Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

March 1, 2018

Results of My Annual Reader Survey + Some 2018 Blogging Goals.

     A few weeks ago, I shared my annual Southern Belle in Training reader survey. So many of you took the time to answer it, which was much appreciate! Today I'm sharing this year's results, and some of my visions and plans for my blog for the rest of 2018.

Fashion Blogger Reader Survey RESULTS!

2018 Southern Belle in Training Reader Survey Results:

     *I have a lot of long-time readers, and I was so touched to see that! 45% of you said that you've been reading SBIT for 3-4 years (!!). There are also a lot of newer readers- about 30% of you have been reading here for a year or less. However long you've been reading my blog or following my social media, I'm so glad that you're here!

     *Most of you are close in age to me! 85% of you who took the survey are also in your 20s. There are some high school aged readers and some in older demographics as well, but it's cool for me to know that I'm really writing to millennials just like myself for the most part. (My Instagram has slightly higher age demographics, but things veer younger and more young 20s here on the blog itself.)

     *78% of you read either every blog post that I write or a check in a few times a week! WOW!! Some of you who prefer to mostly just follow along on Instagram or Twitter instead of reading the blog also took the survey, and that was good to see too! It's very important for me to have social media that reflects the content and branding that I'm doing here on the blog.

     *Let's chat about favorite post topics on Southern Belle in Training. One of the questions of the survey was asking participants to pick their absolute favorite blog post topic to read about on SBIT (picking only one category!). While the focus of this blog has always been affordable fashion, I've always enjoyed branching out into other lifestyle topics as well. In order, the three most popular blog post categories on the blog are:

  • Fashion - 25%
  • Personal Posts - 25%
  • Dating/Singleness - 13% 
     Midweek Ramblings posts and Travel came in at numbers four and five. This was great feedback for me to see! I will continue to make affordable fashion the first and foremost focus of this blog, but I'm delighted to see that you guys really enjoy my personal posts. Sometimes it's scary to share parts of myself so much on the internet, but I also know those are the posts that can resonate the most. 

     *Speaking about blog post topics, I introduced two new post series in 2017, Radio 101 (all about my career as an on-air radio personality), and Relationship Mondays, which talks about dating and singleness. There was a question on the survey that asked for participants' opinions and feedback on these two series. Overall, y'all seemed to really enjoy them! A lot of answers said that the Radio 101 posts were interesting because most of you don't work in broadcasting related fields, so the information that I share in those posts is all new to you, and you like learning more about radio. I was happy to hear that - that's exactly what I write them! (I haven't shared one in a few months due to some things going on behind-the-scenes in my life... they will be back later this year!) Relationship Mondays had some mixed feedback. Some of you LOVED the posts, and a few people left me some constructive criticism regarding them, saying that it was hard to relate to reading those since I write them from the perspective of my Christian faith. I appreciated that feedback! My faith is a big part of my life... and I don't see that leaving this blog anytime soon, but that feedback did give me some things to think about going forward with the Relationship Monday blog posts. I never want anyone of a different faith or background who reads me blog to feel "judged" for having other views. This is simply my platform to share my views and life experiences! Going forward, I'd like to try and do Relationship Monday once a month, and maybe doing Radio 101 every two months.

     *A question that I asked in the survey was related to trying something new on my Instagram Stories. "Try-on Hauls" have become quite popular in the last year especially. If you haven't seen one of these before, it's where a blogger will go to a store and try-on a ton of clothes, sharing video and photo updates on Instagram Stories to provide like a live dressing room experience and honest insights about the clothing. It's something I haven't really tried before (partly because I don't love watching them myself, and partly because I've had to do mostly online shopping since moving to Vermont because mall options suck here), but I'm open to starting it in 2018. About 54% of you said you'd be interested in seeing this... and 46% said it didn't interest you. I honestly feel similarly about these! I might try some dressing room Instagram Stories later this year for some really big sales, but it will never become something that you see weekly on my Instagram- that would be too much!

    *One of the last things I asked in the survey was for any feedback about how I can improve as a blogger in the next year, or any blog post suggestions. A few that stuck out to me were

  • More easy recipe ideas
  • More fashion posts specifically about current trendy items
  • Recaps about what I do each weekend in my personal life (this might be something to share on Instagram Stories every Sunday night!)
      Overall though most of you who answered this question said that you really enjoyed the post topics that I am currently writing about, and don't want to see a lot of changes on the blog. This was good to hear- I'm glad that I'm delivering content that you enjoy reading!

My Blogging Goals for 2018:

  • I had initially wanted to do a (much-needed) blog re-branding this spring. It's something I had been saving up to do for a long time. Unfortunately... real life has to come first and I will have a LOT of expenses this spring in my personal life that I didn't foresee coming a few months ago, so I've had to pretty much clear out the savings account that I had for this blog project. (Side note: VERY SOON you'll get to hear more about what's going on in my  life this spring... very soon! 😉) I'm trying to give myself grace and remind myself that I'm still young in my full-time career, and that in a few years I'll be a lot more financially secure and paying for a blog re-branding won't seem so daunting.  But anyways- eventually I do want to make some big design related changes around here! That has just had to go to the back burner again due to some things you'll be hearing about SOON. 
  • Starting in March 2018, I'm planning to stick to a M-Th blog posting schedule. I've been pushing myself for the last few months to post here M-F (and even weekends some weeks!), but it's just getting to be too much. I already work full time, run this blog, and I need to focus more on having a life outside of both of those things too. I think that four high quality posts a week will be very doable, and knowing me you'll still see that occasional Friday or weekend post too! 
  • I've been trying to keep Mondays and Thursdays fashion post days for awhile, and that will remain. With the exception of using occasional Mondays for Relationship Monday posts, I'll try and start off most weeks on a fashion-related note! The reader survey results highlighted that you guys love Midweek Ramblings, so those will definitely stay on Wednesdays. Tuesdays will be my anything goes day on the blog: it could be a lifestyle, personal, travel, or beauty post. 
  • I'm hoping to integrate more Youtube videos into my content this year! Youtube and video editing has never been a strength of mine, but I want to work more on that this year. Get excited because you'll be seeing a new video pretty soon (which ties into the news that I teased about a few paragraphs above). 
  • I also want to continue venturing into travel blogging. Just like how I focus on affordable fashion, I want to focus on financially attainable travel for 20 somethings. I had so much fun on my first press trip to Kentucky in December, and hope to do another opportunity like that around the holidays in 2018. 
  • Lastly, the new topic that I'd really like to focus on integrating into my content for 2018 is finance and budgeting. These are two daunting things that I've been trying to be responsible about and educate myself on during this year in Vermont, and while I'm no expert (and still learning stuff all the time), why not share what I'm learning? I've already found some great financial resources and read some excellent books... I'd love to share the resources that are helping me with y'all! Financial stewardship is so very important, and as this becomes more important in my own life I want to talk about it on the blog. 
  • I just launched my blog's newsletter in January! It goes out once a month at the end of the month (no inbox clogging!), and it recaps the top posts of the month, and gives you the first look at what's to come on SBIT in the next month. Unfortunately, there were a few technical difficulties with sending February's newsletter... I didn't have time to get it all addressed due to other things going on in my life right now. Hoping to address all of that this month and get it set for March! 

Alright- and I think that's a wrap. Seriously, thank you so much to each and every one of you for reading! As I teased in this post... I have some big (not blog related) news to share soon. This news will definitely affect the direction of my blog for the indefinite future, and I CAN'T WAIT to share that with y'all.....coming pretty soon! Stay tuned.

      God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese



  1. I love being able to dig into my analytics to see who's reading, so this peek into your reader survey was really fun. It's no surprise to me that personal posts do so well for you — those are some of my favorites to read, as well! I'm also looking forward to your rebrand, when the time comes!

  2. wow, you sure got a lot of information back!!!! i feel the same about try on hauls! i actually think you can do something similar without making it too annoying haha (which is something i'm always thinking about haha)

  3. A reader survey is a great idea! I think a try on haul/live dressing room experience would be fun to watch but I would feel so self conscious filming one! Also four posts a week and working full time? You go girl!

  4. I loved seeing your press trip, especially since I talk mostly about travel. It looked SO fun! I totally understand you needing to take money away from your re-brand. I feel like I am in the same situation, unfortunately! We will get there one day!

  5. I love the transparency of this post! it gives your readers a glimpse of the hard work you put into your blog while holding yourself accountable to continue to improve and grow your site. tying in your professional background is so cool too! x, nicole //

  6. I survey is such a great idea. I may have to try that one day. The try on hauls are so popular. I particularly don't watch them either as my body is pretty different from most people I follow so it doesn't give me a good reference for fit.

  7. Great to hear that you got so much feedback! Best of luck with your goals this year, you can do it!

  8. Aren't analytics awesome?! I love knowing the breakdown of who my readers are and what they're interested in. Looking forward to your future content and following along with your new adventures in 2018 :)

  9. This is awesome! I love hearing from my readers and learning more about them! I love following along!

    xo, L


Thanks so much for reading Southern Belle in Training! Comments make my day- so feel free to share your thoughts on this post! I read each and every comment.
If you have a question in regards to one of my posts, or just want to say hi, the best way to get ahold of me is by e-mailing me directly at: I am better about responding to e-mails than blog comments sometimes!

Blog Design Created by pipdig