March 28, 2017

Help Me, Help You…

Mar12

As I stare at my computer screen for hours, every picture, font, and design are looking the same. I’m in the midst of redesigning this little old blog space of mine, and I have a hard time making decisions.

Don’t worry, it will be he same style, same content (with an addition of a few grocery match-ups), same bedlam, same passion, but my desire is that it will be more user friendly for my readers. Every week, I receive emails saying, “I know you posted about this, but I just can’t find it anywhere.” That tells me one thing – the posts in my archives are getting buried, and I need to make things more accessible. Just last week, I couldn’t even find my OWN post on a topic. That’s when I knew I needed to prioritize this as in investment.Β  My desire for this redesign is easier usability for you, and I think when you first see it, you’ll think, “oh, this still feels very much the same. πŸ™‚ (I hope.)

Anyhow, a small portion of what I do is to partner with companies during my big giveaway weeks. Often, they ask for my blog’s demographics, and I take a big gulp and think…”Yikes, that sounds so “professional.” Bottom line, I have never taken a reader survey before, so I keep writing my little heart out, but for all I know, I could be completely off base with who I am writing to.

Would you PLEASE just take one minute and answer these few questions. Honestly, one minute. πŸ™‚ It’s anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about your information being shared. I want to best meet the needs of my readers and this would help tremendously.

Also, if you have any additional comments you’d like to share, or something new you’d like to see featured, I’d love to hear them. This is when I am gathering ideas. If you have a strong opinion/ recommendation on what I can do better, I’d love to hear it, just please be gentle with how you phrase it.

Thank you SO much for being a part of my community here. You are so appreciated.

(If you are reading this via email, or for some reason, you can’t see it, click to my blog to take it – Survey)


Comments

  1. It won’t let me submit the survey because the “ages of children” question is required, but I have no children!

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    Jen Reply:

    hmm…it’s my first time creating a survey. Did you pick the “no children” spot and it still doesn’t let you?? If it doesn’t….just check under 1. I’ll still see the no children and know what you meant. Sorry about that. I should have put a N/A.

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    Sarah Reply:

    Same thing for me.

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    Nic Reply:

    I had the same issue. I figure 0 is indeed less than 1. lol

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    Diana Reply:

    Same here and I did that πŸ™‚

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  2. All filled out! πŸ˜€

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  3. Renee Strange says:

    First of all, I really enjoy your site and I appreciate all your hard work. I know your life HAS to be crazy wild with all the responsibilities you have. Just raising a family is work enough. If I had a complaint, it would not be limited to this blog. Whenever there is a giveaway, we have to turn somersaults in order to participate. Whatever happened to winning by the luck of the draw? We have to tweet something, like something on Facebook, make a comment here and there and invite all our friends, who don’t have the slightest interest in couponing or being frugal. We the readers also live a life of beauty and bedlam. We struggle to manage our time as well. Love your title, by the way – Beauty and Bedlam.

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    Jen Reply:

    Totally understandable. I know many have lots of hoops to jump through, and I hear what you are saying. I have changed up my blog giveaways and never have the extra entry be for inviting friends or anything. For ours, we only have one mandatory entry, which is just a comment.
    The other 2-3 choices are just optional and if people are already a facebook friend or subscribe to my blog it’s already done. It’s then completely random, luck of the draw. I have had quite a few winners be chosen with only one entry.

    We offer optional entries because honestly, companies do look at how much participation there is on a giveaway and it’s obviously, the more entries the better.

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  4. Tamela Camp says:

    I love your blog. I check it out every morning. I love to see new recipes. I just made your Italian Bread and it was so easy and delicious. I have made 3 batches in the last couple of weeks. I would love to see more vlogs on food and more bulk cooking. Thanks for all you share with us!

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  5. Like the first poster said, I don’t have children so I marked “under 1”. You may want to change that on your survey because it may mess up your results.

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  6. I know it’s stoopidphone,but all I could do was gender, then coding. So I tried. πŸ™ U have 1 divorced 50+ differently-abled female to count. πŸ˜€

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  7. Jocelyn Nelson says:

    Maybe an idea for the future since your blog has access to so many frugal- minded people: I was just flipping through my copy of The Tightwad’s Gazette, which I find so interesting, but as it’s 15- 20 years old, most of it is just good for a bit of inspiration (ie prices not applicable, no internet suggestions, etc). Do your readers have suggestions for similar, more recent books? Maybe you could do a book review on your blog every so often reviewing frugal lifestyle/ crafty books.

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  8. I enjoy your blog too! I was just linking it up to my new blog-hop page on my own blog, and when I stopped by I took your survey. Good luck!

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  9. Sue Klingseis says:

    I couldn’t figure out how to send you my survey. Oops.

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  10. Susan M. says:

    I filled out the survey, but have one additional comment. Sounds like you’re working on this area anyway, but this weekend, I decided to watch your CVS shopping video, and at first, it wasn’t easy to figure out where to go to do that. I typed in “CVS shopping” (I think–wait, I typed in the phrase you use when you write “if you haven’t yet watched my video on xxx”–is it “CVS tutorial” maybe?) and got a whole bunch of hits, but they were all the posts that referred to the video, not the video itself. Then I found the “vlog” section and was able to watch it. But, it would be good to have it pop up faster. Have fun!

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  11. I love visiting your site and usually do so via my iPod. Would it be possible to have a mobile version in the redesign??

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    Jen Reply:

    That’s a good question for this non techie person. I will definitely ask my designer. πŸ™‚

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  12. I tried to fill out the survey, but have no kids — even so, it wants me to choose an age option & a school option. Maybe a n/a choice for those would be helpful? Just a thought. Thanks for all you do, I love reading your site!

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    Jen Reply:

    Yes, since this is my first time creating a survey, I left choices for no children, but didn’t think through that it would not let you submit without age and school option. Oops….I told others just to put less than 1 for age, and when I see zero, I’ll know.

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    emily Reply:

    Thanks. I’ll fill in my info! πŸ™‚

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  13. I agree with what a couple other people mentioned. I can choose that I have no children but it won’t let me submit the survey without inputing the age of my non-existant children. It may skew your survey results slightly if only people with children can submit it!

    Otherwise, I really like your site and I think my favorite part is the honesty of it. I can really tell the posts are honest and not polished up like a lot of other blogs. I especially like any frugal living or recipe posts.

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  14. Sue Barnes says:

    Love your blog. Love the ideas you put out there. It’s been encouraging to read about how you’ve made/make it work when finances are tight. I might be losing my job at the end of the school year & I try & glean everything I can to help us get through if it comes down to that. Thanks so much!!

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  15. I completed the survey. I’ve been reading your blog for less than a year. I’m not the most knowledgable when it comes to creating blogs and such. (honestly I know nothing, don’t even know what a “reader” does/is) But I really enjoy your site. Love the frugal topics, coupons, spiritual inspiration, deals, family stories, etc. I’m not the best cook but I’m trying to improve. The one thing that can easily turn me off from a blog is tons of stuff coming at me at once. I like the simplicity of yours. Thanks for all you do.

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  16. Jen, I love your blog, but I’m so glad you’re addressing the archive issue. I’ve had trouble finding former posts on your blog as well as one of my other favorite blogs which is set up similar to yours. Don’t want to miss good stuff!

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  17. Jen, I think your blog is the best! I really like all your your yard sale finds, they are unbelievable. Is it possible for you to do a post on what to stay away from at yard sales. Do you buy bedding etc and if you do, how do you clean it? I stay away from these things because I am just not sure how to go about it. This is just an idea for a post. Keep up the great work and Take Care.

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  18. Looking forward to the new digs! I’ve had trouble finding old posts, too, but at this point I think to focus on that would be beating the proverbial dead horse! : )

    My favorite posts of yours are your yard sale finds and recipes. With a little praise and worship thrown in. ; )

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  19. I love your website. I agree with the other person about the honesty of your blog. Some others I have read just sound too made-up?!? Also the other suggestion about what to stay away from at thrift stores and yard sales would be nice. I LOVE the things you show that you re-do and what you find at yard sales. Sometimes I find myself seeing something on your blog that you re-did and I go to find something similar for my house.

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  20. I love Tasty Tuesday link-ups and the Frugal Fashionista posts. I definitely wear more scarves because of the scarf ones πŸ™‚ (And even got a compliment on mine yesterday! And another comment comparing me to Snoopy, but we won’t go there… πŸ™‚ ) I would **love** to see a how-to post on making people feel comfortable when they come into your home. When we have people over, everything’s fine once we start eating/playing a game/whatever, but the first 10 minutes are always terribly awkward! Any suggestions?

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  21. I love your blog because you are just like “one of us”. I think it is great without the store deals. There are lots of other sites for that and think you should concentrate on what you are good at, making us feel at home and like family! I especially love the frugal fashonista!

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    Jen Reply:

    Yep, I am definitely one of you all. πŸ™‚

    You won’t know how I have gone back and forth for a year about adding in store deals.
    You’re right, so many others do it, but I finally decided with the redesign that I speak and teach so many local people in my area about couponing and then I send them every where else, and not to my site. Plus, many have an overwhelming amount of store info. I am just adding the drug stores (I already do CVS) and three of my local grocery stores. I will only be posting the “top ten” deals and then directing them elsewhere. That way, it will help those that are new to couponing to cut to the chase of the best deals and they have it on my site rather than confusing them with so many others for the beginners. I will be adding a couponing section and since my new design won’t have all the posts in chronological order, it wont’ be a whole long list of store deals, but all in one section. But trust me, I have gone back and forth, back and forth. Hopefully, they’ll go out in one day and then they’ll be done with for the weeek. πŸ™‚

    P.S. You are always at home πŸ˜‰

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  22. I agree with the reader above. I started reading your blog because of the Frugal Fashionista posts and get any store match ups I need from other blogs. I don’t like to have to wade through other posts that contain information I don’t need. But I know people have different needs, so you can’t please everybody!!

    I also don’t have any children but checked the 18+ box before I saw what others had posted.

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  23. Hey Jen!
    I was wondering if I could buy some more Taco Soup mix from you. That Pantry staple size pack that I bought is almost gone. We are one pot of soup away from being all out and for my 9 year old, this is worse than any natural disaster!

    Thanks,
    Kristi

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    hi Kristi – You can’t be out of taco soup…that would never fly in our house. πŸ™‚ I will look to see if I have any pantry staples.

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