It’s that time! Today I’m sharing the results from my first ever Reader Survey. I’m ridiculously thankful that so many of you took the time to let me know what you think of Lemon Thistle. And I’m incredibly humbled by your words of love, support, and general awesomeness. You guys are the best- really, I think I have the best readers ever. Before I spill what you spilled (see what I did there?) I wanted to let you know out of the 164 of you who completed the survey (Wow!) 142 of you entered your emails. I drew using a random number generator and have emailed the winners if the two Target gift cards (Congrats Lorene and Suzanne!). Also… did you hear the sad news? Target is leaving Canada already! The big sales haven’t yet begun but I’m already missing my weekday retreat, with two kids in the buggy (why is it so hard to find a buggy with two seats?) and a Starbucks in my hand.
Anyways… The survey results! Like I say above a whopping 164 of you took the survey! That’s huge! Thanks so much guys, you make my heart happy. What did I learn about you? I learned that 100% of you are females! I can’t say I’m too surprised on this one. Actually, in full disclosure, there was one male… but my husband told me he took the survey so I didn’t count him :). I also learned that over half of you are aged 22-39… just like me!
This one surprised me- only 50% of you have kids! I don’t do a ton of projects for the littles so this is actually a good fit. A good 26% of you were also under 21 so I think that’s part of the no kids population. The other thing I found really interesting is that 50% of you either blog or would like to. That’s a lot of people that would like to start a blog! Based off of some of your written responses, you guys would like to know a little more about my blogging process- the behind the scenes. I’d love to share that with you! I just didn’t know you were interested- so starting soon I’ll be adding in a ‘behind the scenes’ post every once in a while (probably only once a month or so) to meet this ‘ask’. To start you off though… I did share a tutorial on how to make tags (or any kind of free printable really) on Pic Monkey in this post.
I also learned that even though most of you are fairly new to Lemon Thistle, almost all of you are subscribed to my email list! So thank you thank you! And for the 11% of you that said… ‘You have an email list?’, the answer is a big fat YES! And I’d love if you signed up in the sidebar–> I’ll even send you some freebies when you do!
Now… what did you have to say about me? Well, Lemon Thistle really, but I soaked in all that good feedback too! You most enjoy the Small DIYs and Free Downloads followed closely by Big DIY, Lifestyle, Giveaways, Photography, Recipes, and Parties. On the ‘Meh’ side was Blogging, Florals, Babies, and Roundups. Stay with me here, I’ll point some fun things out. I asked the question, ‘Honestly, you could scrap ______ and I wouldn’t mind’ to see what you weren’t too in to. and the biggest two? Photography and parties… and the runner up (not by a whole lot either) Free Downloads! What you didn’t want me to scrap? Lifestyle and Blogging. I should note that even florals, which was the highest ‘scrap this’ vote, only got 23%… I got a lot of ‘nothing- I like it all’ answers. Which made me smile.
Notice how even though Free Downloads were your second favourite… you also wouldn’t care if I got rid of them? Surveys are funny like that… they sometimes tell two stories. I will be keeping Free Downloads as one of my core categories of the blog, don’t worry! And parties is one of the things that I love, love to do… so that’s staying too. But I’ll be sure to balance it out with lots of great home DIYs! Another funny thing is how you guys didn’t really love my posts on blogging, but you really didn’t want me to scrap them. I’m guessing that’s because I haven’t actually done any posts on blogging! I’m tricky, right? So like I staid above… I’m going to be bringing that one out.
A couple other things to note… you guys like recipes! And I suck at sharing those. I’ve shared a few over the past year, but they’re just not my strong suit. I do love to cook though! But I can’t make something look or sound as delicious as it really is. So I’m going to be recruiting some help this year to help bring you what you want- FOOD! Last thing I’ll point out in that bar chart is how you guys LOVE the lifestyle posts but don’t love the babies posts. And I have to be honest, I think I confused myself with this stat a little bit. Most of my ‘babies’ posts are my lifestyle posts. My babies pretty much are my life. And although you guys said that I could ditch the posts about the babies, they were also the thing that you commented the most on in your written responses. You think they’re cute and you want to see their faces more! I could talk about them all day, so I’ll be sure to keep that in mind :)
The one thing that I will be essentially ‘scrapping’ is the category ‘Florals’. Now that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever post them, because I do really like them- and a few of you did too! But they’ve been the less popular posts, and they have also been less and less as the year went on just organically- I have so many other things that I’ve wanted to share! But I will still pull them out occasionally, they just wont be a core category of Lemon Thistle for 2015.
When it comes to how often I publish new content on Lemon Thistle- it was an overwhelming, ‘You’re all good’. 50% of you thought 3 times a week (what I do now) was perfect and 37% of you said that it didn’t matter- Quality over quantity, whenever I’ve got something good for you. So I’ll keep on this three days a week schedule, I like it too :)
I had the most fun reading the written portion of the questions. You guys are the sweetest! The above image shows some of the posts you specifically called out as being awesome. I have to say that those 2015 calendars were well loved- like they were mentioned the most by a long, long shot. But the others got some love too!
1.DIY Open Shelving (Ikea Hack)/ 2. Three Free Printable 2015 Calendars/ 3. Before and After- a DIY Kitchen Renovation/ 4. DIY Felt Honeycomb Backdrop for a First ‘Beeday’/ 5. DIY Felt Masks and 6 Free Printable Templates/ 6. Free Printable ‘We’ve Moved’ Post Cards/ 7. DIY Salvage Copper Curtain Rods and Finials/ 8. Cheaters Naked Cake (from a Grocery Store Cake!)/ 9. DIY Mini Ombre Carnation Arrangements
Now the fun part- Here’s some specifics that you said. Let’s start with the specific critiques, shall we? There weren’t many… you guys were extremely nice to me. But there were a couple things that I thought were worth addressing.
“Assumptions that your readers have materials for projects and then leaving them out of the cost can be frustrating when I go to purchase supplies and find out it costs much more for me than you”
I hear ya! I’m all about budget projects. When I started reading blogs and DIY’ing myself I had a hammer, power drill, and one can of spray paint. I will try my best to find prices for items that I already have and do a total for you. I’ll probably do this by linking to where you could buy the product- whether it be Home Depot (AKA my second home) or Amazon. I’ll still give you my total though- because I get giddy when a project costs me $0… just saying!
“No Offence, but I think your blog would be amazing if it was a tad easier to navigate. But maybe it’s just because I’m new.”
“Perhaps a better way to search your DIY projects? Instead of showing all the posts labeled DIY, have a page with links to each project. Just an idea.”
That really was it… all your critiques (other than ‘I don’t have kids, so maybe less of that?’). And they’re all really, really helpful! I have been thinking of adding a gallery page for each of the categories and you guys have convinced me to do it. I’ll start working on that and should have it up before the end of February. This means that when you click DIY at the top of the page it will take you to a gallery with all my projects instead of a blog roll with posts tagged DIY.
Oh, actually in the ‘You should also know…’ section someone also suggested that I write less and post more photos. And here I am writing a novel. I can’t help it, I like to write? But I’ll try make sure there’s lots of photos for you in each post! To make up for this one having so little photos… here’s one of me smiling (thanks for being so awesome, friends!). Photo by the lovely Troi Crombie on one of our adventures.
And as for the good? There was lots of it! But here’s
a few more than a few of the things you said that sum up all the awesomeness you guys sent my way (it was so crazy hard to choose… you were really so nice to me!). Not below is all the ‘your babies are so cute!’ but I loved those too!
“I really honestly enjoy you blog. The posts are of good quality.. I feel like they are unique and not run of the mill diys off Pinterest that you see all the time. The blog is really well laid out and is attractive to look at. Instructions are easy to follow and photography is great quality too. Keep up the great work Colleen.”
“I love how easy your DIY projects are, and the fact that you’re able to accomplish them with not one but TWO little ones at home only goes to show how easy it is to be a parent AND be creative at the same time.”
“You seem like someone I would love to hang out with. We seem to have the same sense of style, thoughts, etc. Reading Lemon Thistle is like talking to a great friend!”
“I really look forward to my emails :) when my daughter is in bed for the night I have time to check my email and I love getting these and looking at the blog”
“I love that you are real and the blog is an extension of that.”
“The simple DIY’s. They really are simple and this is encouraging!”
“Great photos, love your lettering, and so far I’ve loved all your crafts/decor items. They are things I would actually like in my house!”
“The pictures are beautiful. I like that you include a comprehensive list of materials needed at the start of every project.”
“Everything! The bright vibe I get from reading your posts, your blog layout… Your blog is one of my faves!”
“The clean, effortless way your life its pictured in the blog. That aesthetic is furthered by your printables in a lovely way.”
“I love how you send us emails that are so personalized yet so chill. Makes me feel loved ^_^”
“I like that you are friendly, kind and humble, and that you treat your readers as friends.”
“I love that you’re asking your readers for their thoughts!”
More than a few, right? And there were too many to choose from, I can’t thank you guys enough. Hearing that you think of me as a friend makes me incredibly happy… because I feel that way about you guys! I love that we can have this little place to connect. I love that you guys comment on each and every one of these posts and let me know what you think- I get excited to read and respond to each one. I’m so glad that you guys see this is real- because we all know that life isn’t perfect- but I think it’s good to celebrate even the little good things. I’ll never stop sharing those #RealLife moments (because we all have them) even though I work hard to keep the photos here pretty. And I’ll never stop asking for your thoughts, deal?
The other thing that I really loved hearing is that the DIYs are actually things you’d like in your house and that they’re do-able. I’m so glad! I really enjoy seeing the photos you tweet and Instagram and email of your projects that you’ve completed using my tutorials. They make my day- really truly.
So a lot of you guys told me “great work, keep it up!” and I’ll say the same to you. You guys rock… please keep being this awesome? Thanks. I knew you would. I’m excited for 2015 and will take all of your post ideas and feedback into thought as I brainstorm for the year ahead! Got more to say? I’d love to hear it! Leave me a comment or shoot an email.