First things first: thanks so much to the 56 people (!!!) who took the time to fill out my survey. It was fascinating to read what you like about the blog, why you read it, and the stats on who you are. The most common concern I heard was that I would dramatically change the blog based on the survey results, so let's start there: nothing will change in terms of content and style! On Sunday, this blog will celebrate its eighth birthday, which is basically ancient in Internet years. I figure if I've kept this space alive for that long, I must be doing something right, and I don't plan to change that now. But it sure was nice to hear you like things the way they are!
Before I get to the giveaway winner, I thought it would be fun to share some highlights from the survey.
How long have you been reading The New Me?
The average person has been around for 2-3 years, which is awesome. A second bunch of you have been around for four years or more, which boggles my mind. I think back to what I was doing and where I was living four years ago, and it's crazy to think some of you have put up with me for that long. :)
Leaving and reading comments.
The majority of people leave comments once in a while or not at all. Only a few comment on the blog frequently, and I'm pretty sure I know who you are. The same trends applied to reading the comments. While most bloggers love comments, I don't mind the lack of them. Personally, I tend to leave more comments on smaller blogs, where I feel like I have a personal connection with the author. The bigger the blog, the less likely I am to leave a comment.
Frequency of posts.
Most of you think my number of posts is "just right," while a few wanted more posts. No one wanted less, which I'll take as a good sign! While I'll never have the stamina to blog daily, I usually aim for 3-4 posts a week. I feel like I've got a good rhythm going now, and I hope to maintain that, even when school starts up again.
Sponsored posts and advertisements.
I expected this to be more of a hot button issue, but most responders were pretty laid back about it. The majority of you don't mind sponsored posts; the next largest group of you were indifferent to them; a few people like them; and a small number of you hate them. One person wondered what I get out of them, another specified that they're fine, if chosen carefully.
Here's the deal with sponsored posts: even though my blog is fairly small, I've started to get some offers from companies for reviews, in exchange for a sample of their product. 90% of the time I turn them down - I only want to write about a product if it's something I would spend my own money on, or if it's a company whose missions and policies align with my own. Which means I'll never write a post on behalf of, say, KFC, or Pepsi. I also hate when blogs become billboards, so I plan to keep advertisements to a minimum. If I do accept something from a company in exchange for a review, I do my best to make sure there's also a giveaway, because prizes are fun. As far as what I get out of these opportunities - not much. A free sample of something, and a few extra page views, which is nice, but certainly not worth becoming a complete sell out. As for the BlogHer ads - I do make a bit of cash off those, usually around $25 a month. I could put up more ads make a bit more, but again, I don't want this space to look like a billboard, so I don't. I hope that clears things up!
The average reader of The New Me.
According to survey results, you are most likely to identify as a woman in your late twenties. You're probably college educated (undergrad and graduate were nearly tied!) and odds are you're married. Which is a lot like me, which is probably one of the reasons you read this blog. :)
Speaking of reading this blog: why you read The New Me.
This was my favorite question, and not just because you are all the nicest people to ever log on to the Internet. Overwhelmingly, you said the main reason you read this blog is because you like me. (You really like me!) My style of writing, my humor, my photos, the range of topics I cover (who needs a niche?) are all things that bring you back and keep you reading. For every person who admitted they skipped over certain posts, another person said those were their favorite, which seems like a nice balance. So many of you also said you feel like if we met in real life, we'd be friends, and I have to agree. I've said over and over that I've made really important relationships through blogging, met people who have changed my life and challenged my way of thinking. I'm so glad to have a space where I can explore ideas and share adventures, and so grateful for all of you, who are reading along. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And now for the giveaway!
The winner of the book, A Slice of Organic Life, chosen through the Random Number Generator, is... andreya1! Congratulations, and thanks again to everyone for taking the survey.
Have a lovely weekend!