In my last post, I offered a survey to find out who my readers are. And I found out some interesting things about you …
1. Over half of you identify primarily as Pagan/Neo-Pagan (35%) or Wiccan/Witch (17%).
This was not surprising, considering the makeup of the larger Pagan community. There is also the fact that I identify as Neo-Pagan and my practice and my thought is sometimes Wiccanesque, so it’s not surprising that my readers would be reflective of this. Eleven percent (11%) of you identify primarily as polytheist.
I know a lot of you were bothered that you couldn’t choose more than one. Sorry about that. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to doing it both ways.
2. Two-thirds of you (65%) have been part of the Pagan community less than 20 years.
Most have belonged for either less than 5 years (26%) or between 11 and 20 years (26%). It could be a statistical fluke, but I wonder what happened to the demographic in-between (6-10 years) which only had 12%.
3. About two-thirds of you (68%) have little in-person contact with the Pagan community.
Most of you answered “rarely to never” (47%) or “a few times a year” (21%). By all accounts, this is increasingly common in our digital age.
4. Most of you are between 30 and 50 (53%).
The results formed a nice bell curve. This placed your median age in your late 30s, which was older than I expected, but not surprising that most of the people reading my blog would be around my age (39).
5. Most of you have a 4-year college degree (65%).
As far as your demographics go, it’s interesting to note that I would fall into the same mean range as my readers as far are religious identification/participation, age, and education.
6. A plurality of you (41%) read Pagan blogs primarily for theological or philosophical discussion.
That was a bit surprising, as I expected more people to choose spiritual inspiration (15%) or practical advice (3%).
7. Almost half of you (49%) read blogs daily and three-fourths of you (70%) follow less than 10 blogs regularly.
If you’re like me, you have found it impossible to follow more than a handful of blogs regularly, in spite of my desire to read many times more than that. I should have broken this down more to find out who reads 5 or fewer regularly.
8. A third of you (36%) are bloggers.
The results for this “Check all that apply” question were skewed, because a third of the respondents skipped this question (because I forgot to include a “none of the above” response). So I had to recalculate the percentages myself. Still, I think the fact that a third of you are bloggers reinforces Jason Mankey’s suspicion that we are something of an echo chamber. Eleven percent (11%) of you blog at a community blog like Patheos.
9. Twenty percent (20%) are published (either by a press or self-published).
Fourteen percent (14%) of you are academics. Again, this is far above the national average, but could be more reflective of blog readership generally.
10. A surprising number of you (1/4) are teachers/leaders/facilitators for other Pagans (24%).
I didn’t know how to make sense of this response in light of the fact that most of you (68%) have little contact with the Pagan community. I assume the one fourth of who are leaders are not the same as the two thirds who are staying home. Or maybe there is more online leadership going on than I was aware of. Nine percent (9%) of you are clergy.
What do you want more of from The Allergic Pagan?
I also found out that most of you want more of the same from The Allergic Pagan — theology, personal experiences, analysis of the Pagan community, book reviews, discussion of ritual and ritual scripts (in that order).
There were a couple of exceptions. Very few of you wanted to see more discussion of Mormonism, and a negligible number of you wanted more drama and controversy. Neither of these findings was surprising. For all the online traffic that the blogo-controversies in the last couple of years have created, most people I have talked to lately are saying they are sick of it and are deliberately refusing to engage in it. Contrary to some of the accusations I have heard, I have never written to draw “hits”. The amount of money I receive from Patheos ($50/month) is negligible in comparison to my day job as an attorney. There has only been once when I received more than the baseline minimum, and that was after Anne Rice wrote about one of my posts (about vampires) on her Facebook page. (I admit to being gratified by that.) And I’d rather be read by 100 people who really care than 100,000 who don’t. While I hope we will continue to engage each other over difficult and controversial issues, I am glad to see that we are developing strategies as an online community to avoid the sensationalizing of our religion.
Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially to those who left encouraging comments in response to the last question.