I wanted to thank the hundreds of you who took my survey last fall! It was SO HELPFUL!!! I have been reading all of the responses, analyzing them, highlighting insights, making documents of all the data, gleaning content ideas, really it’s been amazing.
I try to walk the line of not only listening to my audience and giving you what you want, but also showing you things/exposing you to content that I think is cool or interesting, even if it might not be the most popular thing out there.
Some of you asked whether or not I’d share the info, so I wanted to let you in on some of the insights (I’m always so curious to know these things!). If you want to add your thoughts or additional thoughts, please do so in the comments. I really value your opinions!
It was interesting because entrepreneurism/business and product roundups/shopping posts were the two that some of you said you could live without. But then at the same time, many of you said you wanted more GSD (especially more non-entrepreneurs — so yes I’m definitely featuring people with more normal jobs this year!), more interviews, more productivity and organization posts, more posts about blogging and the daily process of what I do and how I do it. I think maybe in my mind, those things went under the entrepreneurism/business category, but obviously I think there is a disconnect somewhere. And also, I know that not everyone is going to like every topic I talk about and that is totally fine!
I totally feel you on the shopping roundups, but I really love curating products, and a lot of you said you think I do a good job of finding things that are different from other bloggers. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I haven’t done many of them lately. I still will from time to time, but would like to have more of a point to them versus just a random collection. At the same time, sometimes I just like to highlight new products that I think are cool and that I think you might to know about! Seriously, last week I was at Target (I don’t go to Target very often) and I was like OMG — so much cute stuff! Also, these posts might not seem like they take a lot of time, but I’m a little psycho about how things go together and the color palette. Oftentimes I spend HOURS curating the perfect products for one small post.
You also asked for more art posts and specifically ones about my artwork. This is definitely coming in a big way soon that I will get into in another post (and for peeks of it, watch my Instagram Stories/Snapchat coming up). But for short, I am getting back into painting this year and will be sharing a lot of it here, and am also doing a HUGE series focused on artists so there will be lots of new interesting content around art coming up!
You also mentioned wanting more fitness posts. I will be doing more fitness and wellness, but I tend to do the same things over and over when it comes to fitness so I don’t know that I will have a ton to cover that’s new in that way. I will keep trying as I find the subject of fitness and wellness fascinating myself!
Several of you said you like that I cover a bunch of different topics and that you never know what you’re going to get when you come each day. I see my site as an extension of my brain and what I’m interested in at the time, and my brain is multi-passionate. So I can’t just cover one topic! It feels so limiting to me! I’m glad that many of you said you liked this. Honestly, when I consult new bloggers I tell them if they want to grow quickly to be very niche specific as that is a great way to find your tribe. It’s so much easier to grow if you are niche or have a very specific point of view, it helps you stand out from the crowd. But heck, I’ve been around for almost 10 years in the blogging world as a lifestyle blogger and I’m not changing now!
dedicated dc section
Several of you asked for more DC content or a dedicated DC section. On my new site (launching soon) there will be an easier way to find all the DC content, and I will do a few more posts about DC so that if you are ever coming to visit you can easily get all the info! However it won’t ever be a major topic as in something I cover all the time as my site isn’t about covering DC topics. I cover DC more on my social media (Instagram stories and Twitter) so if that interests you, please follow there!
more affordable fashion
A lot of you said you wanted me to link to more affordable fashion options. I totally get this and have definitely started doing so. I think my outlook on fashion is that I prefer quality over quantity and I save up to buy more expensive things versus multiple cheaper things, and I think that plays into this. But I will be keeping all budgets in mind. I don’t always buy expensive things, I just prefer to buy something once or save up for the exact thing I want.
I also hate linking to obvious knockoffs of designers. I’m sure I do it sometimes because it’s impossible for me to know every design ever and I’m sure there are times where I don’t realize something is a knockoff. But I know some of you don’t care if it’s a dupe because you can’t afford the designer version and you just want to wear a certain look and can’t afford the designer price tag (most of the time I can’t either!). So just know this is on my mind and I’m always fighting with the want to provide budget versions that aren’t a complete obvious copy of a designer item.
what about the site
is different than other blogs
I can honestly say that your answers to this question made my year. Anytime I’m feeling down, I can just go read these responses. You said exactly what I was hoping you would say and exactly how I hope I come across on the Internet, although I know it can be hard to tell a person’s true personality through writing and photos sometimes.
I write like I talk. If you meet me in person, I am literally the same as I am here except in person I cuss A LOT more. I do tone down the sailor online. And in person I can get real personal and can get more opinionated depending on the conversation. But I think most people who know me in person would say that I’m basically the same. If you’re curious, just watch Instagram stories or Snapchat (although I can confess I’m not doing much Snapchat anymore because doing Insta Story and Snap is just a lot) but THAT is where I’m real real, and very in the moment because the platform is basically made for that.
I’m not going to list everything you all said, but just know that it was basically every nice thing I’d want someone to say about my site and content (blushing).
A lot of you said you love to see the behind the scenes and love my candidness and honesty — which is definitely what I’m going for. A few of you mentioned that you think I can be negative sometimes, and that I talk too long, and I complain too much. Definitely NOT what I ever want to come off like for sure! I can admit that I am more of a realist and a skeptic. I cuss, I don’t sugar-coat things. That’s just who I am. And usually what I think people feel is me complaining, I thought was just kind of a funny story, or showing you that I’m normal and that annoying/shitty things happen to me too. Basically I try to not always showing the pretty side of things and show real life because I feel like a lot of people (in general) complain that bloggers only show the good/happy/fun/pretty/glamorous side of things. I guess real life sometimes that comes across as complaining but I’m just trying to keep it real! And also maybe my day-to-day just isn’t that exciting!
Also, when I’m with my husband I am rarely post on social media because I like to not be distracted by it. I mean, I will work on my computer and comment on Instagram and stuff, but I rarely do Instagram Stories when I’m with him unless we are traveling. Just a personal boundary I have. And typically when I’m hanging out with people I try to be really in the moment and enjoying life and not on my phone thinking about social media.
your favorite blogs
I wasn’t surprised at some of these and figured I’d share the top five most mentioned blogs that you all said you read. In no particular order: A Cup of Jo (I don’t know her but her blog is awesome); Gal Meets Glam (I mean her photos are so gorgeous, and she is a sweetheart); The Stripe (Grace is a friend of mine and a very smart & savvy gal); Sequins & Stripes (Isn’t Liz the nicest!? Like you know you could easily be friends with her IRL.); and Cupcakes and Cashmere (She does such a great job with relatable content and seems super nice even though I’ve never met her).
what megbiram.com can improve on
So many of your answers to this question will be solved by my new website and I’ve been working on that since last summer! The new site will be mobile friendly! The older content will be easier to get to! The font will be bigger and all of the content will be more organized.
A lot of you gave me post ideas that you want to see — I loved them and literally made a list to tackle them! You might have seen a few of them already. I try to mention in the post that I’m doing it because someone asked for it in the survey.
how long you’ve been a reader
20% of you said since the days of MIMI+MEG! If you didn’t know, that was the name of my blog when I launched it in 2007. I switched it to Meg Biram about 4 years ago (Mimi was my great grandmother, not a blog partner). 54% of you said you’ve been around for 2-3 years, and 26% said you found me within the past year. So almost 75% of you have been around for longer than 2 years — crazy! And thanks for sticking around!
I know there’s a ton of content out there to choose from when you decide where you are going to spend your time, and I truly appreciate that you spend it here. With all of the new types of social media, a lot of bloggers have seen huge declines in their readerships on their site — me included! But here is where the meat of my content is. Instagram is just a snapshot of some of the things on the site.
your favorite/least favorite things
Some of you said you love the photography over the past few years. Thank you, I’ve been working on creating interesting photo shoots! It’s harder than it looks to make it good and/or special!
Some of you love the longer posts, some of you said you don’t have time or patience to read them. I try to mix it up between long and short. Some things I could write forever about!
A lot of you said you wished there was more content. Generally I try to post 5 days a week. In a perfect world I would post 7 days a week and sometimes twice a day during the week, but alas there just isn’t enough time for that without hiring a team — and trust me I wish I could hire a team! I would love to employ people and help the economy and create creative jobs, I’m just not there yet. I hope to be there at some point in the next few years. Having someone depend on you for their salary is the scariest thing! I work with a lot of contractors and interns but can’t employ anyone yet. Back to content — I would LOVE to post more content. I’m working on it, but I also want my content to be good, and I’d rather not post than post something that is just eh.
sponsored content & partnerships
I didn’t ask a specific question about this but enough of you mentioned it and I just thought I’d talk about it for a minute. Almost all of you that mentioned sponsored content said you loved that I don’t have a lot of sponsored content and that you feel like it’s very well integrated and half the time you didn’t even realize it was sponsored until the end. Which is exactly what I want.
I am very picky about the brands I’ll work with — getting even pickier now even if that means taking on fewer partnerships and not making as much money — and my goal (besides obviously me being interested in or loving the product myself) is that it has to be interesting to you (or I have to at least think it would be), I have to present it to you in a cool/unique way — especially if I know it’s a multi-blogger campaign — I always want my posts to feel unique. Also, it has to be good for the brand I’m working with.
I am very transparent about sponsored content (you have to be, it’s the law) and I always say whether a post is sponsored or not — if it is, you will see a line at the bottom of the post, and sometimes I’ll even mention it earlier in the post if it feels right in the flow of the content.
I do have to do sponsored content and partnerships as it is what makes this website possible — gotta pay the bills! So I’m glad that almost all of you that mentioned it said you felt like I do a great job with it. Thank you. I do try really hard to make it amazing/helpful/useful/interesting — ask my photographer!
I’ve had a few photographers tell me that I’m one of the hardest people to work with (in a good way) just because I want things to be just right. Not too perfect, but amazing at the same time. Not too styled, but look natural — which almost always has to be styled. I spend a lot of time on my photos.
Some of my blogger friends laugh at me when they find out how long it takes me, they are training me to be more efficient. I can’t help it, I directed photo shoots for a living for five years with some of the most amazing photographers and stylists and so my expectations are just high from the get go. But I always try to marry that professionalism and expectation for exceptional content with being approachable, relatable, and attainable. And I have to think about my time.
The majority of my content is not sponsored. So a lot of the time, I’m paying a photographer (and sometimes buying the perfect props and things for the content) and am not getting paid for creating the content, and no, my affiliate income is not high and doesn’t necessarily cover the photography fees.
Someone also mentioned that they are glad I don’t have ads cluttering up my site. Yes, well I’ve NEVER liked having ads on my site and from the very beginning just couldn’t visually handle them. I’m a very aesthetic person, and back in 2007—2012 I’m pretty sure I could have made A LOT of money on ads as my traffic was really high back then (there weren’t many blogs at the time) but I just didn’t like the look of them so I rarely had them and didn’t put them at the top of my site when I did have them. I still feel the same way.
I don’t care or think any differently of bloggers that do have ads on their sites, I get it, but I personally just don’t want them right now. Honestly, I always give bloggers the benefit of the doubt and find myself defending them regardless of whether I know them or not. Blogging as a living is hard! There’s A LOT of competition, it’s very technical and strategic, and it is a constant job — the Internet never sleeps! It’s not an easy job to “turn off” at the end of the day. Very few people make a really good income from it — this is a completely separate post, but basically I definitely don’t care if blogs have ads on them because I understand the need to monetize.
So there you have it — a lot of insights from my reader survey! If you want to add additional thoughts below, please do (or you can email me)! Know that my new site will be launching in a matter of weeks so a lot of technical/functional things will be fixed.
Thanks again to everyone who gave me their thoughts. It was beyond helpful and I have so much amazing content (several completely NEW columns) coming up, along with my long list of posts you all have requested!
If you know someone that would be an awesome person to interview for GSD (get shit done) or Behind the Biz, please email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to their site if applicable, their name and a little info about them, their email address, and why you think they are amazing and would be perfect to be featured. They need to have been in their current role for at least one year and preferably several years out of college — basically they need a lot of experience to draw from.
Photo by Laura Metzler. Styling by Meg Biram.