January 22, 2014 - Easy Outfits, I Feel Pretty, Style

I Feel Pretty | Humbled

fur-scarf-close Last week, I sent out my very first reader survey.  When the responses started to roll in, I got that same feeling that I used to get right before a performance review at my corporate job.  The butterflies, the sweaty palms, the fear of finding out what you all really think of me.

The great news is, it wasn’t that scary after all.  You guys are truly the sweetest, nicest, most helpful and BEST READERS EVER!  Even when you did offer criticism or suggestions for improvement (which I asked for), you did it in the most constructive and helpful way possible.  And the positive feedback?  Well it completely overwhelmed me.  I am so humbled and honored to be able to share this blog with you.

On to the results!

The top five pieces of feedback I got were the following:

#1 – You want more personal posts.

This was hands-down the biggest request.  You have NO idea how happy this makes me!  This was something that I had no clue you wanted more of.   There are so many things that I wanted to share here but just skipped out on it because I didn’t know if you’d be interested.   But I’ve been dying to tell you!  Life is exciting right now – our son just got his first acceptance letters for college and we’re scheduling visits.   We’ve had our challenges too – our daughter made the decision to quit gymnastics after ten years.  Lots of changes and transitions going on.  There are so many more things I want to share with you guys and I’m beyond excited that you actually want to hear about them!

#2 – You want less sponsored content.

A million times THANK YOU for being honest about this.  The last thing I want to do is be inauthentic or sales-y.  Yuck.  I would totally suck as a salesperson, that’s why I’ve never been one.  🙂  Please forgive me if I turned you off with sponsored posts and most of all, thank you for sticking around if I did.  I totally get it now and my goal is to strike a better balance.

I wish I could blog for free, I really do.  For the most part I did up, until I got laid off last year.   While I am first and foremost a personal blogger, I am also a digital publisher.  I’ve had the privilege of being accepted into some pretty awesome publishing networks like BlogHer.  They provide me with an opportunity to supplement our family’s income through blogging.    The primary way my blog makes money is through sponsored content and ads.  Affiliate sales are just a small percentage.   Most readers are here for inspiration, not to buy anything, and that’s perfectly fine. But it does put me in a position where I have to post sponsored content sometimes.  Otherwise, blogging can be an expensive hobby and I’m not in a position to have one of those right now.  Especially with a kid going off to college in a few months!

Having said that, monetization is important but what good is it if nobody wants to read your blog?  This has slapped me upside the head.  Unfortunately some sponsored content is a necessary evil but I will try my hardest to only accept opportunities that tie in well with what you want more of.  Much like flipping through the ads in a magazine or DVR’ing your favorite show and skipping the commercials, feel free to only read what you like here too.  I won’t mind at all!  Just don’t let it be something that keeps you away for good.

#3 -You like that I interact with you.

If not for this community, there wouldn’t be a blog!   You truly are what makes this worthwhile.  If you’re a reader who doesn’t comment because you don’t see me responding in the comments section, I want you to know that I respond to every single comment that I get through e-mail (or by visiting your blog, if you’re a blogger).   My reason for doing it through e-mail is because I can get more personal and I know that you’ll read them.  Not everyone goes back to a blog post to see if they got a response on their comment.  I love connecting through the e-mails we send back and forth and have made many new friends through my comments section, some that have become real-life friends.

#4 -You’re here for the outfits.

By a landslide, outfit posts were the winner with 80% of respondents preferring them most of all.  The runners-up were beauty, trend watches, home decor and health.  I hear you loud and clear and will be giving you more of what you want and less of what you don’t!

#5 – You want casual, affordable, easy to put together, age-appropriate outfits, that fit your body well.

Amen sisters!  My goal is to create effortless outfits that are affordable and on trend, yet completely age-appropriate.  A lot of you also mentioned fit and dressing for your body type as challenges.  I’ll be more aware of that and try to offer options and advice for fit when I can.

Many of you also mentioned wanting to see more casual outfits.  So, on Monday I started a Daily Style Diary post of my photos on Instagram to show you my outfits I’m wearing for everyday.  I can’t promise you there will be one every single day but I’ll try to post as many as I can.  You can find the outfits I’ve posted so far by searching hash tag #dailymomstyle.

Again, thank you for your honesty and candor.  Your kind responses were just simply overwhelming.  The fashion and beauty challenges that you shared have given me so many ideas for future posts and I couldn’t be more excited to dig into them.  I want this to be a place you enjoy coming to every day where we can be friends talking about style, beauty and all of the things that girlfriends love to share.

trench-coat-skinny-jeans-boots

striped-sweater-skinny-jeans-fur-scarf

taupe-ankle-boots

tunic-sweater-skinny-jeans-boots-fur-scarf [Trench:  c/o eShakti (similar)/Sweater:  Loft/Jeans:  Paige/Scarf:  American Eagle (similar)/Boots:  c/o Wallis/Watch:  c/o Fossil/Earrings:  c/o Zocorra/Sunglasses:  Ray-Ban]

I FEEL PRETTY

It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell us what made you feel pretty this week in the comments!

I Feel Pretty
There are just a few simple rules:

1. Follow GYPO. (Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin‘)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to my blog (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretty peeps.


Getting my pretty on with Fashion Friday, Fashion Informant, What I’m Loving Friday, Friday’s Fab FavoritesWhat I Wore to Work, Tres Chic ThursdayThe Pleated Poppy and Shanna.

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65 Comments

  • Love those boots! And the scarf is great….I need it today…it’s cold out there!
    Debbie
    http://www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

  • this survey was a great success. Love this furry snood.

  • I love your new Daily Style Diary! Such a smart idea!! I was one of those people who wanted to see more of your family! Every time you show them, I think “how cute are they?!?!”, so I want to know more :). XOXO

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  • That survey is a great idea! Constructive criticism is always good. I adore your fur snood scarf!

    xo,
    Cha Cha
    Cha Cha The Fashion Genius

  • I just love you and your blog! =) Gorgeous booties!

  • How are you about to have a child in college?? You look fabulous!!! Seriously, I guess I haven’t seen a picture of your kids…my guess was you had preschoolers/toddlers like me!! Love your daily pics on IG!!

  • Great survey and good to know what our readers want!
    I also often follow up by email rather than on the blog. I know some bloggers do same but as you, I am not sure if you (as a reader) would go back to the blogpost and check if there is an answer.

    Love your fur snood and also the elegant booties!
    Annette | Lady of Style

  • I love love love your blog girl, your outfits inspire me and i think you have a great blog…. do whatcha gotta do!!

  • You are the sweetest! Love that you got such valuable feedback. Yay! I am excited for the continued growth and development of your blog. I also looking forward to getting to know even more about you and your darling family. xoxo

  • Good for you! I’m so glad to hear the responses helped guide you and your blog going forward. I too sent out a survey…can’t wait to get the results.
    Looking gorg as always my beautiful friend! xox

  • This was a really interesting read, and I appreciate you taking the time to share the detailed results of your reader feedback surveys and your responses and explanations to them. I filled one out awhile back from another blogger and there was never a follow up, so it leaves sort of an unresolved feeling. And of course, thanks for hosting a great linkup! – Gina
    On the Daily Express

  • Your willingness to listen to us is important — readers respond to that. And what you heard mirrors what I hear on my blog. I can do a simple outfit-post and get two dozen quick comments; I can do a lengthy, carefully-written essay on a social issue and get 2-3 replies. Keep up the good work!

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  • I love that very feminine trench……it can be so dressy but definitely can be dressed down when the need arises. Those are amazing insights from the survey you did Alison….congratulations!!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

  • Thanks for sharing your survey results – very interesting for me to keep in mind too. 🙂 Love the coat with the fur collar – very pretty!

    Lulu
    simplylulustyle.com

  • Margaret

    I totally agree with your survey results!!!!:))))) Sooo excited to see what the blog will feature this year! I love your outfit posts the best!

  • Can I just say you have been rocking the outfits on IG?! You are one stunning momma. I think I might have to steal this look!

  • Lee

    Such a great outfit and I love the feedback you got!
    xo, Lee

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  • I’m so happy the survey was a success- I knew it would be!

    I love that you interact with your readers/fellow bloggers- it makes this World Wide Web space feel a little more cozy. 🙂

    PS- just followed you on Instagram; @ashrockchalk!

    Have a great Wednesday, doll! Thanks for hosting the link up!

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

  • Glad your survey helped:) I didn’t take it, but I always like to know a little bit of personal info about the blogger! It almost makes it seem like you know the person:)

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  • I am so happy to hear that you received such positive feedback! This is such a great community! I am enjoying your new beauty posts too! I was very happy when my daughter chose dance over gymnastics. There are so many risks in the gym! She will find something else she loves(: Susan

  • Glad you were able to get what you needed from the survey – great feedback! I love your outfits and I know it’s a fine line between sharing too much and just the right amount of personal stuff but it makes you feel like you know the person that much more. Love your outfit today – the booties are awesome!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  • I did respond to your survey and every point you hit on was what I’d responded. It is great to get feedback to know you are working in the right direction.

    I love the booties and snood.

    bisous
    Suzanne

  • So exciting for you to get such positive feedback on your survey! Keep up the great work 🙂 I know I personally love seeing your outfit posts!

  • Hi! This is my first time here–
    I give you credit for asking your followers what they want–i’m afraid to do that as they may want something I am not capable of; ie, more writing…!
    And in retrospect , last week when I felt prettiest was with an outfit I did not take a picture of!! Isnt that always the way?
    Anyway, you have a new follower. Xoxo

  • Thanks for the link up and for sharing your results. Its always a humbling experience to know exactly what the readers think or want. Keep up the good work, but I would certainly like to see a lot more of your personal outfits, because you do them so well!

  • Love your sweater, cuffed jeans, and booties! So cute! http://www.honeypieaccessories.blogspot.com/2014/01/what-i-wore-wednesday_22.html

  • This is actually my first time reading your blog, so I did not take the reader survey….but I’m LOVING what I see so far! Your outfit in this post is wonderful, so chic. Jealous of your style!

    <3 Daryl
    Unlost

  • Mo

    Great feedback and I love this look! Cute boots. 🙂

  • Love the style and collar of your trench coat. It looks beautiful on you.

    Have a wonderful day!
    Love,
    Sofia

    stylishlyinlove.blogspot.com

  • How wonderful it must be to receive so much feedback! I’m a full-time grad student and part-time blogger so it’s been difficult to post frequently and maintain readership. I hope that one day my blog will continue to grow, since it has become such an important hobby of mine– part of my self-care routine, really!

  • Stripes, skinny jeans, and ankle boots are my favorite! Looking forward to the new direction you’ll be taking based on the survey results!

  • Kristen

    Something that made me feel pretty this week was wearing a new necklace I got on clearance at Charming Charlie. It helped an old sweater feel updated and new. I really like your blog – it is still fairly new to me. I’m excited to get some inspiration as I will be 40 this year and don’t want to get in (or stay in) a frumpy rut! 🙂 One thing about your outfit in this post that I would like to try (if my teen daughter won’t make fun of me) is cuffing my jeans with some booties. That’s a cute look!

  • hl

    I found you through an eshakti review you did. Love the trench!

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  • It was really nice to read about the outcome of your survey. I think you blog authentically already, but to read more personal posts is going to be a delight! Love, love, love your coat and outfit today. Thanks for hosting the link up!

  • You look so chic! I love everything about this outfit. Great feedback too. Glad I found/virtually met you!

    ~Whitney
    http://www.whitneynicjames.com

  • In the outfit, you look like a model in a Michael Kors ad. I dig MK 🙂

  • Great post friend! Your look today is awesome, but it was so interesting to see everybody’s input. Yes..more of your gorgeous family for sure!!!!!

  • That coat is so flattering on you! I am in love with your scarf, too!!

  • Kim in RI

    I had no idea you had a son going off to college! Me too! Hopefully. We haven’t heard anything from any of them yet, but I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed. Has your son decided for sure where?

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  • Darcy

    So glad you got good responses! I feel like my biggest struggle is finding the perfect balance of personal life details and outfit posts. Looking forward to seeing more of both from you!!
    http://www.amemoryofus.blogspot.com

  • You’re so sweet, Alison! I love how honest you are 🙂 Can’t wait to see more posts about your sweet family and life!

  • You are looking lovely as always and have given me an idea on doing a faux fur refashion. I love your blog and how you appreciate your followers. Swinging by from The Pleated Poppy – Happy Hump Day Wednesday!

  • You are one of the sweetest bloggers, always taking time to address our questions/comments or just visiting our blogs with feedback. You are appreciated! Now, back to business…the tip you gave me about wearing booties with tightly fitted skinny jeans…is there a way to fool the eye if your skinnies are too big atm? I dropped a few pounds since last year and want to be able to wear booties with baggier skinnies anyway. Any tricks up your sleeve or am I just out of luck? Thanks again for all of your support and inspiration.

    Patrice
    DittoThatStyle.blogspot.com

  • Thank you for sharing…I think it helps all of because I am sure my readers would tell me the same thing. I am so happy that you discussed the sponsored content part and addressed it with grace…most of us do blog for extra income and these sponsored posts are necessary to keep up with our blogs financially. I try to do mine in moderation too. No surprise….people LOVE outfit posts!! And you do them well, sister friend! xoxo

  • I love your fur scarf! I have one myself, but in leopard. They are so warm and cozy!

  • Rachel

    Excited to see more of your family!
    You do have such a wonderful blog–and I love that you respond to everyone.
    Love the striped sweater!

    http://www.floralandfudge.blogspot.com

  • I think it’s awesome that you did a survey, and I would definitely love more personal posts! Bloggers are humans, too, right? I understand the dilemma about sponsored content. It’s hard, because it is nice to be able to earn something for all the work you pour into a blog! But of course we all like the original stuff. Just know that I get it, and I’ll keep following along either way!

  • I’m glad the survey went well! And I LOVE this look!! That fur and the coat are a dream together!! Gorg!

    Jessi
    http://haircutandgeneralattitude.blogspot.com

  • this look is so perfect!

    xoxo from rome
    K.
    kcomekarolina.com

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  • I missed out on the survey but I would have agreed with the results! You outfits are one of my favorite things about your blog. They’re casual and comfortable which is #1 for me. Plus, they’re able to be dressed up or down, also a great thing.

  • kim

    So interesting to read the results of the survey! And very, very interesting to hear what you said about sponsored content. It’s hard to find the right balance as bloggers because there are those of us who want to make a living blogging, those who do it for fun and those who do it as a mix. But, it’s so difficult to find the right balance to respect our readers. Best of luck going forward and looking forward to continuing to read your posts 🙂
    xo ~kim & chloe

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  • ADA

    I need to do one of those surveys too. Some sponsor posts and affiliate links are fine. I will try to check your Instagram Outfits too because Fashion is what attracts me most to your blog, as well. I love this Outfit today. The Sweater, Snood & Coat are all gorgeous and these are such Alison pieces. 😉

    I linked up later than usual but I hope you like how I styled a Faux Fur Vest for the first time. Your opinions on my styles always matter to me. Take Care and Enjoy the Weekend, Ada. =)

  • So glad you got great results from your survey! Love what you’re doing and as always, you look fabulous! Way to go 😀

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  • so cool!! I’m glad you got such great feedback. 🙂 You have an awesome blog and I always love reading it. 🙂 Thanks for the linkup! You’re totally gorgeous and I love your trench and fur scarf. 🙂
    ~Callie
    http://www.creationsbycallie.com

  • You sound so happy positive & full of energy – not that you weren’t before – but its like a weight has been lifted & you’re ready to kick butt! Go Girl! I’m so excited for you & the changes you intend to make! You are such an inspiration! Ax