~ So many of you took a moment from your busy days to give us great feedback, ideas and suggestions! We’re excited to get working on new ways to make Two Healthy Kitchens even BETTER … for you! Here’s what you told us … ~
You might remember that we kicked off 2016 by inviting you (our readers!) to help us reimagine a Two Healthy Kitchens that will meet your needs even better than ever before!
I don’t know about the rest of our team, but I can tell you that, as one of the founders of THK, I was a little scared – nervous about just putting myself out there, open to criticism and negative feedback. Sure, that’s what helps us all get better … but it’s still a terrifying prospect.
As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried!
Here’s what I want you to know, first and foremost:
So many of you responded, and you were incredibly decisive, clear and helpful.
And wow, guys – you were also really, really supportive and sweet.
Especially when it came to that no-holds-barred, say-anything-you-want, open-ended question: “What Do You Like Least About Two Healthy Kitchens?” (Oh wow, did that question terrify me!) I was genuinely surprised how many of you said things like,”There really isn’t anything I don’t like!” and, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice to share here…it’s just a great website.” That’s honestly how more than half of the responses went.
Oh, guys … your supportive comments made me feel, definitively, that I truly am on the right path. With Gretchen leaving THK, this has been a bit of a crossroads for me, and hearing such an overwhelming vote of confidence just couldn’t come at a better time. Thank you – I am officially dubbing you all The Most Awesome Readers Ever!
But aside from affirming that we really are getting some things right here at THK, another fantastic thing that came out of the survey is that there weren’t too many gray areas. You’re all pretty clear on what you’d like us to try for you in the future, and what new directions you’d like us to explore.
Since we absolutely appreciate and respect that you took the time to give us input, we truly wanted to reciprocate by taking the time to analyze the responses for you and let you know how it all turned out and where that will lead us next.
If you’re into pie charts and percentages, this is for you!
Check out just some of what you told us:
We weren’t surprised by this response. In fact, this is an issue that Gretchen and I wrestled with constantly, from the very earliest days of THK.
Especially with Gretchen’s master’s degree in nutrition, she could easily have calculated nutrition info manually – plus there are plenty of online calculators to use. But, for a whole host of reasons, we decided (over and over again) not to do that.
One big reason was that we generally don’t specify exact brands (although on some occasions we need to), so the final nutritional profile of a recipe can vary widely, depending on the purchasing decisions readers make. In the end, it could almost be a bit misleading to quote nutritional info, if readers make significantly different purchasing choices than we did in testing. For example, the final nutritional profile of our very simple recipe for 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos could vary tremendously (particularly, in this case, the sodium) depending on which taco seasoning and which salsa you purchase.
But … it seems we get more and more questions all the time about nutritional info, and with the results of our Reader Survey, we’re exploring how we may be able to offer nutrition information in a way that we can feel good about – that’s helpful and not potentially misleading.
Stay tuned …
Types of Posts: Nutrition Tips, Meal Planning, and Recipe Round-Ups
We asked if you’d like to see these types of posts, and the synopsis is: Yes, Yes, Yes!
- Healthy Cooking “Tips and Tricks” That Aren’t Specifically Recipes: 63% said you’d love to see these, and only 5.5% said you wouldn’t. Ok then! We’ll get on that!
- Posts About Meal Planning: 82% of you expressed interest in this type of post. (Already working on a plan for that, too!)
- Round-Up Posts with Collections of Recipes: Only 1.6% of you don’t like these kinds of posts … but the debate came in as to how frequently you like us to publish these. Although about 31% of you would like us to run round-ups every week, about 67% prefer to read them a bit less frequently, with the most votes coming in for about twice a month. So, we’ll definitely keep these coming, but try not to overwhelm you with too many, too often. Easy enough, guys!
Types of Recipes
Basically … you want it all. Which is totally ok – we can do that!
“Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinner Solutions” and “Slow Cooker Recipes” were the two categories that you were most interested in, but without a doubt, there is still huge interest in every kind of healthy recipe – from healthified copycat recipes (hey – did you see our Black Bean Soup recipe last week?), to healthy appetizers, snacks, breakfasts and desserts.
Basically, we heard: bring it on! So, while we’ll be sure to keep giving you easy dinners and plenty of slow cooker ideas, we’ll also make sure to offer plenty of variety, too!
Videos in Posts
There’s definitely a trend toward food bloggers including videos in at least some of their posts, and even starting their own YouTube channels (we even have our own tiny THK YouTube Channel now!). And while a lot of you seem really interested in videos, there are also enough of you who aren’t – telling us that this shouldn’t necessarily be our very first priority right now.
So we’ll absolutely keep working on our videos, making them better and more useful for you, as we have time, but we’ll keep in mind that you have some other, more important priorities for us first.
Frequency of Posts
If there was one gray area, this was it.
On one hand, the majority of you responded that you were pretty happy with us posting just once a week, and quite a few of you were even fine with us posting just every other week like we did for a couple of months at the end of last year. In fact, less than 4% of you said that you’d like us to post more often than once a week.
And yet, we received a number of specific responses to the open-ended “What Do You Like Least” question that said you wish we WOULD post more often.
Kinda inconclusive, huh?
So, we’ll keep testing the waters on this one … trying different combinations to try to find that sweet spot for you.
Personal Stories vs. Straight-Up Recipes
This is always a point of debate among food bloggers. Do readers like to feel a personal connection, or do they just want to get the recipe and move on?
Basically, the answer is: It depends.
Nearly 50% of you said, “Yes, I love reading (the personal stories) part of your posts!” And about another 45% said that you do sometimes read the personal stories, but sometimes just stop by for the recipe. So, it’s a divided field, but we weren’t surprised: that’s pretty typical with food blogs.
For most bloggers, the dedicated readers who subscribe to their newsletters and come back week after week to see what’s happening on the blog – well, those people like to know that there’s a real human behind each recipe, and a sense of connection is truly important. As one of you told us in our survey, “I follow quite a few blogs, and I like the unique voice each of them have.” We were also told, “Your site is honest, believable, and entertaining!” So, definitely – for some readers, that personal connection matters.
But, of course, lots of our visitors every day just happen to find us on Google or Pinterest, and pop by to check out a recipe. So for them, it’s much less important to feel that they know the people behind the food. And sometimes, even our most dedicated readers are just flying past to grab a recipe (because, after all, we’re all busy!). And that’s ok, too – we’re not offended! Just scroll to the bottom to find the recipe card … and keep moving through your day! When you have extra time to read, we’ll be here!
We also got some great suggestions peppered throughout your responses, about stories you’d like to see and recipe ideas. There were also a few comments about problems with site load times and site configuration – and I can assure you, we’re right there with you. As technology and web sites evolve, we’ll always keep trying to find ways to make our site more user-friendly and an overall better experience for you!
We’ve heard you. We appreciate you. We LOVE you!
The Most Awesome Readers Ever!
Thank you, thank you for taking the time to help guide us on the path ahead!
And now … I’ve sure got some work to do! 😀