The Results Are In!
I want to say thanks again for taking the time to fill out my reader survey! I know it was a bit lengthy, but I really wanted to make sure it was thorough so I can better serve you while staying true to myself.
I always like to share the results of my reader surveys in case you’re interested and also to address some of the comments that came up.
This post has the potential to become quite lengthy (I know you’re shocked!) so I want to get right to it without too much intro. I’ll start by recapping the multiple choice and checkbox answers, and then I’ll address some of the comments. I have to admit, I was surprised by some of these!
Results of the Reader Survey
There were over 900 participants. I am BLOWN AWAY by that. When I’ve done these in years past, I had around 200. So again, thank you! Let’s break it down.
I’ve been blogging for 10 years, and while my overall blog traffic increased dramatically last fall when I narrowed my focus to fashion, it was still pretty respectable before, so the fact that 60% of you have joined me in the last year was a little surprising to me.
Sometimes I forget that not everyone has been hanging on my every word for years (ha!) so I’ll try to keep that in mind. I probably assume too much when I’m writing posts!
Nothing super surprising there, but I figured I’d share.
Clearly we are a mobile generation! I know that the national stats always indicate that more people are reading blogs on mobile these days, but this proves it is true for my audience as well. I spend SO much time making sure my design is working well on the computer screen, but I guess I should pay more attention to what it looks like on mobile!!!
Lots of email subscribers! Of course, it stands to reason that you are probably the most engaged if you’re willing to let me into your inbox every day, right?
There are currently about 8000 people getting my daily emails! Of course less than half open them, ahem…
I get it. We’re all busy. But if you don’t want to miss out on any of my posts, getting my emails is the best way to do that. It is super easy to sign up.
How to Get My Daily Emails
If you weren’t aware, I have three email subscription options — two types of daily emails and a weekly digest that comes every Friday with links to each post from the week.
Of the two daily ones, one is automated, and it contains my most recent blog post in its entirety, links and all. (Someone actually asked if they can get my entire post in their email, and the answer is YES!)
The most popular one, however, is the one that I write daily. I share a little bit about what is going on in my life and then link over to the most recent blog post. If you’re one of the ones who said you miss my daily banter, this is the email option for you!
If you prefer a different email to the one you currently receive, you can change your email preferences by clicking PREFERENCES at the top or bottom of any of my emails. Or just email me, and I will fix it for you.
Okay, moving on…
This one was actually quite surprising to me. Almost 70% of my audience is over 45 years old. I guess I expected the 36-45 age group to be much larger since that’s where I fall in the breakdown, and because my style tends to be a bit on the more youthful side (or so I thought.)
Maybe moms my age are too busy to read blogs, I don’t know! At any rate, I can see I will be in good company as I get older. Ha!
Another bit of information that surprised me is that almost 50% of you work outside the home. Since I share so much casual wear, I expected that to be lower. I definitely plan to incorporate more work wear options into my outfit posts this fall. I can return what I don’t need and still give you some work-appropriate style inspiration!
In the interest of time, I’m not going to share every graph from the survey, but it should come as no surprise that 99.9% of you are female. (Phew!)
Social Media Statistics
You also might like to know that Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform among my regular readers, and Pinterest is a close second.
And less than 50% of you are on Instagram!!! I am horrified. HORRIFIED. I must convert you. It’s my absolute favorite. Instagram is so pretty, and there’s little to no drama. I enjoy the pretty lifestyle shots, getting a glimpse into people’s lives without too much information (hello, Facebook) and all of the great style inspiration.
Speaking of Instagram…
I had several people ask me to share links to what I’m wearing on Instagram, and the ONLY way I can link you to the items I’m wearing is with LIKEtoKNOW.it. Instagram doesn’t allow me to share links any other way. And really, LIKEtoKNOW.it makes it SO easy. Once you get it set up the way you want it, it’s the most efficient way to know where to find the pieces to my outfits.
I’m also going to try to remember to tag the brands that I’m wearing, as I know that is helpful too, and a few requested that in the survey.
I had a sneaking suspicion that one reason more of you don’t use LIKEtoKNOW.it is because you don’t understand it, and I can definitely help with that! In fact, I already have a post explaining LIKEtoKNOW.it linked in my upper nav bar.
If you don’t use LIKEtoKNOW.it because you don’t want more email, you can actually set it up so it does not email you. You can still get the product links by clicking on the link in my Instagram profile OR you can always click on the Shop The Feed widget on my blog’s sidebar, so don’t let the email issue stop you from signing up.
If it is Instagram that you don’t understand, I’m planning on writing a post explaining Instagram for those who are interested. If you have specific questions you want answered, leave them in the comments below.
No surprise here. Snapchat tends to appeal to the younger generation, but I know that some of you enjoy connecting with your kids on there so you use it.
I really love Snapchat. I should use it more than I do. I’m kind of all or nothing over there, but it’s totally relaxed and laid back. There’s no pressure to make things pretty, so I feel like I can totally be myself. I like to share a little bit of what is going on in my life and behind the blog. I will sometimes show you what I am getting in the mail, or I’ll just talk about what I’m up to. I try to give you a heads-up when I list new things on @shopjolynnescloset or what’s coming up on the blog or if there’s a great sale you should know about, but it’s not highly promotional or anything. It’s more for fun.
I will say that it is not intuitive to use, so if you’re interested, have one of your kids show you how! LOL!!! Seriously, I had to have a friend explain it to me, and the I had to practice a while before I got the hang of it, but now I love it.
This part is super helpful as I source outfits and also as I field pitches from brands who want to work with me.
LOFT won this one, hands down! That did not surprise me in the least. I cannot see what you are buying (that would be creepy!) but I can see which links generate purchases from my website, and LOFT is always super popular.
The suggestions for other retailers to feature was great info as well.
This is about what I expected. I am glad that the majority of you think the range of prices I feature is about right, but I know that many of you would like to see more lower priced items. This sentiment was expressed quite a few times in the comments, and I hear you!
You will definitely find me incorporating more lower priced pieces in future outfits, but I will still encourage you to consider investing in some higher end pieces because I do believe it’s better to have fewer quality pieces that you love than a bunch of clothes that aren’t as flattering and don’t feel as good on… but it must always be within the confines of your budget. I would never encourage you to spend outside of your means. This is one reason why I try to share the sales as much as I do, but if those are still too much, don’t rule out local consignment and thrift stores and online consignment stores like Tradesy and ThredUp.
Also, speaking of living within our means, please know that I do not keep anywhere NEAR all of the things I feature on the blog.
Many of the things I feature get returned or sold or donated. It’s become part of my job to feature a variety of clothing and accessories, and while I do purchase 95% of what I show (as opposed to brands giving them to me) it is not like I actually keep it all. Yikes!!!
My closet is actually quite minimal compared to some I’ve seen. (I showed a peek of it on Snapchat the other day, and people were surprised!) All that to say, please don’t look at all of my outfit posts and think that I buy and keep everything you see. That would be crazy! It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a hard time parting with certain things, but I know my budget, and I know what I can realistically use, and I try to be practical about it.
Open Ended Questions/Comments
I absolutely loved reading through your comments. In past surveys, there have always been a few that were pretty nasty, but I am so happy to report that everyone was so very kind and respectful this time.
I appreciate the constructive advice and suggestions, and I do take every bit of the advice to heart, but of course, with over 900 responses, some are going to be contradictory.
For example . . .
Sometimes your outfits seem the same from one week to another…
I wish you wouldn’t show so many new clothes…
Maybe dress it up a little. Sometimes you’re too casual…
I want to see more daily outfits, not just to going out, but the kind of clothes you wear at home…
I like the price range of items you show…
I’d love to see more budget-friendly items…
I like that you show more casual outfits…
More work wear would be nice…
I like the simple layout of your blog. It loads quickly on my iPad and adjusts to both screen directions…
I use my laptop and find that the pages take a long time to load…
I share those because a) they make me giggle and b) you can see that I simply can’t please everyone, but I will do my best while staying true to my personal style.
I do want to share some of your comments/questions/suggestions, and provide answers. I will group them by category.
Specific Questions of Interest
This is very specific, but since I don’t know who wrote it, I will answer here.
Where in Southwest Virginia, did you grow up? I live in Roanoke, VA.
I grew up in Salem, right next door! Small world, right!?!
Blog Design/Functionality Questions
I’d love to see a good search engine for the blog so I can search by key pieces…
I actually do have this function. If you’re on a computer, there is a SEARCH bar at the top, right over my picture. There is also one on the sidebar under the first ad. I added that so it is available on mobile. If you’re on a mobile device, the sidebar widgets appear underneath the blog post.
Could you move the “pin it” circle to the corner of the photo so we could still see the picture?
Yes! I agree, it is annoying, and I actually already have a request in to my developer to fix this.
I don’t care for the pop-up question that comes up about subscribing by email, etc., when I already subscribe.
I get that. I hate those too. I felt like it wasn’t too invasive on the computer, but I realize on mobile it covers the whole screen, so it is gone. You are welcome!
On my laptop, sometimes the photos are too tall to show the full picture on the screen.
Hmmm… I don’t know how to avoid/fix that. They are regular 4×6 size.
I try sooo hard to keep my ads as non-invasive as possible. There are many types of ads that I simply won’t run because I find them obnoxious. I lose quite a bit of money by blocking certain types of ads, but I’m okay with that b/c the reader experience is my top priority. That said, I do have to have some ads because they help offset the cost of running this website.
I do my best to walk that fine line between not annoying you all and supporting the website, but sometimes ads get through that shouldn’t.
One thing that is irritating, the video that plays…
Whoa, wait a minute! If you ever hear a video ad playing on my site, PLEASE email me and let me know. I have asked my ad network to block them, and if some are coming through, I need to know about it so I can report it to them. If you can take a screenshot of the ad, even better to help us get them blocked.
Somehow I see a lot of pop up ads when I read it off my phone….
There should be no pop-up ads. PLEASE screenshot and email me if you see them so I can get them removed.
Maybe you could rotate ads so different ads pop up each time you open the blog?
Unfortunately I can’t control which ads pop up. And I know on mobile, they are a little more in-your-face than they are on the computer, but I have avoided having any that cover the content, so I hope you can overlook the ones within the post. They really do help me keep all of the content that I offer free.
Content Related Questions
I know you say you do fashion for women over 40, but as you can tell from my demographic information, I’m well under 40 and still read your blog regularly. I wouldn’t restrict yourself to marketing your blog that way.
I had actually been wondering lately if marketing my blog as fashion over 40 was restricting my audience and perhaps alienating younger women who might otherwise click over and read. As I mentioned above, I was actually quite surprised to discover how many of you are over 45. I don’t know if that is because I HAVE marketed my blog that way, or that is just the demographic that relates to me best.
Even though I am 44 and I do think that a lot of people have found me by searching “fashion for women over 40” on Pinterest, I realize that my style is fairly youthful, and I am probably going to lay off marketing my site that way for a while. I completely agree that fashion is more about personal style aesthetic than age, so anyway, thanks for that comment.
I miss the older blog posts now that you focus only on fashion…
I did have a few people say they miss the variety I had before, especially the recipes and meal plans, etc. Those aren’t coming back, I’m sorry to tell you. I am so much happier and less stressed since letting go of those topics. It was all getting to be too much to juggle, however, all of my recipes are still available under RECIPES tab at the top of my site.
I also pin a lot of healthy and gluten-free recipes as well as cocktails to my Pinterest if you want to follow me there. And perhaps I should include some of what we’re eating on Instagram, but it’s usually not pretty enough, so sometimes I Snapchat it.
As far as those who said they miss hearing about my life, I found that ironic because I feel like I share so much MORE of my life since moving to fashion. I feel like sharing my outfits allows me to talk about where I went and what I did. But I also realize that I give a lot of personal information in my daily emails, so maybe I feel like I share more than it seems like I do if you’re only reading from the blog.
Honestly, I don’t feel like I have much of a life to talk about these days! I mean, I run, I style outfits, I work on the blog, I schlep to doctor appointments…wash, rinse, repeat! Doesn’t your life feel that way most days? No? Just me?
In all seriousness, I will keep that in mind. Maybe I can work in a link to a new recipe I tried or something on occasion. I am flattered that you guys want to know more about what’s going on in my life, and I’m a sharer, so I can definitely make that happen!
I would love to see layout of complete outfits in addition to your pics. Maybe at the end of each blog.
I’m not sure what you mean. Feel fee to elaborate in the comments.
Fashion and Shopping Related Questions
Don’t show so many items that are no longer available…
This one came up a lot. Everyone went out of their way to say they understand that I have minimal control over this situation, but I do feel your frustration, and it frustrates me too. I have no way of knowing which things are going to sell out fast and which ones are going to be around for a while. I decide how to prioritize my posts based on my best guess, but it’s always a gamble.
And also, for those who asked me to shop my closet more and not show so many new things, keep in mind that that means I won’t always have exact links.
I’d love for you to feature things for different body types.
This is where I have to cry uncle. Since I am not a personal stylist or an authority on how to fit different body types, I really only know how to dress my own. As much as I want to be a resource for you, at the end of the day, this is a personal style blog, I can only dress my body type.
This is one reason I love partnering with Cyndi on the style challenges. She’s more of a pear shape, and I’m more of a curvy, so I feel like we compliment each other nicely in that we tend to style our clothing differently to suit our individual body types and personal styles.
I do enjoy the larger style collabs with other bloggers, and I’d like to do more of those. It is some work to coordinate, though, so I admit, I’ve gotten lazy with that.
You could try Trunk Club or Stitch Fix unboxings…
Another good idea. I have done a few, but not tons. I hate video, so I usually do those on Snapchat, but I realize most of you are not on Snapchat.
I’d love to see more dresses.
Argh. LOL!!! You know I hate dresses. (Although I actually have a dress post coming up this week!)
One of my challenges with dresses is that I don’t look good in many different dress styles, so I feel that every dress I show looks the same after a while. I think that’s okay for real life. When you know what works best, it’s fine to stick with it, but for a fashion blog, it can get repetitive. Not that jeans and tops aren’t repetitive… Ha!
It is even harder going into winter. I detest tights so I rarely wear dresses in the colder months, but I will try!
A few more affordable ideas…
More office-appropriate styles…
More work wear and more affordable options were HUGE themes, and I get it. I do. I think you will definitely see a shift in the future, as I am going to do my best to incorporate both of those requests into future content.
Visit other age groups…
I am honestly not sure how to do this. I have no idea what it will be like to dress when I’m 60. I do see that a lot of women following are in their 50s and 60s … more than I realized, to be honest. The best I know to do is to do collabs with other bloggers who are older and can lend some insight into dressing for other age groups, and I will definitely make it a point to do more of those.
Someone else suggested guest posters with different body types and ages, and that is a great idea too.
I would like to know sizes.
I will definitely try to remember to do that more!
Maybe show one item, like a top or jacket, a few different ways in same post…
LOVE this idea. A lot of work, lol, but a great idea!
Maybe have a super budget-friendly day once or twice a month where everything you wear is under $50.00. It might be fun to see what you find and be helpful for those on a tight budget.
I love that idea!
When you feature an outfit with heels or wedges, could you please include a possible low heel or flat option?
Great idea. Yes, I will try to remember to do that!
I want to see more daily outfits, not just to go out, but the kind of clothes you wear at home.
I am happy to incorporate more of those. In the summer it is hard, because it really is jean shorts and t-shirts most days. I think you’ll find my fall and winter posts have more variety. That said, I always post what I’m wearing on Instagram (unless it is totally schlumpy, ha!) so definitely follow me there.
If you don’t like or use Instagram, my Instagram roundups always include those daily outfits.
Maybe explain why is this top too long with these shorts? Explain why certain items go together well.
Great idea! I will try to do more of that.
Clothing remixes would be fun…
Yes, I think you will see I do more of that in fall and winter when layering is an option. It is hard in the summer — it will end up being too repetitive to style the same top with blue jeans and then white jeans… ya know? Of course, if I was super ambitious, I could show both of those looks in one post… and that is something I will consider trying to do. When we are shooting on location, it is not easy, but here at home, I can easily throw on a different pair of pants and shoes and try to show options. I like that idea a lot — especially when showcasing a single product.
Sometimes your fashion can be somewhat repetitive…
First, let me say that this comment was not left with any mean intent at all, and it is true. I have actually been trying to get out of my box a bit more and try new things now that I am focusing 95% on fashion, but at the end of the day, my style is very simple, and that’s just me.
I’m hoping to broaden my horizons a bit as I start to treat the blog more as a fashion resource than just a representation of my personal style, but I can only do so much since certain styles just don’t work for me. There is definitely some room for variety, though, and I appreciate the challenge. I’m excited for fall fashion because I feel like there is so much more potential for creativity.
Future Blog Topic Ideas
I’d love to hear how you plan for your day, how much time you allow for activities, etc.
That’s a fun post topic idea! I’ll try to do that, although to be honest, I’m pretty fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants! I don’t really have a schedule, but I expect my days tend to look more alike than different if I really think about it. Thanks for the idea!
Any ideas on a way to get rid of gently used clothing. I’ve tried the sites online like Tradesy, etc.
Yeah, I’ve always donated to a local thrift store that I trust and know does good work, and now I’m selling on Instagram. thredUp is another option.
I would love to hear your story, how did you get into this, why, what is your background, I think many of us are extroverts & enjoy hearing about each other’s lives.
Again, I forget that most people who follow me now haven’t been around for the long haul and don’t know this already. This would make for a fun post sometime.
Maybe provide a lower price point option, but not if it interferes with what seems to be your positive nature. In other words, not if it makes enough extra work for you that makes you cranky. lol
Whomever wrote this made me laugh so hard. You must know me!
But in all seriousness, I will try to do that more often. And while I do prefer to share my own personal style, and that is primarily what this blog is about, I am going to be seek out more budget-friendly products to style for you guys.
Tap. Tap. Is this thing on?
Is anyone still here?
I mean, really. You deserve a cupcake . . . gluten-free, of course!
Honestly, I cannot thank you enough for sticking with me to the end . . . all three of you! Ha!
This was fun for me, and hopefully interesting to you too.
I am ALWAYS open to questions and ideas constructive comments, so email me anytime or drop a comment on a blog post or Instagram. Those are the two platforms I check most often.
The survey is not closed, so if you’d like to chime in, feel free to do so! It will close in the wee hours of the morning of Friday, July 15th, and the winner of the LOFT card giveaway will be contacted by email within 48 hours.