I decided to do a reader survey about a week ago. I’ve been blogging for almost four years and have always wanted to do this but never did. I was honestly very nervous to do this because I have read from so many other bloggers that because it is anonymous, people said all kinds of hurtful and rude things about their blogs, which I also unfortunately found to be true.
As the direction of my blog has changed in the past few months and continues to change, I thought I wanted some feedback on how those changes are going and if it’s all being well-received. I already know that my long-time readers and good blog friends are loving the changes, but wanted to see how others who I don’t interact with on here are receiving it.
What were the results?
Everyone who responded said they come to my blog for the writing style, humor, and person behind the blog (and not just a giveaway or recipes or to get some benefit for themselves). That means so much to me! Obviously people probably wouldn’t come to a blog unless they liked the blogger behind it, but it still feels good to see that I got a 100% positive response on that one.
I got very conflicting results in terms of what people want to see more and less of. I gave options like “I want to see more/less of recipes, workouts/fitness, mom + baby, faith/Christian posts, etc.” I got a lot of responses to post less recipes, which honestly surprised me because the last recipe I even posted was months ago. I honestly wish I posted more recipes because I enjoy it, but I guess most readers aren’t? Or maybe my recipes just suck? I don’t really get that one. I am not trying to be a food blogger by any means, but I feel that posting less recipes would mean I never post about them at all.
There was an overwhelming response to post more mom and baby and every day life posts. I am super happy to hear that motherhood posts are a hit! That has been a big fear of mine that as my blog has shifted to more mom stuff that I would lose readers or people wouldn’t care for them, but it seems that the opposite is true. I’m glad to know I’m doing something right there.
As for more every day life posts, I honestly need some help in this area. I just posted about how I don’t want daily life posts to be a big portion of my blog anymore. I find blogging about my life so boring to write about in this particular season. I found this post about why another blogger doesn’t blog about “real life” as much anymore so much like my situation. Her post said she doesn’t like to talk about things in a vague way so she’d rather just not talk about it at all until the time is right, and that’s exactly what is going on with me.
I’m not blogging about certain parts of my life right now because I don’t want to give the full story, so why even go there? I hate putting information out there only for people to want more or ask a question and then me say “Sorry, not gonna go there.” So, just understand that this season of life and I’m sure some future ones are just not “real life” blog worthy. After I move and some things get settled, of course I will want to blog about my every day life again.
I also think it’s really easy to say you want more every day life kind of stuff if you are not a blogger. Not every season of life is that easy to write about or put out there all the time. I realize now that a lot of people come here for that, though, so I am definitely going to try to incorporate more “realness” to my posts. I’m bringing back Coffee Date Friday (look for another one tomorrow) and starting a Loving Lately series that should hopefully give a little more every day info that I think readers want.
The last part of the survey was a place to give any comments to make this blog a better place. Quite a few people skipped this, but some comments I got were:
- “Don’t worry about other people. They’ll read/ think what they want but if they keep coming back then your doing it right.”
- “Keep being you & real. I love the mom/baby posts.”
- THIS –> “just continue to write about whatever YOU feel passionate about – that’s what makes for the best posts because the writing is truly genuine (and therefore relatable!)”
A comment I got about the community here and how I’m doing on responding to comments was: “I appreciate that you respond to comments but then I feel guilty that maybe you have better things to do! You’re the only blogger who has ever responded to every comment I’ve made. I don’t know how you do it all!”
I just want to say that I LOVE responding to comments and building a true community here, so don’t worry about that! Really. 🙂
Someone also said they didn’t think I had a comment reply notification system set up. While I’m sure I don’t reply to every comment ever, if you are never getting a reply it’s probably because you haven’t selected to get comment replies emailed to you. At the bottom of the comment section, check the box that says “notify me of follow up comments by email” to get those emailed to you! You will only get emails for replies to your own comments – not all new comments.
I got some mixed reviews on sponsored posts. I get that no reader wants things to be all advertisement-y, but this is what it is. I do try to make sure I don’t have too much going on at once. Right now is a really bad example though, because I suddenly had several things I applied for all come through which were all due in Feb. or March.
I have been trying to grow this blog for a long time. It’s not free to have a self-hosted blog, and my hosting and expenses seem to get more expensive each year. I currently have my blog set up so it pays for itself through paid opportunities, but it would be nice to do more than just break even given how much time I spend doing this (and how much coffee I drink while blogging 😉 ).
I really try to give an honest review of anything sponsored. If I truly hate the product, I don’t even review it or tell the company that I can’t do the review because something about the product is not what I expected/goes against what I believe, etc. (I have actually done this several times). And I get contacted for tons of sponsored stuff that I just say no to right off the bat. But when I am into something or it pays well, I do like having the opportunity for this to be profitable.
I also got a slew of very unhelpful and rude comments. I’m not really sure why people took this as an opportunity to “give me a piece of their mind.” Maybe because they thought this was anonymous (but it actually wasn’t 😉 I can see everyone’s IP address). I REALLY don’t know why people who don’t enjoy this place are even reading it?
A note to those people:
If you think I am negative, guess what? In real life, I am definitely more of a glass half-empty kind of person – that’s just how I am and that doesn’t change when I get on my blog. All respondents said they want more real life posts but many people said I was too negative. This is contradictory to me. Did you notice my blog’s title was Freeing Imperfections? I’m not here to blog about how my life is perfect, because it’s not. I don’t want this blog to be a complain-fest every day, but if I’m going to keep it real, it’s not always going to be “omg look at what I did, and everything was so amazing.” There are so many fake blogs like that out there. When I started this blog, I wanted to keep it as real as possible and not be like those blogs. So if that’s not your cup of tea, find another cup.
And for the record, if you ever have to start anything with “Don’t take this the wrong way,” or “not to be rude,” it is most definitely going to be taken the wrong way or seem rude 😉
What I learned from doing this is…
- You can’t please everyone. I asked what people wanted to see more or less of. Plenty of people wanted to see more and less of the same thing, so I can’t really do much about that. I’m going to blog about what inspires me and people can skip over what isn’t interesting to them.
- The information was a lot less helpful than I thought. I am really grateful people took the survey, but how to interpret the data was not nearly as easy as I thought since responses were all over the place.
- Doing this revealed that I care a lot more about blogging for myself than for others. I thought I wanted feedback, but I think this whole survey thing just solidified that I have to stay true to what I want to write about. Again, you can’t please everyone so it’s kind of pointless to even try.
probablywouldn’t do this again.
- A lot more people are reading my blog than I realized who are not fellow bloggers or my own friends. It was interesting to see so many responses from people who I was certain had never left a comment or don’t know me.
- I think I will up my posting frequency as it seems like most people responded that they wouldn’t mind seeing more posts.
Overall, I learned that while I want people to enjoy what they’re reading, it’s not my job to make sure strangers on the internet who don’t even know me are happy. This place is what it is. Changes I want to make based off these results are to share more of what I’m already doing and post more often when my schedule permits.
If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this, I’ll be doing a Periscope live streaming video later today. I’m aiming to use Periscope to provide supplemental content to my blog posts and give more of that real life element to my blog. You can’t get more real life than a live video! You can catch all my scopes here.
I know Periscope is just “another” social media app and I was really skeptical at first, but trust me – if you are not on there you are missing out. I’m really loving being able to connect with people on a whole new level thanks to video. I hope to see you tune in sometime!
Questions for You:
- If you blog, have you ever done a survey? Were the results good, negative, or surprising?
- Would being anonymous versus being known change how you give someone advice?