State of the Blog and “Survey Says!”

You know you’ve arrived in the Catholic Mommy blog world when you attend a homeschool mom’s social and both new attendees recognize you.


This February marks four years since I started This Ain’t the Lyceum and this August will mark 10 years since I started my first blog that I don’t tell anyone about. I was a writer even before that, but I am the writer you read before you now because of all the stories I’ve shared online for free public consumption over the last decade.  (Most of which contain long run-on sentences and poor grammar.)

When I started my current blog I knew I wanted it to be a place I could happily share with others, where online drama would be kept to a minimum, with humor the ultimate goal. I had a few other benchmarks in the back of my mind; bloggers I wanted to connect with, opportunities I hoped to score, numbers I wanted to hit, and I can honestly say I’ve met those goals and far exceeded them.  I’m in no way the biggest fish in the pond; I could strive for more subscribers and page views but I can’t forget to stop and express gratitude for all this blog has become to me. And of course thank you for reading and becoming my friends. 

Now, I’ll be honest, I do have some loftier goals for myself, my writing and this blog, but I don’t want to achieve them by changing every thing I’ve done around here.

I’ve already mentioned the book I’m working on; hopefully it won’t take me away from here too often. I doubt it, in fact I’ll probably need more coercion to write the book than on the blog as the immediate gratification of blogging is something that can’t be recreated while typing page after page of a long manuscript.

Like many bloggers, I’ve considered monetizing: more sponsored posts, more affiliate referrals, more ads, and selling products. But honestly, I think that would upset things around here too much. In fact, my new homepage contains no ads. I’m working on a resources page to feature some of my favorite products, recommendations and things I previously shared on my sidebar. This blog was not created as a business and I see no point in “changing my niche” or what have you to make it into one. So if you’ve ever worried about that, don’t. (But seriously, you can still buy my planner.)

I will however take the results from the reader survey to turn out more of the stuff you enjoy reading, and maybe a few things you don’t but that’s why it’s MY BLOG and not yours.

I assumed most of my readers are female. I know there are some male subscribers and fans, plus many, many more guys just “reading over their wives shoulders” but I didn’t bother with a gender question. If anyone feels discriminated against, you’re welcome.

Age graph

44.1% of you are rapidly approaching middle age and seek to escape reality by reading my blog. Thank you.

My survey also indicated that the majority of you have children. Why are you neglecting your kids on my behalf? Now I feel the urge to provide more worthwhile content.

More than half of survey responses revealed it was another blogger who sent you my way. Conversion Diary and Martin Family Moments were singled out. Thanks Jen and Colleen! Drinks are on me!

The biggest surprises were in the next two questions.




Almost half of those who took my survey don’t subscribe to my blog and half don’t follow me on any form of social media. 29% of those who filled out the survey don’t subscribe or follow. How do you people find me?? How do you know when I post?

I guess I assumed the majority of people who took the trouble to finish my survey would be readers I see in my statistics (Feedly followers, Facebook likes, etc.) but many were not. What makes a reader want to subscribe or follow? Do I need to buy you a ring?

Almost everyone who took the survey mentioned Humor as a topic they enjoyed the most, with SMA, Catholicism and Homeschooling rounding out the list. I think a handful of people did not select humor as a favorite so for them, I’m going to try to not get ridiculous with this post.

When I asked “What posts you’d like to read MORE of?” several readers suggested more practical Catholic posts (living liturgically, sharing the faith with young children, etc) and book recommendations. I can handle that! If there would’ve been an overwhelming demand for beauty tips, we’d all be in trouble!

Lastly, when it comes to cocktails, my readers prefer Vodka (18.7%), followed by Gin (15.7%), Tequila (14.2%) and Whiskey (11.9%). However, 14.9% were Puritans which means they find this blog a whole lot less funny than the rest of you.

SUMMERY: I will keep writing more of the same stuff, plus more stuff you recommended.

So there you have it. A very unfunny post NOT about SMA, Catholicism or homeschooling that everyone is sure to hate, unless you have Vodka on hand. Thank you readers and if you ever have a suggestion or question don’t hesitate to leave a comment or drop me an email! kellymantoan(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. Hi Kelly!
    You noted that “Almost half of those who took my survey don’t subscribe to my blog and half don’t follow me on any form of social media. 29% of those who filled out the survey don’t subscribe or follow. How do you people find me?? How do you know when I post?…”

    I can’t keep up with online subscriptions; I tried: Bishop Barron’s Lenten posts. His Advent posts? How about Franciscan University’s daily posts? Nope, nope, and nope. I just don’t take the time to look at them. Why? One reason is that my FB feed provides me with enough intriguing articles; oh, and then I have to check my 3 separate e-mail accounts, and deal with that information. Daily posts even from some of the speakers I admire the most get a glance followed by a reaction: “Good heavens; MORE??? I’m pretty sure God isn’t trying to tell me 5 different messages. Every.Day. Basta!”

    No, if I want more, I go looking for it. And I’ll go looking for the familiar, the funny, the down-to-earth, the Catholic, the feminine. That’s where your ‘blog comes in. 🙂 I don’t remember how I originally found you, but your posts struck a chord in my heart and head…and my brain put up a Post-It: “ThisAintTheLyceum is a place you like being at. Check it out on some semi-regular basis.”

    How do I find you? I go to my browser and type “t”; my computer autofills in the rest: “” . How do I know when you post? I don’t. I hope. And when I get here, there may be a new post; there may not be; there may be 2 or 3. And I haven’t made much of a dent in your archives, so, you know: there’s always those to poke through 🙂

    Thanks for writing @ the not-Lyceum 😉 I appreciate reading your posts!

    1. This is exactly how I feel. Except I have your page bookmarked on my phone and I check for new content when I sit down to nurse.

  2. I seem to have missed the survey, but I (from Germany, over 45 and no kids) am also reading your blog without subscribing or following. How do I know when you post? I have bookmarked a few blogs with a bloglist in the sidebar (like martinfamiliymoments, thank you, Colleen) and looking at your results, I seem not to be the only one 🙂
    Keep on the good work and thank you!

  3. Make mine anything with Peach Schapps and I’m still smiling despite the non-hilarity of the post.

    1. I showed up “anonymous” – God forbid! Guess I didn’t type that I’m Sue Kresge – somewhere

  4. I also don’t follow you on social media. I find out if you post like the reader above – I have Martin Family Moments bookmarked and check her blog roll. I’m lazy and don’t want to have too many blogs bookmarked or receive another gazillion notifications that someone has posted. (I have way to much email etc flying at me as it is – I’m paranoid about something important getting lost in the frenzy ( I’ve already missed a utility bill due to the cascade of information/store/ school emails in December.)) But no ring is necessary – I’ll be coming back for the good, the funny, and the non-hilarious.

  5. I’m pretty excited that you mentioned not wanting to upset the balance of the blog with lots of ads and affiliates! I feel that this is the Big Topic for so many bloggers. It’s something that I’ve waffled back and forth between, and judging by all of the posts I’ve read, other people have gone through this, too. But, from the perspective of someone who really likes reading blogs to hear about other people’s lives & thoughts (and who doesn’t spend money very often), it makes me really sad when bloggers (whose blogs I love) start turning every post into a money-making thing, ya know? Like, when every post includes tons of affiliate links and special offers, or advertisements crowd all over the page, I think it can get excessive. Not that adverts or links are bad; they’re great, and there’s a lot of good in using those resources, but when it takes over the blog and isn’t balanced, it makes me sad. So, I’m super happy that you don’t plan to do that 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Also, I DO subscribe to your blog, but like many other people, I’ve been finding that e-mail inboxes get filled very quickly with blog subscriptions, so that’s one of the reasons why there are plenty of blogs I don’t subscribe to. I’ll just “favorite” the webpage and check it every now and then, or I’ll forget about a blog until I’ll see a FB post with a link, and then I’ll go “Oh yeah! I need to get back there and read all of the posts!” 🙂

  6. How do I find you? I go to my browser and type “t”; my computer autofills in the rest: “”

    1. Also I’m 32 have a.2 yr old and a 4 mos old and read while putting them down for naps or bed time. I do subscribe but don’t have Facebook and don’t check through email. I wish I could have participated I am a big fan and I can not remember how I found you but I have read every. Single. Post.

      1. Just remembered I found you through catholic all year when you did the lip synch battle.. I also shared that video with my husband and he suggested we take a field trip to visit your family since we also live in nj and would love to be flies on your wall… How’s that for stalker status:o?

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