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A Recap + News

Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out my little survey. It really helps me know where I stand with certain things and clarifies some thoughts on where I’m headed.

Here are some breakdowns for the curious:

  • Most people have been reading for close to 5 years. Woo hoo! Thank you for staying!
  • Although I do have a good chunk that have come along since I’ve had Gabe. Hello you lovely almost newbies!
  • The majority of people pop in several times a week, though 40% come every single day. Amazing.
  • Way way WAY more people enjoy product reviews/book reviews than I thought. My only barometer on that is number of comments, and those usually have low comments, which was concerning me. But! I totally understand that some posts are just for reading and others are for discussion.
  • When it comes to a Better In Real Life podcast it is kind of a mixed bag. Almost 40% of you all are just not into it at all, while the rest are kind of into it but seem skeptical. We can talk more about that later.
  • But! When it comes to a Better In Real Life advice column the response was overwhelmingly positive with almost 85% saying yes to that.
  • Although, whether or not you’d send in questions is still yet to be seen (42% were a maybe, depending on what advice I give, on submitting questions. But 30% said they would probably seek advice if needed.)
  • All of the written in responses were incredibly kind. That is always something I get nervous about when I do these – I want to know what’s up and I want your feedback but ahhhh it can leave me so naked!
  • A lot of those responses were asking for more personal posts, more thoughts on marriage and family and career juggling. Of course those are the hardest ones you guys!! But I hear you, and I’ll definitely have more to say on that.
  • And 99.9% of all responses about wanting less of anything was a big: NOPE. Nothing less? Ok then.

Now for some info on what I’m thinking. (I actually had a question about how the back end of this blog works, so I’ll try to answer that as well.)

First – once the Year O Birchbox is over there will be way less product talk, so if that is not your jam you’re in luck! If that IS your jam, I’ll continue on my own product journey and do any solicited/sponsored posts. But they will be more infrequent

Speaking of “sponsored posts” – a phrase most companies do not like me to use (Which is annoying because how do I convey to you that this is a post I’ve been asked to write?) – happen 2 ways:

The first way is by cold calling. Sometimes out of the blue a company will email me with an option to review something or promote something for them. I am never paid for these posts, the most I will receive is a sample or trial product. I say no to 75% of these inquiries because they don’t fit with what I do here or because they want me to promote something I’ve never tried and they don’t want to send me a sample, OR because they want to write something for me, which will never fly.

The second way is through a publicist company I work with. That’s how I got the Volt opportunity and the Amazon opportunity. But I am not paid for these either.

Now to fix the problem with not really being able to say “sponsored.” If I’m working with a company or if I get products for free I always mention it. I want to be as transparent as possible so you know where I am coming from. My opinion on products or experiences are always mine and if I think something is sub-par I’ll always tell you. Not every product is the best, most fabulous, but many have a specific need they fill and even if they are not for me, they are probably for someone.

Now then, I want to talk to you about facebook etc. Facebook changed the way they “share” things. Which is incredibly annoying. So, generally I only share BIRL stuff on BIRL’s page. Rarely do I share posts on my own page because I don’t want to spam people and if people want to receive updates on BIRL they have had many opportunities to “like” that page. If they haven’t “liked” it, I assume they don’t want my stuff choking up their feed. Fair enough right? You’d think that if you “like” BIRL, then you’re going to receive updates from me. Except that isn’t how it works anymore. When I post on facebook, sometimes only 50 out of almost 600 people will receive that update on their feed. The more people interact with that post (“like” it or comment or share) the more views it receives.

So, if you do like something I’ve written I would really, really appreciate it if you could share it or even just “like” the post on facebook, and retweet it (vs favorite-ing) on twitter. I really do want to continue to have new voices here, I want to continue to grow readership and interaction and I can only do that with your help. I can also do it by paying facebook. But something about that pisses me off, it’s playing right into their little evil hands! They have reduced how many people see a post from a page those people have ┬áhave signed up for (basically) in order to get those “businesses” (or blogs, like me) to give them money. It’s very frustrating. It’s one thing to take out a paid add, but why is posting online now something I have to pay for? Gah.

I would like to move forward with a BIRL advice column! Initially I think it will only run once a month so that I have time to give thoughful responses and I am not in a question drought. So, for those who answered the survey saying they’ve been needing advice and wanting to ask, please email me at betterinrealife at gmail. As per all advice columns, these will always be anonymous.

And if anyone has any further questions about anything regarding the blog, please ask in comments! And thank you for taking the time to respond to the survey and continuing reading here on the regular. This affords me an amazing out let that I hope also makes us all feel less crazy/alone/different and that also gives inspiration/entertainment and a place to have your own voice. Love!

11 Comments

  1. I used to help out a small business with their Facebook stuff, and when they switched to that stupid paid post crap it was a HUGE hit in views. And honestly, paying a small amount doesn’t give that big of a boost. SO dumb.

    Re: the podcast – I was one of the folks who answered “probably wouldn’t listen to it” – only because I never get around to listening to podcasts ; ) But I think it’s a cool idea, if you’re so inclined.

  2. I somehow missed your survey? I’m one of those weirdos who checks here every day, but this summer has been a nightmare of busy-ness, so I must have missed some days. Anyway, I had no idea you were considering a podcast, and it looks like you might not move forward with that idea now, but I would totally listen. I can see you having a really awesome lifestyle/advice podcast similar to Totally Married (http://www.totallylaime.com/podcasts/totallymarried/). Maybe with a writing focus? I also think that podcast listeners and blog readers are two discrete audiences, though there is some overlaps, so even though a lot of current readers might not be into it, I think there are a lot of people who would love your voice, who just don’t read blogs, but would be totally down to listen to you on their commute. I guess the tricky part is finding that audience since your platform right now is blogging.

    • Thank you for reading every day! (I read here every day too… I’m pretty sure I am my biggest fan, which is so annoying) I read several blogs every day and sometimes check them multiple times a day if they are slow in posting, so you are NOT a weirdo, or if you are so am I and that’s cool.

      With the podcast, it was nice to get a temperature reading with the audience I do have – the most important audience (vs the one I could maybe grow?). It is something that Kamel and I have talked and talked about as being a joint venture. So it would be both of us. And initially I was thinking having them be pretty short. 10 minutes type of thing.

      But also, I don’t want to take on so many things that I drown. So if I can get an advice column started and up and running and it doesn’t totally FAIL which is yet another complete and rational fear, then I may jump into that.

      Sometimes, to be totally honest, people don’t know what they want. Maybe I would link an audio clip on here every other week for 6 months and people would start looking forward to it? I just don’t know.

      • Hearing that it would be a joint venture makes me want the podcast even more! But I hear you on considering the preferences of your actual audience over a hypothetical audience, particularly if taking on another project would be a strain. I will look forward to the advice column in the meantime, and probably send in a bunch of burning questions.

  3. Oh no! I missed the survey! I’m an everyday reader, but was out of town since Friday and didn’t get to weigh in. But I’m excited to hear the results, none the less. I’m all for Book Reviews (even if I don’t always comment) and agree that the stories about marriage and parenthood (which have GOT to be the hardest) are super interesting to read/consume/not always comment on but I’m listening. I’m also always excited when you write up a trip (or being a “tourist in your own town”) as that gets me excited to travel or if I ever find myself in that city, I feel like I have the insider’s scoop. And I like when you write up your thoughts on a story in the news (or post links of stories we might have missed that you think are worth reading) as I’m always interested to hear a thoughtful take on the barrage of news stories floating my way. Yay Better in Real Life!

  4. I would ADORE hearing/reading a relationships joint venture with you and Kamel where people wrote in with things about their relationships and you guys both discussed it!! That would be AMAZING. And I would totally write you guys things!

  5. please start an advice column. I heart your blog.

    • Now all I need is people to give advice to.

      • you can give me advice. or anyone. I mean, the whole world seems to think it’s ok to give women advice.

          • what I mean is, everyone thinks they can give advice to me (this is a rant not directed to you, sorry), so you could give good advice!

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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