Can I say y'all if I'm not from the South? Well, either way, I'm going to. Y'all made me cry, but I'll get to that in a moment.
Because, drum roll please . . . the results of the 1st official House Of Hawthornes survey are in.
I won't put you through a bunch of charts and graphs and statistical analysis here (although I did think about it), but in general I have to say YOU GUYS ROCK!
I got a huge response to the survey. Lots of great advice. Lots of great tips. Hardly any death threats.
So let's dive into a few of the more interesting findings.
What are your FAVORITE TOPICS at House Of Hawthornes?
Your favorite posts were Thrift Store Shopping/Finds, Vintage Decor and Crafts & DIY Projects. Not necessarily in that order, but those were the top three.
No surprise here, because that's what my main focus has always been.
Well, I may have let the Thrift Store Shopping/Finds slip a bit this summer, but my thrifting will increase once the kiddo gets back in school.
If you had to pick one, what it your LEAST FAVORITE topic at House Of Hawthornes?
Huge surprise here! HUGE!
The least favorite were my recipe posts! By far! As in, you totally hate recipes!!!
You're killing me here.
I actually love, love, love doing recipes. Not that it will be the focus of my blog or anything, but yeah, I love baking.
I love getting together the props for the photo shoot. I love trying to figure out how to arrange the food so it looks yummy in the photos. I like the challenge and growth it gives me to work on something different and something a little bit out of my comfort zone.
So sorry to tell you, I don't think they're going anywhere.
I may not do them often (I think I've done three in the last year), but this girl's gotta cook. And grow. And develop.
And eat, I suppose.
If you had one TIP for me to improve my site, what would that be?
Yowsers! That was a loaded question. So I'll answer some of the tips that came up more than a few times:
I would love it if you posted more often:
You and me both, sister!
I wish I could post more often too and honestly once my son goes back to school in a few weeks, I will be more consistent. But right now, he is my 1st concern and what 16 year old wants to watch his mom spend the summer typing on her computer and taking photos of jars of feathers?
I love you guys, but posting once or twice a week in the summer is about all I can muster and not be nominated for Bad Mother Of The Year.
I don't like having to click to "Read More" on your home page:
That is done to increase page load speed. Which basically means that the blog loads much faster without full blog posts and tons of photos on the home page.
Have you ever tried to pull up a site and you just sit there and the little round thing just keep spinning? And spinning. And spinning. Yeah, people just go ahead and click elsewhere at that point. And then there's the problem that Google penalizes sites that they consider to be too slow.
So it's pretty much a necessity if I want people to find my site, read it and fall in love with plaid thermoses and vintage cameras.
Your blog looks like the Las Vegas strip with all those #@*% ads:
I am dialing down the ads that appear on the images, so you will start to see less of those. Less, but they won't be going away completely. Honestly, they are my highest paying ads and as much as I HATE them myself, those ones on the bottom of some of the images just are a necessity.
And while we're talking ads. You do know this blog is a business, right?
We might as well be totally honest with each other. I make money off this little old blog.
There, I've said it.
If I had a job outside my home, I probably would not have any ads and never in a million years do a sponsored post. But, with my son having disabilities it really limits the types of jobs I can take out in the real world. I feel it is a Godsend to be able to work from home and still be there if my son is sick and needs to come home from school (31 sick days this year).
There are not a lot of jobs, including the one I left when I decided to stay home with him, that will put up with taking days off left and right. Yes, there is FMLA which is supposed to cover this type of thing, but federal regulations are only as good as your lawyer.
So anyhow, I make money off those ads which allows me the freedom to write about what I love, play around with my camera all day long and get to talk to you people. And be there for my son. A win win win win on almost all sides.
Oh, and my favorite tip???
"How can you improve perfection? Do I get a prize for sucking up??xx"
Why yes. Yes you do!
In a vast sea of blogs, why do you come HERE?
It took me three days to get through the list. Every single time I would start reading it I would tear up.
Every. Single. Time.
Oh, and "tear up" in a good way. Not that you are meanies that are making me cry, but that you are so sweet and loving that you are making me cry!
Thank you from the bottom of my Twizzler encrusted heart for being so nice and loving. I love writing this blog. I have poured so much of my blood, sweat and tears into this place and I adore that you appreciate all the hard work!
So really, thank you!!!
Are you wondering what these photos have to do with this post?
Yeah, me too. I couldn't figure out a photo that really conveyed anything about a survey, so I just said "what the heck" and just took some photos of a vignette I'm working on.
Or I guess I could say the camera signifies me developing and the feathers signify me spreading my wings and soaring. Yeah, there's always that.