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Last week I put up a reader survey to find out how the demographics have changed in the two years since we did this last. I thoroughly enjoyed going through all the responses and open-ended feedback. Two thousand people responded over the weekend and I can’t thank you enough. I haven’t had a chance to gather deeper insights about the readership, but as promised here are the high-level results…
Note that the amount of responses shown above some of the graphs is incorrect, but percentages are correct.
I think we can safely conclude that most of you are keen cyclists who are enthusiasts of the sport. You’re not just fans, but also participants who like to race (half of you own a race license) or take part in events. Readers own an average of 3 bikes (many of you own 5 or more!) and you ride 3-4 days per week. You lot are a bunch of gear junkies. The majority of you consider yourselves to be intermediate or advanced level cyclists.
Most of you are between 25-55 years young and only 5% of you are female (down from 7% a couple years ago). Most of you make a lot more money than I do and 80% of you have university degree or a post-graduate degree.
60% of you are married, 22% of you are single (presumably because of your unhealthy cycling addiction) and 18% of you are dating and flaunting your high income.
Obviously the country with most readers is Australia followed by the United States, Canada, the UK and New Zealand. There are also lots of people living in Asia who visit the site regularly.
Type of Content You Enjoy
What I’ve learned from the content questions is that over 80% of you visit CyclingTips every day and many visit multiple times a day to interact with the comments and discussion. Most of you enjoy the Tips (training, nutrition, tactics, etc), the Tech articles, the issues that are brought up, the reader interaction, the photography, the escapism and the “hard to find” insights that I enjoy writing about.
People seem to enjoy the training and fitness types of articles. I enjoy these as well, but I’ve come to the limits in my knowledge that I can pass on in this area. I don’t want things to descend into a “Get Fit In 7 Days” publication and anyone who understands training will know that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. If you ask 10 coaches a training question, you’ll get 11 opinions. However, I’ve recently come to an agreement with a coaching business to write training and fitness articles for those of you who want this type of information. I’ll introduce them in the coming days.
Over the past couple years I’ve also learned is that it’s not worthwhile to continue with local Australian race results. The amount of effort is disproportional to the amount of people who read it, and this is confirmed in the survey. I’m in two minds whether or not to continue with any Australian NRS race coverage as well.
One post that I personally enjoy is the News Shorts that “Le Grimpeur” posts every Wednesday during the pro cycling season. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this because I’m not 100% sure where to take this. Would this be more effective to be posted twice or three times per week? Or does it add any value at all?
There were hundreds of open-ended feedback responses that I enjoyed reading through. I’m not necessarily going to act on all of them but they do bring out some great insights for me to put some thought around.
Where are the tips? Once criticism that I take on board is that the content is getting light on the “tips”, which the site was originally founded upon. Getting more content around these tips is something I’m always cognisant of, but as I said earlier I don’t want to post gimmicky articles and quite frankly, there’s only so many posts you can write about tactics, rolling turns, how to change a flat, etc. Things always come up, but I tend to work them into other articles as side interest pieces.
Commercialism. People also left feedback on the growing commercial nature of CyclingTips. I try and not concern you with this, but that as the traffic here increases, so do the costs. There was a time that I could write a post first thing in the morning and then head to work at 8am and not think about it. Now there are enough costs to bankrupt me in a month if advertiser support were to cease. There are always going to be small compromises I need to make to ensure that I successfully promote the advertisers, but every single one of them is extremely supportive about wanting CyclingTips to remain independent and credible. I can’t thank them enough. Also, I don’t know if people understand the value that advertisers can add. For example, I had an excellent relationship with BMC who encouraged me to have interviews with their riders, team car rides, attend product launches, etc, which allowed me to bring some very good content to you.
Spelling and grammar. Yes, I get it wrong sometimes. WordPress spellcheck is horrible and I’ve had numerous people kindly offer to help me out with proofreading. I really need to get better with this.
Product reviews. Some people want me to review $1000 bikes and $100 sets of wheels. I understand this need, but personally I would rather put my energy into showcasing beautiful products and let my opinions trickle down into the lower end models. Matt and I are enthusiasts and we get far more excited about reviewing high-end products than anything else. However, if we see something of quality and value that doesn’t fall into an expensive price range, we always make an effort to talk about it.
Rapha. It’s my dayjob, I’m proud to work there, and I cannot apologise for this. For those of you who think that every time that some Rapha kit shows up in a photo is an intentional product placement, you’re over-thinking it.
More Content. I do my best to publish one article per day except for on weekends. Sometimes these things take me 20hrs to research, do interviews and write, sometimes they take me 20 minutes. I don’t want to get into the habit of publishing press releases for the sake of getting more content up. However, I can probably plan better to make sure the content is updated more regularly.
In summary I think it’s safe to conclude that most of you reading come here for the information and a coverage angle that you can’t find anywhere else. I’m humbled by the amount of responses and all the honest feedback and I take almost everything on board. I’ll introduce some new ideas and concepts in 2013 and while I’ll always remember my roots, I’m excited to evolve and grow CyclingTips even more in the future.
Thank you to everyone.