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Our 2022 FLOPS And Surprise Blog Post HITS (Wanna See If You Agree?)

Blogging/”Content Creation” is pretty akin to gambling. Some plays win BIG but if you play enough bad hands you just might lose your shirt. Luckily, all of our shirts are still firmly on our bodies but looking at the unexpected “wins” and “losses” of this past year is not only exciting but super informative! We never want to be a site that stops posting those fun, more random posts that connect us with all of you. Getting more eyes on posts is always the hope, and with some posts is the goal, but hanging out with you all every day is what drives us and has (IMHO) kept us here, still able to create. So let’s see what happened this year, shall we?

The Hits

How To Make Your House Warmer and Cozier When You Can’t Fix Your Insulation (+ Some Solid Renter Hacks)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp

I was so happy to see this on the “hit” list! It was all thanks to a guy that I went on a couple of dates with that was living in an apartment he was freezing in last winter. Who says dating is pointless?? Just kidding. He’s great and we actually became friends. The part of this post’s success that was a surprise was how much traffic it got. I thought it was a useful post because most, if not all, of my apartments have had bad insulation. What can I say I love old buildings which typically come with lots of pros but good insulation is not one of them. This clearly resonated and I hope made a difference for my freezing friends!

4 Women Honestly Review Gel-X Manicures (+ 21 Nail Art Ideas We Actually Tried)

Next up was definitely a “passion post”. I was three months into my Gel-X journey and all the EHD gals that were also doing it were equally as excited to show off their fun designs. I knew it wouldn’t be relatable to a lot of people but I know how desperate I always am to find new design inspiration which made me think others are too. So at first, the traffic was pretty low (“a miss” if you will). The EHD community didn’t care all that much (but if any of you listen to The Deep Dive podcast with June Diane Raphael and Jessica St. Clair, you much be changing your tune:)). But this baby was a sleeper hit and over time has accumulated A TON of views – mostly from Google. Fun fact: I often update the post with my new designs in case you want to check back in on it. I think for the holidays I’m going to dabble in some simple gems and I’m pretty excited about it.

Oh and Hot Tip! I was able to grow my nails with my gel extensions so now I no longer need them and instead use what’s called Gel Builder. I think it’s just a thick gel polish base that they put gel polish on top of to keep them from easily breaking. It’s also a little more affordable!

What We Did With Our Perfectly Usable Kitchen Cabinets And Appliances From The Farm

The shock we experienced when this post was a massive success was comical. We knew it would a little niche since it was about a business that’s only in Portland (so not super helpful if you lived anywhere else) but it’s important to all of us to promote companies that are making a wonderful difference in the world. Y’all this post got so much traffic which honestly made us feel really hopeful for the future. The way it resonated was so powerful and hopefully inspired people to look up similar businesses in their areas. And if you are in the PDX area you have to check out the ReBuilding Center. It’s wonderful and the people that work there are the best!

Unphotoshopped Women Honestly Review Summersalt’s 3 Bestselling Swimsuits

You might be asking why I was surprised that this post was a hit. These kinds of posts always do pretty well because seeing real bodies in varying sizes in clothing is always helpful. But y’all this wasn’t a normal “hit,” this was a STAR. Google was a huge factor in that because this was our #1 post for daaaysss. Also, while we all truly loved a least one of these suits each, the fact that they were all from only one brand made us wonder if the post would be as popular as our other swimsuit posts in years past. Well, it was beyond the previous year’s traffic and we are always so so grateful for your encouraging words. It shouldn’t be a big deal to simply wear a swimsuit on the internet (or even in public) but our societal body standards haven’t made it easy. So again, thank you<3

17 Incredibly Cool DIYs And IKEA HACKS That Will Make Your Home Feel Extra Special (All Levels Welcome)

DIY posts are usually a hit or miss. It just depends on what they are! I was a little worried about this one because a lot of the DIYs were pretty trend-forward which isn’t for everyone. I get that. But I am happy to report that minimally a lot of y’all were interested in at least looking. Phew. Plus, not to toot my own horn, but they were pretty cool:) More to come in 2023!

The Misses

Our Primary Bath Debates, Priorities, Layout Choices, And Storage Solutions…

This one was truly shocking. Process posts are usually super popular – especially when it comes to Emily’s projects. Honestly, maybe it was just the opening photo. Ha. Renovation process photos are hard because either there isn’t enough structure to make them compelling or there is but it gives too much away. Another thing to be aware of is that all of our photos must be a certain ratio size and always be horizontal. That may not seem hard but let me tell you it’s not, not hard.

Jess’ DIY Bench 2.0 – Her Solution To Her Ugly Electronics (Plus An Ask The Audience)

This traffic wasn’t “bad” but I expected it to be much better. Again, it’s process, it’s a DIY, and it’s personal. The blogging trifecta! But for whatever reason, it didn’t speak to a ton of you which is totally fine. I promise it won’t stop us:)

Also, a fun/tragic fact about the bench is that unless I want a cable running around my fireplace and turret…this cannot house my electronics hahaha. Someone (that someone is me) didn’t check which wall her internet was coming from. I don’t regret making this cabinet bench for one second but I will need to come up with another solution for my electronics…UGH.

Stylish Purses That Fit A Laptop  (+ One Accessory To Make Them Even Cuter)

A real swing and a miss but hopefully helped maybe a few of you. We try to think of pain points in our own lives and I was in search of a quality (and cute) purse that could hold my 16″ laptop. My beloved belt bag is useless in this department:) Maybe it was just too niche or not enough of a priority for people.

Painting The Farmhouse Exterior – Our Inspiration, Biggest Debates, And How Choosing Between White Paints Can Be Hilariously Maddening – Even For Me.

This one is even more baffling than the bathroom post! Exterior posts are usually super popular – especially exterior paint posts. It must be because painting the exterior of a house is SOOO intimidating because it’s pretty freaking expensive. I get that any help in that department is extremely appreciated. Can’t win ’em all!

15 Really Good Father’s Day Gift Ideas

photo by suraya barbee

With this one, I was also pretty stunned. It may or may not be a shock that a majority of our readers are not fathers. So posts like these are usually pretty popular since fathers are notorious for being impossible to shop for. But I guess this year or this post just didn’t pop. I still highly recommend looking at this post because they are great gifts that the dads in our lives truly love.

Storytime: I didn’t find out until after the fact that apparently, my dad wrote a father’s day post without telling m because he really loved writing the one he did the year prior. I didn’t ask him again because I didn’t want the team to feel pressured to say yes because he’s my dad. It’s understandably hard for me to be fully objective when it comes to him. So maybe if y’all want another Les Bunge father’s day gift guide in 2023 maybe I can persuade him:)

So those were all of our surprises! Are you surprised? Do you agree? If you get why some didn’t work we would love your opinion. But please never forget that we are people with real feelings so let’s keep the comments constructive<3

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: *Design by Sara Ruffin Costello | Styled by Velinda Hellen & Erik Kenneth Staalberg | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp for “The New Design Rules”

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Sarah
1 year ago

Yes please to Les 2023!

Lisa
1 year ago

Yes!!! All the Les we can get!!!

Kimberly
1 year ago

Yes, Les

Sarah
1 year ago

Yes to Les!!!!!

Clare
1 year ago

I’m surprised about the Jess’ DIY Bench 2.0 too! I loved that one!

Erin
1 year ago

Let’s hear from Les Bunge again!

Dena
1 year ago

I will binge Les Bunge anytime on the blog! So sweet!

Sasha
1 year ago

The primary bath and exterior paint blog titles are too long and quickbait-y to me, they didn’t sound like a process title. Personally, it turned me off before I even opened the blogs, and I opened the other Flops blogs when they came out.

Natalie
1 year ago
Reply to  Sasha

I agree that the super long titles are a big turnoff. I noticed this has become very common here this year, so I would love to know if there is a reason behind it beyond the obvious clickbait agenda. Still love the blog! I also really liked the Father’s Day post and would love another one from Les. 🙂

Donna
1 year ago
Reply to  Sasha

Agree. I thought this immediately before even reading Sasha’s comment.

1 year ago

How sweet that your dad wrote an unsolicited follow-up guide, Jess! I’d love to see it or another from him in 2023!

Kelly
1 year ago

The exterior paint link doesn’t work, just fyi. Surprised by a lot of these to be honest! And yes to Les!

Summer
1 year ago
Reply to  Kelly

Yes… I can’t find it even now trying to Google for it. Maybe that’s the issue with that one? Because, I’m honestly shocked it wasn’t a hit. Also the bench, bathroom process posts? I loved those! You guys do that sort of thing super well, and I always love hearing from the regulars on basically anything, but especially design process — big or small — that’s why I’m here! Also, personally love titles that give a real feel for the personality and mood behind the post. I am here checking the blog everyday, and when I see a title like that from one of the regulars, however long, I get excited. Mostly… you guys are doing amazing. No other blog comes even close to having such high quality content combined with such personability and vulnerability. I hope you can wrap up 2022 knowing that there are huge numbers of us who are extremely grateful that you are sharing what you are, and letting us follow along. Honestly, I regularly think of how hard and exhausting it must be for you, especially when people respond negatively. I don’t know how you do it… but I guess I just want to say… Read more »

Erin
1 year ago

Yes to Les! We need more Dads in our days 🙂

Summer
1 year ago
Reply to  Erin

Yes! It’s adds so much dimension when we get to feel connected to others in your lives. Even just hearing that Les wrote one is awesome. Love it when Caitlin mentions Brenda. Super enjoy posts from Brian too. 🙂

Renee
1 year ago

As I recall, the Father’s Day gift guide was filled with too many gifts out of my price range, and the exterior paint color blog was kinda boring because debating between shades of white, while being true-to-life, is just not as interesting. Loved the Bench one though so am surprised that it was a flop.

Kat
1 year ago

Yes please to another Les Bunge Father’s Day post!!

Amy
1 year ago

As we head into the new year, it would be good for EHD staff to know from the readers what they are most interested in, almost like a top 5 of subjects, so you can draw from what the majority of people want to see, then sprinkle in the niche stuff here and there. Perhaps brainstorm a list of 10-15 subjects and ask people to rank their top 5 in the comments. In addition, there are plenty of posts that introduce us to a subject but there is no follow up until a “big reveal”, which can take a year or more. I’d like to see some project update roundup posts that feature updates from each author telling us where they stand and what still needs to be done. For example, the pool Emily is putting in. There was a brief mention of it in a yard post, then we saw them digging a hole in the background of a video, but I’d like to hear more about the pool itself, how you sited it, will there be seating around it, a pool house, landscaping, etc. Another example is the River house – we got teased that it was being… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

I agree! I definitely forget about projects after they are introduced and not talked about for a while, and it makes it hard to follow sometimes.

Alice
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Agree on the River House–I was really excited to see posts on that and then radio silence. What gives?

1 year ago

Why I think posts missed:
*Sometimes there are so many gift posts around holidays, I’m not surprised one didn’t hit right. 
*Choosing between white paints is not always an exciting process–because it just looks white in the end.
*People in your audience probably don’t carry their laptops around often. 
*The bench is quite a small project, so I found it odd that this was just a process post. I would have preferred the project as a single blog post with a reveal and finished product.
*On the other hand, the bathroom post was a complicated project, and the different versions got a bit confusing and unrelatable for me.

Emma
1 year ago
Reply to  Heather

Yes I agree with Heather.
We want more Les .
I like the farmhouse reveal posts I want to see the kids bathroom, powder room, or any of the other farmhouse rooms.
I really think a week of gift guides are overwhelming. I understand it’s how the blog makes money but the last weeks were all gift guides.

I would love some thrift posts or more how to use vintage finds they are so much fun.
Also blue cabinet update!!

Amy
1 year ago
Reply to  Emma

Totally agree on all these points and also the person above who said the Father’s Day gift guide presents were all fairly outside my price range. Sometimes the gift guides in particular tilt a little “LA”, which is probably not most readers – not in terms of shops exactly, but price ranges for sure. More Les! More Brenda!

1 year ago

Another yes to Les in 2023! I loved the post he wrote last year, I thought it was full of great ideas and was fun to read too.

Colleen
1 year ago

I agree with others who miss the River House updates, and I also like process posts that have a conclusion. My favorite post may have been the one about the Farmhouse entryway. I am very interested to know what Emily ended up choosing, but I wonder how long we will have to wait to find out. That said, I understand how challenging it must be to post daily, and I am very grateful for all that I have learned over the years. I’ve decorated three different houses with the Emily team’s guidance, on the blog and in the books. Most recently I went with Artistic Taupe (the pinkish hue Emily used for the Farmhouse guest room) for my DIY master bathroom renovation, and love it!

I also love Jess’s design trend posts, like the green and red bedrooms one and the scalloped details one. And the Etsy shopping tips have been great as well. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Lisa
1 year ago

One thought: I subscribe to you via RSS, read almost every post, and I don’t think I ever SAW the post about Jess’s bench. So either there’s a tech glitch or the top image put me off? Or it was timed after a busy period in which posts build up unread?

Sheila
1 year ago

Interesting to see how different posts perform for you. I click and at least skim all design-related content. Fashion (especially if ruffles are involved), cosmetics, hair styling, not so much but it’s clear a lot of the audience is here for that so I understand why it’s here.

Heidi
1 year ago

I really enjoyed the bench post. It inspired me. I actually liked a lot of the “misses,” and I wonder if the purse post felt irrelevant because so many are working from home and not carting laptops and files to meetings…? TBH I’m not a purse person. Also, Les yes!

Azumi
1 year ago

I love a Jess apartment/her dad (a real superstar) post! I feel like that one got lost in the seasonal shuffle? I don’t even remember seeing it.

Reading through it now, it was a bit of a struggle. I’m not sure why…possibly, while the apartment is gorgeous, the process pictures look a little dreary.

That being SAID, I have never related more than to the intense design agony that imbues every part of the apartment posts and I absolutely love seeing all the details and inspo that goes through each decision! It is a lot more relatable to me (possibly not to others) as a millennial who lives in a highly urban area. I also love a good house post, but it’s not very ‘actionable’ to me and possibly never will be.

Sherron
1 year ago

More Les in 2023!

Meg
1 year ago

So impressed with all the work that goes into what y’all publish, on the front end and the transparent back end like this! In all honesty, I’m worn out on large scale, Farm House renovation posts. It’s not relevant to me (even as a homeowner) in scale or budget. Plus, I feel like we just went through this whole process with the Mountain House and obviously (and rightfully!) because it’s Emily’s home we’re going to see similar choices. I loved the fun creative posts about decorating and involving the kids. I’m certainly not going anywhere, I’m going to keep reading what piques my interest and I’m so excited for the Henderson’s new home.

Sam
1 year ago

Ahah I didn’t look at any of the misses! Not into bathroom renos, specially when they are ‘unattainable’ for my modest budget; The laptop purses? Mostly been working from home, so no need for one of those. Exterior paint? Assumed it would be white so I wasn’t that interested. Fathers day gifts? I know what my dad likes, and those sort of posts are always a miss for me.
I’ll be happy to answer a survey if you wanted to know what your audience wants to read!
But know that you are the only blog I come to everyday without a fail, so you re doing just fine 🙂
PS: My favorite posts are the DIY ones and the house hunting ones.

1 year ago

I am so surprised by some of these! I wonder if it’s just keywords or just random of what people are into at the time of the post.

Susan
1 year ago

I don’t care what is posted. What I LOVE LOVE LOVE is that you guys are so consistent and post every day, which I know is a TON of work. I’ve opened every single post but if it’s not relevant to me (fashion, beauty products and gift guides) I click away. Even if it’s not relevant to me I’m always grateful you guys are here. I get tired of tiny bites on Instagram or other places and love that there is something to read and chew on!

Summer
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan

Agree!

Christa
1 year ago

If I have time I will read every blog post because I love the writing, all of you have such distinctive voices. My favorites are always on topics of design, interiors, renovation and remodeling. It must be hard to try and write well and also plan for the algorithms for all the platforms. You all are wonderful, thanks for all your helpful and FREE content, it rocks!

1 year ago

I’d love another Father’s Day post – maybe with some experience gift ideas.

mzwong
1 year ago

Honestly, I generally love this blog but the few weird IG posts by Emily that were later taken down have soured me a bit, and I don’t like that the wonderful other employees of this blog are affected by it, but it is called Emily Henderson….
The strange cruise commercial
post and I think it was the controversial fake turf post? Own your decisions and/or explain why you’re taking down posts. Radio silence and hoping no one noticed are puzzling. Complaining about being unhappy about privileged, expensive choices that are all great but not great enough? I’m just kind of exhausted by this type of content right now. Not Emily’s fault, and I’m sure I’ll be back, but I need a break.

Sandra
1 year ago
Reply to  mzwong

I agree that it felt weird that the cruise commercial and the farmhouse turf were not acknowledged afterwards.
The farmhouse turf post was technically a huge “hit” as it had many comments (the majority super thoughtful and respectful) but got taken down without any explanation.

Bethany
1 year ago
Reply to  mzwong

I agree about taking down posts and then not acknowledging them. I know this is a free service and it takes a ton of work, but if you want to keep a loyal readership, it seems like you should explain why you remove posts.

I do love the blog, though. I like the home decor content and usually skip the fashion/beauty posts, but I know other people love those.

Elena
1 year ago

I am new to Emily’s blog. Read the bath remodel post with great interest, probably because I’m remodeling my bathroom as we speak. I skip all gifting posts since in our family we only do gifts to children. There are too many people, it got too crazy, everyone was so relieved to stop the madness 🥴🤣
I am horrible at diy, I’ll pay any time instead of attempting it myself.

1 year ago

That first room with the wood ceiling is stunning!

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Javier

It is! Did you see the post about it — church turned Airbnb: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/secret-door-ideas?

Anna
1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

Don’t think it is an Airbnb any more, at least not with the original remodeler/owners. I had it booked for a trip in March and it was cancelled as the location was sold. Not sure if the new owners are still using it as an Airbnb or not.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna

Thanks, Anna. Hope you were able to find another fun place to stay! Did you see the room she redid for her daughter? https://fredericmagazine.com/2021/11/sara-costello-design-kids-bedroom/

Michelle
1 year ago

Just wanted to weigh in on the Sommersault bathing suit post. This was hands down the most directly influential post for me. I bought a few suits and even dialed in sizing thanks to this. Absolutely love them. This should be an annual IMHO.

Liz M
1 year ago

I agree the Father’s day guide was kinda predictable and pricey! I find gift guides hard because we all just buy what we want these days. There are rarely any gifts you get because you couldn’t afford them as adults. For the bench one – its just an idea post. For something like that there should be a conclusion of what is looks like and how it was completed…. it just kinda ends?