For the past couple of days, I’ve been poring over the results of the NGN survey. I like these surveys because I think people are a little more free to be forthcoming under a veil of anonymity (even though the internet already seems to provide that). It helps me understand what’s working, what’s not, and if there are some things I should change (if I can or if I should). If you took it, thank you!! If not, MMHMM, it’s okay, I’ll get you next time, boo. Here are some of the results.
(WARNING, long post ahead.)
In the survey, some of you said that you want to get NGN in your email, and aren’t quite sure how. Short answer: click here and you’ll start getting posts delivered to your inbox. As far as Facebook goes, Zuckerberg keeps changing the algorithms on us – if we’d like to reach all of our FB ‘fans,’ we now have to pay – and then only maybe some will see it. (This is a frustration for lots of bloggers who simply want to get info out to people who have already voluntarily liked our pages.)
This is fairly new, and feel free to utilize it – you can get notifications every time your fave pages post on NGN. Here’s how:
If you check out posts through a reader, know that I always share full feed, and I will never go down to partial feed. (If you’re going huh?, this just means that if you’re reading through Google Reader, you will have access to the whole post, and not have to click through to read a blog post in its entirety.)
I did ask which aspects of the blog you like the least, and the answers ran the gamut. Many, many of you said “I like it all” which made me feel sooo good and I did a lot of smiling. Thank you for that!
34% of you said that Ballers of History is your least favorite part of the blog. Miniature Abe Lincoln and I were crushed. CRUSHED! I noticed in the notes that a few of you said you had to pick SOMETHING since the survey made you (oops, my fault on the back end) so you just picked whatever.
Pretty sure my errors mean this survey is no longer scientific. Regardless, BoH is probably going to stay, if only because I reeeaally like it. And as one really astute survey taker said, “Listen, I may not love a post, but I’ll just blow through it and wait for the next day’s. NBD.” :)
2% of you mentioned sponsored posts, in either a positive or negative light. Some comments:
- “I have no ‘least favorite posts.’ I actually really like sponsored posts, because they’re fun and entertaining, and I’ve found many brands and Etsy shops that I now love that way.”
- “I think blogs should be just for fun, and no one should have sponsored posts.”
- “The sponsored posts are still funny, but when I get to the disclosure at the bottom, I feel duped.”
Oh, man. Don’t feel duped. Let me explain about sponsored posts.
I get – roughly – 20 emails a day about adding content to my site. (I delete the ones that say, “Dear Blogger.” My name is the fifth word on my about page, come on now.) A person may ask me to write about their brand, product, or the company they rep, and may or may not offer to pay me. When I take on a sponsored post, I *only* do it if I think it’s a good fit for me and my readers. I have – with some serious pain – turned down $$$ offers because they just don’t fit.
(This is not to say that people are throwing dolla bills at me; this is not at all true.)
Often, I’ll mention a company or product without any pay or perks. An example of that is last week, when I mentioned an Indiegogo fundraiser to build an urban garden at the bottom of a post about fruits + veggies, or a couple of months when I did a post on Operation Christmas Child. I didn’t get compensated to write those posts; I wrote about them because I think they’re both great causes – and the latter being a fun way to instill the idea of giving in your kids.
Some blogs are just for fun, and although this blog IS a lot of fun, I would not be able to devote the time and money I do if I was not monetizing it somehow. I also appreciate a sponsored post because it gives me a topic and some inspiration. My site isn’t niche specific, and as silly as that sounds, having such a broad scope sometimes makes it really hard for me to nail a topic down. For example, this post was sponsored (i.e., I agreed to write for them; they agreed to pay my rate), and I had fun waxing nostalgic about my AOL days, as well as addressing some concerns that I think are relevant to most of my readers. In summary, I thought it was a fun post!
You can always count on my honesty in a post – if I don’t like a product or a brand, I decline the opportunity to work with them. I have also written less than stellar reviews. Not in a mean way, but I’m forthcoming in a “This aspect is cool, but this part didn’t work at all – if that’s a deal breaker for you, then pass on this one” kind of way.
Changes I will implement: At the top of each post, you’ll see that there are categories listed. From here on out, when I write a sponsored post, you’ll see “SPONSORED POST” under the title, and you can decide whether or not you’d like to read the post that day. :) As far as monthly sponsored posts go, I do a round-up once a month highlighting the brands that have purchased ad space. As a thank you to you guys, these will also be paired up with a giveaway.
Most of you love it or don’t care. I did notice that my guy readers (sup) leaned towards really liking the design (65% love it, 35% are indifferent, 0% clicked anything else). A few of you mentioned missing the old design and that having my face at the top made me it seem a little bit more personable and a little less sterile.
Changes I will implement: There were a couple requests for better categorized archives. As a short-term fix, I’ve put a drop down box in the sidebar, but I’m working on a way to have everything organized + categorized appropriately. Thanks for pointing this out! As far as the design goes, I’ll poke around over the next couple of weeks. If you see any crazy font changes; ignore me. I’m just working through the fact that I’m really bad at messing with html.
(This is the first and last time I quote a country song. Holy moly. That’s never happened before.)
Some direct quotes from the survey:
“More posts on parenting.”
“Fewer posts on parenting.”
“More post about Etsy shops!”
“I hate, HATE, HAAAATE the This is How I Feel series.” <—I got an essay on this.
“I want This is How I feel EVERY SINGLE WEEK.”
“I like that your website is varied.”
“More stuff about dealing with your kids’ allergies. My kids have them, too!”
“Longer posts – the endings are too abrupt.”
“Less diet stuff. What the hell is that, anyway?”
“You only post once a week.” <—-I think… you may be mistaken. I have upped it to four times a week.
“Everyday Gangster isn’t relevant to me.”
“Everyday Gangster is perrrrfect for me!”
So, as you can see, there is no way I can please absolutely everybody. On top of that, I want this to be a website that *I* love, too. With that said, I’ve taken ALL of your input into serious consideration, and have decided to implement some changes (as noted above). For now, I’m keeping Ballers of History, This is How I Feel, and Everyday Gangster, even though I know not everyone loves them all or feels that they’re relevant. If I get to the point where I post one up and I’m getting *crickets* as a response, then.. fine.. I’ll let them go, haha. :)
As far as requests for more serious posts, personal posts, parenting posts, cartoon posts, DIY posts, fashion + haircare + tell me about your love for Sephora posts, thanks for letting me know what you like!
Okay, that has nothing to do with anything, but I am doing the shoulder lean in my chair because this post is almost over. Mmskk mmskk mmskk mmskk.
I highlighted some of the negative comments in this post, but I got hundreds of really encouraging, wonderful, wonderful comments that just made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I love you guys. For real. I’d give up Cheetos forevaa for you.
I know I’ve covered a lot here, so you’re all welcome to discuss in the comments – I will happily respond. :)
♥ ♥ ♥
Okay, that’s enough now.