Successful bloggers understand the value in creating a continual feedback loop. Your content, products, and services should always be in iteration better serving the needs of your audience.
One easy way to begin this feedback loop is using online surveys. I used a simple survey to create my very first online course back in 2009. By surveying my audience first, I had them tell me what they wanted in an online course about job searching.
Over the years, I have gone back to this strategy over and over again. Just the other day, a reader sent me an email and asked:
“I am creating a survey regarding my site and the changes we have made and plan to make. Any suggestions on how to phrase the questions to get good feedback?”
Getting feedback and insights is smart regardless of how small or large your audience might be. If you survey your audience correctly, you can use the feedback you receive to:
- Develop a content strategy or editorial calendar for your blog
- Create courses your audience will buy because you understand their pain points
- Understand the biggest challenge your audience has so you can connect with them on a deeper level
I want to share with you 4 easy steps that I shared with her. I encourage you to use this step by step system for yourself.
1. Set up a free survey via Survey Monkey
SurveyMonkey.com is a simple and easy survey to set up. The only downside is that you will be limited to 100 responses for the free version. If you have a large following, you can always set up a Google Form instead.
I like the different ways you can review the responses with Survey Monkey, but I have also used Google Forms as well. Either way, the goal is for you to have a simple link that you can use to share with your audience.
2. Keep the survey as short as possible (3 to 5 questions)
This is where many people go wrong with surveys. I would rather have fewer questions and higher participation. If you want a higher participation rate, keep your surveys under 5 questions max. Think about it. How many survey requests have you received only to abandon them when you saw they might be a few pages long?
People are busy and you need to make it simple to get them to participate.
If you want some guidance in this area, here are what I believe are the 3 most powerful survey questions you can ask your audience.
- What is the biggest struggle you have with _______________?
- What type of topics do you enjoy reading about? (check all that apply)
- What would you most like to learn about in the next 12 months? (Check all that apply)
With just 3 questions I can fill my plate full of content ideas, products to create, and just better overall understanding of my audience in general.
3. Offer a gift card drawing for participation
If you want to really ramp up the number of responses you receive, then offer to give away a few gift cards for those who enter. People like entering into drawings.
A simple way to do this is to offer an Amazon gift card. You can send them via email so be sure to ask for your survey participant’s email address.
The last survey I sent out I included an opportunity for two people to win a $25 Amazon gift card. My participation sky-rocketed from the time before. $50 is nothing with the kind of invaluable feedback I receive as a result.
4. Email them, then email them again.
There is a strategy to this. It is okay to remind your email list about your survey. However, consider sending additional emails to those who did not open your prior email. You can do this inside of MailChimp or any other email subscription service.
You want to send additional emails because maybe they just did not see it the first time. You will also come across as less obnoxious if you re-send to only the ones who did not open your first email.
You can also consider writing a post about your survey and pasting the survey link at the end of it. You could even create a sidebar graphic asking your audience for feedback. You could take your top 10 posts with the most views and place a notice box about the survey at the end of the post. Get creative.
Question(s): Have you ever surveyed your blog audience? What tips do you have to share?