What a cool collection of ambitions and perspectives in yesterday’s discussion about dreams surviving motherhood (or not). I’m going to take a day or two to reflect on what all of you are saying there, but in the meantime I wanted to give you an update on my reader survey. The response has been fantastic and I’ve learned some surprising things!
What I’ve learned:
- The overwhelming majority (89%) of those who responded feel my posts are “just right” in length. However, I got some feedback about how to make long posts easier to read for skimmers, like being more consistent about highlighting important parts in bold, that I plan to incorporate. I may also put up shorter posts the day after an especially long post or hopping discussion, in order to give everyone a chance to catch up. Otherwise, though, I think my writing style – which includes my wordiness – is just one of those things I can’t change without losing something essential about this place. If you find yourself overwhelmed by content, there are some great suggestions on managing the overload in the comments to this post.
- On giveaways: Most of you don’t participate, but a sizable portion (30%) do. Of those who don’t participate, just a small handful said they find giveaways distracting or bothersome, so I am going to keep doing them, sparingly, and flanked in relevant content. I find that they are a good way to attract new readers and also reward some of you for coming back time and again. Many of you said you don’t enter because you don’t think you’ll win. I know I rarely bother with giveaways on other blogs for the same reason, but if you think about the numbers, our chances are pretty darn good!
- I can’t make everyone happy all of the time. I chuckled over some of the comments: one person would request I do one thing while another would ask me to do the complete opposite! A few people aren’t thrilled with some topics I cover or my tone in certain posts. I’m always trying to be my best, but finding that might not always jive with what other people are looking for. And you know, that’s okay.
- YOU are a huge part of The Happiest Mom. A significant number of respondents said that one of their favorite parts of this blog is the discussion in the comments. I agree! You all are smart, thoughtful, and a huge part of why this blog is so personally rewarding to write. And your participation (either by commenting or sharing posts with your network using those handy little buttons at the bottom of each post) helps keep this place hopping and interesting. Please keep adding your voice and telling your friends!
What You Can Expect in the Future:
- An enhanced Facebook presence. I’ve heard from several people now that they use Facebook as a sort of feed reader-slash-way to get caught up, so I’m going to be more intentional about updating my Happiest Mom Facebook page. I’ll be putting up snippets from posts and encouraging discussion over there as well, so if you don’t have time to read every one of my posts in full each day, you can “like” the Happiest Mom page and get the gist of the conversation in your feed.
- Continued experimentation with monetizing. While I love writing this blog for many personal reasons, making it profitable will allow me to continue to invest more and more time, energy and thought into making it an inspiring, thriving, and thought-provoking place for moms. As you may have noticed, I’ve been toying with sidebar ads, created an advertising page for potential sponsors, and introducing (sparing and non-spammy) sponsored posts. I appreciate your patience as I figure out a mix that will work best for all of us. My editorial policy highlights the obligations I feel to my readers: namely, transparency and honesty.
- Special products and services. I’m considering launching a line of e-books, online mentoring/workshops, creating downloadable book club materials you can use to work through my book with your friends, podcasts and more. I can’t do everything all at once, but if you ever think of a product or service you’d really like me to offer, please drop me a line or let me know in the comments.
- More surveys. Not only did I love hearing your feedback, I also didn’t read the fine print at Survey Monkey before I created the survey. Turns out once you get past 100 responses, you have to buy a pro account in order to see the rest. So, for the next month I’ve got to get my money’s worth out of this survey software! I think I’ll survey you guys on everything including what to have for breakfast and what color to paint my toenails.
My survey is still up and I’ll leave it active for the next few days. I hope you will continue to share your feedback. As I’ve said before, yes, this is my space, but it wouldn’t exist without all of you. As I work toward taking this site from a casual mom blog to a more professional and, yes, commercial online destination, I’m working hard to keep the integrity, sense of community and content that has brought you all here in the first place. I won’t always get it right, but I’m always working on making The Happiest Mom a warm, welcoming, thriving home for you. I really appreciate your being here and hope you’ll continue to be an active part of this place I am so proud of.