How to Get Reader Feedback to Help Grow Your Blog
This post is Day 2 of the 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. You can chat about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. Click here to view all of the challenge prompts.
Next month, I’m planning on recapping my first ever reader survey. I’m going to analyse all the data and talk about all the information I’ve gained from it. It’s so exciting to read your responses and find out how I can improve ABOH based on what you want. But I know what you’re thinking - how did I even get this feedback on my blog?
You’re not a mind reader. You don’t know what your audience wants. So how do you find out? By asking them.
Reader feedback is one of the things that can benefit your blog the most. Your readers are like your cheerleaders. They’re there to share your content, sign up to your mailing list and tell everyone how great you are. These are the people who are going to be able to help you grow your blog right now.
It’s as simple as that. So on Day 2 of the #BloggingBreakthrough challenge, I want to share with you exactly how I went about getting my own reader feedback, from start to finish. By the time you’ve finished reading this post, you’ll have everything you need to ask your readers for exactly what you want.
How Do I Get Reader Feedback?
The easiest and best way to get reader feedback is to create a survey. We’re going to walk through it right now. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself as we go along.
#1 What Do I Want out of This Survey?
If you run a survey just for the sake of it, you won’t get the answers you want. You’ve got to be intentional and purposeful with it. You need to know why you’re doing it. I can give you a general reason - to get a breakthrough with your blog. But the deeper reason is up to you.
Do you need to find out more about who is actually visiting your blog? Do you need to find out what type of content they like the best? Are you planning a rebrand this year and need some feedback? Figure out the deeper reason. I ran my survey to find out more about my audience, what they were enjoying and what they wanted to see more of. So this really helped me figure out what information I wanted from my readers.
#2 What Questions Do I Want to Ask?
The questions you ask determine the answers you’ll get. If you want to know certain things but don’t ask about them, you won’t get that information. The biggest tip I can give you here is to use open questions, not closed ones.
A closed question only requires a yes/no answer. It would be something like “Do you have any goals for 2016?” That means someone will only answer yes or no - they won’t give you any more detail. And you want that detail! Instead, why not say “What’s the biggest goal you’ve got for 2016?” That allows plenty more room for a good answer. If someone takes your survey, they want to give you feedback. Asking open questions lets them give you that feedback!
If you’re struggling for questions, here are a good few general ones to include. You’ll be able to see all the questions I asked in my survey next month when I review it.
- What do you do for a living?
- Are you a blogger?
- How did you find out about (insert blog name)?
- How often do you visit (insert blog name)?
- How long have you been reading (insert blog name)?
#3 What Order Do I Want My Reader to Answer These Questions In?
Having an order to your questions really helps your reader to answer the survey. You don’t want to throw them in at the deep end and start with what they’d like to see more of on your blog. You want to ease them in and do introductions first. Start off with where they’re from, what they do for a living, how long they’ve been blogging for and so on. Then make it easy for them - give them multiple choice questions. Once you start writing them out, an order will start to flow.
#4 How Do I Create My Survey?
This is where the fun begins! There are loads of online tools you can use to create and host your survey. Typeform is my favourite. It’s simple, easy to use and looks really clean. You can customise it to your own style using your own brand colours so it really suits your overall blog look. You can rearrange the order of the questions and there are loads of features for you to have a play around with.
#5 How Do I Launch My Survey?
Before you launch, you want to make sure you know how long you’re going to be running the survey for. Set a time scale of one week or one month - however long you want.
The best way to tell your audience about your survey is to write a blog post about it, which is exactly what I did.
I told my readers why I was running a survey and why I wanted them to take part. Then over the next few months, I shared the hell out of it on all my social media platforms. I even pinned a tweet including the link to the survey at the top of my Twitter profile so it was the first thing that people saw.
You want to share it everywhere. If you’ve got a mailing list, write an email to your subscribers about the survey. Then mention it in every single email. You want to constantly be reminding your readers about it.
You also want to always tell people why you’re doing it. If all you say is “fill in my survey!” you’re not likely to get many responses. But if you give them a good reason to participate, answers will start coming through.
You could also include an incentive for your readers to complete the survey. Maybe a free graphic image or entry into a giveaway. Any freebie that might make them more inclined to take part.
#6 What Do I Do When My Survey Is Done?
You don’t just want to leave that data and never come back to it. There is so much valuable information in reader feedback that you won’t find anywhere else.
Set some time aside and look at your responses. Write them all out if it helps you make sense of them - I did this in a big document so I can come back to them for ideas. Are there any similar answers? Do your readers all seem to love the same topics? Or are there any surprises?
Make a list of everything you find and analyse your results. I bet you’ll find that new ideas start flowing straight away!
#7 Is There Anything Else I Should Do?
The feedback you’ve collected is purely for you. But there is something you can do as a way to say thank you to the people that took part in your survey.
Next month, I’m planning on creating a blog post of a review of the survey I carried out for ABOH. I’m planning on creating some pretty graphs, charts and tables to show you all of the information I collected. It’s also great for giving you something to look back on.
You don’t have to do this. But it’s actually a pretty good blog post idea!
Go through each of these questions and plan out your survey.
- Make sure you’re clear on why you want to get reader feedback for your blog - the clearer you are with this, the more success you’ll have with your survey.
- Write down a list of questions you’d like to ask. Around 10-15 is usually a good number.
- Try and put these in some sort of order.
- Go onto Typeform or a survey maker of your choice and have fun designing your survey!
- Set a date for when you’re going to launch it and when it’s going to end.
- Get a blog post ready to launch telling readers why you’re launching a survey. Typeform makes it really easy to embed your survey within your blog post.
- Schedule everything ready to go!
Remember to take some pictures and tweet me with your progress using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. And if you’ve got any questions or you’re struggling with anything, feel free to get in touch!
To getting a breakthrough with your blog
Let’s talk in the comments - have you ever done a reader survey before? Will you be following these steps to create your own?