The Freckled Italian Reader Survey: A Response

Two weeks ago, I shared a link to a reader survey and I spent a lot of time with your answers. I responded in part with this post, but wanted to share a bit about what I learned from what you all had to say about my blog. It felt odd to gather your input and then not share what I was doing with it, so in the spirit of transparency and in an effort to do better, I'm writing this now.

First of all, I want to thank every one of you who took the time to answer and give me your feedback. My readers are so important to me and I really care about your thoughts and opinions. In general, the survey results reflected mostly sweet, reassuring, and positive responses about my writing, recipes, and personality; but there were definitely some negative reviews--mostly about the number of sponsored posts I've taken on in the past months.

I'm not someone who seeks out constructive criticism and then gets their feelings hurt about it, so I found a ton of value in the negative comments. My plans and goals for the next year have been strongly influenced by the things you didn't like in 2014. So here's where I am now: I hear you. But I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Blogging is fun, I think I'm good at it, it makes me happy, and I'm finally at the point where I'm earning enough money that I feel self-employed.

I want you to know that even though I take on a lot at times, I often do say no to things--there are plenty of brands out there that wouldn't be a great fit for Freckled Italian and I turn those down. But I will admit that this year, as my earnings grew, I got more and more ambitious about what was next. Ambition can be good and bad, of course, and now I'm ready to take a step back and do some reevaluating.

I will continue to work with brands because it's part of what I do, but in 2015, I will absolutely be taking on less sponsors and focusing on getting back to writing--getting back to the things you used to love about Freckled Italian. People also said they miss the once more frequent personal posts, and would like to see more things about marriage, friendship, and family. I would like to see that too, and sharing more from the heart is my main goal for 2015.

So what can you expect from Freckled Italian in the new year? Openness and much more writing. More photos, food, and entertaining. Exciting brand collaborations. More recipes and personal style posts. A YouTube channel. Hopefully some fun trips. And maybe a dog!

Thank you so much for reading this blog. It truly means the world to me and I have nothing but love for all of you.