FAQ The Blog

2013 Making it Lovely Reader Survey

Thank you, everyone, for taking my 2013 reader survey recently. Below are the results. I would have had this information to share with you much sooner had I not insisted on attempting to make the charts and graphs pretty. (Silly me, trying to make it lovely.)

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Survey Results

I asked several questions about posting frequency, blog reading habits, and about your feelings on sponsored posts. I’m glad to see that so many of you are supportive, long-time readers — I really appreciate that.

Making it Lovely 2013 Reader Survey Results

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Why do you read Making it Lovely?

  • “I love your style , pretty and feminine- but somehow there’s an edge to it. Also I enjoy your writing style- its smart and to the point- with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Your level of transparency seems perfectly balanced to me, I know enough about you to understand your point of view- yet you are not living your entire life on your blog. I am also a young(ish) mother of two perfect darlings that rock my world and I just wanted to say from one momma to another that I think you do a really wonderful job of acknowledging and honoring motherhood, while still making plenty of thoughtful conversation about other things. I feel as though so many blogs are JUST about mothering or they’re about interior design exclusively and their children are just another prop to style. You are a rare gem, indeed. Cheers to your anniversary, dear! “

  • “I like your aesthetic, but also feel like yours is a more “grounded” blog — sometimes when I read a lot of blogs I get the feeling that I need to buy all of the things. I generally don’t have that feeling from reading yours — I get ideas, inspiration, etc. but don’t feel like if I only changed everything in my home/wardrobe I would be better. Hope that makes sense. “

  • “I’m inspired by your decorating posts. Whether or not we have the same style doesn’t really matter. I like to see the things you put together and try to think about how I might do something similar in my own home, with my own twist. That’s why I like “Making it Yours” so much. Of all the design blogs I follow, you’re the only one doing that. I love seeing how the same item can seem so different when accessories are switched. “

  • “I love your tone and the pictures you take are great. I also like that you seem down to earth and honest. You have a realistic price point for most of the stuff you share and you are able to mix the high with the low in such a fabulous manner. Your kids are adorable and it is fun to see them growing up plus you are from the Midwest, where I am originally from. “

  • “You grabbed me with the pink living room, held on tight with the Madeline Wienrib rug, and cinched the deal with the refreshing quirky personality. I return again and again to read your words and to be inspired that smart is cool and individuality is cooler, and that anyone can have a beautiful home that expresses their passions. (And not just the designers, though I do love them too :) “

What are a few of your favorite blogs?

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Looks like you love seeing photos of my home, makeovers for readers, and DIY projects, and you’d like to see those topics more often.


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Are there any other features or topics you'd like to see more of on Making it Lovely?

  • “I love hearing about products, services, apps, screen savers (I still have that flip clock screensaver on my iMac), etc. that you’re using. I know it’s hard to walk the line between a casual ‘I’m loving this’ post and an endorsement, but I really love hearing about the things you’re loving, using, crushing over, etc. And I miss your font crush posts!”

  • “I live in Chicago, close to Oak Park and I’d love to see more posted on neighborhood. I think it’s charming.”

  • “More before and afters. Remind us of your space, keep us in the loop about what has changed. Show the evolution of your style. Take more photos yourself (fewer mood boards and things pulled from the net).”

  • “I like posts that give me the feeling of going shopping with you– explaining how you select different items, why you reject others, how you think they work together. That can be accomplished with actual make-overs/purchases/projects (in either fashion or home stuff) but also with mood boards.”

  • “I’d love to see periodic photography tips and tricks. I know you say you’re still learning, but we can learn with you.”

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The average reader is a married woman between the ages of 25-34, a homeowner, well-educated, with young children.

Making it Lovely 2013 Reader Survey Results: Demographics

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Is there anything else you'd like to say?

  • “I’d just like to say that, a while back you wrote how you’ve decided to remain the only writer/contributor to your blog & I LOVE that! I meant to comment that on that post but I never did. I don’t know why I don’t comment. Perhaps it’s because I think there’s no possible way you read them all? Do you? If you do, I’m sorry I haven’t been commenting & encouraging you in that way. I super love your blog & think you’re an inspiring lady!”

  • “I follow way too many blogs. I need to clear out my reader. However, I think – without cheating – you are a former bookstore employee? I think you love books. Anyway, our daughters are similar in age and I think it would be a cool feature for you and Eleanor to review a children’s book every week/month. Maybe? Random thought.”

  • “I love reading your blog for many reasons. I certainly love looking at pictures/projects of your home, as I feel my style is similar. There are things I would love to do in my own house. I also really like your writing. I always find it positive and encouraging. You are a person who I would spend time with in life! Down-to-earth. I find you inspiring, and look forward to reading new posts every day. I find myself at a point in life where I can’t decide what I need to do next. I come to Making-it-Lovely because it makes me feel happy. A lot of your personal posts make me feel like I tackle things calmly. In my job I do some online work already, and I’d love to take it a bit further. I read your posts and feel better about taking on challenges. Anyway, I really love this blog. THANK YOU FOR WRITING IT.”

  • “You do a great job, and have a unique style. I hope the feedback doesn’t make you change things too much. Hats off to you for being able to support your family from this!”

  • “Keep up the good work. I’m proud of the decisions you’ve made and appreciate your candidness, and your ability to not pontificate on your life. Your blog isn’t so much ME! ME! ME! as so many are prone to be. It’s thought provoking and minimal, as if you trust your readers’ ability to think and form their own opinions. You give us something to think about without shoving it down our throats. Thank you. “

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  • rocklingal
    February 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Love your survey results-how did you you make data look cute?? My work surveys could use a little (o.k. a lot) of style!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      I’d been waiting for an excuse to buy the Chartwell font set since it came out last year, and I figured the survey results warranted its use!

      • Hannah Jade
        February 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        I knew it! I’ve been trying to justify Chartwell too, it’s so beautiful.

  • Lindsay Stephenson
    February 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine how long that took you to compose! I’m a bit in shock. Love the charts. :)

  • Krista
    February 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    You rock the graphs, girl! But seriously, this is fantastic information…must give you great satisfaction to have this level of understanding about your readers. Cool stuff!

  • jbhat
    February 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    So many nice comments and awesome ideas (and wow, all of that positive feedback must have you simply aglow!). The graphs are gorgeous. But Making it Lovely is the most gorgeous thing of all. You really do do such a good job here. One of my favorite blogs for sure.


  • katie
    February 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I am obsessed with survey results…so I am POURING over yours. Excuse me while my nerd is showing. You recapped it in such an amazing way. Way to go girl.

  • Dianita
    February 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Your charts’ colors match my living room color scheme… As always… Great taste!!

  • Holly
    February 26, 2013 at 5:25 am

    I’m fascinated by the results Nicole and the beautiful way you’ve pulled them all together in the pretty graphs and charts. What is really interesting to me is the amount of people who read who do not have a blog and who do not have children – really interesting. You’ve certainly got some very happy readers that’s for sure and you must be thrilled about that – keep up the great work.

    • Rachael
      February 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Yes! I thought this was so interesting, especially since most of the readers are married and in prime “child bearing” age.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      When I did the survey in 2010, 60% of my readers didn’t have children. Now 60% do.

  • amyks
    February 26, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Ha, you used my comment in your “why do you read Making it lovely”! :)

  • Charlotte @ Ciburbanity
    February 26, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I’ve been in the reading/ no commenting club, but love this insight! I figure I need more than 12 readers to generate some helpful information, so this is so interesting. I’m also in awe of your readers who check in to more than 100 blogs!! Wow… amazing how many inspiring and creative folks are out there. Such fun!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      If you read via a feed reader, it’s much easier to keep up with a bunch.

  • Andi @ Estella's Revenge
    February 26, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for this! I’m a relatively new reader of lifestyle and design blogs, but boy, I have caught the fever! I’ve been a book blogger for about 9 years, and I’ve found as time goes by I enjoy including more personal, cooking, decor, and other lifestyle-type posts. I have added a ton of blogs to my Google Reader today based on your poll. :D Thanks! Will be back.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      The blogs up there are great ones to check out!

  • Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    February 26, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Aah, worth the wait for such beautiful graphs.

    February 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

    This post is amazing! I love seeing these results & appreciate that you were so open in sharing the responses! PS- it was worth the wait because your graphs are lovely! ;)

  • Dana (bloom and inspire)
    February 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I am in love with the way you put your data sets together. You are making my mathematics undergrad degree and communications masters sing out in a very happy song. I love your blog! MORE OF EVERYTHING!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Ha, this post is geared right toward you!

  • Kates
    February 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I somehow missed the survey and didn’t get to take part but wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog. As a Midwest girl (Eastern Illinois/Iowa) I find your take on everything refreshing and yet very similar. Although our styles are completely different I love how your home is a reflection of who you (and your family) are and not as much the latest style trends. I read you through Google reader and I don’t get to see the design of your blog that often but as a designer your blog is very lovely looking. From a branding standpoint you have your personal brand nailed down and it reflects in your designs and your blog voice.
    Ps…I loved your graphs!

  • Vidya Sudarsan
    February 26, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Your data here is very interesting and the way you have put it together is just amazing! How do you do this every time? I remember beautiful visuals on another post of yours – how your blog became your full time job (?)

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Yes, I’ve been rocking the pie charts a little lately.

  • Lizzy
    February 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Nicole, just wanted to say thank to for keeping up a great blog. I’m from Oak Park and in my early twenties and have found a lot of design bloggers who are mothers to overload their blogs with Mom stuff, that I can’t relate to. You have a very good balance on your blog and it keeps me interested. It is inspiring to see how many amazing opportunities you’ve gotten because of this blog. Great job! I hope to run into you one day in Oak Park, as I’ve lived here my whole life!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      I’m out and about in the neighborhood fairly often. Please do say hi if you see me!

  • Julia [life on churchill]
    February 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    You are amazing! I’m wowed by the percentage of females (though it makes sense..) and I agree, you always write a good balance of personal/design.

  • Teri
    February 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I can’t remember if I took the survey or not, but I love the charts, and it amused me to realize I am your “average” reader. :) I have been a reader for years, and rarely comment. One of the times I did, you commented back and it was like hearing from the president. I thought, “Hell! I should have been wittier!” It is soooo lovely that you read our comments, and that you take so much time writing your posts. I have been secretly dreading the day you take on a bunch of contributors and it is no longer your thoughts we’re reading. It’s the “you-ness” that makes MakingitLovely so special!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      That’s funny! Yes, I read every comment, and I try to respond to anything with a specific question or anything that I feel I can add more to the conversation with.

      I did toy with having contributors, and I had Andrea writing DIY posts for a while. I loved her, but I’m happy with my decision to keep the blog free of other writers.

  • bianca
    February 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Interesting results. I love how your styled them, too :)

  • Brittany
    February 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    The results are well worth the wait when they’re this pretty!! I love graphs and charts (math nerd much?) and even more so when they look this good. Love the blog and can’t wait to see what’s next! Keep up the lovely work Nicole :)

  • olivia
    February 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    My first comment on your blog is just to say: Who wouldn’t want MORE posts?!! I want more of everything good! (Hence my boot collection.) So don’t listen to the “It’s just right” majority and post more, please!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      I try to post every day, and most weeks I do. I’d love to give more, and I do write an additional 5-6 posts a week for other sites, but at a certain point I have to turn off the computer!

  • Amanda
    February 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    I’m a chart nerd. This made my heart go pitter patter. I want to buy that font just so I can stare at it all day. Is that a good enough reason? Haha

  • Sam
    February 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I am one of those who have been reading for years but never leave comments and I think that says a lot about your blog. It’s not a community, I come for you, your voice and don’t really care about the comments here. I appreciate the balance you strike between sharing your style and sharing your life.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      That’s an interesting perspective. On one hand, I’m wondering if I am not fostering enough of a community, but then I am glad to connect with people through my voice. Thanks for commenting today; you’ve given me something to think about.

  • Bradley
    February 27, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Whoa! 0.75% male? I can’t say I’m shocked but… there must be another boy besides me who reads this blog! Keep up the great work!

  • Katy
    February 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Oh how my nerdy, graph loving heart just skipped a beat! I love the graphics you made and the colors. Fabulous. But then again I fit right into your main reader demographic so maybe I was just made to love it :)

  • Ashley
    February 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    This is AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing! So insightful!

    I included this post in my Links Loved // No. 7 series this week! I had to share!!! Thanks for being so honest about your readers and your blog. It’s people like you that help the little guys like me!

  • Pbblythe
    March 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

    What program do you use to create your data visualizations?

  • TieDye64
    March 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Your blog, more than any other, just makes my heart sing. You have such a lovely and intelligent writing style/point of view, and everything about your blog brings a smile to my face. xo

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