A reader survey is a great tool to improve your writing.
But not just any survey, like which do you like better, french fries or potato chips?
Today you’re going to survey your readers and ask for feedback on your blog.
Why Should You Survey Your Readers?
Many of your readers already have opinions about your blog, they either just haven’t thought about sharing them with you or they’re waiting to be asked.
So a survey that focuses on your blog is ideal for engaging those readers who normally just lurk.
They’ll feel a stronger sense of ownership and loyalty to your blog.
Aside from that, the biggest benefit of asking your readers for feedback is that you’ll find out what they like about your blog and what they don’t like and you can use this information to improve your blog.
How To Run A Reader Survey On Your Blog
1. Ask Specific Questions
Don’t just toss it out there and ask your readers what they like about your blog and what they want you to change.
You’ll get a different answer from every reader who responds – and most of them will be useless.
Instead, take some time to decide exactly what you want to know, first, then ask specific questions.
For example, if you’re thinking of changing the color of your background, don’t just ask your readers what color they’d like to see.
If 50 readers respond to your survey you could end up with 50 different colors.
Instead, offer your readers two or three colors to choose from.
2. Set Rules
Have you ever seen a comment thread that starts out perfectly pleasant and positive and then someone comes along and leaves one comment that seems to turn the entire thread into a negative rant?
Set rules that encourage your readers to be positive.
A simple statement like, “All honest comments are welcome and I’ll be replying to as many as possible, but please remember to be courteous and constructive.”
3. Create Reader Expectation
Let readers know you’ll be considering all their feedback and let them know how you plan to proceed.
- Will you be replying to all comments?
- Will you accept emails, too?
- How soon do you plan to take action on their suggestions?
Your Readers Will Remember, Even If You Don’t
If you tell your readers you’re planning to change your blog design by July 1, they’re going to remember that date and they’re going to call you on it if you don’t make those changes.
They’re also going to remember exactly what you asked in your survey and exactly what the responses were.
In other words, be prepared to follow through when you run a reader survey on your blog.
If you don’t you’ll lose credibility, your readers will feel they’ve been taken for a ride, and they’ll never respond to one of your surveys again.