A few months ago, I reached out to faith-based bloggers and asked you to take the Christian Blogger Survey. I asked a bunch of questions about your struggles, the information you need to be successful, how much you have to invest in your blog and what influences you to invest in specific resources.
WOW! With around 150 people responding, I got loads of great information. It’s taken me a while to process it all.
Sometimes, data can help you understand where you are on your journey. Now, I’m not encouraging you to compare yourself to others … everyone’s journey is different. Maybe some of this feedback will help you understand that the struggles you are facing are “normal”. Maybe there is something to learn here that will set your mind at ease and allow you to get over a stuck place.
We are all in this together. We are bloggers, yes. But we are more than bloggers. We are Christ-followers with a message to share and a mission to share it. If we can help each other share that message, we all win. So with that in mind, here’s what I learned about us.
We write for Christians … and everyone else
56% of us identify as Christian bloggers and target our writing for other Christians. But that means almost half of the Christians blogging are targeting a wider audience. In fact, 36% said their faith is evident on their blog, but not the only thing they write about. I love that.
We write about all kinds of stuff
Two-thirds of you write for Biblical inspiration or Bible study. But most other niches are represented as well. The next most common niches were Personal/Leadership Development, Marriage/Parenting and Cooking/Recipes. But DIY, Crafts, Homeschooling, Blogging, Lifestyle and Frugal Living all had a strong showing. I was really fascinated by the many smaller niches represented. Adoption, women’s health, publishing, chronic illness, military life .. and the list goes on. Christian bloggers are speaking into the greatest needs and dreams of our society and that’s a good thing.
We are mostly “small” … but stick with it!!
Just over half of Christian bloggers have less than 1,000 page views per month, and about 70% of us have less than 3,000. Time helps. Those numbers drop to 42% and 62% for those blogging more than a year, and 35% and 55% for those blogging more than 3 years. But that still means that after three years, almost half of all Christian bloggers have less than 3000 page views per month. If that’s you, don’t be discouraged. You are normal!
We are just realizing the importance of building an email list
This one really surprised me. 18% of Christian bloggers don’t have an email list at all, and 42% have less than 100 email subscribers. This may be a bit misleading because I did not ask about blog “followers”. I know people who have no email list but have hundreds or even thousands of “followers” through WordPress. But an email list is so much more powerful than just having followers. We are waking up to the power of an email list and “Growing My Email List” was one of the Top 4 biggest struggles faced by Christian bloggers.
We have struggles in common
Hands down … far above the other choices, our top four struggles in order are:
- Increasing traffic
- Creating an income from my blog
- Balancing family and other obligations
- Growing my email list
Stay tuned for the rest of October! I’ll be addressing each of these four top struggles during the month. I may not be a super-expert on all of them, but I’ll share some resources that I trust and think will be helpful in each area. We’ll conquer these struggles the way we do everything around here … together!
You aren’t in it for the money (well, most of you aren’t)
Only 10% of Christian bloggers in the survey are earning more than $100 per month from their blog, and two-thirds are earning nothing. We all know blogging costs money to do well, so if you aren’t even covering your costs, why do you do it? Because you believe. You believe in your message. You believe in a God big enough to something with your best effort. But as seen in the “struggles” question, a lot of you want to create an income, if only to cover your costs. We’ll work on that.
About Buying and Selling
I gathered a lot of information about the types of things you are selling from your blogs, and the resources you may purchase during the next year. I’ll share details on those during the month as we discuss your struggles. Two things about this really stood out to me.
First, we don’t have a lot to invest in blogging. 33% have less than $100/year to invest in products and services, and almost half have less than $100/year to invest in courses. We are a frugal bunch and those of you who are marketing to the Christian blogger should keep that in mind. I think products, services and courses that can be purchased in smaller bites may serve this market well.
And second, we hate getting too much email. Like, we REALLY hate it! In the question about what practices of online marketers turn you off, 44% of you mentioned some variation of “too many emails”, and you were passionate about it.
I hate to have my inbox crowded with emails, especially ones that say the sender noticed I haven’t responded yet.
Getting emails every day for weeks before a course launches
Ones who email excessively and brag abundantly about their expertise on the subject
Ouch. I was keenly aware of this and tried not to send email more than once a week during my recent course launch. But I totally get it. I’ve recently unsubscribed from a very popular writer because every.single.thing I received, multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day, was tied to some kind of sales pitch. Enough, already.
I hope you’ll join me here during October. If you are struggling with one of those top four, I’ll try to give you some answers. If you are trying to reach the Christian blogger market with your courses, services or resources, you’ll get better insight into what we need, how much we’ll pay for it and what motivates us to purchase. At the end of the month, I’ll publish a summary report that you can use for reference.
Thanks to everyone who completed the survey. I truly believe the information you provided will make us a better blogging community!
How do you feel about these results? Did you see yourself anywhere?