I’ve never been a fan of the reader survey. I’ve always thought they were a bit probing… too business-y and a bit counter-intuitive. But I’ve done a rethink. I had a bit of a blog strategy meeting with my colleague (Sue!) last week and I decided it might be a good idea for me. In our strategy meeting (where we sat on the floor in front of the heater eating pasties and listening to Sia) I was lamenting the fact that less commenting on blogs means that we have less of an idea of who we are talking to. I thought a survey would help me gain an insight into who was popping by and what their thoughts were.
Granted, when I blog, I blog what I want. I don’t really try to gear things to readers (unless it’s to teach something or be helpful.) I tend to write my posts as though I’m talking to my best buddy (because it feels like that!) So, rather than using a survey to steer my blog in a reader-deigned direction, I wanted to find out who all these anonymous best buddies were (and perhaps to get some hints into the things they liked, how they read my blog and what they’d like to see improved.
Next, I posted a survey! The results are coming in as we speak and I must say, it’s really nice to hear what people are enjoying and how they come to be reading.
Here’s what I asked them. (I used the free 10 question survey on Survey Monkey.)
How long have you been reading Meet Me At Mike’s?
How often do you read Meet Me At Mike’s?
What age bracket best defines you?
Let’s talk about the amount of posts! Would you like to see: More posts? Less posts? I like it the way it is?
And what kinds of posts do you prefer?
(Crafty? Foodie? Travel? Pip-life? etc)
How do you get to Meet Me At Mike’s?
(Feedly, email, Bloglovin’, bookmarks, type url into browser, link on Twitter, link on Facebook)
What are you reading on? (Mostly!)
(Smartphone – android, Smartphone – iPhone, tablet, PC, laptop or desktop Mac)
What’s your fave things about Pip’s blog? Have you found any of Pip’s posts or other projects particularly useful? For instance a recipe you use often or a project you have made or something about life in general or her Feeling A Bit Sh*t? newsletter or Brown Owls or Softies For Mirabel or something else?
What can Pip do to make Meet Me At Mike’s a nicer place for you?
Would you like to give Pip a high five for being a good blogger? (Add your email address in the OTHER box if you would like to be in the running to WIN a $100 credit for Pip’s Blog Yay! Club or eCourse! OR a Made By Pip prize pack! You can choose!)
Feel free to use these questions as a guide for your own version.
Survey Monkey collates all the answers and will even put them into a cute bar graph so you can get a visual snapshot of all the responses. Useful, no?
I’m going to use the responses to help plan my editorial calendar and tweak the user experience on my blog (a few people have said they don’t like Facebook comments, for instance, so I’ll find a solution/alternative to that!) I’m also going to use it to create a few reader profiles – to help me visualise who I am writing to, rather than lump them into a loose ‘ace pals’ kind of persona.
You might want to go a bit deeper with your reader surveys, if you are a bit of a marketing genius. For me, though, I wanted my survey to be quick, fun and non-invasive. I didn’t want to drill down too much because the info is to guide editorial and design decisions, rather than commercial/sponsor stuff.
If you’d like to see some other examples of reader surveys, just google Blog Reader Survey. There are a bunch online and they’ll give you an idea of other data you might want to gather, if you want to get a bit fancier.
For me, thought, this is enough. I’ve had heaps of responses already because I sneakily provided an incentive in the final question and promoted that on my blog. I also asked for help with it, and generally people like to be helpful, especially if your only agenda is doing a good job.
Maybe you want to create your own reader survey?