You told me what you wanted, and I am listening!
Over the past week, I have collected your answers to my Summer 2017 survey, and I have been pleased and surprised by the results. I thought I would share what I learned with you. Because here’s the thing. I thought I knew what you wanted, but I was sort of wrong. At least part of the time. So let’s talk about what I learned and about what I am going to do differently based on these survey results.
My first surprise–the average age of my readers. I had it in my mind that mostly younger women with small children were the “blog readers” in the world. But I see that the vast majority of my readers fall squarely in my own age range, and older. This means that hopefully the majority of you will understand my lame references to 80’s culture and old jokes 🙂
The second surprising thing is that most of you spend more time on Facebook than any other social media platform. In the “blog world,” Instagram is being pushed as the new platform of choice. But clearly, you guys are most active on Facebook, so that’s where I should spend the majority of my time as well. I admit–I have been TERRIBLE about posting things on Facebook! I will repent and be much more faithful. If you aren’t already following Ice Cream and Inspiration on Facebook, please click here to go to my page and like it!
In the next part of the survey, I asked which types of posts you were most interested in. Home organization came out on top, with recipes not far behind. The next three most popular were inspirational posts, funny posts, and makeovers. This surprised me somewhat, because I have gotten very little response to my inspirational and funny posts. I have a whole list of ideas in both of those categories, but I have debated whether or not to write any more posts that fall in those areas. However, according to this survey, you are telling me you want more. So I’ll give you more!
I also plan on posting more recipes, and more home organization posts. I have a program I created called Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life that helps you declutter and organize your entire home. Enrollment for this program is currently closed, but I will be opening it up again in September. In the meantime, you can go here for a sneak peek.
Determining how many times a week to post and how many times a week to email has been a big struggle for me. So I’m glad you told me what you wanted! The majority of you said once a week for both. I am actually planning to post 2-3 times a week, but I will drop my emails down to one a week. You’ll probably receive these emails on Friday (which is hopefully a day with less stress so you can have time to read articles and recipes!) I may occasionally send more than one email per week if there is something time-sensitive that I need to let you know about, or when I open enrollment for my home organization course again, etc. I’ll also continue to send a monthly newsletter at the end of each month. For those of you who wanted more emails, you can of course check the blog throughout the week for new posts. I encourage you to bookmark my blog and come back often! If you primarily use your phone, you can even add my blog to your home screen for easy access!
On Mondays and Wednesdays you’ll find new recipes, and on Fridays you’ll see posts on home organization, makeovers, inspiration, and funny stories, etc.
I asked which products you would like me to create for you. I’m so glad I asked this question, because now I won’t waste time creating things you don’t want! It was clear from your answers that there is a great desire for a weekly menu plan. I will get this in the works! I will need to get other bloggers to do it with me so we can all contribute recipes, so it may take me a little bit to get this set up. In the meantime, you can find weekly meal plans on Yellow Bliss Road and Julie’s Eats and Treats–both blogs I contribute to. If you subscribe to their blogs, they will send you their plans each week.
Another product you were interested in is a good news subscription site. I have had this idea for YEARS and don’t know why there isn’t a good news site out there. I think I even once emailed Oprah with the idea 🙂 I thought there should be a website or news station called “GNN,” The Good News Network. I firmly believe that people are inspired to take action and make the world a better place when they see others doing the same thing. Being fed a steady diet of death, destruction, and corruption only depresses our spirits and engenders feelings of “why even try?” But when I see somebody making a difference in a positive way, I think, “Hey, I could do that, too!”
This good news subscription site will probably have to wait a while, just because I have so many other irons in the fire, and I would have to hire someone to help me with it. But I will definitely keep it on my list. In the meantime, if YOU find any good news stories you would like to share, please send me a link to the story and I’ll see if I can mention it in an email or blog post.
When I asked how I could make my blog better, I got some great ideas. Several people said I should write more and tell more stories. As a blogger, it’s always hard to decide how much of my personal life I should share. There’s a balance I want to keep between my public and my private life. Plus, I don’t want to bore you or seem narcissistic. But I really would love to share more personal experiences and stories, and so I will start doing that!
Some people suggested adding crafts and printables. Alas, I am not crafty, nor do I know how to make printables. However, I know some people who are crafty and do know how to make printables! Check out these blogs: Landeelu, Somewhat Simple, Yellow Bliss Road, Thirty Handmade Days.
It was also suggested that I do clean eating and gluten-free recipes. I regret to say that anything gluten-free or “clean” that shows up on my site will be completely by accident! However, here is a list of Six Allergy Friendly Blogs You Should Be Following. The Gracious Pantry has tons of clean eating recipes for you.
Finally, I want to say that I am touched by your challenges and goals. I share many of them, and although I am not qualified to give advice, I do think that perhaps my life experiences and thoughts could be encouraging. Again, I will make a point to share more inspirational and motivational thoughts and stories with you.
Now that you’ve told me all about you, I feel like it’s only fair that I should answer my own questions. So here goes.
- What is my biggest challenge? Right now, it is figuring out how to make this business (my blog and my products) successful. This is not a hobby for me. It is a business, and I am constantly thinking about how to make it better and how to be a blessing to more people.
- What is one of the biggest goals in my life? The main motivation behind this blog is to earn money help Operation Underground Railroad rescue children from sex trafficking. A single rescue operation costs $50,000. I would love to be able to fully fund one of these operations.
- What would it take for me to achieve my goal? Well, $50,000. A lot of hard work, learning, and help from God (which I am receiving).
Now on to the fun questions!
- What are three of my favorite books, and why do I like them? It’s Just My Nature by Carol Tuttle. It changed my life once I learned to see myself and others how we truly are. It taught me that I wasn’t broken and didn’t need to try to be something I was not. Summer of the Monkeys. Best children’s book EVER by Wilson Rawls. Same guy who wrote Where the Red Fern Grows, but Summer of the Monkeys has a happy ending. Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves. Written by C. Terry Warner, it is utterly transformational. I think everyone on the planet should read this book.
- What are three of my favorite movies and why do I like them? Strictly Ballroom. This is the first movie I saw when I got back from serving a mission for my church. (During my year-and-a-half mission, I did not watch any movies). I sat in my living room by myself and watched it, then as soon as it was over, I re-wound the tape (yes, this was in the days of VHS) and watched it again.
Austenland. Woman is obsessed with Jane Austen and all her works. Goes to England for an authentic “Austen experience.” Hilarity ensues.
It’s a Wonderful Life. If there’s ever a movie that makes you want to be alive, this is it.
(If you want to get any of these movies from Amazon, you can just click on my affiliate links or the images above).
3. What are three of my favorite t.v. shows and why do I like them? M*A*S*H. I grew up watching this with my Dad. He was in the Korean war, and he loved this show. I never get tired of watching it. One of my favorite shows right now is Timeless on NBC. A history professor goes back in time to try to prevent a bad guy from changing major events in history. But if she has the chance to save Abraham Lincoln (for example), should she do it? Love seeing pivotal historical events, along with great period costumes. A sitcom I love is The Middle on ABC. The writing is just so clever and funny, and it’s totally clean.
4. Who is my favorite Disney Princess and why? Sleeping Beauty. She’s just so lovely and romantic, and the HAIR. Before Rapunzel, she had the best hair. I wanted hair like her when I was younger, and I actually did in high school and college (once I quit getting perms. It was the 80’s).
Wow. That was a SUPER long post! If you stuck through the whole thing, I salute you. And I thank you for reading what I have to say! I sincerely and honestly hope that I can bring some light and happiness into the world and into your life.
If you didn’t get to take the survey, you still can! Just click here. And I would love to hear any comments and suggestions you may have. Just share your thoughts in the comment section below.