Every year since I started blogging, I have done a reader survey. This helps me understand my readers better, from what they like to who they are. As always, as a thank you for completing the survey, you will be entered to win a gift card to Starbucks (or the coffee place of your choice). But more about that later.
About Reader Surveys
These are surveys completed by blog readers, and they can cover everything from blog content to reader demographic information. Like I said, I like to do one annually because my readers and their preferences can change. I highly doubt that the people who are reading the blog now are exactly like the people who first read it. Additionally, while a lot of the content has stayed the same over the years, parts of it have been tweaked. I want to know what people think about content now because they might have a different opinion than they did a year or two ago.
Why They Should Be Done
There are several reasons why you, a blogger, should do a reader survey. One reason is that they can show you what content readers want more or less of and give you opinions on new ideas that you’re considering. You can also learn about what type of content readers connect with the most and answer the burning question, “Do my readers actually want to read this?” Sometimes you don’t know the answer to that until after you already put in the effort to write the post. Wouldn’t it be better if you knew that your readers wanted that information before you wrote that post?
Additionally, you can find out where your regular readers found you and how they follow new posts. This helps you put your effort into promoting posts on the networks that will bring you more readers or show you where you’re not putting in enough effort. For example, Pinterest is one of the main sources of traffic for my blog posts (as I learn from my monthly traffic reports) as it is for many bloggers. If your readers don’t really come to your posts from Pinterest, you might want to put more effort there. On the other hand, if your reader survey shows that you get a lot of people coming from Instagram – which doesn’t always show up in Google Analytics if they type your URL after seeing an Instagram post and caption, since links don’t work in the captions – then you should put more time into promoting your posts there.
Finally, reader surveys are also a great way to get opinions on the amount of sponsored content you have. Sometimes blogs have so many sponsored posts (especially in a row) that it turns me off from reading the blog because I feel like they’re constantly trying to sell me something. If you’re worried that you might be annoying your readers – or you think that too much sponsored content might be the reason why your traffic has decreased – a reader survey is the perfect way to figure it out. Additionally, you can ask if the sponsored content affects their opinion of your blog.
Learn more about why you should do a reader survey here.
What To Ask
The important thing you need to consider is what questions you want to ask, especially because the free version of Survey Monkey only allows so many questions. It’s generally a good idea to know the kinds of people who are reading your blog. Knowing this can help you determine the type of things to write about, what your audience is more likely to be interested in, and to tell possible sponsors the demographics of your audience.
If your blog already has a set structure, you should also look for feedback on that structure. This means figuring out what does and does not work from your current structure and how you can improve it. In order to get the most helpful feedback, I suggest using multiple choice answers for many of your questions, as then you can easily sort the results by answer and see the percentages. However, I do think it’s important to use a write-in option for these multiple choice questions in case someone’s answer is not an option. I also think that you should have open-ended questions for some of the questions, such as asking how the blog could be better. This way, you get the most honest answer and it isn’t someone choosing something that’s not really an answer because they have to pick one of the available answers.
Learn more about what to ask in a reader survey here.
Complete the Reader Survey
As a thank you for completing the survey, I’m giving you an opportunity to win $25 to Starbucks, or another coffee location. If I can buy you a gift card online – like Dunkin Donuts, Peet’s, or Bongo Java – then you can choose to go with that instead of Starbucks. The way it works is that at the end of the survey you will get a code, which you then use to enter the giveaway.
You must be at least 13 years old, and if you are under 18, you need your parent or guardian’s permission to enter. The giveaway runs from 7/12/17 at 12:01 AM until 7/26/17 at 11:59 pM EST.