First: You guys are amazing. Over 1300 of you filled out my survey, and lots of you took the time to write thoughtful responses to the short-answer questions.
Thank you so, so much! Really, you all are fantastic.
Now, get comfy, because this is going to be kind of long.
Ok! First question:
You guys really, really like Five Frugal Things. And a lot of you like the What I Spent, What We Ate feature.
Which makes this next one a little bit funny:
So, What I Spent, What We Ate is the second most popular feature, but also the top in the Least Favorite category.
However, the percentage of votes FOR it are more than the percentage of votes AGAINST it.
Interestingly enough, one of the resounding results of my first survey was that readers really, really wanted me to bring grocery/menu posts back.
What’s a blogger to do??
My inclination is to keep writing those posts because a lot of you do find them to be helpful.
And those of you who don’t love ’em, if you have ideas about how I could make them more helpful to you, feel free to let me know!
(Some of you don’t like the posts because your dietary needs are different than ours, and you said you hoped I’d post more gluten-free meals or vegan meals. But since the post is about what we ate…it’s probably not gonna be gluten-free or vegan! There are lots of really great gluten-free and vegan food blogs out there, though, and they’ll probably meet your food needs better than I ever can.)
What other types of posts would you like to see?
Since this is a short-answer question, I don’t have a tidy graph to show you, but I did take extensive notes on your suggestions and I’ll work on incorporating them into future posts.
The most common request was for more recipes, which I can completely understand. I’m always on the hunt for dependable recipes that help me eat at home, and I’ll do my best to share more of those with you.
What’s the biggest frugality challenge that you face?
Another short answer question here! The most common theme I’m seeing is that you guys feel like food spending is a big challenge, whether it’s trying not to overspend at the grocery store, or trying to get dinner on the table so that you can avoid takeout.
A lot of you also said you struggled with food waste and with contentment, which is interesting because those were the two topics I’d considered making a course on!
What do you love about The Frugal Girl? What keeps you coming back?
So, so many of you said that what you love about my blog is…me!
Which warmed my heart so much. My blog is definitely of the practical sort, and to hear that my personality comes through and that that’s what you love even over and above the advice, ideas, and recipes….well, that really made my month. Thank you!
Also, a lot of you said that you like my honest style and my realness. I am really encouraged to hear that that’s coming through, because sometimes I feel a little limited in how much realness I can share while still being respectful to my family.
I do the best that I can to find a balance there, and I’m so happy that a down-to-earth, real feel is what’s coming across to a lot of you.
Many of you said you feel like we could be friends in real life, and oh, I bet that’s so true. If only it were possible!
Also, multiple people said that they appreciate that I offer a not-too-fanatical approach to frugality.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be more of a beans-and-rice, wear-the-same-clothes-for-15-years type of blogger, but this was a good reminder that there are lots of people out there who need something less hard-core, and I can fill that need.
Oh, and many readers mentioned how great the comments section is here compared the dumpster fire that most internet comment sections are.
So, thank you, dear readers, for making the comments a happy place to be.
What do you not love? What could I do better?
Another short-answer question. These results were sort of all over the map, so it’s a little hard to summarize them.
And a lot of you left answers like this (which is so kind!)
Anyway, like internet reviews, some of the comments gave me opposite feedback (You should talk about your faith more! Why do you talk about your faith so much?)
And while a fair number of you aren’t at all a fan of the Stitch Fix posts, a huge number of you said you love them and find them entertaining.
Several people said they don’t find homeschooling posts helpful because they don’t homeschool. It’s interesting that this came up because I don’t feel like I post a lot about homeschooling.
(3 posts this year, actually. I just checked!)
But somehow it must feel like more to you guys than it is. Hmm. I promise I’m not going to do a whole bunch of them, though.
Some of you said you hate it when there’s a day I don’t blog, which is very sweet of you. I do try to get a post up each weekday, but boy, my real life does sometimes get in the way of that.
A few readers said I’m sharing a too-perfect version of my life, and that this doesn’t feel authentic. I get that, and I wish it was different, and I shared lots of thoughts about that in this post.
Interestingly, several people said I should include more photos in my posts. Which is funny because I always feel like I include a lot of photos. But maybe even more would be better?
Probably the most common response was that some people really dislike sponsored posts/campaigns. I do try to keep those to a minimum, but the truth is that it does cost me actual money to “keep the lights on” around here.
One reader suggested that I use free blogging services, but the problem is, those aren’t really meant for large-ish blogs.
Also, running a blog requires a lot of time, and to keep it free for people to read, I have to run ads/sponsored posts if I want to earn any money for the time I put into it.
(I wrote many more words about that topic here, in case you’re interested.)
I do hear you, I understand you don’t love a bunch of promotional stuff, and I promise that I will not overrun my blog with ads or start running sponsored content each week.
(Personal growth milestone for me: I read some of the more crabby responses to this question, which I am not sharing here, and I was not devastated by them. I was able to read them, consider them, and then let them roll off my back. And I was able to remember that it’s ok if my personality and writing style aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why there are lots of blogs out there…there’s a blog for everyone!)
(Edited to add: A critique is not a crabby response. I asked for critique! It’s helpful and much appreciated. When I mentioned a “crabby response”, I’m referring to survey responses that are more like personal attacks than anything helpful or productive. )
Which social media platform is your fave?
Facebook is definitely your favorite, as it was last survey. But Instagram gained some traction this time compared to two years ago.
Which makes me happy because Instagram is so totally my favorite. More of you should come over there…really! It’s a happy, picture-filled place, and it’s rarely filled with drama. Very fabulous.
I’ll do my best not to neglect Facebook, though, as I do want to be where you are.
I’m not surprised at the small Twitter results. I do use Twitter here and there, and honestly, it’s probably the social media platform where I get the most off-topic from frugality.
So, for the few of you who wished I said more about current events and such, Twitter is the place to get that from me.
(My username is thefrugalgirl on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m super easy to find!)
Some of you have said you’d like me to do more video content (Instagram stories, Facebook live, etc.) What kind of stuff would you like me to do videos about?
A lot of you said you hate videos, which I COMPLETELY understand. I hardly ever watch internet videos, because I’d rather read than watch. Also, I’d rather write than talk to a camera.
So, don’t fear…I will not be doing video content instead of blogging. Writing will always be my main thing.
But I do plan to add more video content to my social media feeds on Instagram and Facebook, and your topic suggestions were very helpful. Thank you!
How old are you?
I mentioned before that several of my readers let me know they’re 90+, which is so great. I love having a wide range of ages in my readership.
Most of you all are between 31 and 50, which is the age range I fall smack dab into the middle of.
Video Course Questions
These results are pretty conclusive.
To clarify a few things: a course would never be put out instead of regular blog posts. The blog is always going to be free and open to the public!
The idea is that the course would provide a way to do some deeper digging into a particular topic, with daily challenges, tips and accountability.
(A month-long delve into food waste on the blog would get boring for people who aren’t that interested in food waste. But people who buy a course on it would all be interested.)
Also, I want to provide some ways for people taking the course to interact with each other and me, possibly through a course-specific Facebook group.
Anyway, I still need to think on that and figure out how it all would work, but your feedback was very helpful.
The last question was a miscellaneous one, and your answers were very miscellaneous as well. Many of you left encouraging comments for me, and I want you to know I read every single one.
I am so inspired by your encouragement and feedback, and I cannot thank you enough.
Aaaaand 1700 words later, this post has finally ended. Gold stars if you made it all the way through!