2017 Reader Survey Results

Blog week is one of our favorite annual traditions here on the DIY Playbook and this year did NOT disappoint. We always have fun stepping back to analyze how we do things behind-the-scenes in hopes to help others looking to do the same or just to answer the questions of readers who may be curious.

But selfishly our favorite part of the week is hearing from you guys in our annual reader survey.

We honestly look forward to this post because your insight is invaluable (and so eye-opening) to us. Honestly, some of our favorite projects or post topics have come from reader suggestions.

Allowing us to get a glimpse into your daily DIY Playbook experience is also so rewarding to us. Some of you shared that you read the blog in the middle of the night while nursing, others while working out, others at work (sometimes secretly… ha!), others in different countries (like Germany, Hungary, and the UK) and hearing these stories has us feeling so grateful for the chance to be a little part of your everyday routine. You guys are seriously the best!

And your suggestions and requests?! We have already started planning our 2018 editorial calendar based on your requests and have even committed to a few changes around here after hearing your kind, yet honest feedback. If you shared it, we noted it.

However some of the things you guys pointed out don’t warrant an entire post, and we didn’t want them to go unaddressed. Today we are taking a quick break to address all of these mini-topics– almost like a mini Q&A.

Who is The Typical DIY Playbook Reader?

So without further ado, here’s what didn’t make the 2018 editorial calendar, but still seemed important to discuss…

  • Over 50% of our readers are ages 26-35, although we have a portion of readers in almost every age group.
  • 40% of our audience does not have kids while 60% of our audience have kids. But the most shocking (and exciting) news was that almost 10% of our readers are currently pregnant or hoping to be pregnant ASAP…. which makes the breakdown to half with kids and the other half without.
  • We were also super excited to read that a combined total of 23% percent of readers are currently bloggers or hope to start a blog someday.
  • Most of you prefer to follow us on Instagram, which is no surprise because that’s our favorite social channel to use as readers too.

Hearing From YOU!

So now that you have a better idea of the “make-up” of our audience, let’s tackle some of the topics, questions, suggestions, and comments you shared with us:

“This strays away from your base of DIY, but I love seeing the real people behind the blog which is why I loved Casey’s Instagram stories while in Italy and seeing you both out with the hubs/friends/family” 

Aww, thank you for your kind words and thanks for the reminder. We are trying to be better at keeping it real and giving you guys more of a glimpse into our everyday lives (especially on InstaStories). We struggle with what is “more” and what is too much/annoying. We air on the side of less usually, but this is something we can definitely do a better job at and we’ve noted this as an area of improvement.

“The only thing that bugs me is that I have to click through on Feedly (or Bloglovin’) to read a post.”

As avid blog readers (on both Feedly and Bloglovin’), we TOTALLY hear you! It is annoying to have to click through to the blog. But as bloggers, we have to do what’s best for our content. Our pictures and formatting always looked pretty horrible on both Feedly & Bloglovin’. We can’t even describe how disheartening it is to see posts and photos we’ve worked so hard on looking all wonky in a feed reader. So in order to get the daily scoop at the highest quality, you’ll have to come to the blog where things look exactly the way we want them to.

“I appreciate that when you had the pop-up box to subscribe online, there was an option to ‘never show this again’. I don’t like a cluttered inbox so I read the blog every day by just typing on the website. I loved that the pop-up box isn’t there to subscribe every.single.time like on other blogs I read. “

We are so happy to hear this! For others who may be struggling with the pop-up, make sure you hit “NEVER SHOW AGAIN” so you only see it once… and never again. The last thing we would ever want to do is annoy our amazing readers so adding the “never show again” option was very high on our priority list.

“More about planning for and the finances of bigger projects” 

Many of you pointed out that you want us to break down the costs of our projects and we could not agree more. We are going to make a more conscious effort to share the cost breakdowns of both our DIY projects and the projects we hire out… especially through B’s house makeover. We hope that this info helps keep things transparent and serves as a valuable resource for others looking to tackle similar projects. If we ever forget to add this information, please don’t hesitate to remind us!

“Sometimes you repeat yourselves over and over (we know you live in small spaces..lol)”

Eek… guilty! #noted

“My only complaint, if you can even call it that, is about the newsletter. I like seeing the “bonus content,” but could do without the daily emails. I am a diligent Feedly user so I see all the posts, and I am trying to keep a clean inbox.”

Oh my goodness, we can totally relate to that! We immediately emailed our tech team to figure out how to make this happen. Stay tuned, hopefully they have a solution for us soon.

“Can you create a tools 101 series for a DIY Rookie like myself?”

Many of you requested more information about tools and we never really thought of sharing this information. Genius! We have added this content to the calendar for 2018, thank you for the suggestion.

“I really appreciate that you guys are into real, affordable design. In a sea of design blogs full of McMansions, DIY Playbook is a breath of fresh air. Continue showcasing real homes (read: smallish) with practical room makeovers”

Awww, this made us so happy. Thank you so much for this super kind compliment. We really do believe that you don’t need a huge house to make it your perfect home and we’re so honored to provide inspiration for others in similar home situations.

Feedback On Motherhood

“Realistic motherhood and decor. Babies get cute nurseries but once they are moving, lots of cutesy stuff can’t be within reach. Would love to see how the room decor changes as baby gets older.”

Yes. Yes. Yes! I’m sure the nursery will be full of the “cutesy” stuff you’re talking about. But as Baby Mac gets older, I eventually want to explore ways where we can create a child-proof living space without sacrificing all of our home’s style. Organization tips, stylish child-proofing (is that a thing?!), storage solutions… these are all on my radar and things I hope to share throughout the future of The DIY Playbook.

“There will be so much material you’ll be able to cover, as a mom, I would like to see some baby related projects.”

The DIY Playbook is not turning into a mommy blog, but I was so grateful to hear all of your support of me sharing whatever I feel comfortable. So far I’ve been pregnant for over 6 months and have shared 3 posts about it here on the blog. I’m sure the baby may bring a little more content than that, but you definitely don’t have to worry about this becoming a mommy blog. 

“As a mom myself, I wish that there had been more honest information from real people about how those first few weeks/months really are. I know this is different for everyone, and you have to choose what information you want to share with the public, but I think honesty about tough days, post-partum depression, etc., is so important for new moms.”

Thank you so much for sharing this. On the days that I do end up sharing “mommy content”, I do want to strive to keep it as real as possible. I’m a very positive person by nature, so I don’t want to use this platform as a chance to be negative (something I’m not), but I do want to use it as a chance to keep it real for others who may be dealing with the same challenges we are.

“How to balance it all full-time job, blog work and motherhood”

Haha… great question! I’m still trying to figure that out myself but will DEFINITELY keep you guys updated as the answer unfolds.

Taking Requests: Sharing Some of Your Blog Post Ideas

“How to select window treatments. How to style an awkward living room layout. Landscaping.”

Ironically, B will be tackling ALL of these topics in her new house. Awkward living room space — check! The need for new landscaping in the Spring/Summer — check! Figuring out how to cover all of the windows in her house — check!

“How to find a contractor and be taken seriously (especially as a woman)”

B is learning A LOT about working with contractors so we will be reporting back on our tips after the holidays!

“Because you both live in different areas of Chicagoland, would love to hear about your favorites in your neighborhoods.”

Yes, we are adding this to our calendar because Casey has a lot to share since she has lived in the city for several years now! Plus we LOVE Chicago and are always happy to chat about it.

“I love when you solve readers’ decorating problems. You always do such a good job and you give me good ideas, some of which I have used in my own home.”

We love our Reader SOS series because it gives us a chance to “work on” a space that isn’t our own and may be a completely different style! We’d love to make this more of a monthly series, so please send any design dilemmas (along with pictures) to [email protected] We’ve done a few living rooms before, so we’d love to discuss other spaces throughout the home. 

This may be random, but what about your cars? Do you even have one?

This made us crack up because you’re so right, we never talk about our cars! Bridget & Matt each have a car that they use every day to get to work. Sometimes they drive together but mostly drive separately this year since they have different work hours. Casey & Finn have 1 car that they park in their garage behind their condo. However, they RARELY use it since they walk and take the train to work or out and about.

Why does Bridget live in Evanston and commute to south suburbs? How does she think that will change with a baby?

This is another one that made us laugh because Bridget doesn’t live in Evanston (which is a north suburb of Chicago). But somewhere along the line, we must have made a comment that implied that?! Bridget’s commute to school is only about 10-15 minutes every day from her new house in the western suburbs of Chicago. 

More Ideas or Suggestions?

We know we weren’t able to publically share everyone’s suggestions (there were hundreds and hundreds to sort through) but we promise we read every single word and took notes. We have a lot in store for 2018 and cannot thank you enough for your input and HONESTY.  We are confident that ALL of the survey information is going to make everyone’s DIY Playbook experience a better one. And if you ever have an idea, request, or feedback… don’t ever hesitate to let us know. We love hearing from you guys.

Thank YOU!

Reading through your feedback reminded us of how LUCKY we are to have you in our lives. We see you all as our friends and could not imagine life without this slice of the internet. With it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, it seems even more fitting to stop and say thank you. We are forever grateful for your support and hope you and your families have the best holiday together. You deserve it!!

See you back here bright and early Friday morning for a round-up of the best Black Friday deals that you don’t want to miss. Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

Bridget&Casey