Earlier this month, I asked my lovely readers to take a five-question survey, helping me with content, what you liked, what you don’t like, and general mayhem. I had not done a reader survey in about two years so it was long overdue and really interesting to dig into. I had lots of people ask how it went and what the results were so I’m doing a little mini recap today.
General thoughts: I have no idea what I learned. For every person that said they liked a topic or post, there was someone else who absolutely hated it. So that was helpful. I write about a wide range of topics so it’s not surprising everyone has a favorite kind and wants to see more of that and then less of the other stuff. So I learned that every time I write a post, I’m pleasing some people and annoying others.
That, in general, pretty much sums up my life.
What was not surprising was most people do not like sponsored posts. That was a pretty common sentiment. So I’ll just take a quick minute to talk about those and then move on. I’m not a super-big fan of sponsored content and turn down a lot more opportunities than I accept. You would not believe the things I get pitched to write about. Two things that come to mind immediately: panty liners for when you accidentally pee your pants and intimate bedroom things. Umm, WHAT? Wrong blog, email people. Okay, I guess I did write one post where I peed my pants while running a race but that does not mean I have to wear adult diapers. Easy, tigers.
But sometimes I do write sponsored content. Because this blog costs money to run. Those emails you get to your inbox? Those cost money to send. The pretty blog layout you see when you visit my site? That costs money to have designed. Seven years ago when I started this, everything I did was free of charge. But then about three years ago, because of my traffic and amount of email subscribers, I had to start paying for things like servers, security from hackers, and email service. I’m not complaining about the cost because I love that so many of you come here each day and you trust me with your email address and let me send you things. But I’m also not a big fan of using my family’s money to do that.
Graham family income does not go to support this blog. I made that a rule years ago and stuck with it. I don’t want this place to be a drain on our family’s resources. If we have extra money, it goes to college funds for the girls, supporting causes close to our hearts, vacation funds, or (before we were debt-free) to pay off debt. I don’t write the expenses for this space into our monthly budget. Blog/internet stuff is completely different money.
So that means occasional sponsored content to pay for the things that make Trusty Chucks stay online. For the past two years, I’ve been able to pay the bills by freelancing at other sites which has cut down on sponsored stuff you see here. I would rather freelance somewhere else and make money there so I could write whatever my little heart desires on my site, but freelancing is finicky and not consistent.
Which means occasional sponsored posts. Please know that I am very careful with what I allow here and sometimes I just need to make some money to pay the blog bills. But I only write about things I authentically think will resonate with my audience. Rest assured I’m not making money and getting rich off my blog. It is not a major income source for our family and it is not my main focus for this space. We sometimes have extra income from my online work and that becomes some fun money for our family, but that’s after we tithe that income and pay all the blog bills.
Okay, enough about sponsored content. Blah.
The last question on my reader survey was open to ask any questions you had for me, and I got lots of good stuff. I’m going to address most of those tomorrow and Friday. A little Q-and-A series, if you will. Probably things you’ve been wondering too so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of the posts. Then there are some topics people asked about that deserve their own posts and those will come too. Sometimes when you write about yourself so much (how conceited is that??!), you don’t even think about what people probably don’t know. You know, because I’m such an expert on myself and all. *hair flip*
So you’re going to get all the questions answered soon!
I also got lots of good topic ideas for future posts. Things I have written about before that need more attention or things I’ve never even thought about that interest people. My readers are so smart, I don’t know why I waited two years to do this again.
There were a lot of entertaining things that came up on the survey too. You guys are shockingly clever and funny. Some of you should probably be writing your own blogs if you’re not already.
One reader requested more Chris Graham because he’s sexy. (*EYE ROLL*)
A few people invited me out for coffee. Yes, I’d like to, thanks for asking.
Some people just said nice things in every box, and I feel like we should hang out because you’re good with compliments.
A few of you guys are a little mean so it’s good I have thick skin.
My husband filled out the survey and answered each question with inappropriate things I cannot repeat here.
Yes, we can be BFFs. I think that sounds fun.
Most of you enjoy my honesty. A few of you dislike my voice but keep reading anyway. (WHAT??)
Book reviews on Saturdays are either your favorite or your most hated. My compromise with this is I’m still doing them, but not sending them to your inbox and that seems to have calmed most people down.
On the question What do you LEAST like on Trusty Chucks? someone wrote “bad husband.” This makes me laugh every single time I see it.
Question: What annoys you the most about Trusty Chucks? Answers: “When you say unkind things back to the idiots who write unkind things on your blog.” The struggle is real, folks. “Apparently you called some readers ‘lame’ somewhere; I didn’t read it- a friend did and was annoyed.” Sorry anyone I’ve called a name. Know that I wasn’t serious, and I was probably making fun of myself and you just got caught in the crossfire. I don’t think you’re lame. Truthfully, I can’t even see you through this screen so you could be lame, but I don’t really know. (KIDDING.)
Hard-hitting question: “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” Answer: If I see a woodchuck, I just start throwing punches.
And last, someone said it was annoying when I wrote long posts. I think this would qualify. So I’ll stop. Part one of question-and-answer tomorrow. It’s gonna be fun. Or annoying. It’s a toss up, really.