Southern Belle in Training

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

May 24, 2021

Results of My 2021 Blog Reader Survey!

     For the past few years, I've always looked so forward to doing my blog reader survey each spring. The feedback that I get from those of you that read my blog is so valuable to me! I always revisit the survey responses throughout the year for inspiration and ideas with my content. Here are the results from my 2021 blog reader survey!

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Your thoughts on Southern Belle in Training:
      *87% of you read/follow my blog, and 73% of you follow on Instagram. As always, my blog reader survey is a great reminder that I have a good amount of readers that either don't have Instagram or don't use it to follow bloggers. This makes me thankful that I do still prioritize doing new blog posts a few times a week, and don't only focus on Instagram.

     *A lot of bloggers over the past year have hopped on the TikTok train and made posting videos there a big part of their content. I have nothing against people using TikTok, I just personally haven't joined the app and don't plan to, as it seems to be very addictive. I feel like I spend enough time on Instagram and Twitter already that I don't need another app to be hooked on. I was a bit relieved to hear that 76% of you are like me and also not on TikTok. Thanks for making me feel less uncool with that- ha!

     *I think every single year that I've done a reader survey there has been a clear winner for everyone's favorite type of blog post: Wednesday's Midweek Ramblings! These posts really are so simple for me to put together each week, and it makes me happy to hear how much you've enjoyed them over the years. For fashion content, a lot of you are fans of my Lilly Pulitzer content! That includes covering the After Party Sales, National Wear Your Lilly Day, and other Lilly related things. 
     Several of you also noted that you really enjoyed some of my more vulnerable personal posts written during the past year: notably my post about being single in a pandemic, and faith struggles from stopping attending church in person. And something that made me chuckle was how many of you said you loved my blog posts about my car leasing experience (both my first lease in 2020 and my second lease in 2021 after my former car was in an accident!). I am probably the least qualified person to be sharing car advice... but maybe that was part of the charm with why you enjoyed these. 😉

     *This year I added in a new question to the survey, and I asked you to share words that made you think of my blog and personal brand. Here are the five most popular words that you shared:
  • Fun
  • Real
  • Bright
  • Friendly
  • Relatable
     These word answers made me so happy to see! These are five things that I do strive to be both in my personal life and on my blog, so I'm glad to see that is translating into what I share online. 

Other bloggers you like + suggestions for the year ahead:
     *I always like to see which other bloggers and influencers you enjoy following. There are a few names of "bigger bloggers" who always come up year after year, like Carly from Carly the Prepster, Mackenzie from Design Darling and Caitlin of Southern Curls and Pearls. I was delighted to see a few of my own blogging friends like Angela from The Thrifty Pineapple, Nicole from What Nicole Wore and Gentry from Girl Meets Bow make the list again this year! And a few bloggers that were mentioned multiple times that hadn't made the survey in years past included Talia from Dresses & Democracy, Shay from Mix & Match Mama and Katy from Mumu & Macaroons

     *For Instagram content suggestions, you mainly want to see more try-on hauls of fashion purchases! This was the top suggestion from last year's survey also. While I did a few IG Stories and blog post try-ons this year (mostly of Lilly items), I didn't do too many because I wasn't shopping as much in the past year, especially during this past winter when I was at the height of staying home. Now that life is getting much more back to normal and I have more occasions again to wear fun clothes for, I'll really try to do these more frequently this year, and for more brands than just Lilly Pulitzer.
     You also want to see more IG Stories Song Brackets, more behind-the-scenes content from my day job in radio, more travel stories, and more cooking tutorials and recipes! 

     *For blog content suggestions, they were honestly very similar to IG Stories! More try-ons and more travel content were the top two suggestions. Several of you also want to read more Relationship Monday posts, which is my ongoing (but sporadic) more personal blog post series about dating and singleness as a Christian young adult. (Thinking about it I realized it's been almost a year since I did my last Relationship Monday post- wow!)

My main takeaway from this year's survey: 
     Most years with my blog reader surveys, there is a general consensus in the suggestions for my content. This year for the first time ever, I felt like I had a 50/50 mix of conflicting responses. Here's what I mean by that!
     Several of you noted that you appreciated the fact that I shared my COVID cautions and concerns over the past year, and posted photos of myself wearing masks, shared all about my vaccine experience on IG Stories, etc. A few of you also said that while you might not agree personally with my political views and beliefs, you respected mine and were interested for me to share more of my political and personal views. On the other hand... many of you prefer that bloggers and influencers you follow don't share their opinions on COVID or politics, and keep things strictly blog content related. 
     I received a lot of suggestions to feature more Amazon Fashion clothing this year, both for my styled outfit posts and for IG Stories try-ons. But for every single response I got to do more Amazon, I got another response from someone who dislikes Amazon and fast fashion, and seemed to appreciate the fact I only share Amazon Fashion items sporadically! 
     Between the stark differences in preference on political content and Amazon Fashion... my main takeaway from this year's survey is it's tough to please everyone! 😊The best course of action seems to be continuing my direction of making Southern Belle in Training a true lifestyle blog, and organically sharing the things that make up my life. I know I'll never be the best blogger to cover Amazon finds 24/7... but I do occasionally shop at Amazon and if I find something good occasionally you know I'll share it! I generally prefer not to get too political on Instagram or my blog very often and I plan to keep it that way, but maybe down the road I will share a little more on that, in a respectful way that hopefully everyone could enjoy reading no matter your views.

     If you took this year's blog survey- THANK YOU!! Seriously!! Every year I am just blown away by how many readers take the time to do this. Here's to another year of SBIT- I can't believe this blog will turn nine in September!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 



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