Thanks to all of you who took the 2022 reader survey. It was up at the end of December 2022 and remained open for a couple of weeks into January. I love getting your feedback to make sure I stay on track with the information I’m providing to you. I’m sharing the results a little later than planned but it’s still relevant and fun to look at.
I poured over it and studied it as it came in but just couldn’t find time to put everything together in one post until now.
First, let me make a statement about survey results.
If you are reading these results and find yourself in a different category or thinking about something in a different way, remember that not every single reader took the survey. Survey results are very helpful to me, but they only represent the sample that took the survey. Surveys help me gauge who I’m speaking to and writing content for, but I must keep in mind that these results are from a small sample of users, so I must look at other gauges for content as well.
Let’s dive right into the questions and answers:
2022 Reader Survey Results
Q1: How long have you been reading my blog?
70% have been readers for a few years, 30% stared reading in the past year (2022). Thanks to both groups! It’s nice to have long term, loyal followers and the growth of new readers is nice too.
Q2: How did you discover my blog?
Overwhelmingly, 44% found me through another blog. A big thank you to my fellow bloggers who share my content and host linkups! The next most frequent way you found your way here is either through Google or Pinterest. Link ups and Instagram follow those as sources.
Q3: How do you usually get to the blog to read the posts?
60% receive the daily feed. (You can subscribe here if you want the posts delivered to your email as they are published.) 13% just type in my blog in the browser, 10% come over from the weekly newsletter and 7% have it bookmarked. The remaining 10% come from other feed organizers or social media sources.
Q4: What’s your age range?
36% are over 50 and 36% are over 60. 19% are over 40. 8% are over 70 and 1% are 31-39. I admit most of you are older than I expected.
I will be in the 50-age group this year so I probably should not have been surprised. Fashion is for everyone, and age doesn’t matter. You see me stress that all the time here. It’s not about age, it’s more about dressing for your body type and for the occasion.
But age can come into play. I think as we age, we encounter challenges with trends and dressing “for our age” without looking frumpy. It’s also a challenge to not look frumpy but not look like you are trying too hard and dressing too young. It’s a balance. My goal is to help you achieve that balance as well as provide information that women of any age can apply to their style journey.
Q5: What’s your life stage?
I will likely change up the response choices to this in the future. 64% are married. Beyond that, responses are split between retired and work outside the home. I was trying to get an idea of what stage of life you are dressing for- work, leisure, activities with kids or grandkids, etc. The results are still insightful, but I should have thought out this question more.
Q6: What’s your average family income?
25% are between $100,000 and $150,000 and 21% between 75,000 and 99,000, 18% are 50-74,999 14% over 150,000. The remainder was less than $50,000 or did not want to answer. I respect that this is a personal question. The goal is to make sure content and product recommendations stay on target and affordable.
Q7: Do you budget for clothing?
62% don’t, 38% do. WOW! How do you know what you can afford if you don’t budget? I believe in a budget and try to stick with a certain amount per month or year. For a couple of years I tracked every clothing purchase. I encourage you to at least track your clothing spending, and then budget for things you want and need. Both may show you that you can afford better quality or that you spend too much for a certain item.
Q8: What is your monthly clothing budget?
For those that budget, 5% spend over $200 per month, 33% allow $51-$100 per month, 18% $101-$200, 16% $50, 3% less than $50.
25% provided an “other” response. Budget is also very personal. Some stated it varies month to month. Someone asked for a post on budgeting. Based on #7, an educational post on budgeting for clothing might be resourceful.
Q9: Where do you live?
28% are in the Midwest, followed by 23% in the Southeast, 15% Northeast, 15% Southwest, 3% Northwest and 3% Canada. 12% added an “other”. I left out West Coast (duh) and some live in other countries.
Q10: How often do you purchase things I feature on the blog?
52.3% of you just like to get outfit ideas. 32% shop a few times per year and the remainder fell into other categories.
This was interesting. I love being a source of inspiration, but I also enjoy having some income from this blog and having it pay for itself. While over half of you don’t shop the blog, someone does. My affiliate income has slowly increased over the years and I’m grateful for your purchases.
I finally qualified for and joined a managed ad network at the end of 2021. Since then, my major source of income has become ads. Thanks for not complaining about them! The income allows me to improve things and improve your experience here. I don’t like ads, but they are primary way bloggers make money.
I have listened to feedback about ads that mostly came from complaints on Pinterest on a viral pin, and I did away with the top sticky ad that was so annoying on mobile.
How to Support A Blog
An easy way you can support my blog without shopping is to pin posts on Pinterest. I recently added a plug in that allows me to offer more images to pin without crowding the post- hidden images. If you “pin” from the browser app or pin button you should now get options for more images to pin other than what’s seen in the post.
Pinterest traffic brings in more ad revenue and more affiliate income from those who are looking to shop for certain things. So even if you aren’t shopping from the blog, your pins and shares of my post help support it. The same plug in I’m talking about replaced my share buttons and made them more visible on each post.
Comments and shares to other platforms help too. Google looks at reader engagement/interaction when deciding if something is worth ranking so others can find it in search results.
Q11: What retailers/brands do you want to see featured on the blog?
These results were interesting also. I asked this same question in another survey (in a slightly different way) and the top results were a bit different. I allowed for readers to provide suggestions in this response. In the last survey I listed retailers and respondents chose among them.
Very few chose Loft or Ann Taylor in the past survey, but they were frequently mentioned this time. Perhaps the pool of respondents has changed with the addition of new readers, or maybe the manner of phrasing the question had an effect.
The top requested retailers were:
I probably shouldn’t but I have to comment on Talbots. Those who mentioned them may be able to afford them, but I find them to be a bit pricey unless you are shopping sales. They would be a bit outside the budget of most who responded to the survey. There is also something about their vibe that is more “mature” than my tastes. I do occasionally see pieces there that I like, but you probably won’t see me in a lot of Talbot’s clothing. Given the age range of my readers, I’m not surprised to see them mentioned but I don’t think they are for me. Not yet.
Where Readers Shop
Let’s compare the requested retailers to the top retailers my readers have purchased from in the past six months:
Q12: What features/types of content do you like best?
How to Wear- 67%, Ways to Wear- 60%, Trends (Seasonal, Over 40)-59%. These do total over 100% but picking more than one answer was allowed. This aligns perfectly with the response that 52% don’t shop the blog but come here for inspiration.
Q13: Are you a weekly email subscriber?
60% of you are. The weekly email contains style tips, What I Wore Lately, links to the previous week’s blog posts, and occasional promos for products I believe in.
Q14: Do you have suggestions for the weekly email? What would you like to see? Likes or dislikes?
I appreciate suggestions on what you want to see. I try to incorporate them when possible.
Here are some of the responses:
“Even though I am over 60 years old I am still full-time at work in the office. I like the way you style workwear, especially blazers. I would like to see more office suggestions for spring and summer this year what is smart casual? Fridays only for jeans and business casual usually.”
I hear you! Spring and summer work wear is tricky because it’s hot outside.
“Just something for everyone. We all have different budgets. Especially given the economy now. Maybe a splurge vs save alternative:) or how to make the most of what is already in your closet without looking frumpy and dated:)”
“Complete outfits including shoes and jewelry.”
“Emails are great. What about adding an occasional deep dive into closet staples: what to look for when investing in these pieces, what’s in or out, when to replace these items (for example one week you deep dive into blazers, and then jeans another week, and the little black dress on yet another week).”
“I don’t like the ankle pants for work, they aren’t flattering and not appropriate for my position at work.”
Noted, but I also note that I wear trouser leg pants in addition to ankle pants and show those weekly in the “What I Wore” section of the newsletter.
Q15: What is your biggest fashion challenge?
Some of the responses:
“Finding and putting together outfits that are stylish but age appropriate”
“My body type being apple shape I struggle to get slimming clothes”
I’m a pear shape and struggle more with a big booty than a stomach, but I try to offer advice for all shapes. You might find this post on The Secrets on How to Hide Belly Fat and Feel More Confident helpful.
“Jeans are the worst for me.”
This post on finding jeans that fit might offer some help.
“Wearing the clothes I own. Putting separates together.”
“Putting together outfits from pieces that I already own.”
Putting separates together is something you develop an eye for but can certainly learn. A post on this might be fun.
“Keeping my wardrobe tailored to my personal style.”
Check out this post on developing your unique personal style. Come up with your three words that describe your style. Whenever you purchase an item, ask yourself if it fits at least two of your descriptors.
Many of you also mentioned that staying current and modern, particularly “without looking like a twenty-year-old”, or too young, or “age appropriate”, was a struggle. Finding clothes that fit was a common struggle as well as finding quality items on a budget.
Q16: Do you follow me on:
I didn’t realize how many of you also followed be on Instagram. You may have noticed a decline in my posting there so far in 2023. I have to make a confession- I hate Instagram!
Well, I don’t hate it, but it’s gets really boring to me. I get tired of seeing the same old thing over and over, even from fashion influencers I like. It’s always “buy this”. I don’t want to be part of that sea of noise. I want to be helpful with my content.
My full-time job workload has increased this year, so I’ve had less time for the blog and social media. I backed off on Instagram because it didn’t seem to serve me well. Most of my income comes from the blog- ads and affiliate income. It’s not worth what little time I have to chase an algorithm I don’t control.
I follow some accounts on Instagram for fitness, some for hair, some for recipes and some fashion influencers so Instagram serves a little purpose for me personally as a consumer. I’m not leaving Instagram, just slowing the efforts there. I’ll be here on the blog.
Q17: Are you part of the private Facebook group?
90% said no. Some mentioned that you didn’t know I had a private Facebook group. It is still new and growing. I mentioned it here on the blog and in the newsletter a few times. I’d love to have you join.
Q18: Any comments, suggestions? What would you like to see on the blog?
I didn’t get many suggestions but lots of compliments! Thanks so much for your kind words! I really do appreciate your feedback. Many of you mentioned liking the Amazon posts on what I buy there so those will stay.
As you can see, I am slowly making changes that I hope will improve the experience here for you and provide useful, relatable content. You might have noticed that I got rid of those spammy, tabloid looking recommendations associated with the Disqus comments. That was an ordeal!
I tried to switch from Disqus back to WordPress comments, but Disqus has it rigged so you can’t successfully import all your comments. I consulted two different tech guys about this. Since I didn’t want to lose them, so I had to start paying for a plan with Disqus that eliminates those ads.
I hope you found the survey results helpful and have a better understanding of how I use them.
If you ever have a question or comment, you can always drop it here or email me.