To the survey. 100 of you filled it out (thank you!) and here are the results.
Most readers are women between the ages of 26 and 34, in a relationship, with kids and/or pets. So, kinda like me. And you’re all so sweet. Let me show you:
“You read “real” (does that make sense?) and I like your style. Looking forward to seeing the new life in that great mountain house of yours as you transform it into HOME.”
“I think your very funny and your style and personality seems to match mine very well. Reading about how you guys transformed your old house and how you are improving your new home as well inspires me to do the same with my future home. I can’t wait to incorporate the things I have learned from reading your blog into our future house.”
“I like your style, the fun/easy/cheap art projects which include the kiddos, the built-in & molding projects… I could go on and on. Definitely like that your writing is short, sweet, concise. Some blogs (even though I still love them) can get wordy (and repeat themselves over and over in the same post) and I tend to skip through them fast just to get to the pictures.”
“You have a great mix of projects, tutorials, and personal writing. I like how your husband seems to know a lot of serious constructions stuff, so those tutorials are helpful to me in knowing what someone I hire should be doing It’s different from what is on other blogs.”
“You’re relatable, projects are something I’d do but never knew how to get started, you make it clear what is reasonable for a regular diy-er to do and what is best for a pro to be called in for, a lot of the crafty ‘stuff’ you do is way cheaper than buying it and actually looks better”
“Personally more interested in the building and heavy decorating type projects rather than the etsy stuff and the Photoshop designs/handmade art. Sewing/painting projects are interesting as well. Basically, a lot of blogs offer designs, but where you guys stand out is that you have the skills to do some serious construction. A lot of bloggers aren’t trained professionals like Ben, so it sets you ahead of the curve.”
Of course I already knew how great you were, but it’s a good reminder. Sometimes it is easier to take the negative comments to heart.
We’ve gotten requests for more organizational and living solutions, followed up by building projects.
For the most part, it seems easy to navigate, leave comments, and contact us. But it’s not as easy to find a project, relate to the projects, and follow tutorials.
I’ve been (trying to) update the blog, including a Projects & Tutorials page with links to all the tutorials we’ve shared. Just click on the text link to get to the full page.
Of course, if you’re looking for a project, but can’t find it, don’t hesitate to send me an email, Facebook, or comment. I’m happy to help you find what you’re looking for. Hopefully updating categories will help, too.
As for tutorials, when I can, I post full, clear, step by step instructions with pictures. However, I’m hesitant to post a ‘here’s exactly how to do it’ tutorial if it covers something Ben does, which I’m not familiar with. You see, I don’t want to make everything seem too easy. The projects we (fine, Ben) tackle aren’t always simple. Because of that, they might not be safe if you don’t know what you’re doing. Or if I don’t know what I’m doing/writing/telling you to do. I’ll try to make building/electrical tutorials more clear, but we can’t be your sole source of information. If you are uncertain about a project, do research, ask, or hire a professional. Better to be safe than sorry.
I guess I don’t know how to make projects more relatable because everyone is different. So are the situations.
More than a few comments got me thinking, so I’m here to discuss them. Like this one:
“Seriously, I think you’d have a good blog if you just put in your own personality. I don’t know how I landed at your blog but within weeks I noticed the similarity. Now I just open your post in reader every now and then and honestly just roll my eyes at the similarities, mostly in the structure of your posts.”
I’m sorry you feel that way. I write the same way I’d speak to you if we met in person. Similarities will always appear if you’re searching, and a lot of home improvement blog structures are similar because the nature of the content.
“Think of a way to be different from other bloggers. I will be completely honest and say that when I first started reading your blog I kept getting a vibe that it was a copycat of what the most popular DIY blogs were doing (monthly sponsor post. Superlatives, giveaways, etc.) That turned me off. But after a while, I started to really dig the way you were taking on the huge renovation of the new house. Be your own captain. Blog about something differently than others – a new topic, a new contest type, a new avenue for sharing. There has got to be something that’s unique about OHA that no one else could do as well as you.”
I think OHA is different from a lot of other home improvement blogs because we’re willing and able to tackle a range of projects. Whether I’m sewing, organizing, and crafting. Or Ben’s building furniture/cabinets, remodeling a kitchen or bath, changing electrical, or installing windows. Most of the projects we tackle we’re doing ourselves. Not many people have the skills or know how to do the variety of projects these days. But, I would like to explore new options, like the Craft Challenge I issued last week.
“I would love more pictures in tutorials – especially craft and sewing tutorials. Pictures of more of the stages. I think you do a great job, but the lighting in your photos isn’t great (sorry to bring it up, I know you work really hard on this blog). If you look at most DIY/craft blogs, they start with a picture of the supplies all laid out. Just a more polished look on tutorials would be great, and maybe try experimenting with camera settings etc? Katie Bower has some great tutorials on making the most of your camera. I think that excellent sharp photography could really take OHA to the next level, because the projects you tackle are brilliant!”
Looking through old posts, picture quality has definitely improved. I thought I was doing better, but I’m still learning and getting to know my camera. If pictures are looking a little dark, feel free to write a helpful comment letting me know. Oh, and if you want larger pictures just click on it to enlarge.
That’s the run down. And my random thoughts. You can still take the survey, if you’d like. The more info you’re willing to share helps me make this blog better. Of course you can leave comments here, too.