Friday, February 22, 2013

Questions for My Readers (and a Few Ideas)

Lately, I have been wondering how you, my readers feel about the blog. What do you want to see more of around the blog? What do you want to see less of?

Apparently, I'm making my audience happy somehow, there's been over 1,400 people reading the blog this week, but I want to know what exactly I should be doing in the future.

I want to know what kind of posts you as a reader prefer. What is your favorite series on the blog? Exposing the IFB ? Exposing Extremism ? Undercover Agnostic ? Or would you rather see more non-religion related posts like my post on catfish and St. Louis area culture? Am I keeping a good balance of religion vs non-religion related posts? Do you want to see more guest posts and/or Q and A interviews?

I really want to know what works when it comes to promoting the blog too. How did you find the blog? Was it through my Google + page? Was it because of a guest post that I wrote for another blog? Did someone share one of my posts on Facebook or Twitter?

Did I find you instead? I wonder if some of the bloggers that have become fans of this blog have come here because I found them first, and started commenting on their blog.

I just want to know what works. Though I started this blog as a way to just vent whatever came to mind, and help to move on from my past, ( I never expected anyone would really read it), I feel many times an obligation to my readers. Though I still use the blog to vent sometimes, I feel like I don't want to write what the readers don't want to read.

I want to know what keeps readers coming back for more of my writing.

I also have a few ideas for the blog, and for guest posts. I'll continue to have more great guest posts if I can manage to get some more talented bloggers to write for the blog. Of course, I'm always looking for guest posts from fellow atheist bloggers, but I'm looking for more great blogs, and bloggers to write guest posts for. If you know any great bloggers that you are a fan of that fit any of the following descriptions  (and I haven't mentioned them on the blog or had them as guest posters), let me know, I'll read their blogs, and contact them about guest posts, if I like their writing.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Bloggers who are former fundamentalist (as always), but I'm especially interested in people who have left cults like the IFB, Sovereign Grace Ministries, or even more mainstream fundamentalist groups like the Southern Baptist denomination, but are now liberal/moderate Christians. I sincerely want to know what would lead someone to give up fundamentalism, but still remain in Christianity. It's something that very much baffles me. I'm looking for people who are in much the same situation as Lana of My Musing Corner (read my interview with her here).

Bloggers who are former fundamentalists, and also LGBT. I'm looking for people who can tell me first hand what that is like, the struggles of that life. For an example, I had a guest post several weeks ago (from someone who wishes to remain anonymous) about how he was disowned by his family, and was shot and stabbed by 3 people, one of whom was his own cousin, because he was gay.

I also want to hear the stories of people who grew up in extreme religious households that were not Christian. I'm looking for former Mormons, Scientologists, Muslims, etc.

I'm also looking for people's experiences that have nothing to do with religion. One particular interest is blogs that talk about autism and mental illness, both from the perspective of those who live with it, and those who are caregivers (relatives, spouses/lovers of people with mental illness). I currently have the blog Thinking Person's Guide to Autism in the blogroll to your right here in the homepage, it's a great blog, but I'm looking for more blogs along this theme.

If you have any tips as to blogs in any of these categories, let me know in comments, or by e-mail at I would appreciate the help.


  1. As far as what to write, I would argue that you should just write about whatever you want to write about. Whether it be something that you find interesting and want to learn about, something that you have some expertise on and want to share, or just something that happened in the news that you want to comment on. Your interest and enthusiasm will shine through in the writing and that will be the best thing to read. I think when people start writing what they think other people will want to read the quality often suffers.

    As to how I found your blog? I can't really remember, I think you either commented on my blog, or on someone else's blog who I read and I followed it back here.

    1. "I think when people start writing what they think other people will want to read the quality often suffers."

      Good point. I think it's my obsessiveness kicking in, wanting the blog to be "perfect" for the readers.

      Do you have any recommendations on bloggers that fit the categories I mentioned?

    2. There's no such thing as perfect. Just try to be good, and don't obsess too much. Some stuff you think will be great will get almost no hits, some stuff you almost delete because you aren't sure of the quality will turn out to be popular, it's impossible to predict sometimes. Sometimes I will be writing a post and it isn't quite coming out like I want, I have to decide whether to abandon the whole idea or mold it into something better (or just say screw it and post it anyway). As long as it gets the idea across, even if it is missing a layer of polish I would like, it's probably fine. I think the quality is high enough in general that something not quite perfect here and there is no big deal.

      As for recommendation, let me toss you an email

  2. Last question first---I found you through Andy Hall. In fact, almost all of the blogs I read I found through other bloggers or they were bloggers who commented on my site. I have no idea if that is the best way to promote one's blog, but that is what gets me to read them.

    I have found that things like reddit are good for numbers, but not for comments and an active readership. Twitter has been good to me. As you know I am still figuring out Google + and have not used it to its full potential yet.

    As far as what to write...I say go with whatever strikes your fancy. I have found that blogging is a marathon and not a sprint. If I "had to write on something" I think I would have quit long time ago. I write about whatever is interesting me at the time. This time last year, I was doing a ton of political/religious stuff. Now, I am doing more "atheism 101" stuff for people new to atheism and a bunch of month? Who knows. I think the key is, do what makes you happy. I find that my writing is more passionate and simply better when I do that. That, at least in my opinion, will bring people in to read.

    1. You probably found me through some of the guest posts I write over there (speaking of, I have one I should be writing for Andy right now).

      Do you have any blog recommendations?

  3. Just keep doing what you're doing. I might still do a post exchange with you in the future if you want (I have some more Christian Science stories to tell) but I'm still focusing on interviews now.

    1. Great!

      I don't know if you read my interview with Lana of My Musing Corner, I got the inspiration to do an interview from you.

      Anytime you are ready to tell your story, let me know.


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