I’ve wanted to do a survey of my blog readers for many months and finally pulled the trigger last week. While only about 20 percent of daily visitors to A Lady Goes West actually answered the survey, I got quite a bit of information out of those who did. I absolutely loved reading your responses and was mostly happy with the feedback.
To every single person who took the time to answer the questions, I truly appreciate it. While this blog may be a two-minute read for your day, it’s certainly a big deal to me, so I took everything you said to heart. Thank you!
The best compliments I received? You love my writing style. You appreciate that my posts are grammatically correct and never have typos. (I’m sure glad you notice.)
You also love my mixture of food, fitness and lifestyle. Many successful bloggers urge you to pick one singular focus and stick to it, so you can grow a niche audience, write a book and make it big. But I’ve stood strong with the plan to cover a range of topics, and your comments certainly affirmed that’s the right choice for A Lady Goes West. In fact, more than half of those who responded are even interested in reading more about my clothing, fashion and beauty routine, which are topics I rarely touch. How about that.
But what else did I learn while doing this survey? You sure can’t please everyone. Let’s get to some results …
A few things I learned about my readers
The majority of those who responded have been around for the past year, but about a fifth of you have been here for the long haul. Thank you!
Some of you are obsessed with Les Mills group fitness and want to see more posts about it. Some of you have never taken a Les Mills class and couldn’t care less about that particular type of fitness. I usually write two Les Mills posts-per-quarter, and a ton of people have found out about my blog because of my writing and affiliations with Les Mills as a long-time instructor, so there’s no way I would give up ever mentioning it. But I do understand that it’s a very specific audience who will get a lot out of those posts. (Shout-out to all of my fellow Tribe Members!)
Some of you want to know more about what I do every single day from hour to hour. Some of you would like less personal information and more tips that you can use in your own life. I am definitely not as open as I once was about my emotions when I first started this blog shortly after moving to California, (I used to really put it all out there!) but I do know that I’ll always continue to bring a personal side into what I write, because a blog without someone behind it is just plain boring. This particular issue is something I struggle with, because I like to keep things very positive around here, whether or not I’m having a bad day. But overall, I do give a pretty detailed run-down of my life most of the time and will increase that here and there. (Speaking of life, I can’t wait to spend time in Florida for Thanksgiving starting today. I see a lot of hanging out with my parents, wine, relaxing and cheesecake in my near future!)
Almost all of those who responded are here on the blog multiple times a week catching up, which is just awesome.
It was definitely a theme that the “What I Ate Wednesday” posts and workout posts are a hit, so those will continue. And you asked for more fitness tips as well, so expect that topic to be a main-stay.
Funny enough, you know what many of you specifically want? More pictures of my dog, Rudy. True story: I had a ton of requests for more Rudy pictures. Well, that’s something I’ll definitely agree to.
Some good feedback from the survey
Let’s take a look at some of the comments pulled straight from the open-ended questions …
Seems like we have a few things in common, although I am quite a bit older! I also teach group fitness classes and I am also a personal trainer. I enjoy reading your posts about fitness, and I have used some of your workout routines in my classes and with clients.
The variety of posts, and I think we would probably be friends in real life, as we are both crazy about our dogs, and other things. Your posts are very relatable.
WIAW, weekend recaps (fun to see restaurants and your outfits and…honestly, Dave is easy on the eyes), Rudy.
Casual catch-ups, that I feel like I am your old buddy, even though we’ve never met. Also love your advice on growing your blog/brand and EASY recipes that can be made in a snap.
I like your down-to-earth personality and I like seeing what you eat, it’s great inspiration. Even though the focus is on fitness and health, it’s always nice to see some posts about your personal life.
I like that the blog is realistic, that you eat dessert and drink wine as well as work out and have a healthy diet most of the time.
Your blog has the most consistent, yet fresh, reading experience among all the blogs I follow. Your focus on a healthy life is inspiring, especially your honesty about good days and not so good days. And no typos! You are a great writer and it’s been fun for me to read through your older posts to catch up.
Just to know that someone else out there goes through the same things I go through. To know I’m not alone.
As an older person reading A Lady Goes West, I hope to stay a little younger! Thank you, Ashley!
I truly love your blog Ashley! When I first started reading your blog I started working out regularly and your posts on fitness and healthy eating kept me motivated ever since. I also really enjoy your friday favorites and the fun details you share about your life and weekend activities. I live in Germany but studied abroad in California so I also really enjoy your posts on life in San Francisco.
These are just some of the positive comments that made me so very happy when reading the survey results. But then of course, not everything was rose-colored and cheery.
Some bad feedback from the survey
Some of the ads are a bit obtrusive. I feel like they are a bit distracting and could be more subtle.
My rebuttal: If you think my ads are annoying, you must hate visiting a lot of other blogs. Yes, I do have ads, but at least I don’t use center-screen pop-ups, in-text advertising links or in-picture video ads like so many monetizing bloggers are using these days. I really do try to keep the reading experience easy, and I don’t plan to feature any additional ads any time soon.
Please allow full reading on Feedly! So disappointed that you make readers click to view full post.
My rebuttal: I had no idea this was happening, because I don’t use Feedly. I’ve adjusted some backend settings and am hoping that it will fix this issue. Thanks for sharing this, and I’m sorry it has been an annoyance. Please email me if you ever have any other feedback like this as far as readability and functionality is concerned.
I feel everything lately is sponsored. Not sure there are any honest opinions anymore.
My rebuttal: I write no less than 20 posts-a-month and about three of those are sponsored, so I wouldn’t really consider that everything. Even if a post is sponsored, I spend a ton of time writing my own thoughts and attempting to give useful information in addition to sharing about a product. Sponsored posts are how I make money off my blog and am able to spend time writing so many posts. I’ve said no to a ton of sponsored campaigns for brands that didn’t align with healthy living, and I stand by all of the posts I’ve written to date. To all of my readers who support the companies that work with me, I cannot thank you enough. You know I’m not here telling you to buy diet pills — the brands I work with are good brands, and I would never let them tell me what to write. End rant.
As I said, overall, the feedback was incredibly positive. And it did confirm to me that my readers want a variety of topics, and that’s a good thing. As the title of this post suggests — variety is the spice of life. This world would be a very boring place if we were all interested in exactly the same things. That being said, I will continue to share posts in the fitness, food and fun realm, and I know that at least some of you are enjoying each part. And to be honest, I like writing about different things every single day.What are people interested in reading? Check out these #blog #survey results ... Click To Tweet
Once again, to those of you who read my blog and to those of you who answered my survey, I thank you. I really, really do. And if you ever have a request for a post, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. For instance, I’ve been getting a ton of requests about more information on Orangetheory Fitness, and that’s where yesterday’s post came from. Now, please, go off and have a fabulous day!
Questions of the day
What’s your favorite thing about reading blogs?
Have you found out any surprising feedback lately in your life?