Survey Results: The State of Businesspundit

Thanks to those of you that participated in the Creative Weblogging survey. We got some valuable feedback, and I'd like to share with you the stuff related to this blog. Feel free to leave additional comments on this post.

First off, I was surprised that people seem to like the deeper more thoughtful stuff that I write. Most people asked for longer posts. When BP got started, my primary goal was to point people to interesting business stuff and offer some quick commentary about why you should check it out. Now I am thinking more about explaining concepts and ideas and exposing you to counterintuitive notions that can affect business. I'll try to keep up the in-depth stuff. Although it is interesting that I get more unique visitors now, and fewer visits per reader.

You would like more posts about entrepreneurship, strategy, and management. You don't want any more pictures, and don't seem to mind if I leave them out of posts entirely.

Some of you don't like the increased difficulty of leaving comments. I have received several emails about this, but I haven't pushed CW to make changes because it has also cut down my spam comments dramatically. I used to spend a couple hours a week cleaning those out.

Most of you think there are too many advertisements on the page. CW makes that call, not me. My decision to join the group was for two reasons. First of all, so that I don't have to worry about hosting, design, uptime, upgrades, etc. I can focus on blogging and they take care of all the stuff I don't like to do. Plus, I was too lazy to sell ads on the old BP, so now CW can do it and take their cut. While this site actually makes pretty good money for a blog, it isn't like I plan to quit working anytime soon. I do have mixed feelings about the advertising. On the one hand, I'm going to blog whether I get paid or not. On the other, why not make money on something I enjoy doing? After all, I need to save for the next business venture, right? If the money leads to a new business investment, then you get to read all about it.

That said, CW is a business and readers of this blog should understand that their goal is to make money. The question of course, is where does that profit maximization point lie with regards to blog advertising? Too many ads will drive readers away even if the content is good. Too few ads and they are leaving money on the table. This is a perfect example of the debate we frequently have about the purpose of business. Should CW's highest priority be focusing on customers, or maximizing profit? The truth is that they maximize their profit by focusing on customers. Too much focus on profit (without considering customers) and they put up too many ads, driving readers away.

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The primary complaint seems to be the ads inserted between the first few posts. I will talk with CW about this and see if we can change that.

Readers are about 70% male, about 30% are an owner/CEO/partner in a company. Most are from the U.S.

Some interesting suggestions we received that I liked:

  • Provide a scale at the beginning of each article to show how advanced the information is. (although these ratings are somewhat subjective)
  • Cross market the CW business blogs through RSS feeds
  • Fix spelling and grammar. (I try!)
  • More articles that focus on concepts + real world applications. (Great idea, but keep in mind that my real world experience is limited to a few areas. Although I suppose I could research real world examples to share)
  • More links
  • More news. (this one is tough, as it doesn't mesh well with the longer post format, but I try to do so with the "Links You Should Read" posts)
  • Reduce the clutter (I'll talk with CW about this)

So thanks again to those of you that participated. At least no one wrote "Rob needs to get a clue, what the hell is wrong with him?" or anything like that, which means that somehow I have convinced you all that I am much smarter than I really am. A more interesting survey may have been to find people that checked out this blog and didn't stick around, to see why they didn't like it.

Thanks again to all who took the survey, and feel free to leave other ideas and comments on this post.