A couple of weeks ago (hard to believe we are already in the second week of January!) I asked you for feedback on the blog. As we are entering a new year, I am looking back at last year and forward to the new year. And really, I just wanted to hear from you about your experience at This Pilgrim Life.
You did not disappoint! Hundreds of responses came in after just a couple of days. I turned off the survey and began to sort through the responses.
First of all, I am blown away by your kindness and support of this blog and its Facebook page (where we often hang out).
You had a lot a great things to say, and I am paying attention to every comment. In addition to my own notes on your tips and ideas, I wanted to take this opportunity to chat about a few things you had to say on the survey.
2017 Reader Survey Responses
Getting to know YOU…
Almost half of This Pilgrim Life readers are in their 50’s or older, with roughly the other half in their 30’s and 40’s, and a small percentage in their 20’s.
You guys like Facebook as much as I do. Almost everyone found out about This Pilgrim Life through Facebook, many through the Instant Pot Community page. Over 90% responded that you find out about new posts from Facebook, too. (Unsurprising since I don’t put much time into other social media!).
I was so honored to see that a majority of you responded that you visit at least a couple of times a week. Wow. Thank you for giving me the opportunity and the privilege to share with you!
Unsurprisingly, Instant Pot and real food recipes are most popular on the blog. Behind recipes were topics like meal planning, budgeting, and homemaking. What did surprise me was how many people are interested in craft and sewing tutorials! I’m happy to get that feedback and hope to plan more projects for 2018!
Since starting to make videos a little over a year ago, they have become a major part of the blog and my activity on Facebook. Recording live videos has become one of my favorite ways of connecting with you. Teaching fills my cup, whether it is in a classroom, in a small group setting, or now, through the screen of a phone or computer.
I seriously appreciate all the positive feedback on the videos. Every time you share that a video has helped you learn to make something new in the kitchen, to try a new sewing project, or simply has encouraged or inspired you, I feel truly grateful and pleased that my humble videos are helping others all over the world. It’s a ridiculously amazing thought.
In addition to the encouragement, you also gave me some great suggestions to make the videos better going forward. I’ve made notes about what you’ve said, and hope to put as many as I can into action in time.
Specifically, you suggested shorter videos and less down time. I am working on that. More prepping ingredients beforehand. More to the point. But even as I try to streamline as much as possible, I will say that no matter what I do to cut down on time, I am still a mom making food for her family. Interruptions cannot be completely prevented, nor would I want to stress over them. At the end of the day, my family comes first and I am always working on achieving that elusive perfect balance of working and caring for them.
You also suggested better lighting and angles. I have a few ideas to help with that, and will add gear as my budget allows!
I will also continue making short recipe overview videos. They are fun to make, easy to share, and helpful to watch. You can expect more and more of those too.
What you have to say…
I asked about your experience navigating around the blog, and while most of you said navigation was easy, I also received feedback about a few ways to make your experience even better.
The biggest and most frequently mentioned concern was difficulty in finding the search bar. Almost the very next day, I moved the search bar from it’s (apparent) hiding place on my sidebar to the very top of the page. You can now search for recipes and topics as soon as you visit the site.
Next to suggestions about the search bar were suggestions about making the blog more mobile friendly. I hear you! This is definitely a goal for 2018, but it will not be as easily achieved as moving the search bar.
This year will probably see a big makeover on the blog. Easier navigation, more mobile friendly, and a general overall facelift. However, as with video gear, the makeover is in a queue of other items waiting on sufficient funds in my blogging budget.
All this talk about lighting gear and blog facelifts brings me to the topic of ads. I was honestly relieved that not many of you mentioned anything about ads in the survey. There were a few comments, though, and I want to take a minute to address the elephant in the room.
As you can imagine, blogging takes a lot of hard work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s work that I LOVE and I am ever-so-thankful to be able to do this from home. But it is still work and one of the ways that this work helps my family is through ad revenue.
One reason that I like blogging is that I can earn an income without having to ask you to spend anything. I can give you recipes and other content at no cost to you, besides the possible annoyance of seeing a few ads as you scroll.
This year, in addition to reinvesting money back into the blog, the small income I earn through the blog will aid my family in many ways. We currently do not have a vehicle that can safely fit all of our family, but because you are here, reading these words, trying and sharing recipes, we will be able to purchase a new-to-us vehicle to safely get us around together.
In short, thank you!
What’s to come in 2018…
Overall, this year will have similar types of posts as last year. I have considered whether or not I should narrow down the topics I write about, but for now, I will continue to share the same sort of things.
Recipes we love and hope that you will too. Lessons and encouragement on motherhood and homemaking. Simple craft and sewing tutorials. REAL LIFE.
These are a few of the topics you want to see on This Pilgrim Life in 2018…
- make-ahead meals
- budget-friendly meals & meal planning
- Instant Pot recipes
- simple sewing tutorials
- home organization
- family life
Once again, THANK YOU!
I plan to make This Pilgrim Life better than ever this year and hope you will stick around, and maybe even tell your friends. When I started the blog four years ago, I did not know what to expect, other than that it would take a lot of hard work to grow and build a community here.
You have made sharing here a joy and a blessing, and I don’t take it for granted. So I’ll say it again…Thank you! This Pilgrim Life has been a blessing to so many, and I couldn’t do it without YOU!