Requesting TSLL Reader Input: An In-Depth Reader Survey for Upcoming Improvements

Aug 07, 2020

The online destination of The Simply Luxurious Life began with the founding of the blog in 2009, adding the podcast The Simple Sophisticate in 2014, the beginning of TSLL’s annual French Week in 2015, the premiere of the cooking show in 2018 and the beginning of TSLL’s annual British Week in 2019. The content of archived posts, episodes, and show notes tallies over 5,000 that are thematically organized for readers to explore as their curiosity prefers and continues to be updated.

Over the past 10 years, TSLL has in many ways evolved into an online magazine consistently publishing a minimum of three new articles and/or episodes each week for 51 weeks of every year (through 2019, five new posts were published each week) and offering a destination where more than tens of thousands of people from around the world regularly visit each month multiple times a week. It is in essence your online simply luxurious café or cozy bookshop where you can find the content you expect focused on sharing ideas to inspire you to live a life of quality over quantity, being assured that you will be able to relax and feel as though you are having a good chat with a friend who is dependable in always showing up for your time together.

In June I shared where TSLL blog and entire simply luxurious online destination would be heading as I made a few changes to shift my time for new projects both in the kitchen and for the next new book, as well and most importantly, more quality, in-depth content on the blog (post shared below). As the changes have been implemented this summer, it has confirmed I love connecting with you, TSLL readers, and I also value my privacy. Certainly a contradiction of priorities as someone who writes online; however, I want to take readers through my new home reveals in the coming months and years as they come together, but I also don’t want to invite the entire world into my home. I want to be more open and share more intimate conversations, but my need to feel safe doing so is also a priority.

TSLL Community is a gathering of an international group of people that have similar values for living well – tailoring our individual lives to tap into our unique talents, life values and the cultures we love and want to celebrate. I want to continue to provide a space for TSLL Community to come together, be inspired, and communicate with each other to find strength in our diversity as well as beauty in all that we have in common.

In order to share more openly with you – share with you my home, my life journey, my discoveries through travel and exploration, my dogs (you may have noticed I have removed many of my pics of the boys on IG), in the coming months TSLL will be designing a soft paywall that will ask for a small financial monthly/yearly subscription to view content (a definition of what a soft paywall is is shared at the end of this letter). The subscription will give readers unlimited access to all of the content on TSLL’s site AND be WITHOUT advertisements. The question is how much will the subscription be, and that is what you as readers will decide in this survey.

The one consistent piece of feedback I receive from readers is the request to remove the ads as they impede readability and site load-time. My response is always to explain that by placing ads on the blog, readers are provided a free reading experience while I am able to financially maintain the quality content and consistent production readers have come to expect when they visit. In an effort to be fully transparent, 95% of what I earn from ads and blog revenue is reïnvested back into the blog. From purchasing the books that inspire blog and podcast content, exploring products to experience first-hand before recommending them confidently to readers, paying for the monthly fees associated with website/podcast/newsletter hosting, investing in Inslee’s illustrations for the blog/podcast/books, traveling to France and Britain in order to experience first-hand the cultures that I and so many TSLL readers are fond of in order to inspire and inform readers of where and how they may want to travel, hiring a talented web design team who not only brings my vision to the screen but also maintains the site to make sure it continues to run smoothly, and lastly, as a self-published author, the upfront costs of working with a seasoned, objective editor who works in the publishing industry thereby enabling me to bring books to readers that I am proud to have written.

My question to you today, is what is TSLL’s content worth? If I were to remove all ads to improve the readability experience and enable more personalized, in-depth content to be shared, would you continue to frequent TSLL, and if so, what is your experience and the information you find here on a regular basis worth? 

In the survey below, I have shared 20 questions to best understand what you enjoy about TSLL and what your thoughts are on this topic of the upcoming soft paywall and removing ads for subscribers.

Your feedback is invaluable as the blog content is created for you, TSLL community. Please fill out the form by August 31st and remember you will only be able to submit once.

Thank you for your extended time (approximate time – 10 minutes), and thank you for your continued interest in living simply luxuriously.

Sincerely,

Shannon

~Explanation on what a soft paywall is: Each month readers who are not subscribed will be able to view only a small handful of posts (2-5), after which point they will be prompted to subscribe in order to read more.

~Note to TSLL’s Monthly Newsletter subscribers: The newsletter will continue to be a FREE newsletter arriving in your inboxes on the final Friday of every month.

~Note to current Ad-Free Subscribers: You will automatically be grandfathered in as a subscriber at the highest (best) tier at no additional cost.

Click Here to Begin the Survey