I want to thank everyone who participated in my Reader Survey. I haven’t done one of these since 2017, so it was definitely time. There were almost 1500 responses this year, which kind of blows me away. Thank you so much for taking the time because it’s very helpful as I plan content for the rest of the year.
I always like to share the results of my reader surveys and address some of the comments that came up. I answered some of the tech questions/issues in last Sunday’s post, so you can check that out if you missed it.
2022 Reader Survey Results
For this post, I’ll share the multiple choice and checkbox answers, and then I’ll address some of the comments.
How long have you been reading my blog?
In March, I will have had this blog for 16 years! It has changed a lot over that time, so I’m always surprised when anyone says they’ve been around since the beginning, but about 50 people who participated in this survey consider themselves an OG. Then there are about 80 who are new readers, and 90% are somewhere in between.
How did you discover my blog?
Almost half of survey participants found my blog from another blog, and then Google and Pinterest are the other top referrers.
How do you usually get to my blog?
The vast majority comes to my blog through my email list. This is why I’m always working to grow that list, and I’ll discuss that annoying popup more below.
On what device do you read my blog?
Wow, over 70% of you are reading on a mobile device. That means I spend way too much time perfecting how my blog looks and operates on desktop. I should be a lot more concerned with how it works on mobile devices. I do look at my blog on my iPhone from time to time, but 95% of the time, I’m on my computer.
What is your age range?
I’ll be turning 50 this summer, so according to this answer, 75% of you are older than I am. I don’t know if this is because there are so few bloggers over 40, so you’re stuck with me, or if it’s because younger people don’t read blogs, or maybe I don’t really dress my age. Anyway! Whatever your age, I’m glad you’re here.
What is your stage in life?
I tried to cover the gamut of life stages with this one, but someone suggested that “significant other” and “widow” would be nice options to have, and I agree. I’ve made a note of that for the next time I do a reader survey.
Not much of this is surprising to me, but I noticed that 50% of you worked outside the home back in 2016 and 2017, and this year that was down to 40%. Also, less than 15% worked from home in 2016 and 2017, but now that’s up to 22%. I’m sure the pandemic has a lot to do with that.
What is your family’s annual household income?
I realize spending habits don’t always correlate directly to household income, but I think it’s helpful to know this information as I plan content, and also good for you all to see as well. I will continue to try to include a variety of price points and offer alternative suggestions.
Where do you live?
Not surprisingly, most of you live in the United States, and it looks like you’re pretty evenly spread throughout the various regions. A few suggestions to include next time were Southwestern US and Pacific Northwest. Then about 4% of you are from Canada and 1% from Europe. Other areas that were mentioned were Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. Pretty cool!
How often do you purchase things I feature?
About 5% of survey participants shop from my blog several times a month, 39% about once a month, 35% a few times a year, and 15% prefer to get ideas from me and shop elsewhere. The rest were individual responses.
I’m aware that not everyone is shopping all the time, so I really try to find a balance between showing you new items to consider and sharing informational posts and ways to rework your existing wardrobe.
Are there any stores/brands you would like me to feature?
Since this was an open-ended question, I don’t have a neat little graph or pie chart to share, but this is a snapshot of just a few of the answers.
There were a lot of the usual suspects in here. White House Black Market came up a lot, as did Anthro, J.Crew, J.Jill, Lululemon, Banana, Amazon, Boden, and Talbots. I also got some requests for more Old Navy, Kohl’s, Target, and Amazon. And in addition to the brands and stores that were suggested, several people said that they like the variety of high and low retailers, some said they would like to see more affordable options, and many said it was good just the way it is.
I realize I don’t feature a large variety of retailers, and I definitely get in a rut at times. It’s just so easy to shop at Nordstrom! Not only do they have all the departments, but they have the best site to navigate and also the best pictures of the items. I’m also loving Evereve lately, but I know some don’t like the shipping and return policy.
I used to shop more at Banana, J.Crew, and Madewell, but I haven’t found much at those stores lately, and I don’t know why WHBM fell off my radar. I’ll have to see what they have out for late winter/early spring. I tend to shop more at Old Navy and Gap during the spring/summer, so you will be seeing more of those in the next few months.
You don’t see much from Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and Amazon because I don’t care for the quality of their clothing selections. I did try to incorporate them some in the past, but it never felt authentic, so I phased them out. I figure, there are lots of other fashion bloggers featuring those retailers for anyone who wants them.
All that to say, I will definitely try to source from a larger variety of retailers as I plan spring content. I need that little nudge every once in a while!
Which of my regular features do you enjoy the most?
Try-On Hauls were by far the most popular of my regular features, and the seasonal trend forecasts were next. I’m already working on the Spring Trends Forecast, so stay tuned for that! About 40% listed Coffee Talk and What I Wore Lately as favorite features, and everything else fell in line after that. I guess none of that is surprising.
Feedback on What I Wore Lately in the comments was mixed. Some love it, and some feel it’s boring and redundant. That’s fine, I get it. It is redundant. That’s kind of the point, though. That is how I dress. 😬 Enough people like it that I’ll continue doing them, but only every other week.
Are you on my email list?
This shows that the vast majority of my loyal followers (those who were willing to take the time to participate in this survey, anyway) are hooked into my daily emails! I spend a lot of time on those, so it’s good to see that it’s worth the time investment I put into them.
Do you have any feedback about my email newsletters?
About 500 people left feedback specific to my emails, but I think some people were confused and were giving feedback on the blog. I could usually tell what they meant, though.
The overarching theme was that people generally like my newsy intro and feel it makes the emails more personal, so that’s nice to hear. A lot of people wanted a larger font size, so I’ve made that adjustment. It seems that most of you like the format and additional features. Quite a few of you mentioned that you like the Q&A feature on Saturdays, so I’ll keep doing that. In general, the feedback on the emails was very positive.
Do you follow me on Instagram?
About 60% of survey participants follow me on Instagram, and 35% aren’t on Instagram at all, which didn’t really surprise me. I get comments from time to time from those not on Instagram when I refer you over there to see certain updates.
Do you watch Insta Stories?
Of those on Instagram, only half watch Instagram Stories. You guys are missing out! I enjoy watching stories more than scrolling my feed. If you don’t know how to find stories on Instagram, see this post where I showed you pictures of how to find it.
There were almost 250 comments with feedback for my Instagram and Instagram Stories, and it was definitely interesting to read through those. I got some good suggestions and ideas for content… Like more live try-on hauls, making sure to mention sizing when applicable, adding captions, sharing my outfit of the day, taking you along with me when I go shopping, etc.
A few people said they are glad I don’t do the reels with people jumping in and out of their clothes, which made me giggle. I think those are cute when other people do them, but I am just not that cute. It gives me anxiety to even think about doing those.
There was some constructive criticism about my Stories, but nothing hateful. Most of the critical comments are things I’m aware of and working on already. As much as I enjoy watching other people on Stories, I find being on my IG story to be awkward and a bit stressful. I much prefer to write, but I’m trying to be more consistent with it for those who enjoy it.
Are you part of my JLS Insiders Facebook Group?
Almost 50% of survey participants are in my Facebook Insiders Group, and I’m a little surprised that 30% aren’t on Facebook at all. I expected more of to be on Facebook than Instagram.
I like the suggestions to initiate more conversational topics and create more guided posts. Amy and I are working on that. And I also like the idea to offer more previews of things to come on the blog.
It really just comes down to time. I enjoy that space, and I want to be involved and see it active, but it does get time consuming. Still, it’s a great way to connect with you all, so I’ll continue to work on ways to make it valuable to our 3500 group members.
What is your biggest fashion challenge?
I got over 1,000 responses to this question, so this will be a great resource as I plan post topics for the next few months! This is just a snapshot of the fashion challenges you all are facing, and a lot of these issues were repeated in various ways.
It sounds like many of us are struggling with our aging bodies and trying to find that perfect balance of looking modern but not try-hard trendy. We’re tired of ultra casual wear but have nowhere to wear dressier outfits. Many are struggling with new denim styles and how to wear them with shoes. I will definitely refer to these comments as I plan spring/summer content.
Is there anything else you would like me to know?
Then there were 665 comments of general feedback to read through. I am not superstitious, but I was kind of glad it wasn’t 666, ha! I was humbled by the encouragement in this section, and I appreciate the constructive feedback as well.
Some were quite blunt, but there wasn’t a single comment I would consider rule or nasty, and that isn’t always the case in these surveys. I have a pretty thick skin after all these years, and I’m rarely offended, but it’s still kind of startling to come across a hateful comment. Happily, there were none of those.
But just to prove that I will never make everyone happy… and this is totally meant to be humorous. It doesn’t frustrate me or upset me in the least.
- Many of the outfits you show are the same. I know you feature what you wear, but much of the time it’s very homogeneous and doesn’t help me see anything new.
- I love that most of your posts are everyday things to wear.
- Show clothes other than jeans, every day is jeans.
- I do enjoy your what I wore lately. I think it is the most honest/true of your style.
- Your outfits are great for casual time but at work I need to dress up a little. It would be nice to see work wear every once in while.
- Maybe don’t bother with work outfit posts – they are usually not appropriate or practical – its not really and your strong suit.
- I would appreciate once in a while having some posts highlighting clothes that have tall sizes too.
- Link some petite options when possible.
- Your higher price points are nice.
- I like that you feature more quality items vs. cheap/sweatshop items.
- I would love to see some more affordable options in jeans and shoes.
- Appreciate higher end information.
- Less Nordstrom.
- I like how much you feature Nordstrom items.
- Too much high end merchandise.
- Thank you for avoiding Old Navy, Target and Amazon.
- I would love to see more budget-friendly items, like Amazon or Old Navy or Loft.
You get the point! Clearly there is a mix of budgets and preferences represented here, and I’m always trying to find the right balance of being a personal style blogger and wanting to be a resource to the variety of women who read along. I don’t think I will ever find a perfect balance, but I feel more authentic when I stay in my lane and feature items that I actually wear.
What came through more than anything is that you all like my attention to detail and how I explain the hows and the whys behind my outfits, so I will strive to keep doing that.
A Word About Ads
A few people mentioned the ads… the bane of my blogger existence!
- While reading the blog on mobile, the ads break up the photo and text of the items in your posts. Sometimes it is confusing and I have to back scroll often to remember the photo, especially when the post is a try on haul.
- I don’t enjoy reading your blog because there are so many ads and videos that pop up. It is hard to scroll though.
- The flashing constant ads are really distracting and have gotten much worse this year. Everything else is great.
- The ads continuously popping up are annoying.
Believe me, I would love to have a beautiful, clean, ad-free site. Sometimes I consider ditching my ad network altogether, but that would make no sense at all from a business perspective. It is very costly to run this site, and I provide all of my content for free. The ads help to offset those costs so I can focus on creating new posts and interacting with you on my various platforms.
That said, I’m mindful of how ads detract from the user experience, so I’m always tweaking them as I try to keep a good balance. For example, I opt out of ads that intentionally cover my content and force you to close them, and I also declined the option to remove the close button from the footer ad. Those are compromises do affect my ad revenue, but I want to be considerate of my loyal readers.
Like everything else in this digital age, ads are always evolving and getting more sophisticated, and users become immune to them, so ad creators keep coming up with new and annoying ways to make you pay attention, lol!
Last fall, some new ad options were released, one being that tiny video player that was popping up on the bottom right. I spend most of my time on a huge desktop, and it was very unobtrusive for me, but I had some complaints, so I looked at it on mobile and on a small laptop. I could see how it interfered with the user experience, so I had that removed.
I also can play around with how many ads show in a post and how far apart they appear, so I’ve asked to have them spaced out more because I agree that they were starting to overtake my content that I work so hard on. I hope those changes are helpful.
The point is, the ads can be tweaked, and I’m open to constructive feedback. Always feel free to send me a screenshot if you see an ad you feel is way too obtrusive. It might be something I don’t notice on my end or a new feature I don’t know about.
A Word About the Pop-Up Email Subscription Prompt
- I wonder if there’s a way to avoid the email subscription question screen popping up daily when I’m already subscribed.
- The add to email request when I already am is bothersome.
- Not crazy about the pop up you get now each time you log in to subscribe even when you already are a subscriber.
For years, I didn’t use one of those popup email subscriber forms because they make me crazy when I’m on other sites. But when Sydney was helping me move my email list from Mailchimp to Flodesk, she urged me to give it a try, and it really is effective. My email list has grown exponentially since adding that feature. It’s simply the best way to get new readers to stick around and become part of the community.
That said, we set it up so you aren’t supposed to get prompted once you’re already signed up, and we recently tweaked the settings so if you close the pop up without signing up, it shouldn’t prompt you again for 60 days (that is the longest duration we could set.) Like everything else tech-related, it can be glitchy sometimes, but it’s easy to click out of so I’m going to leave it for now.
A few more comments I want to address…
I would like to read more variety of topics other than just fashion. It’s starting to get redundant for me.
Well, it is a fashion blog, lol! But this time of year, I start to get burned out on the fashion as well. I’ve been trying to do a little more beauty and home (will share the powder room soon) and the Amazon roundup (with a lot of non-clothing items, which is what I mostly buy there).
Girl, personally I think you work waaay too hard! Sometimes your blogs could be divided into 2!
This made me laugh. Yes, this is something Sydney has been trying to tell me. She helps me with content planning and strategy, and she is always trying to get me to divide up some of my posts. The thing is, I have so many ideas for posts, it’s hard to fit them all in, but I’m trying to be more strategic with how I flesh out those ideas.
Have you ever considered creating an app? Not everyone wants to be on Facebook.
I love the idea because I really don’t like Facebook either, but I just don’t see that happening — at least not without a bigger team. I know there are bloggers who do have full-time team members, but making more of a formal community would be a huge time commitment, and I’m already spread too thin.
Do you have text message sign-up?
I don’t. Is that something you all would like? It would basically alert you of new posts, sale alerts, and probably all sorts of other things I haven’t thought about.
I wish your content was easier to locate when I am searching for something in particular. It just brings up the blog posts. Then I have to scroll through each post until I find what I was looking for or not. I want it to bring up the pictures of said item.
There isn’t a way (that I know of) to search pictures with the blog’s search function. It can only search for words. You could try Google though. Sometimes I use the search bar on my blog and can’t find what I need, so I Google my name with the topic, item, or recipe, and it often comes up easier that way. Also, if you see an outfit you know you will want to refer back to, you can always save it to a Pinterest fashion board. That would make it easier to find in the future.
I return to your site day after day because you do not comment on current events or politics. I do not want to know your political party or feelings towards current events. I come to your site because of your neutrality. You are Switzerland. Please remain this way!
This made me laugh. And I did get several similar comments. I definitely have opinions, and I keep myself well-informed on matters of politics and current events, but that is not what you are here for.
You will never know the value of the connection you have created with this random group of gals. Your blog has been one of the few points of stability we have had since March of 2020. No pressure intended — just very thankful for all you do, and that your family tolerates us!
I just wanted to include this one because it represents a lot of the comments on the survey. I am so thankful for this community as well. 😘
I’m tired of all the gray/black outfits. Hope to see more color for spring.
I get you! I am tired of it too. I’m already looking for some color to integrate into my personal wardrobe, and I’m sure there will be a lot more color this spring.
I know you have a very casual lifestyle, but I do get tired of hearing about sweaters and denim all of the time. I am not looking for dresses but just switching up tops and bottoms to include others besides jeans, sweaters and sneakers.
I got a few comments with this type of feedback, and I’m certainly not going to deny that I live in jeans, sweaters and sneakers! I will always think I’m such an unlikely fashion blogger because my personal style is very plain, and I’m more than happy to wear basically the same thing every day.
But I would say this gets better in spring/summer. Especially spring, when there are all sorts of layering opportunities. In the winter, especially after Christmas when we aren’t really going anywhere, I definitely regress into that comfortable uniform. It’s cold, and I’m tired and a little burned out from the pre-holiday hustle and bustle.
That got me to thinking… I tend to do my reader surveys at this time of year when we’re all feeling a little bored and restless. I guess it seems like a good time, beginning of the new year and all, but I would be interested to see if the feedback is any different if I did the next one during spring or early summer.
I think you should sometimes focus on accessories/finishing an outfit more. Sometimes it looks like a lot of plain sweaters and jeans — which I know is not really the case, but it can look that way.
I agree with this one as well. Accessory choices really can make or break an outfit, and they shouldn’t be an afterthought, but they often are for me. Sometimes my minimal accessories are intentional, but when I’m doing a dedicated outfit post or 5 ways to wear an item or basically anything where I’m styling an outfit and not just sharing pieces, I would like to be more intentional with adding accessories and talking about those choices. That will be a fun challenge!
On that note, I made a list of suggestions to keep in mind as I plan future content, and these are some of the ones I included.
- I think you should sometimes focus on accessories/finishing an outfit more.
- I would enjoy seeing more variety (skirts, dresses, purses, shoes, jewelry, etc) with try-on hauls.
- More content on dress your closet, organizational tips, and tips on spend verses splurge. What are great investment pieces such as handbags, jewelry and shoes.
- I think people could benefit from you sharing how color contrast fits into your looks. Similar to how you explained the rule of thirds.
- I would love to know what socks, if any, you wear with the various shoes. And if there are ANY that actually are no show, no slip. Thank you!
- I like posts on what to wear to different types of outings.
- I would like to see more accessories and how they can be used to change an outfit or update the outfit.
- Could you feature slacks/pants outfits for more formal events?
- Would love to see posts on resort wear (struggling to find vacation dresses), bathing suits.
These are all very helpful, and I will definitely refer back to this list!
Okay, let’s wrap this up! I really tried to cut this down but I’m still at almost 4000 words. It’s so tempting to respond to every little thing, but I think I hit on the most recurring themes. I really appreciate the ideas, suggestions, constructive feedback, and of course the encouraging words.
I’ve already implemented some of the suggestions, and I will be keeping it all in mind going forward. Thanks for being here and for being such a fun and supportive group of women!