Happy New Year!!! A big thank you for being a subscriber – it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding without you! I was delighted that so many participated in the year end survey (360 responses!). The survey results will give me guidance going into 2017.
Generally it seems like I’m on the right track. I received all sorts of comments and suggestions, many of which I am still reading through. Many of the results are what I’d expected (based on earlier feedback from readers) but there were a few surprises too. So let’s have a look at the survey results.
First I asked you to rate each of nine blog categories on a scale of 1-5 (1 being not interested, 5 being must read). The most surprising (and gratifying!) was the overwhelming number of 5s given to my own work – progression and videos.
I was surprised that so many of you liked the ‘Tools of The Trade’ category – it seems I should do more blogs there. A few people suggested Book Reviews too so I’ll be looking into that as well.
I was also startled that there is so much interest in the ‘Business of Art’ (I had expected the graph to start high at the 1s and taper off as it moved to the 5s when in fact it’s the opposite way around.)
Take a look:
I asked, “Is there anything I write about that you’d like to see more of?” (203 responses) and “What topic am I not writing about that you’d like to see me cover?” (188 responses) LOTS of ideas here – I’ll never run out of blog ideas that’s for sure!
I then asked: “What do you value most about the blog? What’s the main thing that keeps you coming back?” (204 responses) I asked this so I could find out in a more general way, why you subscribe to my blog. The answers are very gratifying and will motivate me on those slow slog days!! The same goes for all the various answers (206 of them) to “What do you see as my strengths?”
92% liked the frequency of the blog
56% liked the Tuesday publishing schedule (I try to stick to that, I really do! But sometimes, like this one, well, it doesn’t quite get done that day… One person said “Whenever it works for you Gail” – thanks!)
80% said you opened the email because it came from HowToPastel (that oh so made me beam!!)
34% read the blog on tablet, 34% on laptop. Only 9% read it on smartphone.
More than 50% like to read the blog in the morning:
It was interesting to see the length of time readers have been subscribers. The purple slice, ie, subscribers from Day 1, represents only 1.9%!
I wasn’t surprised that 86% of my subscribers are female and delighted that as many as 14% are male.
I also wasn’t surprised that the main age group is 61-80 with 67% of you fitting this group. 28% are in the 45-60 age group. (There are no subscribers under 30 on my blog!)
When it came to interests, art workshops and reading were tops with cooking, travel, and the environment coming in second.
71% enjoy using Facebook – way and above everything else. Pinterest was second at 32.5% and third was Instagram at 16.5%.
I asked about general artistic level, years using pastels, and level of proficiency with pastels. I was actually surprised by the answers as I thought there were a greater number of beginners among my readers.
When I posed the question, “Why do you use pastels?” most chose ‘colours’ or ‘combination of drawing and painting’. A number of people also chose ‘Other’ and it was interesting to read what these were. Mostly, it was the great enthusiasm for pastels that came through. Here’s an example: “I am so crazy for pastels!!!!!!!!!!! Color, texture, definitely wild about them.”
58% of you said it was Very Important for you to create. There were many reasons given, most of them moving to me. For example:
Takes me to my quiet peaceful place, restores my spirit, lets me capture the landscape which I fear we may lose in light of current state of affairs in the world
It’s the clearest expression of myself ….so very personal
It’s as natural as breathing and as calming and centreing as meditation. (There were many comments about creating being like meditation.)
It is in my blood and soul and heart and pulse.
I then asked a series of questions about my upcoming online courses – both the Beginners Course – Pastels 101 that I’m still editing, and some ideas for others.
For Pastels 101, 82% were interested in the self-study plan, 15% in the VIP level, and the remaining 3% in the one-on-one coaching level. That’s about the numbers I expected and hoped for.
In answer to the idea of a Live Bootcamp – All About Values, here were the responses:
When I asked if the topic was done as pre-recorded videos and presented in three options (similar to the Pastels 101 course) rather than live, the answer changed fairly significantly.
I had a bit of a surprise when I asked about the preferred length of a course:
There was LOTS of great feedback on the type of things to cover in courses. I will be reviewing that section carefully!!
When I asked about the idea of a membership site, the answers looked like this:
There were tons of ideas about what might be included in a membership – hugely helpful and again, lots for me to digest! When I posed the question as to what might be a monthly charge (in US$), most answers sat between $10 and $20. I was surprised though to see quite a few that suggested quite a bit more.
And then there are the testimonials, so many and such lovely things said, I blush. The warm outpouring wrapped me up and spun me smiling into the universe – know that feeling? Nothing quite like it. One could be cynical and say it’s the result of a good ego stroke but as artists our egos are often fragile and a sweet boost can accelerate and motivate us. I shall be taking time to read and savour each one.
A couple things related to the survey results:
If you are waiting to get into HowToPastel FB group (ie. you have already made a request to join and it says”pending”) please send me an email. There are currently 663 people waiting to get in. I screen requests as I know there are a lot of spammers out there but it takes a long time. If I have your name, I can quickly make sure I accept you.
Almost forgot to announce the three WINNERS!! Each has won a small pastel I did during the 31 in 31 challenge. I went to random.org to generate random numbers for the winners so it would be totally fair.
And here they are:
~ Tiffany Lane
~ Chris Williams
~ Debra Shapiro
One of my New Year resolutions (actually the only one I’ve made) is to be in my studio more this year.
Last year I spent a LOT of time at my computer – working on my blog, editing my upcoming beginners course, spending time in the HowToPastel Facebook group, plus answering emails and all the usual online stuff we all need to take care of. All well and good but somehow, I seemed to be working at my own art less. Not good! (Thank heavens for the 31 paintings in 31 days challenge we did last October!)
I have a big painting project to work on this January that I’m pretty excited about. (Can’t tell you what it is yet, sorry!) But it means giving up something to make some time for it. So what I’ve decided is I’ll need to blog less this month which includes skipping the monthly picks for December. I know, I can hear you moaning, but that post usually takes me about three days to create (never mind the time that goes into collecting images over the month). So I ask for your understanding. And know, the round-up will be back in February!! I do have a super guest lined up for mid-January so look out for that.
That’s all for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the survey results.
Thank you always for being here on this pastel journey.
Until next time,