Brian Gilham

Engineering leader, husband, and father

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Monday Mailer Survey 2016

Two weeks ago, I wrote to the Monday Mailer and asked if my readers would do me a favour and fill out a quick survey. People spend so much time and energy trying to figure out what their audience wants — I figured I’d just ask them. 130 people were kind enough to take 6 minutes (on average!) out of their busy schedules and fill it out. Their answers will help me create great content for the newsletter & podcast in the year to come.

Two weeks ago, I wrote to the Monday Mailer and asked if my readers would do me a favour and fill out a quick survey. People spend so much time and energy trying to figure out what their audience wants — I figured I’d just ask them. 130 people were kind enough to take 6 minutes (on average!) out of their busy schedules and fill it out. Their answers will help me create great content for the newsletter & podcast in the year to come.

I thought it would be interesting to share some of the results.

Job Titles

84% of respondents identified as a software developer. Of those who didn’t, the most popular job titles were variations on:

  • Product Manager
  • Student
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Soldier

Side Projects

68% are working on a side project of some kind, with 58% planning to monetize it. 8% of those who responded have already monetized a side project.

When I asked the other 32% what was holding them back from working on a side project, they said:

  • A lack of time/too busy
  • Not having any ideas
  • No motivation
  • Feeling burnt out
  • Having trouble deciding what to work on

Challenges

Asked what the biggest challenge they were facing in their work was, most people said:

  • Time management/balancing goals & timelines
  • Maintaining motivation
  • Producing good work consistently
  • Staying focused
  • Suffering from imposter syndrome

Learning

Most respondents want to learn more about:

  • Marketing & building an audience
  • Team management & leadership
  • Monetizing their work
  • Learning design skills
  • Improving their time management skills

Elsewhere

When asked about other sites, authors, and podcasts they liked, the most popular answers were:


What Happens When Your Post Hits the Top of Hacker News

Friday, on a whim, I submitted Be Kind to Hacker News. Touchy-feely stuff tends to be hit-or-miss with that crowd, but it felt relevant. Much to my surprise, it hit the top of the front page within the hour and stayed there all day. And most of the next day. By the third day, it had only dropped to #22 or so. Insane. I’ve had a lot of people ask about the results, so I thought I’d quickly share some numbers.

Friday, on a whim, I submitted Be Kind to Hacker News. Touchy-feely stuff tends to be hit-or-miss with that crowd, but it felt relevant. Much to my surprise, it hit the top of the front page within the hour and stayed there all day. And most of the next day. By the third day, it had only dropped to #22 or so.

Insane.

I’ve had a lot of people ask about the results, so I thought I’d quickly share some numbers. Each of these is over the course of three days, or so.

  • 2429 points & 429 comments on Hacker News
  • 99,388 unique visitors to my site
  • 742 new subscribers to my newsletter, the Monday Mailer
  • 70 emails from new subscribers, followers, or folks just saying hi
  • 90 new followers on Twitter
  • Around 1600 mentions on Twitter
  • Three new followers on Medium
  • 4 hours before I turned notifications off on my phone 😱

I’ve been blown away — and thankful — for the incredible response.