Survey Results and State of the Blog Address

reader survey results

As always, reading through the results of my survey was verrrry interesting. I always love hearing what you think. Although I joked to a friend the other day, I have to grab a big glass of wine and put on my big girl underpants before reading through these comments because I never know what I’m going to find!

Most everyone is lovely, really. In fact, I have to be careful or my head might not fit through the front door, there are so many compliments. And I appreciate the kind constructive comments as well. But there are always a few doozies. I don’t even bother posting the mean ones because I refuse to feed the trolls, but there are plenty of legitimate comments that I do like to address.

But first . . .

A Word About Ads

No one has brought this up, so maybe it’s not even worth mentioning, but you may or may not have noticed the ads being added and moving around on my site. I recently signed on with the Glam ad network, and finally after eight years of balking I decided to add an ad to my header. I placed it OVER my header, hoping it wouldn’t interfere with my design and the overall feel of the blog, but it is recommended to place the ad under my header. I didn’t want to do that, but I’m toying with trying that ONLY because I hear it doubles my revenue on that one ad. Wouldn’t you have a hard time resisting that? So we’ll see.

Unfortunately I can’t control the content of each ad. I can opt out of certain categories of ad, and I have done that, trying to avoid processed food ads and other things that go against my philosophies, but I still see ads I don’t like, and I cringe, but I have decided to let it go. I hope it’s not too distracting, but for now, that’s where I am on the ads.

With that out of the way, here are some of your comments I’d like to respond to.

Your Comments

There were a few good suggestions for making my site more usable.

Can be hard to find your recipes once I’ve tried it, like it and want to seek it out again. Not all are found under recipes, or you have to get the name exactly right. Also, I’ve clicked on recipes that don’t exist anymore.

Interesting, and thanks for that feedback! I don’t know why some recipes don’t seem to exist. If you ever click on a link in the Recipe Index and it doesn’t work, please let me know so I can fix that.

I do see how trying to find a particular recipe in the Recipe Index would be difficult. My best advice is to try the search bar on the sidebar. That is what I use when I’m looking for a specific recipe of mine on the blog, and I can usually find it easily. I might try to create a more extensive Index at some point, like some of the bigger food bloggers do. That’s something worth considering, now that I have so many recipes living on this site.

Along those lines, I got this comment.

Allow me to search for a specific post or product without having to scroll down every time.

What great feedback. I appreciate this type of specific suggestion. When I get my new theme up and running, I will make sure the search bar is right up top!

I do like when there is a link at the bottom of posts to go to the next or previous post.

Another great suggestion. I have already talked to my designer, and we are making that addition on the new design that I HOPE will be unveiled very soon!

The slider isn’t bad on its own, but I often find that the picture and title shown are out if sync.

Yes, that was bugging me too so I removed the titles. I do think on the next design, though, the slider will be gone.

I moved to the weekly emails because I found it to be too much every morning. I was hoping the weekly would show up on Saturday morning so that I could look at it at my leisure.

Hm…. that makes sense. I looked at the survey results for that question, and I realized I didn’t ask about the day preference. Perhaps I should poll the weekly subscribers and see what the majority prefers.

Then there was some constructive feedback such as . . .

I love reading almost all of your posts! And I totally get that you’re into your religion and celebrating – and I truly don’t begrudge you any of that. That said, I wouldn’t mind if you recognized that not all of your readers share your faith – and some, in fact, might have a different faith. Since you’re branching out much further than you used to and looking to attract a more diverse audience, I just wanted to remind you that not all of us celebrate Christmas.

I do appreciate that, and I actually am aware every time I write a post that is remotely spiritual in nature that I may be alienating part of my audience. It’s a fine balance I’ve tried to find, but I always come back to the fact that this is still largely a personal blog so it’s natural for my post topics to be rooted in what we are doing and what’s on my mind at the moment. This time of year, my life is pretty much consumed by Christmas and I’m sure my blog feels that way too. I hope those of you who aren’t interested in those posts can skim over them and will choose to stick around.

Add more products that are $20 to $50.

I will definitely make an effort to do that. Honestly, I do try. But I will try harder. I know I tend to feature many of the same stores as I have my few favorites, but I’m always open to suggestions. Where do you guys like to shop? Where should I look to get product suggestions? I’m open to hearing your input! In fact, I just asked over on my Facebook fan page. Maybe you can chime in there, so it’s easier to converse.

Some of you want to hear more about kids and marriage.

I would love to see more posts about raising kids and about solid loving marriages.

Yes, I guess it’s been a while since I’ve written much on either of those topics. Definitely noted. Honestly I have felt pretty inadequate when it comes to marriage and parenting lately. I’ve been way too preoccupied with work and household responsibilities. So I would probably benefit from a post or two, myself.

I had several requests for more Grace.

Maybe Grace could do a regular/monthly fashion post?

I’m working on her! I’d love that.

Some of you miss the food posts.

I miss your old blog posts and educational information about food quality. As a working mom of three, it’s difficult to find time to do the research necessary with regards to our food sources. The information you provided was always thorough and clear. I learned so much about local food sourcing and reading labels.

This sentiment was expressed several times throughout the survey, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about. I figured I’d said all I had to say on the food topic so I was thinking of maybe just re-running some of those old posts. Then I thought, no, I should write updated posts reflecting where I am now. Because while I would love to say I’m still driving all over the countryside to private farms and making homemade bread every week, the truth is, I’m not. We have made some concessions due to busyness and finances, so it might be time to revisit those topics. You can look forward to that series coming in 2014!

Some of you wish I’d share more information.

Can you please link to your purses? You say you’re a purse lover, but you hardly link to them the way you do your jeans. That teal one, esp.

LOL!! Yes, certainly. I sometimes forget to link to them because I assume that everyone hangs on my every word (what!? you don’t? lol!!) and has seen them a bajillion times before.

Other random comments that I wanted to respond to:

Didn’t see anything about Maine this year. What’s up with that?

We didn’t go to Maine this year. We decided to stay closer to home, so we spent a week with friends in the Poconos, and then we visited my family in Virginia and met my new baby nephew.

Thank you for creating an uplifting, positive non-pretentious blog!

Why, thank you, that may be the nicest way anyone has ever described my blog!

And on that note, I give you . . .

Survey Results

Most of you subscribe to my blog via RSS or email, but quite a few still use bookmarks. You don’t really seem to care when emails arrive, and about half of you read my blog on a phone or tablet. I guess I need to make sure my design is mobile friendly!!!

survey results

Your favorite topics are by far and away fashion and personal blog posts.

favorite topics

This information definitely helps me with my redesign, thank you!

design and navigation questions

Most of you don’t mind the guest posts, which was encouraging. Keeping up with creating new content gets challenging at times, and it’s nice to have some help.

guest blogger survey

A whopping 99% of you are female (no surprise there!!) You’re mostly between 25 and 45 years of age, and most of you are married with kids. Finally, only 6% of you live in Philly! I was surprised by that for some reason. Most of you live in the U.S. Next year I might as for a breakdown by state. I think that would be interesting.

demographics

demographic info

So that is probably waaaay more than you wanted to know about the results of this survey. What did you find the most interesting?

I also want to thank you for all the lovely comments and kind words. I couldn’t repost them all, but I read every word and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

So in a nutshell, in 2014 you can look forward to more food posts with updates on where we are now…. more fashion suggestions in lower price points…. more parenting/marriage posts…. and a updated blog design! WOOT!!

I’m always open to feedback, survey or not. Feel free to email me any time!

Comments

  1. says

    You know, that was interesting, to read other people’s comments and questions about your blog. I esp. found the comment about religion interesting. Granted, I share your faith, so it actually pleases me to hear you talk about it. I’d understand her very mild and polite comment if you were ever, EVER, being preachy, but you’re not. Just posting about Christmas and its significance? Goodness! I don’t understand criticizing that At. All. It would be like me telling you that I don’t wear jeans, and I’d really appreciate it if you remembered that some of your readers don’t wear jeans, and adjust your blog accordingly. In fact, I’m not gluten-free and am not interested in gluten-free. However, I understand it’s a part of your life, and I fully expect you to blog about it. Because … duh … it’s YOUR blog! Why would anyone ever expect a personal blogger to alter her writing and content, simply to please a reader? Blog-land is like a buffet. Choose what you like. If you don’t like a blog, go find another. But don’t expect the items on the buffet to alter themselves to please you. (okay, off my high horse) Like I said, she was polite, but sheesh! “Remember, some of us don’t celebrate Christmas”? It’s not like you were telling people they had to!

  2. Beth says

    I’m also surprised how few of your readers are in the Philly area. I’d definitely ask what state, or at least region of the US next year. I agree it could be nice for you to show more items in the $20-50 range; it is nice that you’ve been mentioning when items are on sale, that brings a lot more of the items you post into that range!

    • says

      Right, and that’s the only way I usually buy them! I always feel the need to explain – especially with the pricier items, I don’t know why. It feels a bit awkward sometimes putting out there what you buy and spend. :-)

  3. says

    I think this is extremely interesting. I looked forward to the results last year and this year as well! I’ve never done one for my blog (yet) because I don’t feel I have quite enough returning/regular readers. BUT it is very interesting to see these results for one of my favorite blogs! :)

    I agree with what Mary said about the reader who asked you to remember that not all your readers are Christian. Ironically Mary’s example is true for myself, I don’t wear jeans (or pants of any kind except for pjs). But your fashion posts are some of my favorites of yours to read. They don’t offend me in the least because this is your life I am reading about and I don’t expect your posts to accomodate my personal lifestyle. Anyway, just my two cents on that particular subject.

    I don’t mind the ads one tiny bit either. I put google ads up as soon as I was able, not because they make me much money (or any) just so ads wouldn’t ever be a shock to any regular readers. I think (or assume) that anyone who reads blogs regularly should expect that to a certain extent. After all we have to justify this blogging thing to our husbands right? :)

    I’m not quite sure what I put that I wanted more of in the survey cause you never dissappoint me but I like the idea that you might be revisiting the real foods subject. Cutting out unhealthy foods can be SO overwhelming, and also the raising kids and marriage ones. Yes please! :)

    • says

      That is helpful, thanks! I do try to link to Kohl’s sometimes, and you know I love Gap! I usually save Lands End for coats and other outerwear, but they’re doing better lately with carrying stylish clothing too, so it’s probably worth a second look.

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