The State of the Blog: 2017 Survey Results, Naps, and What to Expect


Love this Scandinavian workspace makeover with white open shelves, plenty of storage for craft supplies, and a gorgeous DIY copper inspiration board.

WOW, thank you, THANK YOU for your survey feedback. I was overwhelmed by all the positive things you had to say, and by the fact that any of you even took the survey. It means more than I can say that so many of you are following along, coming back for more, and invested enough to take time for this little bloggy. You make blogging fun and I’m internet hugging you all so hard right now.

Ok, let’s dive into the 2017 survey results! I’m nerding out over all your answers. We bloggers like our stats. Like, 64% of you read Idle Hands Awake mostly on a desktop/laptop, which is how I prefer to read blogs too. And 40% of you have been reading for 1-2 years! That makes my heart so happy. But I don’t want to bog you down with all the little details — let’s talk about what YOU like and how it affects the future of the blog. (Spoiler alert: you like DIYs. I like DIYs. There will be more DIYs).

What You Like:

Favorite types of posts.

Wait, you like DIYs? Whaaaat? So obviously this is not a surprise. I LOVE that you are as into DIY as I am!

And, I see that you want more interior design posts. Well I love interior design too so YES! This is happening.

What You Want to Improve:

More regular posts.

Almost all of you said that you would like to see a more regular publishing schedule. I am 1000% with you on this. Consistency has been my struggle from the beginning due to my collection of chronic illnesses. It’s always been super frustrating to be bad at deadlines and leave work unfinished.

BUT — knocking on all the wood in my vicinity to avoid angering the health gods — I’ve had a LOT of improvement in the last year and seem to be getting healthier exponentially. Yay! For me this obviously means feeling better and doing more (can’t tell you how good that is to say out loud), and for you this means: more blog posts, more regularly! To start I am committing to one post a week on alternating Tuesdays and Fridays, with extra posts in between as I can manage. I know, that’s not much, but I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver while I continue to work on stamina and “well-time” management. Can we make it a date?

Bring back Make it Friday.

Done and done! I missed this series too so I am happy to resurrect it.

In roundups, feature more projects that aren’t in all the other roundups.

This request totally makes sense to me. We all want to see new ideas! Unfortunately this is much harder than it looks. There are thousands of blogs posting thousands of roundups, and all of us are trying to curate the best and most beautiful projects. I also know that you all like modern ideas and gorgeous imagery just as much as I do, which limits the selection.

A lot more time goes into roundups than you might expect — I scour Pinterest, Craftgawker, Instagram, and more and save links constantly. It’s a hard job but I am willing to sacrifice myself just for you. 😉 In all seriousness, I wanted to let this commenter know that I agree with you and will try harder to bring you those undiscovered project ideas (while also balancing this with the need to sometimes not live online). xoxo

Your answers to my questions:

What keeps you from making DIYs and what’s your struggle with creativity?

The overwhelming issue is TIME. Oh man do we all need more hours in the day. I’ll try to help you out with some tips for making time for DIY in a future post.

Would you be interested in a weekly/monthly newsletter?

60% of you said “yes!” I am working on this, it’s actually my number one blog goal for this year. Trying very hard to be more official if you can’t tell. Stay tuned!

Why do you read the blog?

Wow, you guys really know how to make a girl feel special. These answers are soooo kind and happy and make the occasional I’m-doing-too-many-things-at-once feels worth it. Thank you!

What level DIYer are you?

So much more diverse than I expected, I love it! I will keep developing projects to satisfy all of these skill levels. Soon you’ll also be able to sort my project gallery by difficulty level! In the meantime, if  you’ve never DIYed but you want to, might I suggest trying out these basic crafting skills?

What do you wish you could do in your free time?

The repeating theme: naps. You are a sleep-deprived bunch. Me too, oh, me too.

I LOVE learning about your gut-answer passions. Making teddy bears! That is an awesome goal. This answer was super fun for me because I love seeing people light up about things. It was impossible to fit all of the answers in here but these ones really made me smile.

My answers to your questions:

How do you come back with original ideas every time? Do you ever feel like you have seen too much Pinterest and now you cannot think of something original on your own?

That is such a good question! I find that the more you practice coming up with ideas, the easier it gets. Sometimes Pinterest can get overwhelming because it seems like EVERYTHING’S BEEN DONE BEFORE. But, I like to view this as a challenge to come up with a new way to combine materials or ideas.

For example, I really wanted to do a pumpkin DIY in the fall but literally EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO PUMPKINS. I could have just rehashed something that had already been done: color-blocked pumpkins, marbled pumpkins, pressed flower pumpkins, etc. Instead I kept mulling it over casually in the back of my mind and eventually realized that I hadn’t seen a winking eye pumpkin. The pattern idea was not original, but I used it in a different way and loved the result.

What is your all time favorite plant? Or your top 3.

Don’t make me choose!!! Ok craft-knife to my throat, I’d have to say: rex begonia vine (Cissus discolor), hart’s tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium), and Tillandsia xerographica. Of course I’d really just prefer if my home looked like this.

P.S. My xerographica died of overwatering a few months ago, RIP lovely Ruby!

What is your biggest struggle with your blog?

It’s a tie between trying to grow my social media accounts (SO HARD!), and having to let blog post ideas go because there are just not enough hours in the day to make all the things happen.

What do you do for work outside blogging?

I laugh every time I say this: I’m a part-time receptionist at a cat-only veterinary clinic. I was definitely a cat lady before this job, but working there has pushed me over the edge into full-on crazy. It’s SUCH a fun job and I get to leave it at work, too. Check out the challenges I have to deal with.

What would you say is the most important thing to make a successful blog?

Still trying to figure this out! 😉 But I’d have to say: good photography, blogging about something you’re passionate about, and a willingness to work your creative little butt off.

How many cats would be too many? Asking for a friend.

I’d prefer not to answer because some people might consider it hoarding.


Phew, that was a novel! Thank you again SO much for taking the survey, and for reading Idle Hands Awake! Coming up next week I’m sharing the first DIY project from the entryway makeover, eeeek! What are you excited about for this weekend?

Author: Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake

Maker, baker, cat momma, total nerd, perpetually covered in glitter/sawdust/paint. Blogging DIY and design for modern creatives.

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