Back in January, I asked for your input in my first ever reader survey and I am so, so grateful to those of you who took the time to give me your honest opinions and constructive feedback. I gained some valuable insights from your answers and I want to share them with you today. Today’s post is all about what I learned from your survey input, how I’m going to use those findings to shape the future of the blog, and some other thoughts and plans I have for this year. If you’re a regular reader, I think you’ll find this post interesting. If you’re not all that interested, how about you go check out some of my organization posts instead.
Who You Are…
I already knew quite a bit about you actually, at least the basic demographics that I can see in my analytics. Here’s a breakdown of your ages:
It’s no surprise that I fall into the same age range as the largest segment of readers, age 25-34. But it is interesting to see that each age range has pretty good representation. Without pulling the numbers, I would have guessed even more to be under 44 years old.
In case you were wondering, just about all of you are women – no surprise there, right?
In the survey, I asked you what your employment status was. This may have seemed like an odd question to include, but I was curious to know. Based on the popularity of some of my recent time management and to-do list type of posts, I wondered if most of you were working full-time jobs and how many of you were self-employed. I learned that 41% of you are employed full time, which I think will be helpful to be as I write future time management posts. I want to help you find a work-life balance that makes sense for your life.
I also asked you if you are a blogger. Bloggers tend to read a lot of other blogs, so I wanted to know what the make-up of my readers was. I sometimes get the itch to post more about the behind-the-scenes blogging stuff I’m learning, but I’ve decided not to go that route right now since I don’t think blogging tips will be interesting or useful to the majority of you. But if you do have any blogging-related questions, feel free to ask! I’d love to chat with you one-on-one.
What You Enjoy Reading…
A big part of the survey asked how well you liked each of the topics I blog about. I asked you to rank each topic on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being you love reading it. The results were so close! There was no clear winner or loser and you seem to enjoy reading about all of these topics, so I’ll keep giving attention to each of them. To get more helpful information in the next survey, I’ll probably ask you to rank the topics from your favorite to your least favorite, you know, to force you to choose your favorites 🙂
My goal with this blog is to help you overcome your struggles and to teach and inspire you. In the survey, I asked you to tell me your biggest struggles related to each of the main topics I blog about. I’m so glad I thought to ask this question! Reading your comments gave me some great ideas for future blog posts and really helped me see what areas you most need help. There were many comments that were quite similar to each other, which validated the need to share more about those things in the future. Here are some of my observations:
Your Decorating Struggles…
- You don’t have a big budget, so you’re really interested in decorating ideas that are affordable. You also want project ideas and tutorials that you can realistically complete with limited time and limited decorating knowledge.
- You want to learn how to decorate with what you have rather than buying new decor that will just collect dust. And you’re working on a budget after all, so you need ideas of how to make the best use of what you have on hand.
- Several of you specifically said you need help arranging shelves and vignettes. This has already triggered several blog post ideas, so watch for more posts with lessons on how to style your shelving. I agree with the person who said that you would like to get better at this because they are easy to switch up often – so true! Interior styling is easy to change up regularly, you just need some practice and basic know-how to know what to do.
- Some of you seem stumped with how to achieve a certain decorating style in your home. I think your home’s style evolves with you over time, and it’s not something you can achieve overnight. I do plan to write some posts for you with easy, affordable ideas for incorporating various styles into your home. For example, a few of you want to add more color but don’t know what will look good or how to start. I can give you some tips that will help you determine what will look good and then gradually add in more color over time without breaking the bank.
- The other trend that was evident in your comments was that you are good at collecting inspiration, but not so good at actually making your ideas a reality. I think everyone has this problem, me included! This is something that can’t really be covered in a single blog post, but it’s more of a theme that I will keep in mind for every blog post I write.
Your Craft & DIY Struggles…
- Overwhelmingly, your biggest struggle is simply finding the time and motivation to start and finish a project. It sounds like I’m not the only one who has several projects “in progress.” I’ll keep that in mind and focus on quick projects that you can realistically finish in an afternoon.
- Many of you mentioned that you prefer project ideas that require few tools and supplies. You don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of things just to complete one project, and the supplies need to be affordable. One of you mentioned it would be nice if I could give some ideas for how you could modify a project based on the tools you have, and I think that’s a great idea! I do plan to continue sharing crafts I make with my Silhouette paper cutter, but I’ll try to balance them with crafts that don’t require fancy tools.
- Some of you just don’t feel like you’re the creative type. I appreciate your honesty! I think that thought is what holds so many people back from starting projects. But let me tell you that you can be creative, you just need to figure out how to find that creative magic that’s buried deep inside of you. One of my main goals with this blog has always been to inspire you to be creative, so I’ll keep aiming to do that!
Your Organizing Struggles…
- It sounds like you all want to see more organizing posts about specific areas of the house, i.e. your bedroom closet, your bathroom vanity, your kitchen cupboards, your photos, etc. I’ve really felt the tug to focus more on organization posts this year, so I’ll definitely be share a lot of tips as the year goes on.
- Many of you said you struggle with having too much stuff. I think a lot of people feel that way! Maybe some decluttering projects and advice would help?
- You want ideas for finding a place for everything, even with limited storage in your house. It does feel like one can never have too much storage space, right? Let’s work on finding a place for everything this year.
- Setting up systems and developing habits to keep things organized long after you do the initial organizing was of big interest. These comments already inspired this post on organizing habits I wrote a couple weeks ago.
Thank you for sharing your struggles with me! Those answers are pure gold to me, and I quickly came up with dozens of blog post ideas related to each area. This list of observations is something that I will be referring back to very often.
You all are just the best readers on the planet. In the survey, I asked you what you would ask me about if we had the chance to grab coffee together. Your comments were so sweet and insightful! Most related to one of the struggles above, so I’ve included them there.
Some of you wondered how I do it all, and that’s something I do want to take a bit of space to answer. The reality is, I don’t do it all. I have a lot going on, but I usually focus alot of energy on a couple things while the other things get less attention. It’s really a balancing act. I am as organized as I know how to be, but that doesn’t mean I’m perfect. My pictures on the blog may look great, but that doesn’t mean every room in my house is also that clean. I’ve learned to say ‘no’ to things, and to know when some things just aren’t worth my energy right now. When my to-do list is getting overwhelming, I give myself permission to find a few things on it that I’m just not going to do. I do work a full-time job and spend a significant amount of time on this blog, but keep in mind that I don’t have kids which definitely allows me to spend more time on other things. I also don’t have much of a social life because I simply have too much going on!
I’ve been blogging for a couple years, but this was the year that I completely fell in love with the world of blogging. I officially have the blogging bug, which is great for you because that means there are so many blog posts and exciting things in store for my readers.
A few of you suggested I post on a consistent schedule, and that’s my plan for this year. You can check back here every Tuesday and Thursday morning for a new blog post, and I’ll also be occasionally posting on Fridays. I’ve been following that schedule since the beginning of this year, and think it’s really going to work well for me. I will put a caveat here that life happens and, since the world won’t stop spinning if I don’t get a blog post published, there may be an occasional week where I don’t post as frequently as I plan to. My goal is to write posts further ahead of time than I have in the past, so hopefully that will help me stick to my schedule even when things get busy.
In addition to consistently publishing blog posts, I have some other goals for The Small Stuff Counts this year. It’s too early to really share most of them with you, but look for some fun things to happen here this year. One of the goals I’m focusing on right now is improving the branding and usability of my website. You probably already noticed the new logo appear at the top of the site, and I also added a really cool project gallery tool to help you find older posts through the menu items at the top of the blog (see it in action here). I recently revamped my about page and added a page specifically for new readers. And if you’re not on my email list yet, you should be. I’ve started sending weekly emails to my ah-mazing subscribers and consider them my VIPs (subscribe here).
I’ve also started working on a secret project that I will be so excited to share with you once it’s further along. How’s that for a teaser? I’ll just go ahead and tell you now that there will be many more teasers appearing once my project is further developed.
Wow, thank you for making it all the way to the bottom of this lengthy post! What was most interesting to you? Anything else you’d like to add or echo? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for being a part of this blog. We’re going to have a great year together!
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