Survey Says?

A week ago, we shared our 2012 resolutions and asked you to take a ten question survey.  Today I thought I’d share the results and elaborate on a few comments.

Sixty generous readers took the survey, offering up valuable insight.  For instance, 56 readers found our blog through another blog.  While only three found us through a search engine.  That’s interesting.  I didn’t realize how dramatically other blogs directed traffic our way.  And, I now know nearly 50% of our readers follow through Google reader and only 20% are subscribed right through the blog.

Twenty-five percent of our readers have referred Our Humble A{Bowe}d to friends or family.  Thank you so much!  Seventy one percent are daily readers while others visit weekly.  A few people read more often if we’re working on an interesting project.

Your comments about what keeps you coming back left me smiling for days.  Seriously, we have the greatest readers.  Ever.

Here are a few examples:

  • I love seeing how quickly and beautifully you update your house. The little craft projects are also really creative and fun (especially the cute christmas ones recently). Also, your kids are adorable so the little pictures of them are great.
  • Its consistence, its regularity, it appeals to my interests, the cuteness of the four Bowes, everything (I love the Etsy recommendations also)
  • My husband and I did board and batten and since you and your hubby do such a great job, we got a lot of inspiration from that! Just general interest as well- can’t wait to see the kitchen! 🙂

  • All the detail you provide, budget friendly projects, real life scenarios, your positive attitude!
  • ‘That’s what she said’ jokes in your posts :). But seriously, I like that your blog has the same caliber of projects as the big ones, but you’re more low-key (type A, but low-key) and don’t overdo it. No one needs 2000 words on a cabinet-painting post. You post the details, good photos and a brief tutorial, but don’t ramble. I like that.

See what I mean?  Wonderfully sweet, encouraging, supportive readers.  I cannot thank you enough.  And I guess you want to see more of our projects and lives.  Whew, that’s a relief.  I thought I was going to see a lot of checks for guest posts and giveaways.  I promise to keep our inspiration, building and craft projects, and organizing solutions coming.

A few requests I found interesting and I’ll try my best to accommodate:

1.  A cabinet building post.  It’s already in the works, we’ve just got a few cabinet doors to build, then you’ll get to read about the entire process.

2.  Recipes.  In all honesty, I’ve stayed away from this because I don’t have any original-it-was-my-creation recipes.  I didn’t think you’d want to read about the Gordon Ramsay or Rachael Ray recipe I cooked.  And I don’t consider myself to be a good cook and I’m definitely not a baker.  Don’t get me wrong, I can make something edible, but nothing that is ground breaking or special.  In fact, 99% of the meals I cook are planned by rummaging through the fridge and/or pantry and tossing something together.  But because several requests were made, I’d be happy to share an occasional recipe.  For those interested in only house stuff, don’t fear, this will never turn into a cooking blog.  Cross my heart.

3.  More pictures of me.  I know, I know.  I’m terrible about getting in pictures.  But I’m guessing none of you wants to see me bra-less, in my pajamas at three in the afternoon.  Okay, usually I have the decency to put a bra on before ten, but you get my point.

4.  Videos.  Again, I’ll try my best, but I’m usually home alone with the boys, which means there’s no one to do the camera work.  I’d love to hear video content suggestions, though.  Something to better explain a sewing project?  How Ben builds something?  Lay it on me!

5.  More quick, easy, and inexpensive projects.  Once we’re done with the kitchen I’ll have more free time to work on little projects.  I’ve got plenty to do, just need the time.  Don’t we all?!?

6.  Don’t waste a post by announcing a giveaway winner.  I hear ya.  Usually on Fridays, we’re busy running around so I quickly write up a post.  Every other Friday, when I announce the giveaway winner, I’ll also add a little something.  You’ll get to peek into the insanity that is my mind.  This could be anything from a recipe, window shopping, pictures of our lives, a super quick project, inspiration images, something from Pinterest, or a themed round-up.

Now, I don’t want to seem defensive in this next part (I know, I asked for your honest opinions), but I do want to address a few comments I received.

1.  You do a great job with updating daily with lots of pictures and coming up with interesting ideas for the home! Maybe have a bar on the side of the blog with categories (living room, kitchen, entertainment center, vacations, etc.)?

If you look on the left side bar, there’s a ‘Topics’ drop-down filled with categorized posts.  🙂

2.  I would really love it – and think it would make more sense – if you would write personally (i.e., “I”, “me”, “my”) instead of “we” since you guys don’t seem like a blogging team – or if you are, that doesn’t come across!

I totally understand the ‘we’ versus ‘me’ thing.  The main reason I say ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ is because Ben plays just as much of a part (bigger, actually) in updating our home.  Sure, he isn’t the one writing up the posts (I cringe watching him peck at the keyboard) but without Ben, we wouldn’t have this home.  And without this home and the updates we’ve done to it, I would have no reason to write a blog.  Let’s be real here, Ben is the star of the show; if you could choose one of us to work on your home, I can guarantee it would be Ben.

3.  Don’t remove comments that are meant to be as constructive criticism, unless they are filled with profanity. It might be helpful to others readers what ‘others’ think and can either defend you or agree in a nicer way with the constructive criticism.

I can think of only one instance in which I’ve deleted a negative comment.  And it was in no way related to our house.  Rather, it was an attack on me personally.  I don’t think that’s helpful to anyone, but every house related comment has been published, good or bad.  Positive or negative.

4.  I really mean no offense, but your pictures are often dark and blurry. I feel it would greatly improve the look of your blog if you invested in a better camera. I’m sure you could find a good deal on one if you looked around online. Best of luck growing your blog, I think it’s great!

I’m two steps ahead of you.  Actually, I had already ordered this Canon T2i camera package.  I just got it in the mail Friday afternoon.  You can bet I’ve fiddled around with it all weekend.  In fact, I’ve already updated ‘The Grand Tour‘ page with some new pictures.

Old camera:

New camera:

Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions.  Truly, I reeeeeaaaalllly appreciate and value your opinions.  If you want, the survey is still open and I love reading more from you.  Oh, and for those of you who did take the survey, did you like the format?  Last time readers left answers in the comment section…

With the formality out-of-the-way, how was your weekend?  Do anything exciting or different?  We mostly relaxed, but we did get a little kitchen work done.  Details (and better, brighter pictures!) to come tomorrow!

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14 thoughts on “Survey Says?

  1. Aw such a thoughtful response! I really love your blog and I think you do a great job of balancing all of the points you brought up. I think people draw the YHL similarity mainly because you have the luck (or unluck) of doing a kitchen remodel at the same time. However, your blog isn’t even similar to their’s and I like both. Keep up the great work!

  2. This weekend we cleaned our disgusting fish tank (soooo much better!), took a run to Target for home storage solutions and jammies and socks for the kids, painted the ceiling and trim in our dining room, and had our good friends over for eggs benedict and mimosas! Busy, yet productive! Glad the survey was helpful for you and can’t wait to see the new photos you post with your new camera!

  3. I’m a relatively new reader – maybe the last two months or so – and I’ve been following YHL for some time, and I can truly say your blog seems unique to me and not like theirs, other than in the obvious they-are-both-blogs-about-homes and you and Ben are young like John and Sherry. (I found your blog through someone else’s, though now I can’t remember whose – sorry!)

    The pic from the new camera looks fab (I can certainly commiserate about crummy pics from a regular digital camera – anytime I post anything it looks way worse than it does in person) and your kitchen effort is an inspiration to me – although me and my hubby are a looooooooooooong way away from actually tackling our (much-needed) kitchen overhaul. Right now we’re working on our nursery! Stop by and check it out if you have a chance :). Thanks for the great posts!

  4. Congrats on your new camera! Your photo above looks great! I don’t know why, but I’m always excited for people when they get a new camera. I guess it’s the photographer in me! I’ve had my current camera for a few years now and still figure out new things every once in a while! Best of luck!

    1. Hi My Honest Answer, Thanks so much! I’ve got a lot to learn,, but it’s so much fun to fiddle around. I’ll have to check out KB’s info!

      Hey Nora! I’m glad you think everything is balanced out. You’re right, maybe similarities are drawn because of our project schedule.

      Hi Esther! Aww, thanks! Looks like you had a wonderful weekend away! And, I know how you feel about the ‘Dummy’ book. Right now, that’s my owners manual. Haha. 🙂

      Hi Nicole, Wow, you got a lot done! Sounds like a great weekend! 🙂

      Hey TryinginPittsburgh, Thanks for the encouragement! And, congrats on the pregnancy! That’s so exciting. Definitely tackle the nursery before the kitchen. 🙂 Haha.

      Hi Amy! Thanks! If you’ve got any tips, I’m all ears. 🙂

      Thanks!
      Amanda

  5. Too bad I missed your survey questions… I have no idea how that happened but I will put my two cents in. I subscribe to your blog and I read it every day. I think your tutorials are very easy to follow, I love the way you have decorated and I think that Ben does an amazing job of building things. I love your kitchen and I can’t wait for the tutorial on the cupboards and doors. Your attention to detail is amazing and I really enjoy “walking” through each of your rooms. Keep up the great work!!

  6. Hi! I did take part in your survey and it was fun to read the results. I found you through Iheartorganizing & your blog has quickly worked its way up to one of my faves! I just recently started my own blog and I write it like I’m writing to the one person that may actually read & like it. Please remember to focus on the positive comments and not the negative. I’m a little oversensitive so I try to remind myself of this all the time!
    Keep doin’ your thang! 😉

  7. I love your blog and all the tutorials that you and your husband share. Both of you are very talented. About the camera comment…I’m guessing that most blogs aren’t making a pile of money and therefore, I don’t criticize the quality of photos. I’m just happy that bloggers are willing to share whatever they are creating with me. That’s a huge blessing.

    Thanks for all the information you both share with us!

  8. You said it all perfectly! And I am glad you did a followup to the survey post, there is a lot of great info that a lot of bloggers can take away from this! Congrats on the new camera, you will L O V E it. I already see a difference in your home tour photos, I am really excited for you!

  9. I missed the survey – sorry! However, reading your recap above I had to mention one thing. I do agree with the person who mentioned that you sound like YHL. Take today’s post with the song lyrics and video. I don’t recall you doing that in the past and that is something YHL does all.the.time. Also, you do make some of the same jokes that they do and it seems to have started recently since I don’t remember the jokes in your old posts but maybe I’m remembering that incorrectly.

    In any case, you have a great blog with some great projects but it would be nice to see ‘you’ vs. the you who is trying to sound like someone else. Everyone has their own voice so just go with yours. 🙂

    1. Hi Heather! Thanks so much for your feedback. I can assure you I don’t intentionally try to sound like YHL. 🙂 I have quoted songs and posted videos several times, like this 4th of July post or this one from March. I guess I don’t know what jokes we make that are the same, but it’s definitely not intentional. My writing is true to who I am in real life, perhaps with less swearing. But I make cheesy jokes and puns and often refer to 80’s and 90’s music. If you didn’t see our pictures, you’d probably think Ben and I are 50 year olds and the kids were our grand kids. I think that’s exactly how I write, too. One part lame, one part sarcastic, one part country, and one part old. Maybe we’d just be friends with YHL in real life because our personalities are similar? Either way, I’m trying my best to share who we really are and to be real.

      Hope that explains things a little better. 🙂
      Thanks!
      Amanda

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