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2016 Reader Survey: The Results

2016 reader survey

Two weeks ago I sent out my very first reader survey and I’ve been having such a ball reading through the responses. You guys are seriously the best! Downshiftology has morphed a bit over the last year and a half (since it launched), so I wanted to make sure I was still creating recipes and content that you’re most interested in.

Lately, I’ve been posting waayyyy more recipes than I did from the get-go (about 2-3/week). Over time I’ve learned how much I simply LOVE creating recipes. I’ve also become enamored with food photography and improving my food photography (hence, my trip to Portugal in May). For a former corporate gal, I had no idea that food and photography could be such a fun, creative outlet – and I’m loving it!

If you’ve purchased Roaming Free, you also know my other big passion in life is healthy travel. But I was curious to know if travel was a passion for you as well? And do you want to hear me talk about it and give tips/advice? Or do you prefer wellness and lifestyle posts? Or all of the above?

So today I thought I’d share some insights from the survey and give you the scoop on what you’ll likely see more of.

But before I delve in, I just have to say how much I GREATLY appreciate all of you! I wouldn’t have this website and be doing what I love if it weren’t for you guys. I’m so appreciative of your feedback and comments throughout this website and adore your personal emails.

I still have to pinch myself most of the time when you make my recipes and then tell me about it – and sometimes even send photos! It’s crazy in all the best ways possible and you have no idea how much it puts a big ol’ smile on my face!! So again, thank you thank you thank you.

Alrighty – here’s a few insights:

You’re a diverse bunch – which is awesome!

I think I was half expecting the results (ie – pie charts) to be skewed with a couple really large pieces. But it’s awesome to see that you guys are so diverse in age range, interests and how you first heard of Downshiftology. There really wasn’t one dominant category.

How would you describe your eating habits?

The majority of you are gluten-free, which isn’t a surprise as all the recipes on Downshiftology are gluten-free. But many of you are also grain-free, dairy-free and prefer paleo recipes. I’m not dairy-free, as most of you know, but a huge portion of my recipes are. So I’ll try to keep the vast majority dairy-free (or dairy-optional) in the future.

Yet many of you don’t align with a specific dietary label (I’m label-free myself) and just focus on real food and/or do the best you can. And to that, I say, bravo! I’m a huge proponent of real food and trying your best – progress over perfection, right?!

But as I mentioned what a beautifully diverse group we have, I can’t leave out my folks who prefer vegan and vegetarian recipes – which I have a lot of as well. In fact, Finding Vegan is a huge driver of traffic to this website and I’m hugely thankful for how often they highlight my recipes. So welcome all – I think there’s a little somethin’ somethin’ here for everyone!

What would you like to see more of on Downshiftology?

Recipes! It was far and away the winner of this question. I get it – you like food! And when it comes to recipes you want to see more for breakfast, slow-cookers, meat/seafood, desserts and soups + stews (though again, there were responses for every category). But you know what came in a close second? How-to’s. And I couldn’t agree more that how-to’s are extremely valuable, especially if you’re new to a healthy lifestyle. So I’ll work on more how-to posts as well as some how-to videos for the future! Exciting stuff!

How often would you like to be notified of new posts?

This answer was definitely skewed in favor of once a week (versus daily)….in about a 70/30 split. But for those of you who do want to be notified immediately when new recipes/posts go live, I highly recommend following me on Bloglovin or Feedly. You can follow all your favorite bloggers and get sent one daily update.

Are you interested in travel posts and specifically smaller, city/regional guides with recommendations on where to eat?

Woohoo – you guys are travelers like me! Now, I’ll be honest. After I launched Roaming Free I had planned to offer smaller ebooks on cities/regions that I’ve lived in for a month or more (i.e. – Sydney, Chiang Mai, Bali). But here was the dilemma with that. Restaurants come and go fairly often…and I was worried about updating ebooks all the time, to keep the content accurate.

So now, instead of providing this info to you via an ebook for purchase – I’m gonna give it to you for free in blog posts! Yay! I’ve got copious notes from my extensive travels last year…so keep your eyes peeled for several “where to eat” type posts in the very near future.

And in terms of future travel – you’re definitely after my heart. Rome was the number one location, followed by Paris and London. Perhaps after I return from Portugal in May….I may need to head off to Europe for a few months (twist my arm, right?!).

What do you like most and/or least about Downshiftology?

I was blown away by your answers to this question. I guess I had no idea what to expect, which is why I left it open ended. But your kind words, praise, love and all-over encouragement gave me the warm-and-fuzzies for DAYS!

Here’s a few responses:

  • Thanks for being part of my health journey. My battle with autoimmune diseases left me thinking I was crazy for a long time and now know I am not alone. I feel like I am part of an awesome movement!
  • I like your clean recipes and reading your stories about your adventures.
  • Your recipes and photographs are beautiful. You have some of the best food photography on the web. I also love that you live in SoCal, as most of your produce translates to the SF farmers markets near me. Additionally, I love the zen and inspiration you provide in your recipe posts. From traveling the world to transitioning out of the corporate world and creating your own business, you’re an inspiration!
  • What I love the most = the high quality writing, photography, and genuine nature present in each post.
  • Your honest approach to a well balanced lifestyle.
  • How your personality shines through your posts. Love the recipes too!

Your answers were anonymous so I can’t thank you individually for your kindness – but just know that your positivity has had an enormous impact on me. I’m sending big virtual hugs all around! 

What I’ve realized in the last year is that Downshiftology has become SO MUCH more than a place for clean, healthy recipes and posts on wellness, lifestyle and travel. It’s become a community. A community of amazingly supportive women who beam out positivity and spread kindness. And it makes my heart beyond full. So I’ll say it again (and again!) – I’m so thankful you’re all here and found me on the interwebs.

There’s lots of great stuff in store for Downshiftology in 2016 – make a green smoothie and hang around for a while! xo

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