"Feedback is one of the most important things your readers can give you."
Are you thinking about making major changes to your blog? Try conducting a blog survey first to see if your readers will appreciate the changes. Blogger Kiersten Frase, who writes a vegetarian blog called "Oh My Veggies" (http://ohmyveggies.com/) considered adding a menu planning service to her blog. She decided to conduct a reader survey first only to discover that most of her readers weren't interested in such a service.
According to Kiersten, here are some other reasons to conduct a blog reader survey:
-find out why your blog has experience a drop in traffic
-plan a redesign
-conduct an annual health check; are you on the right track?
Several sites offer blog survey services including Google, Wuffo (http://www.wufoo.com/guides/create-a-poll-with-instant-public-results/) or SurveyMonkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/).
When creating your blog survey questions, avoid leading questions like "Do I write too many history posts?" Instead, say something like:
I post five history posts per month. Is that:
a. too many?
b. too few?
c. just right?
You can include multiple choice questions or open text or a mixture of both. SurveyMonkey will help you with the wording of your questions if you visit http://help.surveymonkey.com/articles/en_US/kb/Writing-Survey-Questions-Tips-for-effective-and-relevant-questions.
Here are some of the questions that blogger Kiersten wanted answers for when she held her reader survey:
1. Who are my readers?
2. How did they find my blog?
3. What did they like about it?
4. What new features would they like to see?
5. How long have they been reading my blog?
6. How often do they visit my blog?
7. How do they find out about new posts?
8. How frequently would they like me to post?
Kiersten embedded her survey in her blog post. She publicized the survey on Facebook and Twitter. If you have a newsletter or other website, don't forget to advertise there as well. Kiersten received 550 responses to her survey, including many from readers who had never commented on her blog before. She warned bloggers not to offer a prize for completing their survey. A fellow blogger made this mistake and spent a lot of time sifting through answers from readers who had never read her blog before, who just completed the survey for the prize.
Kiersten included her survey results in a blog post. SurveyMonkey created charts and graphs based on the survey's results. Kiersten also had a blog designer create an infographic for her (see http://ohmyveggies.com/oh-veggies-reader-survey-results/). Kiersten is publishing a vegetarian cookbook later this year.