Thank You, Readers! | survey results + gift coming soon

Hi, friends! A couple quick updates before the holidays--including an exciting Christmas gift I'm hurrying to prepare for you, and reader survey results.

Oh, what fun!

Learn about the gift and see the survey results below, then I'll "see" you back here next week!

1 | Coming Soon: A Christmas gift for you!

To say "thank you" for reading and participating in, I'm preparing a little gift for you. Hint: it may or may not be an ebook based on (but bigger than) 31 Days of Letting Your Lil Light Shine. It's ultimately going to be a fun giving project to raise funds for an organization that helps orphans, street children and girls targeted for sex-trafficking (mentioned in the series >> here).

Before the giving project is kicked off starting January 1, 2013, this book will be available to you for free starting Christmas Day and lasting through the end of 2012! Just a little way of saying thank you for reading and contributing in this little growing community of beginners.

Check back in next week for your gift--it will be ready for you first thing Christmas Day!

2 | Reader Survey Results

Thank you to everyone that shared their feedback through the reader survey! (The survey is still open >> here for anyone who hasn't yet completed it and would like to.) Here are the current survey results that I'm using to plan for 2013...

1. How did you first hear about Beginner Beans?
46% friend | 17% facebook | 12% baby center community | 25% other w/ comment

The "friend" option is vague--I honestly don't know if these 46% are my friends, or if they heard about my blog through a friend (I assume the latter). I do not have a Facebook page, so these 17% are likely friends or acquaintances who saw one of the posts I shared on Facebook. I find personal value being involved in the Babycenter Community, but this 12% tells me the links in my signature might also help promote my blog. This final 25% is an interesting mix of people saying they don't remember how they found me, and a few who know me well sharing a funny answer.

2. How are you notified of new posts? How would you like to be notified of new posts?
42% rss subscription | 38% facebook | 21% e-mail

These are the top 3 answers. Several suggested they'd like to be notified by e-mail, and 21% already are notified by e-mail, which tells me that I need to offer my own e-mailed posts. The currently e-mail option is through Blogger with no options to edit/personalize. (It's on the list! Stay tuned.)

3. How frequently do you visit
46% whenever there is a reminder or update | 21% weekly | 13% tie between biweekly and monthly

I love that so few answered that they visit daily. Just as I want to limit my online distractions so I can focus on my real life, I also don't want to be an online distraction from what really matters to my readers. So, thank you for checking in weekly, biweekly, monthly, or whatever works in your time. That's exactly how I hope you'll read this blog--however benefits you!

4. What topics do you most enjoy reading on Beginner Beans?
75% creative | 71% following God | 58% tie between family + home

This is great news, because these are my favorite posts. The other topics will still be mixed in for some variety and for those interested, and because I'm interested. (Sorry, I'm still going to blog about cloth diapering... just ignore if it's not relevant to you.) Of the "other" category, I got a mix of "love it all" and a few new ideas like getting active, exercise, and more deep thoughts.

5. What would you like to see more of on Beginner Beans?
organizational tips + tricks | Bible reading plans | tutorials / step-by-step posts | date night ideas | pictures | creative | following God / focusing the family on God | me / pictures of me | super adventures | guest posts from my main man | interviews | give-aways | personal finance | home topics | random posts instead of series

Thank you for all of these great suggestions! I will definitely be offering more of these in 2013! The number one suggestion was tutorials, so I'll be racking my brain for some fun tutorials. Also, I got several suggestions to have more photos of me. I didn't expect that... but I'll see what I can do.

6. What would you like to see less of?
baby stuff | wordiness | poop | click through option

Thank you again, for this input, and for everyone's niceness and understanding in answering this question. Overall, I got the feeling that my readers feel I try to offer balance in my post topics and feel okay skipping over those posts that don't relate to them. I understand the cloth diapering stuff is a niche topic that pertains to a smaller percent of my readers--but it is a niche topic, which is why I feel compelled to share our experience.

Also, to the person that mentioned the difficulty having to click through to read each post: Thank you for sharing your perspective. I actually do it because my posts tend to be long, and I thought that'd make it easier for readers to scroll through and choose what they want to read. I understand that limits using a reader to keep up with posts. I didn't think about that, and may change that soon. Thank you for letting me know!

7. Choose the range that best describes your age.
59% 20-29 | 33% 30-39 | 8% 40+

8. Choose the description that best describes your family.
54% married with kids | 20% married without kids | 16% other

The "other" category included people with grandkids, people expecting their first child, and people with 1 kids because I didn't say "married with kid(s)."

9. Name one thing that interests you, but makes you feel like a beginner...
gardening | parenting, having a first child, being a stay-at-home mom | Bible memorization | quilting | living the life Christ walked, being a true disciple | relationships | sewing, knitting, crafting | home-making | cooking, meals, meal-planning | photography, photoshop | racquetball | cloth diapering | blogging | writing | home management

Of these, sewing and crafting, cooking, parenting and following God were the top 4 answers. I meant this to be a fun, but slightly related question. Then, as I read the responses, I got a few post ideas.

See you back here next week!