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What I Learned from the Reader Survey


First of all, a HUGE thank you to all of you who completed the Reader Survey about a month ago. I was so grateful for the responses and your feedback. I know it can be an angsty process for some. Well, definitely for my mom.

Email from my mother: Sarah, the link to the survey is not working. I cannot figure it out.

Phone call a couple days later: Sarah, I decided not to fill it out because I'm your mom and not your audience. (Me: That's fine. No big deal.)

Phone call a week later: Sarah, I haven't filled it out yet, but I'm going to. (Seriously, Mom, don't worry about it.) But Sarah, I feel so bad. I want to support you!

So I just want to say to my mom: Don't worry! I feel supported. I know you like the blog, especially posts about the kids and posts that don't mention you in any capacity. I know you would like more posts about the kids and especially more photos of the kids.

But for those who did complete the survey, I want to say thank you so much. Your feedback helps me to know who is reading and what content is most helpful and fun for you. Here's a few things I learned from your responses.

What the Numbers Say


The demographic questions are always so interesting to me, revealing a bit about who visits A Life with Subtitles. First of all, we are heavily female (93%) - not to be confused with "heavy females." And the majority (51%) are in our 30's (woot! woot!) with the 20's being a significant runner-up (33%).

This is a heady group of readers - 41% have completed undergrad degrees and another 41% have finished graduate programs. With all those degrees, we should certainly be able to solve the lemon - lime debate, no?

Most of you live in the U.S. (89%), which is a bit of a jump since the last time I did this survey. And Guatemala is next in line (4%). State-wise, it was no surprise to see Georgia lead (25%). After that, though, was a three-way tie with California, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania (all 8%). Regardless of country and states, a significant portion (30%) of you live cross-culturally.

Probably most surprising to me was the make-up of family relationships. Most readers are married (67%) with another 15% in dating relationships. And while the majority of readers are white (76%), of those in relationships, 63% are in cross-cultural relationships. I suppose this shouldn't shock me, given the subject matter, but it did a little. Even more, 21% of those in relationships are currently, or were in the past, with undocumented immigrants.

Those in multicultural marriage cited language and communication as their number one challenge (33%) - ain't that that truth! Next was immigration issues (29%), followed by in-law relationships (25%) and outside racism & discrimination (25%). Other challenges included parenting views (21%), gender views (21%), money views (17%), and other (17%). I appreciated the write-in responses for other, namely loneliness, education, and dancing. (Billy and I have had significant dancing challenges. I love to dance, and his response is always "I'm a rocker!")

Finally, about half of you are parents (51%), but more interestingly, about half (52%) of parents are raising bilingual kids. The biggest challenge here was inconsistency (62%). Responses also included not being fluent personally (54%), other (38%), lack of resources (23%), and lack of support (8%). The "other" category detailed child resistance, child preference, and again, dancing. Ha! (My kids have this one down.)

What I'm Taking Away


#1. Don't shy away from cross-cultural marriage posts.

A lot of people I know personally who read the blog are not in multicultural marriages. And sometimes I wonder if this content really connects with anyone. It was super helpful to know how many readers are in similar relationships, and this topic came out on top (17%) of favorite categories.

#2. More diversity of cross-cultural marriage experiences. 

I have a really good relationship with my mother-in-law. And I'm not just saying that because she reads my blog. But when I read the popularity of difficulties like in-law relationships and outside racism, I was challenge to consider how to address these topics in ways that could be helpful and encouraging.

#3. I'm relieved of craft duty. 

For some reason, I occasionally convince myself that this blog needs more "mommy-like" posts about raising bilingual kids... you know, crafts and songs and recipes. Except I don't do any of that. (Except books... we do books.) But seeing the numbers of those raising bilingual kids, I think I can let go of that bizarre idea. In fact, the topic tied for fourth with immigration (13%) and fell behind race and culture and multicultural identity. Recent posts have confirmed to me that posts about raising kids are most appreciated in the broader context of identity and culture... not drawing country flags. Thank you for that.

#4. I have the best readers in the world!

Seriously, you all gave such supportive and kind feedback. And you're funny! My favorite response used the word "creepy" more than once, and another encouraged me to offer Star Wars VII spoilers. But I was especially blown away to discover that so many of you (86%) have passed along A Life with Subtitles to a friend. I am so touched and tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart. (If I had your addresses, a note would be on the way!)

Thanks again for taking the time to complete the survey and for joining me on this multicultural journey. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Also, many of you said you have your own blogs. I'd also love for you to leave a link in the comments so I can be one of your readers, too!
I promise not to spam you. (I'm not even sure I know how to!)

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