Responding to Your Reader Feedback

Thank you all SO much for taking the time to give me your feedback last week! I got lots of great insight into who you are and what you’re interested in. I want to respond to some of the feedback I got because I think the comments raised some interesting points that are worth addressing!

The Gold Hive Ashley Goldman Blogger Old House-38-2.jpg

note that I’m truncating some of the comments for clarity and brevity.

Comments that surprised me:

“One thing I'd love to see you bring back is the artist highlights. I haven't seen many other bloggers doing that, and I loved your choices.”

I got a handful of people requesting more talk about art and artists. I’ve done this in the past and got very little responses to it. I’ll try incorporating more! Let this be a lesson that if you don’t comment on posts, I get the impression you aren’t interested and might do less of them. So comment on your blog posts to tell your favorite bloggers that you appreciate what they’re sharing!

“I don't really watch any videos. Reading the posts suites me better.”

I got A LOT of people saying they simply don’t like videos by anyone. Like, at all. No matter the content, the length, the style, the quality, or who’s in it. It’s admittedly a bummer because I really like making videos and work really hard to make them interesting, well-produced, and respectful of your time. Some of my blog posts are all about the video, so if you skip it, you’re missin’ out. If you wanna give my videos a try, I’d love it. But I get it if they don’t work with your schedule/lifestyle! I’ll keep making them for me, and for the people that say they love them!

“I’d really enjoy more cooking, baking, etc.”

I was surprised by how many of you checked the box saying you’d like to see me share recipes. I’m by no means a great cook or baker, but I do love to eat. Also, how we purchase, store, and consume our food plays a major role in climate change, so this is always on my mind. I’ll find ways to incorporate recipes without coming off like I’m pretending to be a food blogger.

Comments that conflicted with others:

“I don’t live in San Diego so I’d like posts that are more accessible for my climate and region.”

“I want more San Diego recommendations!”

I want to be informative and helpful for lots of folks, I do! However, I do best sharing my own experiences and I hope you’ll turn to other bloggers for tips on how to live in the cold climates or for gardening tips. I don’t want to pretend to know things I don’t!

“I love that you care about the environment and you share ways we can improve without being preachy.”

“I care about the environment, too, but you’re too preachy and condescending about it.”

I’m passionate about our environment and our communities, so being preachy doesn’t really bother me. But I do want to be mindful to share environmental tips that tie into my niche without overwhelming you with environmental concerns. So I encourage you to follow the folks that are solely focused on activism/zero waste/environmentalist/social justice. Two of my favorites that cover these topics in an accessible and thoughtful way are Polly Barks and The Mirror.

“I appreciate that you aren’t telling me to buy a bunch of stuff all the time.”

“I’d like to know which brands you recommend. It’s overwhelming to navigate which ones to trust.”

I definitely love recommending the products I love - like, really love. But I also don’t want to promote senseless consumerism. I try to always balance this and stick to recommending the things I’d buy myself. You can always shop the house to find the things I own and enjoy.

Comments I want to address:

“I like casually following on social media knowing that if I ever did want to dive deeper, that the blog is here to provide that.”

YES! Thank you for this. The blog is the heart of The Gold Hive! is where I focus on sharing the lengthy descriptions of what’s happening, the informative how-to guides, the shoppable links for all the products in my home, and where I link to all of the extra resources. Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify, etc. are all ways direct people to the blog. They’re fun and great ways to connect with you, but the blog is where it’s at. I share a lot on Instagram, but it’s simply hard to type novel-length sagas and tutorials with my two human thumbs. So, please come to the blog when you have grand questions that you want a thoughtful answer to! I always respond to every comment on the blog, so come here if you want the nitty gritty.

“I love your outlook. You don’t claim to be an expert but have great ideas and present them on a level that is relatable, encouraging, satisfying.”

Thanks! I want to be clear that I’m definitely not an expert. I’m entirely self-taught and I’m learning as I go. I’ve been asked to share more, like, how to install a deck, for example. But I said I won’t because I simply don’t have the know-how to give you a thoughtful and informed tutorial - at least for now. But I will take you along the journey as I retrofitted my old deck to accommodate a new door!

“I wish there were more intermittent house project posts and not just the about to start a project and totally finished project posts. But I think part of that is that you haven't had a lot of projects going on lately as you've been trying to get the kitchen underway, so it may just be that I'm missing those?”

I get this! This past year has definitely had fewer hands-on DIY projects than in years past. I’ve been traveling a lot, planning for future renovations, and shifting some things with work and on the blog. However, I’m all for sharing the process! I hope you don’t think of me as someone that only shares before and afters because that’s not my jam. If you haven’t already checked them out, I encourage you to take a look at the journey and DIY tutorials of making over my den, my home office, my master bedroom, my bathroom, my curb appeal, and my kitchen. I get into the nitty gritty on each of those.

“I love your random tips like your adventures with mosquitos and the fig beetle bugs. I also randomly saw your bee watering dish and looked into it and made one that weekend.”

I’ve been enjoying sharing these on Instagram Stories! I enjoy watching my favorite bloggers do simple things around the house like swap out their garden beds or try a new curtain or rearrange their kitchen. They aren’t groundbreaking ideas, I know! But I feel connected to these bloggers and enjoy seeing a little more into their life. The tips are also so easy to apply like a bee watering station! I enjoy doing these too because SO many of you seem to like these semi-random stories and quick tips or experiences, as well. I got thousands of messages overnight about my figeater beetle saga! It’s nice knowing you’re all invested in the weird things happening at my house. Keep messaging and commenting so I know you enjoy these oddities! Or don’t comment so I get the hint and I’ll cool it.

“My favourite thing about your blog is how you fearlessly tackle traditionally male activities and kick ass at them! I also appreciate how it seems like the content is driven by what's going on in your home/life, not what is the biggest trend in the blogosphere. It means your content is much more original and interesting than many other people's.”

A big goal of my blog is to empower women to take on projects that may otherwise be seen as a job for a dude. I take pride in being able to do a lot on my own and hope other folks out there feel empowered to take ownership of their spaces even if they may not fit the image of who’s expected to be doing the work. Even if you can’t apply my renovations to your own home, I hope you walk away feeling inspired.

“Please post more often!”

When I asked for things to improve on, I got a lot of requests for more frequent and more consistent posts. I agree I need to work on this. I appreciate hearing it from you - I’m on it!

“I’d like to see more into your process and how you make choices.”

Funny, I wrote a blog post all about this the same day this comment came in. Check it out here!

“You include a lot of links in your Weekly Roundup and I get that you want me to click. But it would be nice if you just included the photo of what you’re talking about. I’m too lazy to click.”

“It takes too much work for me to go to the Shop the House page of the blog. Can you write the sources of everything in each of your Instagram captions?”

These comments kind of hurt. I spend a ton of time making resources easy for you to find. Yes, it may take you two clicks to get there. But it takes me hours to respond to everyone with links as if I’m a robot. I’m happy to help you and I love interacting with you all. But the “I’m too lazy to….” comments are kinda rude and not very respectful of the time I spend creating FREE content for everyone. You’re welcome to not click the links or not subscribe to the posts, it’s all your call! Please remember everything you get from me is FREE. I’m also trying to be as helpful as can be. If I tell you the table is from Rejuvenation, that doesn’t help you - wouldn’t you rather have the link to the exact table? Right? That’s why it’s all linked on the Shop The House page instead of listed in every. single. caption.

Comments that made me chuckle:

“I love realistic projects (except for your mural)”

ha! yeah, that one wasn’t too accessible, but I did share the DIY if you wanna do it yourself!

“You’re such positive person.”

ha! I think I need to find a better way to demonstrate that I’m such a pessimist and a cynic. I try to make The Gold Hive inclusive, so I aim to not mock people or designs. But I wonder if I’m not presenting my Negative Nancy side enough! Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the nice comments you all say about how much I care about other humans, cats, and our world - so thank you for that!

“I like having internet friends (it soothes my awkward introvert heart)”

ha! I got so many messages from fellow introverts with the same sentiment. I always want to respond with “Introverts unite!” but obviously we’d rather stay by ourselves. So, let’s not unite but do keep the community alive by sharing in our introverted-ness. You know, Instagram is a social network but it doesn’t just need to be you and me chatting. You can comment on other people’s comments and make an internet buddy, too!

“I love how varied your content is. I never know what you are going to be talking about next.”

ha! I wish I knew, too! I’m sometimes just making it up as I go!

Thank you all again SO much for giving me the feedback! I only shared a teeny tiny snippet of your feedback here - I’m still digesting everything you shared!

Here are some links if you’re keen on more. Want to subscribe to get posts in your email, or watch my YouTube videos, or listen to my tunes on Spotify, or be inspired with me on Pinterest, or see what I’m up to on the daily on Instagram? If you want to support me, click here. Want to learn more about sustainability, art, animal fostering, Weekly Roundups, cleaning, gift guides, organization, gardening, or just want to browse my latest blog posts? You can also search for anything on the blog to find old posts from yesteryear.

Thanks again!