The MCP Actions Annual Blog Survey is complete. I will leave the questions up, in case you missed it, but the results are in. And while my “Back to School” Multiple Choice Test was far from scientific, it did help me understand what you like, what you want more of, and what changes I can make to the blog going forward. Below, I will review and discuss each question and my thoughts.
At the time I am posting results, each questions had a sample size of between 1,320-1,460 participants. The drop off tells me the survey was a tad too long. But I knew that going in. I am showing results in % so it is easier to analyze. If you have opinions based on this data, please share them in the comment section. I welcome feedback.
As far as how people read the blog, the majority of people come directly to the MCP Blog or read it via Facebook. I was not surprised to see this. And at this time, no specific changes will be made. Know that you have options if you prefer a method listed, and it is not how you currently read it.
As far as frequency, most of you read it either daily or a few times a week (68% read one of those 2 frequencies). While I love the idea of people reading it every day, I only provide content 5-6 days a week, and I would say reading 2-3 times a week, you could certainly keep up. So thank you for reading what I write…
Most of you felt that I post with the perfect frequency, 81%, which is usually Monday-Friday, with an occasional weekend post. Sunday also is often used for contest winner notification, but I do not consider those true posts. 15% of you did wish there was even more content. I am flattered, but when do you find the time to read so much? I am so happy you want even more. And only 4% wished for less materials. Based on this information, I plan to keep quantity of articles and posts at the current levels.
This is where a more scientific survey would be helpful. I asked people to pick their favorite 3 parts of the MCP Blog. They do not completely match other questions in the poll. But unscientifically, the three top things readers love about the blog are:
- Photography Tips and Tutorials (26%)
- Before and After Step-by-Step Blueprints (14%) – these are done every Friday, and which become a permanent feature on the MCP Blog after last year’s survey! See your feedback does matter.
- And tied for 3rd were Photoshop Video Tutorials (13%) and Photoshop Written Tutorials (13%)
I suppose I should have had Photoshop tutorials as all one category here for more accuracy, since the three types listed, video, written and step-by-step, add to 40%, and this would mean you actually like Photoshop tutorial most, and photography articles second most. Anyway, these two areas will be primary focuses ongoing. MCP Thoughts, where I discuss often controversial topics like how to deal with competition or how to price your photography are also a favorite as (9% of you chose that).
The other slight inconsistency is that Guest Blogger Articles ranked fairly low (3%), yet many of your favorite Photography Tutorials are written by guests. Again, this is probably due to my lack on knowledge on running a more scientific style poll.
This question “do you use the search features on the MCP Blog?” was most interesting to me, as it made me wonder if everything on my site shows up for everyone. In my redesign last year, I made search-ability a top priority. I wanted to make sure that you could find relevant articles from the past, more than 800 now exist. 31% of readers had no idea you could search. I am not sure, other than to educate, how to rely the search features. You can use the search box to type in any words or phrases, tabs at the top to search by popular categories, and also along the side you can search by a number of methods.
And now for the Wibiya toolbar, that strange red bar on the bottom of my site. Since the time I installed it a few months back, I have never loved it. And was super curious to see what all of you thought. Well, it looks like 67% of you are undecided or just don’t care, but 16% HATE IT and say I should get rid of it, while only 7% say they love it. Hmmm – sorry lovers… It looks like Wibiya bothers more people than it helps. I will be making it disappear sometime next week.
Based on this chart and also based on the question about what people like most about the blog, I would say that all 3 types of Photoshop tutorials, written, video and Friday Blueprints, are liked equally. I will keep providing a mix of these.
This may have been the most sure response of all, frequency of the Photoshop tutorials. While a few people said they would like less, it was statistically insignificant and turn out to be 0%. We have learned that 25% are happy with the amount, but an overwhelming 75% of readers want more Photoshop tutorials. I will continue with weekly Friday Blueprints and I will try and work in more Photoshop tutorials, in either video format or written in the future. In the comments, some of you asked for Elements tutorials, and I will try and get more for you as well. Since there are only so many days, and this blog covers such a wide variety of topics, I still can only do a certain amount. I will keep this in mind and will also look for a few more guest bloggers to do some Photoshop articles, rather than just photography. Also remember that if you have not been reading since the very beginning, I recommend you going back and reading and watching older videos and reading past written tips and tutorials. There is so much information already here that you might be missing out on. So make sure to check everything out too.
The next section had to do with frequency of the type of posts. Based on the data collected, it appears people are extremely happy with the frequency/amount of Guest Bloggers (81%). Very few wanted more (13%) or less (6%).
Contests: Only an extremely small amount (2%) wanted less contests. Just over 1/2 (52%) said the amount of contests is perfect, and 46% said they wish I had more. Due to this, I will at minimum continue the frequency. I usually host contests weekly, and then after a few months take a few weeks off so I can have more content based posts. The next few weeks, I will be taking my “contest break” but coming in October you will have the opportunity to win Flash Photography mentoring (during a 2 week Flash series), a Tamron Lens, and some amazing camera bags. So keep watching for your chance to win. Every time someone wins, they always say, “I never win anything…” So remember, you could be the one.
The FAQ based posts, again only an extremely small amount (1%) wanted less of these, while 63% feel I do just the right amount of Frequently Asked Question style posts. And 36% want more. Chances are, similarly to contests, I will continue doing at least as many as I have been, leaning towards occasionally more.
As far as business and marketing posts, the number who do not want them increased a little (7%). I assume this is due to hobbyists who have no interest at all in business related posts. But even so, 55% say there are the perfect amount and 38% want more. I would say for the most part, I will continue mixing in marketing type posts. But will keep those not in business in mind too.
I occasionally get emails about my more “serious” topics in the MCP Thoughts area, like “What is a professional photographer?” or “How you should price your photography.” Photographers will write and ask why I do opinion pieces or ask for opinions on what turn out to be controversial topics. Based on the survey, you will see people enjoy these. 53% said that I have the perfect amount, while 43% which I had even more. But another reason is they are viral, they promote thinking and self-expression. Just click on the two example articles I just mentioned. Look at the amount of shares on Facebook and Twitter – and then look at the amount of comments, especially on some of the pricing posts. I think you will get it then. For the few that do not enjoy these posts, you can always just skip right over them. Or try and keep an open mind and see all sides to the story. Listening to differing opinions often can challenge us and help us grow as both business people and as photographers.
Themed photo shares… I have gotten away from these a bit lately as I have had so much content. But in case you have no idea what these are, I would ask on the MCP Facebook Page for photos that fit a theme. People would submit them and my twins picked 10-15 for me to share. These posts are fun since I get to share reader’s pictures and they can provide inspiration too. It seems that 62% feel I have the right amount – on average about one every month or two, though it has been a while. 27% wish I had more. And 11% want less. I likely will continue to do these as I have time and space for them. But for now, my blog is packed with some great content coming up, so it could be a while. Basically they will be low priority since they were toward the bottom of the list as overall favorites from one of the other questions too.
What software do you use? This was about what I expected, but is always interesting. The numbers speak for themselves. The top software readers surveyed have is Photoshop CS4 (19%), followed closely with CS5 (13%) and then CS3 (10%). As a 4-way tie for 4th most popular, coming in at 9% each: Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, Lightroom 2 and Lightroom 3.
About the same amount of you have just my free Photoshop actions (44%) as have my fee-based Photoshop actions (43%). And only 11% don’t have any MCP Actions. 1% each said that you either do not use actions or not own a program like Photoshop or Elements that can run them.
As for my online group classes, while I have a few thousand people, in more than 18 countries across the globe, clearly very few who have attended them did the survey, relatively speaking anyway. I do see that many would attend but times did not fit your schedules, and the upcoming months, I will consider options that might work for a broader audience. So thank you for sharing. For those of you prefer get the information for free on my blog and other sites, I always welcome you with open arms. You can always come rad, watch and learn from my tutorials, free actions, and guests. You never have to buy a thing – I aim for my free products and services to be of the same quality as my paid ones.
And lastly, social networking… Without much interpretation, you will see that most of you interact with me from Facebook (71%) and a small percent in other ways like Twitter and Flickr, etc. Social networking is so important for my business. So please, as a favor to me, keep recommending my website, blog and Facebook Page to your colleagues and photographer friends. I appreciate it!
And if you made it this far, or just scrolled down… here are the lucky winners:
To claim your prize, you need to contact me by Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. No exceptions. Prizes will be forfeited if I do not hear from you. For action prizes, just let me know what product you want to use your Gift Certificate on or toward. For the Lens Mug winners, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your complete name and mailing address and I will have these shipped out to you within approximately 1 week.
The $50 Gift Certificates go to:
The Canon 24-70 Lens Mugs go to:
The Canon 70-200 Lens Mugs go to:
The Nikon 24-70 Lens Mugs go to: