September 13, 2012

Survey Results

Alright.  I've had a week to think about the survey results and a week to think about what I really want to do here on this blog.  It was so helpful to read your ideas and suggestions and I am really grateful that you would take the time to respond like you did.  I was floored that so many of you responded.  There were over 1500 surveys filled out.  I was so touched and I read through all of them.

It kind of gave me a pick-me-up that I needed.  I feel the same way so many of you do.  I feel connected to you.  You help me feel like I'm not alone in this journey.  I feel like we're friends and your thoughtful comments meant a whole lot to me.  Thank you.

Now I would like to tell you what I've been thinking.  I want to share some of the thoughts I've had and explain a few things.

Naturally, we all know we can't please everyone.  Some of you want more girl tutorials.  Some of you want more boy tutorials.  A few of you want boy tutorials, but not superhero stuff.  Some people love that there's a new post everyday.  Some don't mind if there are less.  It's challenging to read everyone's requests because I'm a person who naturally likes to please others.  However, I know that's not possible and I above all I need to make sure I love what I do (or frankly, you probably won't either).

So here are my decisions, responses, and plans for the next while here.  I've highlighted the questions and I'm giving you my take on things.  I put the most pertinent questions at the beginning, in case you don't want to read the whole post.  I know it's a bit long.

Are you going to quit blogging?

Someday I will, but I'm NOT going to quit tomorrow.  I still love it.  I appreciate all of you and feel the same way that a lot of you do.  Blogging helps me feel like there are other people in the same stage who I can relate to and I love the chance to share my ideas with you.

Let's get right to the controversial part and get it over with.  Are you going to truncate your posts?

If you indicated that truncating would be annoying, please hear me out here.  I will be as honest as possible.

While I didn't originally start this blog as a "job," it has helped our family a lot.  My husband doesn't have a "salary."  His job is 100% commission and that can be great at times and really hard at other times.  There's no guarantee with our finances and it makes me really happy to be able to cushion that and take some pressure off of him.  We've had major ups and downs in the past couple of years and now blogging is helping to even things out a little.

What does that have to do with truncating?  Because I am paid according to how many pageviews I receive.  If you read my blog in the reader, it's never counted as a pageview.  Ouch.

In any other job, this concept would be absurd.  Can you imagine what it would be like if fast food restaurants only made money if you came into the restaurant, but the restaurant never received a dime when people used the drive thru?

Blogs are free content.  It's like a free subscription to a great magazine.  However, the editor/author is only paid if you click.  I realize that 2 seconds to load seems like a lot for some of you, but it's FREE.
I think anyone who has tried blogging recognizes that it's a whole lot of work.

I will be truncating from here on out.

AND, if it's frustrating to you, I highly recommend trying out the "NEXT" button in google reader.  (Thank you ladies who mentioned it to me.)  I think it's a win-win situation for us.  I just switched myself and I love it.  Here's how it works.  Open your reader and click the drop down menu I circled in orange below.

These are the choices in the drop down menu.  Click on "reader settings."

Then click on the "Goodies" tab at the top of the page.

You will be taken to a page where you'll see these instructions.  Just drag the next button to your bookmark bar above and you're done.

Then when you want to read your posts you don't even have to go to google reader.  Just click the "next" button and it will take you to the next unread post in your reader.  The load time isn't bad and you get to see the whole page and header (which I enjoy on other blogs).  Plus, you help the reader of that blog because your pageview is actually counted.  When posts are truncated, they won't be for you.  You will see the full post.  You can even comment.  It's pretty sweet.

Most of my favorite blog truncated and I still read them.  I'm hoping you'll do the same, but if it's that big of a deal then I'm sorry to frustrate you.  That is NOT my intent.  No need to send me the raging emails.  I'm saying sorry now and that's all I can do.  I hope you understand my view.

Are you going to slow down your blogging pace?

Yes....a little.  I've blogged everyday for 2.5 years.  Just lately I've had the desire to change things up a bit.  I want to stay up on current events.  I'm trying to exercise more.  I want to go on more excursions with my boys.  I want a little release from deadlines.  I'm not slowing down a ton, but I'm just not promising 7 days a week.  Thank you for your kind comments in your survey about that.

What about Wake Up Wednesdays?

Most of you indicated that you like WUW and I'm so grateful for that.  I do Wake Up Wednesdays for two real reasons.

1) I am trying to become a better person.  I have a long way to go.  If I don't plan on doing good things then I don't do them.  It's sad, but true.

2) In 10-20 years I'll probably look back on most of my ideas here and laugh.  I'll wonder why I liked three doors for a headboard and I might even think chevron is ugly.  However, I believe that I will never regret trying to become a better person or encouraging others to do the same.  It's the kind of thing that lives on.  I believe it's more important than all my other content.

Where did the "Blogs I Love" section go?

I removed it about a month ago because it was really hard to keep updated.  I switch around the blogs I read a lot.  I felt bad removing a blog from the list when I stopped reading it.   I didn't want the list to feel exclusive.  If I left them all on and kept adding more the list would be enormous.

Will there be another round of "For the Love" series?

I really enjoyed this series.  I'm so glad we did it.  I plan on continuing to do charity things here, but they will probably be a little different next time.  I think we'll do something more like the Tohoku Tote.  It only took one post and raised a whole lot of money.  I'm open to ideas, though.  I'm still thinking about that one.

What about the content?

I try and create things I think our family needs.  I make boy stuff because I have boys.  (I do occasional girl things because I do have nieces, though.)  The content changes as our needs do.  When I decorate a room, you get a little more home decor posts.  When the room is done, there are more sewing posts.  I will still do some children's activities during the year, but they won't be as prominent as they were during the summer.  A few of you mentioned inexpensive, handmade Christmas gift ideas.  I'll get thinking about that one.  Thanks for the great idea.

If you liked what you've always seen here, then you'll like what's to come.

I hate sponsored posts!

A few of you mentioned that you don't like sponsored posts.  I understand that.  I prefer reading the articles in a magazine more than staring at the ads.  However, I don't take on a lot of them.  (In the last two months there have been 4 and that's including a Silhoeutte deal, which really isn't a sponsored post. I don't feel 4 out of 60 posts is something to complain about.)  If it's a non-crafty product I have always kept those posts for Saturdays so that they are easy to skip.  If it's a crafty product and I'm doing a tutorial for it, I will post it during the weekdays because it's still a craft tutorial.

I try to do very few sponsored posts.  I will say yes to sponsored posts with products I really want to try because I think that if I like them, you will too.  I like telling you about things I love.

"I want more Silhouette tutorials" vs. "I don't like tutorials requiring expensive equipment that I don't have."

There are definitely two sides to this one.  I remember when the Silhouette came out.  I wasn't in the first group that received one.  I wasn't in the second, third, forth, or fifth.  I was bummed because everyone was doing cool stuff with it and I didn't have $300 to whip out on one.

That's why I don't do a lot of Silhouette tutorials.  Sorry!

Now, here's the other side of the deal.  I do some Silhouette tutorials/posts, because I truly love the machine and I figure the person who created it deserves to spread the word about the rockin' invention to those who might be interested in it.  It's a great product and I tell you about the promotions for it when they come because I think it's worth talking about.

So, I'm trying to keep both parties happy here.

And that's a wrap.  Phew!  If you read all of that you totally rock :)  Thank you so much for reading this blog.  See you tomorrow.


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