2/12/18

Reader Feedback Results

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A little while back, I posted a Reader Feedback Survey and asked for your input on the type of content I share on the blog. I learned so much from your responses and comments, and will be using them to implement some changes here going forward. I decided to share the results with you all to answer some questions that came up in the survey as well as just keeping you all in the know about changes I plan to make going forward.

Blog Content Feedback:
There are a number of topics I post pretty consistently here (e.g. Monday Motivation, Everyday Outfits), and quite a few others I do sporadically or I used to do more in the past (e.g. Pinterest Inspired outfits and workout recaps). I had readers rate these topics on a scale of 1 to 10 with one meaning they don't care for a topic and ten meaning they really enjoy it. My objective was to rank the topics by their score and make sure the top-ranked topics are getting the most "airtime" on the blog, so to speak. Any low scoring topics could be discarded or posted with less frequency. Here's how the topics ranked in the survey from highest rated to lowest rated:

Multiple Ways to Wear _____
Everyday Outfits
T.G.I.F.
Currently + Other Lifestyle Posts
Pinterest Inspired Outfits
Monday Motivation
Shopping Inspo/Product Collages
Book Reviews
Beauty + Cosmetics
Weekly Workout Recaps

Based on these results, I plan to increase the frequency of Multiple Ways to Wear and Pinterest Inspired Outfit Posts. Going in to the survey, I was thinking that anything that didn't score above a 7 should probably be cut way back, and the only one in that category was Weekly Workout Recaps. Those have already been "retired" from my regular rotation so I don't think I need to bring them back. They also scored the most "1"/Not Interested Votes of any category. Beauty content just made it past the 7 cutoff, but they are pretty infrequent already, so I won't change much there. I usually just mention a new product here and there if it's something that anyone could try, like a nail polish top coat or mascara, so I'll still pass along those occasional recommendations mixed in with other lifestyle content

Also, even though Book Reviews rank somewhat low here, they still scored over an 8 and just one tenth of a point below Monday Motivation and two-tenths under Pinterest Inspired Outfits. I will keep them to the once-a-month schedule since it's a bonus Tuesday post anyway. Even if it isn't the most favorite with people who come here for my usual fashion/shopping content, it does have a strong niche community that I really enjoy. And most of that community probably didn't take the survey since I didn't post it on book review day! 

I asked for feedback on whether you all would like to see more Designer Dupes here, which is another type of content I've been sharing quite a bit on Insta-Stories. You can see the graphic below for how the responses broke down. The majority (74%) seem interested in Designer Dupes, but since I didn't gauge interest on the 1-10 scale like I did with other topics, I can't rank it alongside those. I think my best bet right now is just to start incorporating these a bit more on the blog. Then I can gauge interest from your clicks and/or from the next reader survey after it's become a more regular feature.
Photography Feedback:
I was pretty interested to see how you all would weigh in on this topic since 2017 was my first year of adding posed, non-selfie photos to the blog. Here is the percentage breakdown on your photography preferences:
The majority don't have a preference on the selfies vs. posed photos, and that's honestly a big relief for me. Some of the post topics that are highly rated (e.g. multiple ways to wear a certain piece) are much easier to put together when I can just take selfies. While I will keep incorporating both kinds of photos for different purposes, I think my main focus will be creating the types of posts you all prefer and not worrying too much about which type of photography I use to get it done.

Comments on Photography:
Here are a couple of the comments that shed some light on photography preferences:

"I would prefer the full body poses only because those tend to include side shots. I like seeing what the shoes look like; sometimes I can’t tell how high the heel is until I click on the product. It’s not a big deal. I just like to get a complete view of the products."
--I completely understand this, and it's also a really good reminder for me to make sure I try to get some kind of side shot of my outfits to show heel height in those posed photos. Sometimes when I'm out taking photos I'm just thinking about getting it done rather than helpful product angles, and I need to be more mindful of that. Especially if it's a newer, still-in-stock shoe when those details are relevant to a purchase decision.

"[Mirror selfies] seem closer so you can see the details of the outfits. Not that I don’t like your face haha"
--This honestly made me laugh, and don't worry, I don't mind. I'm glad that mirror selfies help you see the details better, and I do try to repeat any posed photos in selfie version on Fridays for those who prefer that. Headless outfits do better on Pinterest (this is a general rule and not just true for me personally), and there are a few practical reasons for that. I pin lots of flatlays and headless selfies/photos on my Pinterest pages because I just find it easier to picture myself in them! So I'm still planning to keep sharing them for the foreseeable future.

Also, 0% of you preferred the top view angle I usually share on Instagram. I haven't been posting those as much on the blog lately and it looks like no one misses them, so I don't plan to bring them back here any time soon.

"Similar" Item Feedback:
When something I'm wearing is no longer available, I do my best to find something similar to what I'm wearing and at a similar price point to what I originally paid. e.g. if I'm wearing a sold-out $20 top from SheIn, I don't want to link you to a $95 top at Nordstrom (even if it's quite similar) without a warning. I haven't been able to tell from links alone whether price or brand are more important in your purchase decision, so I thought I'd ask! Here's what you all had to say.

Between the poll results and a few of the comments that came in on this topic, the most important factor is simply whether the items looks similar. I really do try my best on that and honestly, it ends up affecting my shopping habits plus what I choose to wear and share on the blog. Finding similar items is tough and can be incredibly time consuming. I haven't quite figured out my happy place in all of that, but I appreciate you weighing in so I can fine tune my methods a little. I did have a good comment here that prompted an immediate change.

"I appreciate seeing similar but budget items." 
--While I wear lots of budget-friendly stuff (maybe 85% of my wardrobe?), I do have a few splurge items. Going forward I'll really try to be more consistent about sharing a budget option for my splurge pieces. While handbags are usually the most common area for women to splurge (see this article) and I acknowledge that through my content, I absolutely understand that it's not the case for everyone. I know many women who can afford to splurge on handbags and simply choose to spend it in other ways and I respect that a lot. I really want my blog to be a good resource for offering ways to get the look for less (in handbags and other categories as well) since that topic came up quite a bit in the comments.

Newsletter Feedback:
In retrospect, I should have handled this topic a little bit differently since it's a "new" thing for me and I didn't give you all any backstory as to why I would do this. Live and learn! So here's the backstory: basically every single article I read entitled "Mandatory Blogging Tips" or "Five Things Bloggers Need to Do or They Are Worthless" etc. etc. includes a newsletter. To be honest I've always just thought...why wouldn't I just put that content on the blog? And where am I going to find the time for that?! So I've tried to push the idea aside, but then I read yet another article saying I need a newsletter so I feel pressured to do it. I thought I'd just get your take and see if that helps me decide. Here's what you had to say about the idea:

You're all about as decisive as I am! Ha! The Newsletter topic inspired the most comments and you all gave me lots of great suggestions. This comment sums up my own concerns pretty well:

"I don't subscribe to any newsletters so guess I am not sure what would make a newsletter different than the blog? I enjoy reading your blog so I hope you don't 'save' things only for a newsletter."
-- The only thing I could really see as the benefit of the newsletter at this point is the ability to share things in a more casual, quick format. Formatting anything from photos to collages to pie charts to look halfway-decent for the blog is pretty time consuming and limits what I end up sharing. I've also thought about sharing some casual Coffee Talk style conversation once a month or so that's a bit more personal than what I'd want to put up on the blog simply as a way to connect more with those who opt in. But for now, I think I will just keep doing extra posts on the blog (including some of the ideas you all suggested as newsletter topics) here and there when I have time rather than saving them for a newsletter.

Open Feedback, Questions, etc.
And last but certainly not least, the open comments section. Once again, you all had great input and ideas, and some very kind and thoughtful and constructive words. One thing that came up a lot is your love for budget-friendly, affordable fashion. You love Target finds, Amazon bargains, a great sale, and outfits that actually work in everyday life, not just for a photo shoot! I am really happy that you consider me a resource for that because I really do put a lot of time into finding some bargains (especially on Amazon) that I don't see on any other bloggers. I will absolutely keep on posting those things! Here are a couple of other comments I wanted to address:

"I do like to see where you were going when you wore the outfits it gives me ideas." 
--I honestly enjoy this a lot myself from other bloggers even when it's very mundane stuff (Target, dentist appointment, school pick-up, etc.) so yes, I will try to do this more. On a Friday post where I'm posting up to six outfits I may not go through every detail of every day, but I can definitely work it in more often than I have been.

"I am unable to PIN your outfits. Am I missing something?
--Hm, I do have a Pin hover button on my site (so the red "Save" button should pop up whenever you hover over an image) so I am not sure why that's not showing up for you. But I appreciate all the support I can get on Pinterest, so you could add a Pinterest browser button if you don't have one or go to my Pinterest Board. I pin most of my outfits there so if the other options don't work, head there and re-pin away!

"If you post something that only comes in one size and that size is equivalent to a XS/S it would be great if you found something compatible that comes in a M. Thanks!"
--Gosh, I feel like a jerk for not thinking of this myself! 100% yes I will start doing this immediately.

"I noticed you venturing out into different styles/ colors/ types of outfits. It’s nothing crazy, but you’ve inspired me to be more “bold.” (And by bold I mean, wearing dresses and wearing colors other than black/white/blue)."
--Ah!! I'm so glad to hear that! In the past couple of years, I've gone from "trying new things" on the fashion front about 2% of the time to...10% of the time. Some things I decide aren't for me, some I learn to love, so I'm happy you're joining me on that adventure! I will keep venturing out now and then and also work on adding more ways to wear some of the new-to-me pieces/styles.

"I do feel that you have been showing the same outfits over and over. It’s okay, yet I have started to become more interested in what you say instead."
--This is kind of the the flip side of the previous comment, and that's okay too! I understand that my 10% "trying new things" is still 90% redundancy to more adventurous and fashion-forward types, but I honestly appreciate that you take the time to visit anyway just for what I have to say.

"I am quite a bit older than you as are my kids but I really enjoy your blog. As I said before, I must have the same taste in books because I've liked everything that you've recommended. While your style is more casual and younger than me, I've bought several pieces and adapted your look."
--I just have to say this comment made me so happy and thanks so much for the positive vibes! I deliberately did not ask the typical "how old are you," question on the survey because after thinking about it, I just don't think it matters. I tried to stick to questions that would help me prioritize content creation, and age doesn't seem to factor into that for my blog. I can only share what I personally know/wear/experience and if people click with that for any reason whether they're 18 or 80, I'm extremely flattered and hope to keep you around!

Okay! That does it for this year's survey! I know this was very long and text heavy, but I really wanted to do it as a big thanks to those who took the survey so you could know your opinions were heard and will help influence what I do here going forward. I was worried going into the survey with thoughts like,"what if every type of content I create gets an average score of 5 and I need to start over completely?!?" creeping into my head. Thankfully that was not the case, and this ended up being a very positive, constructive experience that I think can help me grow and improve, which is exactly what I wanted! And side note, if you are a blogger who has considered doing a survey yourself I highly recommend it!

Tomorrow is book review day so if that's your thing, I hope you'll stop by and check it out because I read a lot of books this month! If not, no worries....see you back on Wednesday for the regularly-scheduled fashion content! 




CONVERSATION

8 comments:

  1. I just read this whole post. I love reading what other people like about blogs. It just makes me so happy. I hope this survey made you feel such love because clearly people (like me) enjoy following you. You are so kind, relatable, and have great style. It's so great that you really took the feedback to heart. I like the opened ended questions too.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Aw, thanks so much Amy Ann! Yes, it really did make me feel great. All of the criticism really was constructive and helpful and I could tell it came from a good place rather than a negative one. That makes it a lot easier for me to take it all in and *want* to make the requested changes.

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  2. this was sooo good, and one thing I got from my survey was to do more ways to wear post and I'm still slacking. This was my wake up call. I think that a balance between selfie and posed pics is perfect.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. Thanks Rachelle! And yes, I know I LOVE seeing posts with multiple ways to wear something so I really should be doing more of them myself.

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  3. I am really glad you went over the results of the survey in depth! Sometimes I take reader surveys and then I never heard what the results were or how the blogger is planning on changing the blog. It was interesting to see what other people thought!

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  4. I feel the same way about a newsletter! I keep feeling the pressure to do one because it seems like it's essential in order to survive - lol. Honestly I just don't know that I have it in me and I really can't imagine taking on another thing at this point. We'll see what the future holds! Thanks for sharing your feedback, you are doing a great job!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. Thanks so much Kellyann! And of course, after I posted this I read yet ANOTHER article that made me think...maybe I DO need to do a newsletter. So we'll see. It's just hard to imagine adding something else to the mix here.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!