The Ultimate Guide to Blogging & Reader Surveys
When was the last time you bought something from a new company without checking a review site or asking a friend about their experience with the brand first? I’d be willing to guess it was a long time ago.
In today’s world, social proof is everything: this is the age of Amazon reviews, TrustPilot and TripAdvisor. Buyers are so conscious of their purchasing decisions, and so un-accepting of anything less than a perfect user experience, that marketers must minimise the chance of disappointment – and it's vital that company blogs and content output are included here.
As an extension of your services or products, a company blog is a vital marketing tool that needs to serve your clients’ needs and, as such, necessitates active, planned and regular review. Blog surveys are one of the most effective methods to do so.
What is a blog survey?
Blog surveys are the perfect tool for learning more about your audience, refining your personas and converting more blog traffic. Usually comprising around 10 questions, a blog survey asks for honest feedback from blog visitors on what they are reading, how they access the blog content, the usability and design of the blog and so on.
With a blog feedback survey you can gain real insight into what your current customers are keen to learn more about, what types of content interests them, what their pain points are and so on.
What is the point in a blog survey?
Is all of your content coming from inside your company? Or are you using the voices of other people – people like your audience – who have worked with you before? By asking existing clients and your wider network for input, you will bolster your brand as a true thought leader in your sector and someone people can trust. Doing this will also give you a better understanding of your existing customers and how to delight them, making them evangelists for your brand, which in turn will give you more clout.
Survey tools & methods
There are loads of free, freemium and paid survey tools available for every website type. Here are a few of the most popular pooling tools available:
Blog survey best practices
It is important that your reader survey is easy and quick to complete. 10 or so multiple choice questions that takes around 2 minutes to fill out and submit is a good benchmark.
This kind of questionnaire is easy to post and promote on social channels, encouraging your followers to take part. You can direct email the survey to your contacts, too. If people understand you are trying to improve their user experience and are looking to them as experts to aid you, people are usually only too happy to help out.
Keeping the blog survey short (including the questions themselves as well as the number of them) and easy to use will encourage responses. Another way to encourage engagement is to signpost how brief the survey is, for example with a progress tracker or “Only 2 minutes!” stated.
Incentivising participation is another method to consider: can you offer a discount in exchange for feedback? According to Kyle (Director, Dollar Flight Club), the reason the team chose Typeform was that:
'“It’s stupidly simple and can be turned on instantly. And a robust set of features helps maintain control over the process and flow you want customers to take.” They estimate that their Typeform lead generation solution has saved them thousands of dollars and countless hours—so Kyle and the team have more time to help their subscribers do the same.'
Once you have responses from enough people – 100 is an ideal number as it gives you a nice round percentage and likely a good cross-section of participants – you can start working out some numbers (which many survey applications do for you).
Blog Survey Example Questions
- What types of content do you enjoy reading on [company]'s blog?
For example: Product tips, product launches, industry information, company announcements, videos, tutorials, guest or sponsored posts, etc.
- What types of content do you least enjoy reading on [company]'s blog?
- Please name other news sites, publications, or blogs you enjoy reading.
Free text field.
- How often do you visit the [company] blog?
For example: Once a week, 2-3 times a week, Once a month, 2-3 times a month
- How do you find out about the latest news or posts on [company]'s blog?
For example: RSS, subscribed to updates, social media, bookmarked blog, other (please specify)
- How long have you been following the [company] blog?
For example: Less than a month, 6 months, 1 year, more than 1 year.
- How easy is it to navigate our blog?
Rating system: Very easy, easy, neutral, difficult, very difficult.
Offer a free text field here for more detailed comments.
- What industry do you work in? What is your job title?
Free text field or drop down options. These types of questions can help you see whether your blog readers align with your actual customers and whether your targeting is accurate.
- Which specific topics would you like to see covered in the [company] blog?
Free text field
- Can we contact you with follow-up questions?
How to use your blog survey content in your future posts
With your reader feedback, your scope for blog posts is almost endless. Encourage readers to take surveys by linking to them within the body of blog posts, encourage people to talk about your product by introducing hashtags on your blog and social posts, and schedule follow-up surveys to find out the success of your changes: your data will keep growing, offering you new ideas for remarkable content into the future.
It isn’t only blog posts you can write, based on survey data – try ebooks, pillar pages, checklists, help videos, infographics and beyond (and if you gate some of this content, you’ll grow your contact base at the same time as helping customers get what they want.)
Need further guidance on blogging? Check out our free blogging for businesses guide here.
Originally published: 10th October 2018
Updated: 16th September 2020
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