. Other biggies: 52% DIY/crafts obsessive 49% Academia nerd 27% Sci-fi nerd 26% gamer 23% retro 22% hippie 15% steampunk And just a few from the "Other" category: anarchist, anime, "sort of a quiet, nerdy thing," biker, browncoat, employed in death and dying, feminist, geeky sex kitten, heavily tattooed, lolita, metal, pagan, vegan, vegetarian, addicted to the internet. Here's what I absorbed from the responses: I learned a significant number of people were unaware they could submit posts — and wanted to see more! I'm working on making sure at least half the posts a week are guest and advice posts. AHEM reminder: you can write for Offbeat Home! Looking at the open-form responses, several people talked about tools or supplies they'd bought as a result of reading Home. That was a big A-HA! about how to focus post topics — and how to monetize them for myself. I'd felt weird about shopping posts because I'm NOT much of a shopper and it felt inauthentic, but when I read the survey I realized that even though I almost never buy furniture or decor items, I buy TOOLS! Lots of them! Of course my readers want to, too. That paired well with several calls for more DIY-y posts. (Have you been noticing more DIY posts? NOTICE THEM.) Y'all want more international content. That's difficult for me to do alone, but I'm working on being more cognizant of those readers — even if that means just throwing a bone of recognition in seasonal posts. The easiest fix? If this category applies to you, get submitting! I LOVED just reading the responses to the survey. As an offbeat person, I'm used to people not being as interested in the nerderies I'm into — NOT SO HERE. Since starting to read responses in November, I've felt much more like taking risks with content and that's made it easier to feel like I put a good week of content together. There were several calls for more posts, and more Clicky Links, too. More posts isn't in the cards right now (if we start getting more advertisers, we can do more posts), but I CAN continue filling people's days with entertainment, right? I've been adding a lot more content to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Many readers asked for more essay style posts like this one and this one. I love them, but they are often lower on comments so I'd doubted their usefulness. Now I'm committing to having one navel-gazing post a week from me, Ariel, and guest authors. People want more recipe posts. Deal! I knew the email subscription option is popular, but I didn't know HOW popular it was — 25% of readers get each post in their inbox! Reading the survey results made me think of each post I put together more like an email to a friend. Long story short, I loved reading survey responses and found them immensely helpful in continuing to build this community. Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey — and if you missed it, no worries! Even though the survey only happens once a year, we're always open to feedback. Oh and PS: If you want to read Ariel's post comparing all three Empire sites results (Which site has the most male readers? What about the oldest readers? Which site is read by the least nerds and the most lesbians?), head on over to the Offbeat Empire blog! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Cat Rocketship I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things. PREVIOUS If Marie Antoinette had an Airstream trailer, it would look like this NEXT Clicking to calm an aggressive chihuahua Toggle comments [ 17 ] Yay! Survey results! I don't know why but these always interest me. The strange thing this time though is I've found myself reading through it thinking "how can I help with this?", trying to decide if I could submit a guest post or something that would give you more of what people want. Which is weird for me. I'm normally pretty passive with blogs. Aside from OBE there's only one I even comment on regularly. On that note what does international content mean exactly? More of anything from non-US readers, or posts about issues specific to living abroad, like how to buy a house in Spain or something? Reply I can answer this! "international content" means "content from non-US readers," although we always love living abroad posts, too. Reply I didn't know "Pagan" qualifies as sub-culture… *frown* Reply Remember its all about self identifying. And if you are proud to be Pagan or Buddhist or Catholic then the Other Interests and Sub-Cultures box is just the place to write it for our beautiful editors to see. 2 agree Reply i always love reading about the surveys! Reply RECIPES! What kind of recipes? Food recipes? Crafty recipes (e.g. glue, paint)? THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS, as I have many, many recipes of all kinds of things. 5 agree Reply All. Even better: OFFBEAT. BONUS POINTS: timely. 3 agree Reply I'm too recent of a reader to be represented in your survey, I would have skewed your age-demographic. I'm 53, so I guess that makes me an old lady around here! (But I'm young at heart. Immature, anyway.) 1 agrees Reply Welcome! Glad to have you. Reply I fit in a lot of the alternative categories. I'll see if I can find time to write some posts. I've started writing about pet fostering and rehabilitation, is that something people may be interested in? I can also do some kink/BDSM posts, Brazilian living, university fixes, goth/steampunk/sci-fi lifestyles, corset training, baking/cooking tutorials, and DIY wanna-be farmer living. I was going to submit about a room makeover, but my house burnt down and took everything with it! Damn. Reply A: OH NO! I'm glad YOU'RE okay after your housefire. B: YES ANY OF THOSE. Reply Wow, this makes my life sound very boring. But I,personally, as someone who fits into the largest categories listed, would love to see posts about any of those things! Pets! Corset-training! DYI wanna-be farmering! yes! And I agree with Cat's part A, so sorry about your house! 2 agree Reply Interesting on the international front, Im curious what other international readers want in content on off-beat Home. As a UK reader of Bride and Home I am much more interested in UK bride features than home ones. I think it's perhaps because Home I use a lot for ideas that can be applied anywhere -in Bride I go 'I want an outdoor wedding like that -shame it rains all the time here and the photographer is in Montreal'. Insert little face of jealousy for American sunshine. Reply What American sunshine? Sincerely, A Seattleite 3 agree Reply Here here! Lol though I've been to the UK. I would say the weather is similar. Reply Whereas I have always been horribly jealous of the awesome indoor venues in the UK…. Lol. The midwest is boring. Reply Ah! It's nice seeing the survey results. I might have another read through and see if I can help contribute to anything. Also, kudos to anyone who caught the Firefly and Dr. Horrible references in the "Other" category for subcultures! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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