In a survey, readers spoke…I listened…and responded!

Pamela Lutrell on Over 50 Feeling 40

 

Happy New Year’s Eve, ladies, and thank you for joining me today…grab a hot beverage and let’s sit down and talk!

Earlier this week, I asked you to answer questions in a Reader Survey, and the response on the blog and in my email were so helpful.

I heard what you were saying and immediately got to work!   I am here to provide an encouraging, educational, and inspiring experience for you every day. 

WHAT DO THE READERS WANT?

There have been days I hold my head like this woman and wonder how to proceed in certain situations.  When I was blogging and working full-time during the day, I made quick decisions, without considerable forethought, due to lack of time.

That changed in July with my COVID layoff!

You are the major reason I am here and you always have been from Day One.  So, you should be a part of the process, and definitely got me thinking with your responses….

As far as content goes, here is what I will be doing as we enter into 2021:

  1. Fashion will continue to be the focus.  I love it (and have experienced) for it’s “transformative power.”  I have always loved what Stacy London writes in the Truth about Style, ” It’s not an overstatement to say that style teaches me over and over how to live in my skin. It helps me find courage and confidence and control when I have none.  While I was drawn to the world of fashion as a little girl because of its sparkle, I love the world of style now because I understand its transformative power.  Style isn’t something stagnant.  Like us, it is always in flux.”
  2. Other topics will be covered.  The majority like the “lifestyle magazine idea” of covering other topics…home, health, recipes, and inspiration.  I will continue to do this.  Someone remarked that by doing more than fashion, that I seemed unfocused.  I would have to disagree, because I actually feel more focused than ever before.  We are not one dimensional women…our lives include so much more than what we wear…and I want to continue to tell those stories and posts.  I am glad the majority like it. 
  3. Special Features will continue with limitations.  Several ladies like the Cultivating Elegance series, and the news roundups called News for Women of a Certain Age.  However, on those days the numbers of readers are lower than the other days.  Numbers are the way I see what you prefer.  Because these features do have a smaller following, I will do them occasionally but not every week.  
  4. Visiting stores will continue.  With my mask on and my hand sanitizer and using wisdom,  I will continue to go to our favorite retailers and show you what is on the racks.  You asked for it and I am happy to comply!
  5. Would You Wear It will go on!  This is the most popular feature by far and it will continue.  

 

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

I have really appreciated. your support and understanding as I work hard to turn this into a livelihood for me and Mr. B.  It is a fine line juggling act.

Please allow me to remind you that there is only one form of communication where NO ads exist…and that is sitting down and reading a good book…which I highly recommend.

All other forms of media are supported by advertising and are working daily to find that sweet spot between monetization and content. 

Many of you told me that it has been TOO MUCH! and I am so glad you brought up the elephant in the room.

We were all inundated with a highly contentious political advertising season that backed up to holiday advertising…that alone would make anyone weary!

In my exuberance to bring you some great options for sales and holiday gifts…I packed the blog too much.  I understand and you have been heard.

I believe packaging some ad content in a better way should help.

So, here is what I have done, and will do, as a result of listening to YOU:

  1. New Location for general shopping links.  Because so many of you wanted to have easy access to shopping links, I had been running those at the end of each post.  Now, I have worked with my web designer to create a separate page at the top of the blog.  If you are looking to support me through an online shopping trip, you can click at the top of the page on SHOPPING LINKS and find the retailer list.  I also have the link to GOLI and CHAMONIX skincare located there, which were also at the bottom of each post.  This takes away that cluttered look of all the links, but still makes them available. 
  2. Product Recommendations done differently. Instead of introducing new products I recommend within each post, I am going to have a blog post once or twice a month called RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS FOR WOMEN OVER 50.  There I will feature new products I am impressed with and believe you should know. I only become an affiliate advertiser for the products I believe are quality and of true service to the readers. 
  3. Sponsored Posts will continue.  I will continue to work with top brands to bring you important information and products when they desire to pay for the space.  Many of these sponsored posts are health related or from your favorite fashion brands…instead of being “put off” by the words sponsored posts, look at them as a way to learn about new methods, products and brands on the market.  They pay for that space as a company might pay for a full page advertisement in a magazine.  Of course you can turn that page or, even better, learn from it. 
  4. Ad Service will continue with modifications.  The ad service which monitors the ads that appear on the site is my primary form of income and will continue.  I am testing some modifications to reduce the amount and see how it affects my revenue. 
  5. I have joined the Shopstyle affiliate program.  Shopstyle offers you a very clean, functional way to shop on my blog with the slideshows and product links within the post.  I believe you will like the look and service better.  Most bloggers utilize this program.  Several remarked you like it when I curate slideshows, so I will bring those back on a regular basis.

So, you can see how Shopstyle works for you…I have put together this slideshow of new offerings at Talbots and Chico’s. You will see some of those new trends we discussed on Tuesday reflected in these looks…nautical, lighter colors!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer the survey…I really appreciate your encouragement and support.  So many of you said that you would not change a thing, but I think these improvements will make this daily experience for you a better one.  You guys are simply the best!

Have a joyous New Year’s Eve…and join me tomorrow for my take on 2021!!

KEEP SMILING!!

By Pamela Lutrell

Disclaimer:  Yes, there are affiliate links in this post, but the words are my own!

 

 

 

36 Comments

  1. You’ve certainly done a lot of work in a short time. I will continue to look forward to reading each day because you bring interesting content regardless of the subject matter. Your interaction with readers and concern for our interests sets you apart in a positive way. Looking forward to new beginnings as we enter a new year. Thank you for all that you do Pam!

  2. Today there is a very in-depth article on wardrobeoxygen.com about the job of blogging. Both Pam and Alison are very forthcoming . It is an attractive quality and I shall continue to read both blogs.

  3. I’m sure that all you do relative to your blog is very time-consuming. I especially enjoy reading your blog daily, and if I comment, you usually will respond. Having no idea how many followers you have, I’d guess it takes much time to do what you do. Thank you for being so conscientious about responding to our likes and dislikes, and trying to turn our thoughts into actions. Hoping that you and Mr. B, and all your followers have a much Happier New Year.

  4. Hi Pam, thank you for responding to the survey. I never mentioned ads in my comments bc it’s your income and business. Why would you do all this work for our benefit and enjoyment without compensation. So I get the ads, sponsorships and links. The objection I have on all the blogs I read, not just yours, is the pop up video ads that cover the content of the article/story/lesson. I mostly read the blogs on my iPhone and the pop ups take about 25-30% of the screen. If more than one occur at the same time it’s like trying to read through plantation shutters. 😣 It’s annoying, but not annoyance with you, I’m annoyed at the product. Right now there’s a stream of banners that includes jiffy lube, mattresses, Cox and netjet, none of them relate to fashion over 50. Oh well, such is the price of entertainment and enlightenment. 😊

    1. Hi Janet,
      I am so glad you are here…let me look closer at the mobile set up and if I can do anything to help it, I will. I appreciate you!

  5. Wow, you’ve been operating at warp speed to effect all these changes. Kudos to you and your web designer.

    I love the Shopstyle carousel you’ve added. Thanks!

  6. I agree, when I was working full time plus juggling two part time jobs, I didn’t dwell on decisions! What I’ve learned from being retired is that many of what I perceive as life changing quandaries are just simple decisions. Your blog has been an inspiration and a pleasure to read. I appreciate your effort putting it out there every single day. Happy New Year!

  7. Yay! I love your new game plan. I look forward to the revised direction. Your ads never bothered me, nor the shopping links. However, now that the links will be out of sight so to speak, maybe you could give gentle reminders when there is something not to be missed? Your blog is incredibly informative to me. Now that my children are grown and gone, I took a year to battle cancer after retiring and I never really took the time to reflect on the care of me. Thank you Pam

    1. You are so welcome, Donna. I hope you are cancer free and ready to live your best life now! Thank you for being here.

  8. I never realized how much effort went into your blog! This alone sounds like a full time job! Thank you for all your hard work this past year. Your content is amazing. I too love fashion, beauty products and lifestyle issues but I especially love your inspirational quotes. They have given me a sense of inner peace which I think contributes to a total sense of wellness. I wish you and your family a blessed and peaceful New Year.

    1. Thank you for being here, Donna. One of my goals last year when everything seemed to be crumbling around us was to give the readers a sense of joy, peace and thankfulness. I appreciate you sharing this. Blessings for 2021!

  9. I have enjoyed your blog for a number of years. I understand the time that goes into it as well as the aspect of generating income. What I appreciate the most is your “tone” in all of this. I don’t feel like I am bombarded to buy, buy, buy which is what I have felt with some other blogs. Your enjoyment of fashion and encouraging others is clear! Thank you!

  10. I just want you to know how much I enjoy your tips and look forward to reading them everyday. I am fairly new and wish you a very blessed new year.

  11. Sounds like a great plan going forward! Love this blog and can’t wait for your platform to grow, both to reward your hard work and to know more women will enjoy it. Among a few careers, I spent several years as a professional writer. It’s not an easy road, but it can be done. Most things that are worth it take time, some mistakes or false starts, and some reflection.

  12. Terrific idea to explain the why and wherefore of the blog world. There are some who cannot understand the reasoning for ads and you explained that perfectly. Going forward into another year of uncertainty will still hold chalanges and I look forward to your daily encouragements and fun ideas. A very Happy New Year to you and all those reading.

  13. I like your plan for 2021! It’s impossible to please everyone 100% of the time but your plan should make the majority of readers happy. I enjoy all the features mentioned even though some of them don’t reflect my lifestyle. Happy New Year, Pamela.

  14. Happy New Year, Pam! One of things I enjoy most about your blog is your positivity & genuine concern for your readers. Thank you for the work that you do. I am looking forward to moving into 2021 with you & the rest of your readers, who often provide me with inspiration as well.

    1. Thank you, Becky! I agree with you…the readers here are amazing! I wish we all could meet! Happy New Year!

  15. Wow! You have been busy! I love the way that you have listened and responded to the various concerns that we, the readers, expressed without compromising on areas that you feel are most important. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy balance to find. I already like the changes I see, especially the disappearance of the long list of links at the bottom of each post. Happy New Year, Pam!

  16. Hi Pam! Wishing you a wonderful 2021!

    Your response to the survey was quick-quick-quick. Which truly confirms that you appreciate your followers — thank you!

    Your blog is one of the many things I look forward to each day and I am certainly looking forward to being here in the new year.

    Cheers!!!

  17. Happy New Year Pam,
    We wish you the very best for the New Year. Looking forward to reading your blog each day again in the new year!
    I was one of the few I guess that really enjoyed your posts on elegance, I even gave each lady in our family a copy of one of the books you recommended as a gift for Christmas.

    1. I love to hear that Audrey…I really love those books. No worries, I will still be discussing elegance and will look for different ways to do it!
      Happy New Year!

  18. Pamela,
    One of the great features of your blog is that you try out new products and make recommendations. It is really a time saver, and money saver for me. It’s hard to know what is truth and what is hype when new products, especially anti-aging and beauty products, are introduced to the public. I appreciate that you can be our guinea pig and tell us what worked. Enjoy your blog and appreciate your dedication. No complaints from this reader.

    1. Thank you, Theresa! I am going to continue with products, and will put them in one post and see how that goes. Thanks for letting me know it is helpful.

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