I am kicking myself for not doing a survey before- you awesome people all had so many interesting things to say! I feel like I just went to a party with all of you, and we had so many cool little conversations. Let’s take a look at the results!
There were 427 responses, and in the age category, most readers were in their 30s (so am I) and next largest demographics were in their 20s and 40s; but there was representation from all groups, which I was really pleased to see.
I loved learning more about your hobbies! Unsurprisingly, most of you are knitters. The vast majority of you self-identify as readers, and then cooking and baking rounded out the top three hobbies. I’m not surprised to see TV and movies up there, since that’s what I’m usually doing when I’m knitting, too! In the ‘Other’ category, a lot of you enjoy spinning, weaving, and running, but pretty much every hobby you can imagine was mentioned at least once.
Question 3: As for what you like about crafting, most of the results fit into these categories (these were the short answer questions, so I exported them into Excel and went through the results manually. Next time, I’ll do multiple choice so I can get a handy graph):
1. The satisfaction of making something
2. Having a creative outlet that lets you play with colour and texture and style
3. You find it relaxing and enjoyable
4. You love the process, the actual act of crafting
5. You enjoy learning new skills
Question 4: As for crafting challenges, there were several recurring themes (again, I exported the data into Excel so I could find clump together similar answers), which I found really interesting. It’s in these longer answer questions that I really felt like I was getting to know more about you guys:
1. Not having enough time to craft
2. Unclear/less than ideal pattern instructions
3. Project not turning out as expected
4. Startitis/Motivation to Finish
5. Sourcing Supplies/sourcing affordable supplies
6. Making Mistakes
7. Struggling to learn new skills
Those were the main subjects that came up over and over again, and I can definitely identify with many of them myself. I wanted to ask this question because while we do have a lot in common with our shared love of knitting, I think it would be interesting to unpack each of these challenges in future posts, and talk about what we could do for each of these.
First- you’ll see there is a weird anomaly in the chart, it counted Finished Knit Posts in two separate categories, even though there wasn’t more than one option on the survey. I assume it was a glitch. I had no idea there would be so much interest in Knits in Progress, I always feel like those are the posts that I struggle with most- but lately I’ve been putting my cats in those posts, which I hope helps make them more interesting! I also found it amusing that my favourite, the Outtake posts, didn’t rank that highly- the least popular in all the categories! I guess the pretty pictures win out over the silly pictures.
I was so surprised that the video podcast ideas turned up so low on the list of things you wanted to see- it feels like every knit blogger out there has a video podcast now, I thought I was missing the boat, but clearly there are already enough podcasts to go around. Highest votes went to pattern reviews, which is a great idea and I’m happy to start doing that- but I feel I should come right out and say I’m not going to bash anyone’s pattern. I know personally how much time, effort, and work goes into creating and writing up a pattern, and how it can go through loads of test knitters and multiple rounds with a tech editor and still emerge on the other side with a typo or an error in instructions. You would need to have a totally anonymous blog to do something like that (and also not worry about ever hurting someone else’s feelings or crushing their dreams). So, I’m thinking that when there is a new collection from, say, Knitty or Twist Collective or Wool People or etc., I can put together my top picks and explain why I like them- does that sound interesting? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see included in pattern review posts.
Second most requested are happiness and general living posts, which I’m thrilled to see- I’d love to talk more about that! I’ll get working on that right away. As for product reviews, I can definitely do more of those- I can talk about tools I like best, other products I use and enjoy. If there are specific products you’d like to see reviewed, let me know in the comments. I’m always open to suggestions.
Most popular recommendation in the the ‘Other’ category was yarn reviews. I think I can do a bit of that, talking more about different yarns I’m using or my favourite yarns for certain types of projects. I love trying out new yarns all the time, but I do have favorites that I know hold up well when the knit is finished. I’ll be sure to talk more about that in forthcoming posts.
Question7 asked, “What is one thing that I don’t talk about often, that you would like to see more about?” Most popular suggestions were:
1. How I choose patterns and yarn for myself/deciding what to knit, knits in progress
2. More insight into my design process
3. How I fit knitting into my daily schedule, my work/life balance
4. Other crafty things that I do, thing I make from Pinterest posts
5. More about my personal life: home, Lila, pets, etc.
6. How to make modifications
There were some great requests, like someone who suggested seeing updates on the things I’ve knitted, a sort of ‘Where are they now?” update on past FOs. And I’ve tried to be so careful to not post too many things about my daughter, not because I mind sharing stories or photos, but because I have seen too many blogs I enjoyed slide gracefully off into the sunset and become entirely about their kiddos. I’m so hyper-aware about not doing that, someone actually commented, “wait, you have kids?” So that tells me I’m in no danger of overwhelming everyone with photos of my daughter (I save that for Instagram and Twitter!).
Question 8: “Is there anything about the blog that you wish was different?”
Most of you commented that were happy with the blog as it is, which is great to hear- I’m glad that you are enjoying it! Quite a few said they would like to see more frequent posts. I personally aim to post at least 3 times a week, and when I can, I post more frequently. But since I work full time in an office, I think they might notice if I started to bring my knitting in and take photos at my desk (which isn’t to say I haven’t done it, but I try to keep it infrequent). If I ever find a way to blog full time, I will totally post every day!
Several commented that you don’t use Pinterest (What?! People aren’t using pinterest?!) and many of you have probably already noticed that I took to heart what many of you said about not using Pinterest, so added in original post links as well- the response has been great.
As for comments:
I don’t think I was particularly surprised by this, since every blog will have more readers than commenters, especially in the current age of declining blog comments. But it clearly had a strong influence on the results of the next question:
Unsurprisingly, I’m betting that the people who comment probably enjoy the emails back and forth (since I try to respond to every single comment), but those that don’t would like to see it in the comment section. I’m not sure what my next steps will be with this information- maybe I’ll start doing a mix of individual responses and commenting back on the posts as well. Maybe I’ll try just commenting on the comment and see how that works? I’ll have to give this section more thought.
And the final box allowed for you to tell me anything that you wanted to let me know- and I’m glad that so many of you filled it out! First off: to the person who commented that my older Ravelry projects no longer link to my blog posts- thank you!! I had no idea when I migrated my blog from Blogger to WordPress every single old link would be killed (cautionary tales, my friends). I’ve now gone back and updated all those old links, so my older Ravelry projects link back to the appropriate blog posts. I’m working on updating older Pinterest links, too.
I really appreciated the comments about how well the integration of the “meet the sponsors” posts are going, as I know some of you were nervous when I opened up to advertising. Please know that no one else has any control over which ads appear; every single one is a relationship that began with an email inquiring about space, and then I evaluated the fit to make sure it would be interesting if I saw it on someone else’s blog. All the items that appear in the Meet the Sponsors posts are picked out by me. The sponsors get to be surprised along with you!
This has been a really enjoyable experiment. I’m so glad so many of you participated and gave me your feedback- thank you!! I feel like I have a much better idea of what sort of things you would like to see around here. But don’t worry- there won’t be any sudden or swift changes, just trying to work in more of what you want to see.