Thank you for your voice – survey result

Thank you very much for the response to last week’s blog survey. Your responses gave me an insight with regards to you,  my readers, where you all came from, frequency of visit and most of all, thank you very much for the tips and thoughts on how to improve my site.

Here are the survey results:

1. Gender – 98% of my blog readers are female

2. Location – 80% are from North America (United States of America and Canada), others are scattered around the world mainly in Asia and Europe.

I only have very few readers from my own location – which I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

3. How many are moms like me? 62% are moms, 31% answered “None of the above”.

The other choices were mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, mom to be and trying to conceive/adopt. Maybe a student? or a single person? Sorry I missed to put that option.

4. Age

26-35 years old – 41%
36-40 years old – 16%
21-25 years old – 14%
41-45 years old – 12%
46+ – 13%
below 20 years old – 4%

5.  How many are working full time like me or staying at home? (multiple selections allowed)

36% are stay at home mom/dad, 26% are working outside the home, full time, others are working outside the home, part time (8%), working at home with own business (23%), working at home for a company (6%) and student (17%)

6. Reader’s online activities:

INTERESTING: 10% of the readers have purchased something online as a result of a review written in this blog!

67% have their own blog
98% read blogs regularly
85% shop online
82% are on Facebook (gasp)
68% are on Twitter
*last two emphasizes the important role of social media network 

7. Frequency of blog access

35% of the readers access Sandier Pastures blog whenever a new post pops up in the RSS feed – which means everyday since my RSS spits out at least 1 post daily
*Stresses the importance of having an RSS feed and putting in a more visible location.

Others access the blog:
Everyday (21%)
Every other day (16%)
Once a week (13%)
Every once in a while (10%)
Rarely (2.5%)
More than once a day (2.5%)

8. Reader’s favorite feature (multiple selections allowed):

The giveaways/contest on Tuesdays and Fridays – 62%
Random/personal posts – 45%
Monday Travel Features about Dubai/Japan – 24%

9. The posts that readers enjoy the most usually involve (multiple selection allowed):

Giveaways/Contests/Opportunities to win prizes – 77%
Photos of Dubai (I want to see Dubai through your eyes!) – 58%
General life as an expat in Dubai – 56%
Photos and stories of your life in Japan – 47% *needs improvement. Will work more on writing about Japan

10. What would make Sandier Pastures an even more valuable resource for you? or What would you like to see more of? Share your tips and thoughts! 

I’ve picked up interesting replies and thought I would want to highlight it here with my own comment.

  •  it takes forever to load your blog on my computer – It must be because of the photos but I can’t stop posting photos and the number of it being in my blog right now are the least I could post. I’m sorry. I wish there was something I could do like hope you’ll all have faster internet connection?

Anyone having the same problem?

  • More pictures! – Oh yes, I do love to post more pictures and I will try to do that. It’s just sometimes it takes a while to take out that SD memory card out of the camera, plug the SD reader in my PC, open the folder, transfer to local disk, resize, upload to Picasa, edit the dark/too bright ones, watermark it and finally upload it in my blog post. It’s hard to do these all at one time when my work colleagues are around.

By the way, that wasn’t an excuse. It’s a fact. Don’t worry one thing that won’t be missing in my blog are photos.

  • Maybe a facebook fan page for more viewers – Honestly? I must be the only blogging person in the planet who isn’t into Facebook. I had a Facebook account last year but I deactivated it due to possible addicting manifestations – on my part of course. I accidentally activated it again during this FB username charade and it’s there but with no activity whatsoever.

Gah, I talk too much. I’ll look into Facebook again but a fan page? I am not sure about the word fan.

  • I would like to see more reviews. – Well, me too but I’m hoping my blog isn’t going in that direction. I do accept book reviews and do it once in a while because I can’t resist a good book and getting it for free is a major bonus. As for product reviews, I don’t think I’ll be doing more reviews soon because not many companies are willing to ship their products all the way to the land of Aladdin where I live. Even the books come in the “electronic form”.

However, I am eyeing to review for local companies (Dubai based) in the future. And companies abroad, if they are willing to let me sample an item for a review, I’ll gladly do it – oh, as long as it is family friendly because my 5 year old daughter reads my blog daily.

  • more personal, less giveaways. Also can you publish the winners of the giveaways? – Okay, maybe I am guilty of the personal part. I admire people who are so open with their lives online and while it’s ok or maybe even therapeutic for them, I can’t be as personal. Maybe in due time but I do post some personal issues – now all the world knows of my graying hair. I even posted photos of my belly for the world to see. Hey, that was personal (at least for me!).

Regarding the giveaway winners, I do put the names of the winners on the giveaway post, two days after a giveaway ends and I have received a confirmation reply from the winner but if it is better to make a separate post to announce the winners of the week, I’ll do that.

  • not sure – more giveaways? – It’s hard to please everyone. As opposed to the comment above asking me to write more personal posts, here’s a reader who wants more giveaways and here I am torned because I am a people pleaser.

But I have to lay down the rule for this one, at least for now:

Less or more giveaways? I only conduct two giveaways a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. I might (“might” means if I wake up one day and realize there’s no sponsor willing to donate a giveaway item) also hold a giveaway once a week.

I do not intend to make it more than twice a week because running a giveaway is hard work (you giveaway bloggers know) and I already have a 6-day a week full time work.

Verdict: Two giveaways a week, tops. If in the future I get “offers” to host more contests/giveaways, I might start another blog solely for that.

  • Giveaway which are opened to ALL – Believe me when I say, I echo your sentiment. I live outside of the US and Canada and I feel sorry for myself for being kicked out from most of the giveaways going on around the blogosphere. As of this writing, I have hosted 84 giveaways in all. From these, only 12 are not open for everyone.

While I try hard to find sponsors willing to ship international, some of them just can’t.

  • Doing a great job. Make the archives easier to access and sort out. – Will do that! I am guilty of neglecting basic blog housekeeping duties.


  • Just be you, Grace! You’re interesting and fun. Let us see that in your posts. – Thank you! I know you but won’t mention your name here! 🙂 I am interesting and fun? That’s great to know. Some days, I do amuse myself.


  • You take such amazing pictures of your life in Dubai, that is definitely my favorite part of your blog. – Thank you! I’ll take more and more photos while I’m here!


  • I love it…LLLLOOOOOVVVEEE it. I’ve been meaning to send you a picture that I won through you of a citrus art pic framed… – Thank you, again! Receiving comments like this make me NOT want to detach myself ever from this wonderful online community!

ATTENTION GIVEAWAY WINNERS: If it’s not much of a bother, do send in photos of yourself holding/wearing/using/flaunting the giveaway item you’ve won at my blog. I’d be happy to feature that!

  • Photos of Pristine and you – I’m afraid I have another excuse…I mean, reason for the lack of mother-and-child photos in my blog. My husband simply do NOT fancy taking photos of us because he is clueless with the SLR or how about this: he just doesn’t like taking photos of ANYTHING. That sounded so mean but that’s just the way he is and since I CAN’T return him to his mother, I’d have to live with that.

My beloved mother who lives with us,  feels so sorry for the lack of photos of myself and her grandchild sometimes takes the matter in her own hands with this result:

my mom knows NO DSLR

But still she perseveres:

Blurred Pristine and me

Until Pristine and I goof around because we know we will just end up looking like the actors in the Blair Witch Project but what do you know, my persistent mother succeeded:

Mom succeeds taking unblurred photo!

Thank God for persistent mothers, Pristine and I now have our “mother and child” photo! I wish I have worn makeup! bleh

ANYWAY, I always carry the camera and while I take a lot of photos of Pristine and of the things/scences around me, there’s no one to take photos of me. So I’ve decided I’ll buy a tripod because that should solve my problems or I could ask my MIL to buy a tripod for me in exchange for me not returning her son to her.

You think it’s a good deal?

  • A friend of mine just moved from France to Dubai so even more of “Dubai through the eyes of an outsider” are great. – I can’t believe the number of emails like this I receive almost everyday. Their friends/relatives moving and they’ve recommended my blog.

I wish my blog had more comprehensive information for new expats. I’ll work on that!

  • Love your blog – I think it’s so interesting – to see what life is like THERE, for a Non-Muslim! (Especially given that all WE really see of Dubai is the totally OBSCENE wealth that is abundant there (In the the Hotels, etc!) – Thank you, I am glad you like it. OBSCENE wealth? Wow, I wish I have even a part of that. Not all people in Dubai are swimming in gold swimming pools or having huge villas with ten maids. So many expatriates living here are just normal people, working daily to meet their basic needs, enjoying the sunshine and just making the most out of the beaches and the interesting malls coming up.

I don’t know why some people instantly think that just because I live and work in Dubai that I am rich. Ask my bloggy friend Stacey who has seen our small apartment and rode in our tiny car! 

  • Sale info ;  how to be a smart shopper – Sorry, not going that route unless I do know of a good sale info and I believe in the product, I won’t endorse or write it in my blog.

How to be a smart shopper? You tell me.


Again thank you so much for your insights regarding my blog. You all are the best!

Before I forget,  the 2 lucky winners of the hand-stamped necklace are:

#22 Liz and #98 Lorie Shewbridge!

Congratulations and thanks for taking part!


  1. This is neat! I need to do one of these surveys!

    Although…this made me laugh a little:

    “3. How many are moms like me? 62% are moms, 31% answered ?None of the above?.

    The other choices were mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, mom to be and trying to conceive/adopt. Maybe a student? or a single person? Sorry I missed to put that option.”

    Even still you have forgotten an option! I am a regular reader, I am not a student, I am not single, and I am not a mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, or a mom to be! I am happily married and my husband and I have chosen to not have children! There are lots of us out there, but people forget about us a lot, for some reason!



  2. i don’t think i’d seen a pic of you–you’re beautiful!

    one option for self-pics might be a tripod? i haven’t done this a whole lot, myself, but my boyfriend takes incredible pics, including pics of himself, using a tripod.

    one of the things that might be slower-loading with your blog might be your background. i kind of love your background though. when i first saw your blog, it was really striking and different, and stuck in my mind. it made the blog stand out much more to me. so…i’m not being very helpful, am i? 🙂

    i’m one of the “none of the above” readers–i’m nonmarried, with a long-term boyfriend. i’m not much interested in marriage or kids for myself. (for now, anyway)

    and two giveaways a week is a LOT! i hosted a giveaway once on my blog and it was exhausting! i love giveaways, but there can only be so many that a person can handle!

    i think you have a nice mix of content on this blog–i love to read about dubai and japan, and personal posts, and i love giveaways. i originally came to this blog because of a giveaway that an etsy friend was hosting here, and then stuck around because i just liked to read the blog!



  3. Congratulations to the two winners!
    That is a lot of info for you 😀 I’m glad we all could help.
    I love it that I’m in the 4% that are under 20. Lol



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