A couple weeks ago I asked you to take another survey, this time sharing details about who you are as a person. This was borne from a conversation between some blogger friends who discussed the importance of knowing who your audience is. While optimistic, a lingering worry in the back of my head was that my audience was so random and varied that I wouldn't find any patterns. I was wrong.
It's easy to avoid honing your message to a small audience, because as a blogger you're truly grateful for every reader, and you dread the thought of alienating anyone. What helped me get over this hump was the realization that whether intentional or not, I AM writing for a certain audience. If I do focus on a subset of my readers, people outside that audience will read anyway (I'm nowhere near being a parent, but I like reading parenting blogs), and the target audience will enjoy the blog more.
Almost 400 people responded to the survey, which was a really tremendous turnout. I expected that number to be closer to 100, given the depth of the answers I solicited. I read every single entry, some of them many times over, and took notes to make sure I was paying attention to patterns.
A few years ago I visited the Dominican Republic, and its island-mate, Haiti. Dominican Republic is a relatively poor country, but Haiti is far poorer. In fact, it's the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.