I own a blog. Recently Iíve thought about asking my readers what they think of it. Is this a good idea?
Definitely! There are two main reasons why you should do reader surveys Ė to improve your blog and to get your readers to participate.
Reason number one is the most obvious advantage of asking people to review your blog. You find out what they like and donít like about it so you can make it better. Conducting an online survey also draws lurking readers out and encourages them to comment or contact you. In doing this you actually make them feel valued and listened to.
Iíve been looking around for a survey maker like Survey Monkey, Zoomerang, and the like. Specifically, I need to be able to create surveys and embed them on my blog, meaning there should be a widget or HTML code I can use. I also want to be able to publish the results automatically on my site.
Zoomerang comes the closest to meeting my needs, but they require an upfront payment of $200, whereas most other services allow you to subscribe on a monthly basis. Are there any other options?
There are many websites that let you make surveys for free and also embed them on your blog or website. BooRoo is a good one. Itís free, too.
Iíd like to survey my blog readers but I donít know where to start. Any pointers?
Conducting reader surveys is fun and easy! Just follow these tips.
ē Figure out what you want to know first. Reader surveys are more effective if you already know what you want to get out of them. Asking how you can improve might get a few good responses, but having some ideas on the possible future direction of your blog can help you come up with better questions.
ē Speaking of questions, be specific when asking them. While some readers will only need an invitation to give good feedback, others will require a little more guidance. Asking specific questions will help them give you the type of feedback you want.
ē Set expectations. Let your readers know what you intend do with their feedback. If youíll be replying to each comment, tell them that. If you canít respond to every suggestion, inform them. This will prevent any potential misunderstandings.
ē Set "rules". Comments such as "this blog sucks" arenít really useful, so encourage your readers to provide constructive comments.
ē Be ready to hear critiques. The whole point of conducting a reader survey is to discover things you can improve upon. This means youíll have some of your blogís weaknesses identified. Donít ask for feedback unless youíre willing to hear it, both positive and negative.