Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

June 3, 2014

2014 Reader Survey Results

AE_BigThanks

Thank you again to those of you who took the time a few weeks ago to participate in my reader survey. There were close to 2700 responses and I appreciated the kind words, the support and the constructive criticism/suggestions/requests.

One of the big reasons I wanted to do a survey (my first one for this site) was simply to see if we were all on the same page. You guys are a great community and I liked the opportunity to connect with you in this way and get your input and feedback.

Primarily I was interested in learning what’s working for you at the same time I figure out what’s working for me professionally and personally. I was also interested in some pretty basic information like how long people have been reading and how you access my content.

In case you were wondering I used Survey Monkey to create this survey and have exported the results graphs to share them with you today.

Here’s a look at the results (under some of the graphics I’ve included a bit more commentary):

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So many of you have been around such a long time! Your continued support and loyalty is really humbling. Thank you for being here and contributing to this adventure and being interested in my story and telling your own.

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This one was interesting to me as it’s been a topic of conversation around here from time to time about how people actually read blogs these days.

I’ve personally been going back and forth between Feedly and Bloglovin trying to decide which one I want to stick with regularly.

If you want to subscribe via email go here.

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Not a huge surprise that Project Life® and traditional scrapbooking came out as the most popular forms of memory keeping.

EDITED | I want to clarify that just because the majority of you responded that Project Life® is your go-to form of memory keeping it doesn’t mean that my content is going to change to be solely Project Life®. It just gives me a good indication of what many of you are interested in right now and that helps me as I plan my own content. As many of you have noticed I’ve been doing more traditional layouts recently and I plan to continue that trend in addition to providing inspiration for Project Life® and other memory keeping projects.

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Personal stories and organization. Noted.

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I’m listening and I’m making some changes and adjustments to find ways to bring you more of what you want and less of what you don’t. Obviously some of what happens here has to be commercial in nature as it’s one of the ways I put food on our table, but I agree that there’s an opportunity for a more intentional approach.

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Creating workshops is one of the things I enjoy most about my work. Thank you for the great feedback regarding workshops – this helps me as I plan what to focus on for the future.

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This was defintely helpful for me for planning what I’d like to focus on next. Again, thank you.

Here’s a very small sampling of responses from the other questions that didn’t include specific options:

Why do you continue to visit aliedwards.com?

  • “After following you for so long it has become “habit” (in a good, positive, way) I love what you write, love your insight into this crazy journey we are all on called life.”
  • “There’s always something I can relate to or find helpful or inspirational… I like that you’re not afraid to share personal stuff.”
  • “I discovered your blog at about the time you found out Simon was autistic. Not too long after I found out that my oldest daughter was also autistic. Your blog (in a way) helped me to find my way through the craziness that happened afterward. I felt connected to you, like I knew you and we had gone through something together. Since then I have loved how you keep your readers up on what’s going on in your life but still keep it professional and with the spin of memory keeping.”
  • “I like your style of memory keeping..clean and not overly product driven. I like your style of blogging…real and inspiring. I admire your courage and strength. You are like a friend.”
  • “Because I like how you tell your stories and it helps me to remember to write things down and document everyday things, not just special ones. I also like your traditional scrapbook pages and try to follow your style in my own work. I also like to read personal stories about life with children, life after divorce etc. It gives me hope that even though that sometimes things are hard, if you work at things and keep an open mind and heart, your life can get better – it might be different to what you imagined but it will get better.”
  • “I randomly check in to see what is happening in the scrapbooking world.”

What is your biggest Memory Keeping Challenge?

  • Time was by far the number one response.
  • Not knowing where to start.
  • Journaling.
  • Organization.
  • Getting started. And finishing.

NOTE | Next time I do a survey I will definitely ask this one with suggested answers like the others to be able to have a graph that would map out the responses.

THANK YOU

I know I’ve said it a lot in this post but it’s truly how I feel. There were an overflowing of really kind comments left throughout the survey and I’m grateful to those of you who took the time to communicate with me in this way. I’m also thankful to those of you who were honest about what you like/don’t like. I’m not wrapped up in pleasing every single person – zero expectations for making that happen – but I do believe in being open to change and being able to take a good long look at the things I do/don’t do on this site to make it even better for all of us.

Onward!

Comments

  • 1.
    Michelle t. said…

    I did answer the survey but I almost didn’t. I think maybe I just haven’t been around as long as some of the others. I am happy I discovered your blog/site, as it has greatly impacted my memory keeping, journaling, and documenting my family life. For that I’m grateful and it’s what keeps me coming back. You said thank you, but really, I thank you. Michelle t

  • 2.
    SarahJane said…

    How fun to see the final results graphed out like that! :)

  • 3.
    Paula said…

    Thanks for taking the time to survey your readers, that says alot about you. I may be wrong, but I have this strange feeling that on the question where we were asked what we’d like to see less of, some may have answered for “more.” The giveaways and the guest posts are always awesome!! Reason I say this is both my own personal opinion (lol) and also that so many people enter the giveaways and comment on the guest posts. I love that even when you are on vacation we sometimes get a fresh post, to me that is extra special.

  • 4.

    I’m sorry I didn’t do the survey. Life was crazy during that time. The results are very interesting, but somewhat surprising (& a little disheartening). First, I see way too much Project Life——everywhere, not just here. I like the way you’ve separated yours into a separate category. I’ve done it, liked it, but found it doesn’t really work well for me. I like the aspect of documenting the everyday, but I found it too demanding (I know, I put the demands on myself). I journal daily, & I really like doing layouts that allow me to be creative. I’ve watched the trends & predict a return to more traditional/digital (I’m surprised the results for digi were so low). My fear is that traditional products will disappear——I’ve already found it difficult to acquire some things. I’m hybrid, loving both digital & traditional, & having been a digital design artist (also newspaper reporter & photographer). I especially love mini-books, which got low ratings. Video tutorials are great, but I live where we have only very limited & slow, unreliable internet service, making it very hard to view videos. I personally hope you won’t make too many changes. I’ve been reading your blog since close to the beginning, I think, & I think there’s a good mix & it’s inspirational on many fronts. Keep it up! And——the thanks go to YOU, Ali!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Don’t be disheartened. Everyone gets to choose how they want to spend their memory keeping energy. This was really more for my own information, to get a sense of what the active readers in my audience are doing when they have the time and their overall interests. I don’t think traditional products will disappear, there’s definitely still a market for them and I’m definitely passionate about continuing to do traditional scrapbooking because I love it. Nothing drastic is happening here – just taking the general temperature.

  • 5.
    Beth said…

    It’s all good, Ali. Thanks for all you do (and have been doing for the past 7+ years) to keep my creative spark alive. You continue to inspire me.

  • 6.
    Lori said…

    I am sorry I was unable to participate in the survey because I have read your blog and taken several of your online classes. Hands-down your blog is my favorite and first stop each day! Love your work, your authenticity and gracious professionalism. Thank you Ali.

  • 7.
    {vicki} said…

    Thanks for sharing the results. Not really surprised by them. Just keep up the good work!

  • 8.

    I cannot remember if I did the survey or not. I have visited your signet what seems like forever…I know for sure about six years. Your December Daily album continues to be one of my all time favorite projects and with the craziness of life, if nothing else I get that accomplished every year. Thank you for introducing the concept.

    I found it interesting that personal stories ranked among what people want to see most. Sounds funny…almost stalking, but I have to admit that I agree to a certain extent. I love your take on things. It helps me think of how to document things in my own life and with my children. The way in words but also in photo perspective is inspiring. I remember when I discovered how to “warm up” pictures by adjusting the light settings on my computer…wow! It was after reading a Decenber daily post where you did the same thing. Now I adjust my settings all the time to improve my photos…thank you!

  • 9.
    Suz said…

    Thanks for sharing the results of the survey here. It was interesting to read. Happy to be a part of it all in some small way too. Onward! :)
    Take care you.

  • 10.
    JennieB said…

    Well, somehow I missed your survey; I must have been out of town. I’ve been following your blog since Simon was a little guy and clearly remember Ana’s birth. I’m right in line with your survey, with the exception of hybrid layouts; I’d like to see more of these. You’re one awesome person!

  • 11.
    Felicia young said…

    I am so happy your survey came out on a positive note for you! You are fantastic at telling your stories and I really enjoy following your blog everyday. You make me stop and realize that its not only about the photos, but the stories that go along with them. Thanks Ali!

  • 12.
    nicole said…

    I missed the opportunity I think to participate in your survey. it would have been great. the one area I need help with is remembering to take a picture. I approach memory keeping as a writer so I don’t have a problem coming up with words. when I’m capturing a memory my first thought is to write it down. when a lot of times a photo would capture it perfectly. so any help on remembering/reminding/prompting myself to snap the photo first then write later would be of great help.

  • 13.
    Liz said…

    I too would be concerned if content was overly PL. While I use PL and love Becky for introducing this to the masses, I still think you were one of the more innovative traditional scrapbookers who was using divided page protectors or making your own tall skinny with sewing even way back when in a combination with regular 12×12. Being one of the trend setters of not only mixing up page sizes but also giving people beautiful, yet clean/simple layouts they felt they could do. I would guess there are people like me who don’t follow the PL concept exactly but use the products to speed up having a meaningful album for the year. The fact is though it’s only through manageable workshops that I’ve had a desire to purchase new product and actually sit down to get things created. I’m not surprised by the lack of digital interest. When I create there is something really cool and different about tangible work rather than staring at a screen or hunting endless files to try to find something of interest to use. Maybe even mini-workshop of “new uses/reasons for digging through your digital files” – topics like it’s okay to delete digital items, ways to insert digital content into mainstream easy programs like Word/pages/iphoto, printing tips for printables, etc. Anyway, just my thoughts after reading this post. Keep up the amazing work Ali!

  • 14.
    cinback said…

    I just think this is brilliant. Both that you care how we feel and that you will balance that with how you feel. Smart way of doing business. Bravo…

  • 15.
    Gidget_9 said…

    Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to say thanks for putting up the results. I took your survey and was very interested to hear the final results. I fall into the category that has followed you on and off for 6+ years and I visit your blog almost everyday. I started out scrapbooking when we only had Creative Memories, I’ve done digital and hybrid and now I’m more PL. Everybody has a style and a preference. That’s what makes us all so unique. We can move back and forth between any and all methods at any time. We can mix it all in together in one book. There are no rules. It’s so nice to see your posts because I never know what to expect and I’m always inspired and challenged. Your classes definitely make me reach inside and often step outside of my comfort zone which equals growth. You make me want to do it all. Just keep being you and doing what you do. Go Ali!

  • 16.
    Melissa said…

    Very cool to see the results. TFS them with us!! :)

  • 17.
    StacyK said…

    Thanks for sharing Ali! Honestly I feel like you are friends with us readers, by what you share here.

  • 18.
    Patty said…

    Ali, thanks for sharing. You build community with this little action.

  • 19.
    andrea said…

    so much fun to see those answers. I’m always interested in what others thought about your blog.

  • 20.
    Susan said…

    I hope the results regarding digital scrapbooking won’t cause you to reduce your creating digital products. Between you and Cathy Z (and a couple others), you supply me well – and I use the products regularly.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      No intention to decrease the quantity ;) .

  • 21.
    Desiree said…

    I wish I had done the survey. You are definitely an inspiration…in many aspects of my life. Reading your blog feels like I’m reading about what a friend is doing. I hope that doesn’t sound weird, but knowing what you’ve been through with your divorce somehow makes me feel connected to you in that way. It’s a difficult loss to go through and knowing someone has made it through as well as you have inspires me to stay positive.

  • 22.
    domi35 said…

    thank you Ali for your imagination, your creativity & your kindness.
    Thank you for being like a friend who shares her life with us.

  • 23.
    Cheryl said…

    I agree that many people must love the give-a-ways because so many people enter them.

  • 24.
    Julie S. said…

    Thanks for posting the results. I’m glad I got a chance to participate in the survey. As someone who uses both traditional & PL forms of memory keeping, I was impressed that so many are interested in traditional scrapbooking. I really do like mini albums too and was surprised this format scored so low. It is interesting reading everyone’s comments. I’m just happy so many people love this craft. So many of the small stores are going out of business, that it’s nice to see a group of passionate paper crafters! Keep up the good work! I’m inspired by you everyday!

  • 25.
    Karen said…

    I missed the survey. My day job often turns into homework. Don’t know how many years ago I started reading your blog but I was hooked immediately. Watching Simon grow and mature and the addition of Anna has been wonderful. Your documentation of every day life is honest and simple. I love that. I haven’t done that much scrapbook ing but still read your blog regularly. Thank you for being real, Ali, and allowing so many to be real along with you!
    Karen

  • 26.
    Ann E. Ford said…

    Your transparency has proved reassuring for me in the past. Your “It Is Ok” mantra from a while back modeled for a mother of 4 (the last 3 being 18 months apart in age, with the latter 2 having special needs), that loosening my grip on “doing it all” and just doing what is right for this hour or this day, within the parameters of our family is enough–because I say it is. Your slant is wise beyond your years, and I should know, because I lap you in age by about a decade.

    You’re a brave lady and you’re leading by example. Well done~~ ;)

  • 27.
    Brooke said…

    I so loved participating. Seems I have many kindred spirits here. Thanks for sharing the results.

  • 28.
    Pink Ronnie said…

    That is so amazing and wonderful to have people who’ve been reading your blog for seven plus years! What a testimony to you and your work.
    Ronnie xo

  • 29.
    dawn said…

    Thanks for posting the results for us, the survey was fun. I am very happy with all that you post here and have inspired me with over the years. I was a fan for years before finding your blog. Watching your kids grow up has been so awesome, you are such a great mom. I love your blog just as it is, the right balance of everything. I’ve always said it and it’s still true, you make us feel right at home, like we are right there in your living room talking and sharing with you. THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!

    p.s. I did have one question I forgot to ask earlier on your block scheduling with Katie. Now that summer vacation will be starting how will you be doing this? Will it change due to kids being home? Curious since mine are home starting next week and I’ve got a good routine of my own down and not sure how to give it up or change it.

  • 30.
    Natalie said…

    Hi Ali, i have been reading your blog for more than 7 years. I didn’t do the survey as i didn’t notice you were calling for it even i visit your blog everyday, believe i overlooked it as another give away. The result is exactly tally with my answers. Over the years, your blog is getting into more commercial, less inspiration (I’m sorry to say that) compare to when i first started to read your blog more than 7 years ago. Totally understand, it is because this blog become your income source and also a place to promote your product. Based on the result, I believe there are many people having same feeling as me, but still sticking around to support you. Just my two cents worth, maybe you can try to strike a balance, sharing more inspiration on scrapbooking and daily life, keeping commercial at reasonable level. I really hope to continue reading your blog for long time to come.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Natalie – balance is something I’ve been striving for since this began to become an issue. To be honest I think it ebbs and flows depending on what projects I’m working on behind the scenes here – for example when I’m working on content for workshops I often have less creative energy to give to this space which results in less inspiration content and more updates on new products. I appreciate you sticking around and for recognizing that I truly do care about the content I put out into the world.

  • 31.
    Mary said…

    Hi Ali…I’m not a scrapbooker but still love to check in on your blog…I found you through Big Picture classes I believe. Even as a non scrapbooker I find you inspirational, creative, and honest. I had signed up for the One Little Word course and although I haven’t done any of the assignments, I’m still enjoying watching everyone’s posts on Facebook and its made me keep my word “joy” in the forefront of my mind.

  • 32.
    Em said…

    Regarding the fact that Project Life® came first as the type of memory keeping your readers like better. Don’t you think that maybe it’s because a lot of us new readers found about out through that medium? I know I did.

    I’d never done any kind of memory keeping before trying PL even though I’d been interested by scrapbooking for years and now that I AM a Project Lifer I can assure you traditional scrapbooking definitely isn’t for me. :)

    It doesn’t mean I mind seeing what how do it though, on the contrary.

  • 33.
    Beatrice said…

    Hi Ali,

    I, too, missed the survey because of my many health issues lately. I have been following you since your CK Studio A days ( I still have all those issues, yes :) ) and have seen your family go through milestones, celebrations and changes. Throughout the years, you have remained an inspiration to me. Not just during the good times, but ESPECIALLY during the not-so-good-times. I come to your blog for creative inspiration as I love the way you tell your stories and I love the clean and graphic way you keep those memories. You and Laura Kurz are still my favourites! Simple, sweet and to the point whether it be through traditional scrapbooking or Project Life style scrapbooking. I love Becky Higgins too, but to me, you innovated pocket page scrapbooking waaaay back then when CK was still putting out those scrapbooking font CDs!Remember those? :) change is tough and can be good or not-so-good, but you have my support and friendship. I am here to stay :) stay well.

  • 34.
    Beatrice said…

    I also wanted to say that I come to your blog for personal inspiration. I admire the way you view and handle things and situations and value the wisdom you share along the way. :)

  • 35.
    karen said…

    hi ali
    I missed the survey too but concur with results.
    I’ve been reading and following your work and life since you published the picrue of Simon playing with all his toys, lined up and sorted….And I also remember when Simon was diagnosed with autism…and … and …and…
    For some time I struggled with all the give aways. Your explanation was a helpful reminder that the blog contributes to your income. I just kinda got turned off by them. I’d flick through to see if there was a personal story, a PL page or a post like the one of block scheduling.
    Having said all of that, I admire the way you see the world, particularly your grace and dignity since your divorce as you’ve showed us how to be kind and dignified in what you do.
    I wish you every success into the future.
    PS – I get confused about how Katie fits in re PL…

  • 36.
    a said…

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