Blogging

Here’s What You Had To Say

You guys, thank you, thank you, thank you for taking my blog survey last week.

More than 1100 people filled it out and I read every single response.

I was overwhelmed by all the very very nice things you said (you are some of the kindest people on the Internet!) and I take seriously the constructive criticism too. Thank you for letting me know what you love and want more of and what you don’t like seeing here.

I’ll be doing my very best to make Everyday Reading (both here and on other spots like Instagram and Facebook) as good as possible this coming year.

All the answers were anonymous (unless you specifically chose to identify yourself) but I thought you might be interested to see some of the trends.

For instance, when I asked how long you’d been reading my blog, I was blown away by how many of you have been reading for YEARS. I love you all for sticking with me all this time.

Here are a few other things that I enjoyed learning:

  • You guys LOVE books. When I asked about your favorite kinds of posts, 77% of you listed book reviews, book lists, or ideas for reading with your children as your favorite. And when I asked about your second favorite kinds of posts, 58% said one of those three. So look for lots more book-related content here this year – I can hardly wait!
  • 36.6% of you see new posts via a feed reader like Feedly or BlogLovin’ and 33.6% of you come directly to my blog to check for new posts (about 6% of you get an email when a new post goes live – if you want those emails, you can sign up here). A few people also mentioned that the image sizing is an issue in the emails – I’ll do my best to figure out what the problem is and get that fixed.
  • Pretty much all of you are female. 99.6% to be exact. This was not a shock to me.
  • While many of you have children, nearly 20% don’t! So I’ll definitely be trying to do more grown-up book recommendations this year as well as more book recommendations for children.
  • LOTS of you work! More than 35% of you work full-time outside your home and 30% of you work part-time either at home or outside the home or full-time at home. So no surprise that many of you asked for more audiobook recommendations to listen to as you commute! Plenty of you (35%) stay at home full-time, and about 3% are students.
  • You live all over the world! There are readers in every state and many countries of the world. This was so fun to discover!

That’s a little about you – here’s what you wanted from Everyday Reading:

  • More book recommendations! I hear you loud and clear – there will be significantly more book content this year, and I really appreciate the specific feedback about what kind of book recommendations you wanted. There were many requests for more age-specific book lists, monthly posts about what I’ve read (and what Ella has read), more “if you liked x, try y” book lists, and more boy-centric book recommendations. And so many of you love the 100 Picture Book lists I do each summer.
  • The Girl Talk posts are wildly popular. I can’t tell you how many people asked for more of these (mainly because I didn’t count them), but . . . lots. I’ll try to do more of those this year!
  • Posts about parenting, home routines and work/life balance. Like everyone, I’m trying to figure it out as I go and constantly adjusting and trying new things, but I’m happy to share what’s working at our house (of course, the minute I share, it will all fall to pieces, as those things do). Many many people asked for Day in the Life posts, so I’ll try to do those more consistently in 2018.
  • Behind the Scenes. Many of you expressed interest in what goes into creating Everyday Reading or running a small business like London Littles, so expect a couple of posts on those this year.
  • On InstaStories, you wanted more captions so you knew if you should bother turning on the sound (this was such a good idea that would never have occurred to me).
  • Lots of requests for product recommendations. I always love finding out about new products that make daily life easier, and I was delighted to find out that my enthusiastic review of my mop was helpful to a surprisingly large number of people. And you guys LOVE pencil sharpeners. I’ll keep you posted both here on Instagram or Facebook as I discover things I love!
  • I didn’t realize that many of you that hadn’t signed up for Raising Readers were still interested in the twice-weekly emails I send out with various book-related content. If you’d like to sign up for those emails, you can do that right here!

A couple of things I wished I’d asked:

  1. How many books do you read per year? Modern Mrs. Darcy asks this every year and next time I will too!
  2. If you’ve read any books I’ve recommended, what has been your favorite? This year, the stand-out books for me that people have loved have been To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (probably because I spent the entire summer talking about it) and My Lady Jane (which is one of my favorite audiobook experiences to date), but if you had other favorites, I want to know about them!

Anyway, thanks again for being willing to share your feedback, for caring enough to let me know how I can improve, and for being so kind to me over the past decade. I appreciate it more than you know.

Happy weekend!

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29 Comments

  • Reply Elaine Doolittle January 12, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Wow, that’s a lot of survey reading and collating in a week! Two of the things I especially enjoy about this blog and don’t think I mentioned were the variety of the posts and their overall tone. You just come off as you, and it usually leaves me with at least a smile! Thank you.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      Getting to know you was one of the highlights of my time in Boston – you have been such a wonderful mentor and friend since then!

  • Reply Kristin January 12, 2018 at 5:48 am

    One other thing I just realized I meant to say – I think you do sponsored posts really well. It’s not a commercial – it just feels like a quality blog post with whatever product worked in well.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you so much for saying so – my goal is to always make the sponsored posts as useful and relevant as any other posts I publish here, so I really appreciate you mentioning it.

  • Reply Diana January 12, 2018 at 6:25 am

    I second what Elaine said.! Your tone is very approachable and readable and one of the many reasons I’ve stuck around!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much for saying so – this is a good reminder to me to say the nice things I think of other people because it just means so much!

  • Reply Kate @ Mom's Radius January 12, 2018 at 6:29 am

    I agree with Kristin 100% about sponsored posts. I don’t ever feel like you’re trying to sell me something – more just sharing something that’s been working for you.

    BTW – I read 154 books last year. I read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in the past, and I didn’t love it. I can’t remember why because I read it pre-blogging/reviewing. I have not read My Lady Jane yet, but I would like to get to it.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you so much for this super kind comment. I appreciate it so so much.

      And it’s so fun to see how other people respond to the same books. If you get around to My Lady Jane, let me know how you like it!

  • Reply Emily C January 12, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Well since you asked, I read between 10 and. 20 books a year.

    I really enjoyed When Breath Becomes Air. I HATED What Alice Forgot. Ugh. I wish I had that time back. I also did not like Me Before You but I have a quadraplegic brother-in-law which may explain some of my distaste.

    It was fun to realize I’ve been reading here for so long! I think I originally found your blog because you went on a cruise with a girl in my ward whose blog I read back when we both lived in NC.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Ah, that’s so fun to hear what you’ve liked and disliked! Thanks for sharing.

      And was it Becky Giles? I LOVE her.

      • Reply Emily C January 13, 2018 at 8:18 am

        It was! She’s such a cool girl

  • Reply Katie January 12, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I don’t have kids of my own but I teach students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities and I usually check out picture books recommended by you for read alouds. They are always a hit!
    Also, I’ve been reading and rereading and rerereading the Lara Jean series each morning before school while I eat breakfast. Seriously I owe you big time for recommending those books!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      Oh man, we would be BFFs – I could read those books every morning too!

  • Reply milo January 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

    How many books do you read per year? 2017: 74; 2016: 36; 2015: 11; didn’t track before that 🙂 As you can see – it’s a newer hobby, so I’m not really sure what to say!
    If you’ve read any books I’ve recommended, what has been your favorite? So many, but I think This is Where you Belong was the best! It totally changed how I view my city in the best way.

  • Reply Mrs. Molly Craig January 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I agree with the gals above! I really really love the variety of posts & think your sponsored posts are PHENOMENAL – so relatable. Honestly, you do all of it so well! I love your blog & IG xoxo

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      This is the NICEST comment. Thank you so so much – you’ve made my whole weekend!

  • Reply Renee January 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

    This year I read over 100 books but our family was relocating and that is how I handle stress! I read so many of your recommendations but some of my favorites have been the Jenny Han books, The Wednesday Wars, and the President’s daughter series by Ellen Emerson White. That series was so good, I had to read them all immediately in a row and now want to reread them. But I also love the children’s book recommendations. We get so many picture books that you post on the blog and my son, who is just reading on his own, has recently enjoyed the Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa books. So, thank you for all the book talk!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      Oh, you are so nice! And I am so happy you loved Ellen Emerson White – I’ve gotta go back and re-read the whole series. I think she is a master.

  • Reply Sara Millett January 12, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I read a lot of the books that you recommended this year (including Lara Jean, several Sarah Dessen books, and My Lady Jane) but my favorite was Hit Makers. I always get good ideas from your Tell Me What to Read comments too…I loved I Will Always Write Back.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 12, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      Wasn’t Hit Makers SUCH a fun read? I wonder if he’s written anything else!

  • Reply Erica January 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I never would have wanted to report how many books I read in a year before but since I have picked up some audiobook tips and great reading suggestions here from you, I’m proud to say that i read and enjoyed more than 20 books this year! Thanks to you, our kids are addicted to Mercy Watson (Meryc WatsMAN, as they call her) and I’ve really started getting better at using the library. In fact, I just reserved my first museum passes at the library so I can treat some friends during a girls weekend. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Reply Brillante Self January 13, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I read 28 books on my own this year which is the most I’ve ever read in a year! (Not including all the picture books and a zillion Magic Tree House books :). Hoping to keep building on that each year as I learn to balance life with reading. The book that stuck with me the most and that I really enjoyed while reading was Dreamland Burning. I loved it and have thought about it so much since. I’m learning that historical fiction is a favorite for me. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply Karen January 13, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Oh, man, I’m such an oddity! I love your home decor stuff, outfits, and parenting/life hacks. So many of my favorite types of posts were…not everyone’s favorites. I have to say there aren’t any types of posts I HATE, even though you asked that. I do like the book recommendations but typically come back to them when I’m ready to check stuff out and don’t love reading them the day they’re published. Keep up the VARIETY of posts (keeps it interesting!) and the funny, real-life writing, that’s why you have such loyal readers. I read about 50 books/year and my favorites recommended by you have been anything Gretchen Rubin writes, What Alice Forgot, My Lady Jane, When Breath Becomes Air and Becoming Mortal. I’m curious about the income spread of your readership, but that would probably be in poor taste to publish. Ha!

  • Reply SK Bell January 13, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    This is so interesting so thanks for sharing it! I’ve always blogged about books but I feel like I’ve talked SO MUCH MORE about them since I started reading your blog! Mainly because you make books seem cool so I feel a lot more confident about reviewing so many books now =]
    To answer your last two questions for myself… around 70ish a year (I THINK) and ECHO, good grief! I can’t get over that awesome book and am so happy I read about it on your blog!

  • Reply M January 14, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    I really loved the book I Will Always Write Back thanks to you. On another subject I always thought that “picture books” meant books with only pictures and no words, but you mean any books with pictures?

  • Reply Alyssa January 15, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    1) I really have no idea how many books I read in a year but I think probably around 50.
    2) I’ve read Wednesday Wars (twice!) and love it, I really loved The Nightingale and I was super obsessed with Code Name Verity but it was a little too intense for me. I surprisingly didn’t love My Lady Jane (the animals were too much but the writing itself was great). I also loved What Alice Forgot and Blackmore! love all the book recommendations- thanks!

  • Reply Nicki January 19, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    According to my Goodreads I read 78 books last year. I think that was about average for me, but only around 55 or so were new reads – the rest were re-reads. I tried To All The Boys and I just did not like it… but I don’t usually like contemporary fiction, and I usually REALLY don’t like contemporary-teenage-angsty-fiction, if that’s a thing, haha. I LOVED My Lady Jane – probably one of my favorite books I read this past year. I don’t generally like audiobooks (I get distracted and forget to listen), but I think I may make an exception for this one when I re-read it this year. Your description of it sounded so fun. I love your blog – it’s one of the very few that I subscribe to the emails for. Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 19, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Ha! We can still be friends even if you don’t like Lara Jean 😉

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