As the end of the year nears, you might be thinking about plans for your blogging in 2018.
One thing that will help inform that is a reader survey. On both ProBlogger and Digital Photography school I do an annual survey, usually around November.
As we plan our surveys, I thought I’d share some of the types of questions you can ask and give you a chance to share some of the survey techniques that have been successful for you too.
Types of questions you could ask:
- Demographics: find out your readers’ gender, age, income, and interests. You can compare this with the analytics you get from Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
- Content: What types of content do your readers like? Practical, inspirational, case studies? What length of blog post do they prefer, and how often do they like reading?
- Products: If you’re planning new products you can test out some ideas and price points in your survey.
- Problems: Some of the most useful information you can find out is the kinds of problems your readers want solved – the keystone to creating engaging content.
Another area you may want to include is any questions that regular advertisers/sponsors may want to know, or information you can use to attract regular advertisers and sponsors.
A good example of this is finding out the intentions of your readers. If you have a travel blog, and know that 50% of your readers are planning international travel in the next three months, you can use that information to show the relevance of your blog to overseas destinations or maybe insurance providers.
Maybe you’re wondering about how to implement a survey. We use SurveyMonkey for our surveys, but you could also use Google Forms. Typeform is another survey tool we’ve checked out. The main thing is to use something that will let you ask succinct questions and get aggregated answers that can easily be viewed and analysed as data and graphs.
If you’ve got some tips on how you run readers surveys, please leave them in the comments below so we can create a more detailed post in the future.
Image Credit: Emily Morter
Thanks that is really good advice. I will add it to my list. Which is the best one to use?
Hoot. I can’t even seem to inspire them to post an intelligent comment on Google +. I’m trying to move posts to Live Journal so people can comment right on the screen, but that’s a long boring chore!
All smart tips Darren. I often just ask my readers via newsletter or Twitter how I can help them. Simple. Clear. Powerful. Piece of cake.
I do get greatest engagement on Facebook for whatever reason so that is my go-to site/channel for polling or questioning readers. I pop in, ask a question and field feedback. However you slice it, the simple habit of asking readers persistently how you can help them gives you all the feedback you can ever need. But getting clearer through your specific questions does give you some keen insights into how you can better serve readers.
In addition to reader surveys, hang out on Quora guys. Goldmine for spotting pressing niche issues so you can serve up answers via your blog posts, emails, eBooks and products. There is never a shortage of questions and you better believe that answering via your blog and Quora will inspire you to serve people and of course, will grow your blog traffic, engagement and profits over the long haul.
Thanks for the rocking share Darren.
A question that can easily surface regarding surveying your readership is what kind of incentives should be used to encourage survey participation. It may be about tying a survey to a giveaway or contest and this can be an issue regarding gambling and consumer-protection laws, not to mention raising capital to pull this off.
Thanks for sharing the its really a good advice on reader survey
I am not sure why surveys have become an end-of-year event. I plan and re-plan what I am going to be publishing every six to eight weeks. It is always important to get feedback. I have tried a couple of Twitter surveys, with moderate success.
Why use surveys at the end of the year? Every body does that and people get fed up with them. Nowadays you get asked to do a survey when you fly anywhere, phone up EE for assistance, they are becoming so boring and lots of companies never seem to use the data that they collect.
The survey has to be different and short and sweet to make it easy for the user to complete.
I actually just asked my subscribers yesterday what type of content they wanted me to post on my blog. I make it a point to send my subscribers and email every Friday.
Right now, my email list isn’t really big. So when I asked them in the newsletter, I really didn’t think that I would get a response. However someone responded to my email.
I didn’t use any fancy survey, I just told them to reply to the email. Someone did and now I know what one of my subscribers wants me to post on my blog.
It’s definitely nice knowing what my readers want, instead of just trying to guess what they want.
I need to take the time to ask them more often what they want. It’s hard to believe that someone will actually take the time to respond.
Thanks for sharing these tips with us,
Have a great day :)
i will like to start blogging in 2018, but i am not good in writing. Where would you advise me to outsource for writing a good blog post with a relatively cheap price?
Rather keep it short and do more of these vs. one long survey. A multiple choice question will usually get responses vs. a text box so I use multiple choice questions like Facebook and Twitter “polls”. I have also done a “3 question survey” popup on blog too.
Good read! We post monthly for our company website, but we never survey our blog readers. We do, however, have a livechat on our website which has a short survey at the end of each chat. It would probably be a good idea to survey our blog readers. Thanks for more good advice, Darren!
This is such an amazing post. The insights given here are so helpful
and i hope it will help to shape ours. Thanks for all the time that
you put in .Very impressed !