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Introduction

Luckily, there’s a solution that will shed light on what you can do to deliver value to your audience – I’m talking about conducting a reading interest survey.

So what does it allow you to do, exactly? Through running a reader survey, you can, for instance, identify topics your readers are longing to read about the most. You can also encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter with a freebie or gated content.

Vision Critical study revealed that 87 percent of users want to have a say in future products or services of a company and convey it in the form of surveys. Hence, if you implement this method correctly, you’ll be provided with meaningful insight into your brand value as well as your readers’ expectations.

So, are you looking to learn how to create an effective blog reading survey and drive your readers’ attention? It’s pretty simple. This article sheds some light on the topic.

Let’s get right to it!

Why is a Reader Interest Survey Necessary?

To understand the genuine concern of your audience, you cannot solely rely on blog comments or Google Analytics. Statistics and random comments will not provide a clear picture of your readers’ interests.

You need to take into consideration that the bulk of your readers posts their impressions in the comment section, rather than product reviews. However, a reader survey is a whole different story, with the focus being collecting honest feedback and using your findings to improve the quality of your content.

How to Conduct a Reader Interest Survey?

It’s pretty straightforward – you have to design your survey well since the response quality you receive from users depends wholly on it. The tips below will help you establish a long-term, cohesive feedback collection strategy.

For the sake of maximizing your feedback collection efforts, we’ll take a look at various survey types and distribution channels.

  • Create a new survey using a tool of your preference. You can use a Free Survicate account to conduct a blog reading survey quickly and easily.    
  • Collect feedback on an ongoing basis. You should keep your website survey active on your blog and article pages permanently. This method will help you constantly monitor reader satisfaction and content relevance.
    With that in mind, you should also consider using a survey tool that makes sure you don’t ask for feedback from users who’ve already provided their opinion on a given article.
  • Make sure your surveys are optimized for mobile screens because a big chunk of global survey traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • Consider sharing a link to your survey on social media channels and via email. Using all customer communication channels will help you gain a high response rate.  
  • If you do decide to run reader interest surveys only in chosen periods of time, try using the exact same survey questionnaire – this way you’ll amass answers over an extended period, and will be able to cross-analyze results over time.
  • Don’t worry about planning specific posts for your reader surveys. Instead, I recommend you run website surveys on article pages that rank well in search results and have a significant CTR. If you want to avoid website popups altogether, you can also consider adding a survey link in your post content. Bear in mind though that it will not be visible for readers who only scan your posts, and will provide much lower response rates.

When Is the Right Time to Conduct a Reader Survey?

It comes without saying that conducting a reader survey in the initial stages of your blog will not drive the desired outcome, with zero-to-none traffic. Hence, create it when your brand is stable – and this extends both to its competitiveness, market value, and the content quality itself.

Things to Remember While Creating Reader Survey Questions

Since readers are taking time out of their day to share their opinions about your brand, you have to be careful while crafting your survey questions. Don’t ever make them feel that your queries are trivial or consume much of their time. Here are some best practices one has to keep in mind before running surveys.

  • Keep your questions in a multiple-choice format. Your readers might want to list more than one blog content topic that is of interest to them.
  • You should use open-ended questions carefully – they require much more time to fill in by respondents, not to mention the effort to analyze results on your side.
  • Do not add more than ten items in your form because most of the readers do not wish to spend more than 3 minutes on that page.                  
  • Ignore common questions about your audience such as their gender, age, and location – at least for logged in users. Chances are you’ll find such data via Google Analytics.      
  • In reader surveys, you shouldn’t require your users to provide personal details. If, for some reason, you wish to ask for their names and details, make sure it’s non-obligatory. Your blog readers might want to remain unknown.
  • Try cross-analyzing your survey responses with data such as behavioral patterns of your readers (for ex. session recordings). This will help you learn about the specificity of your regular site visitors as opposed to new readers.
  • Ask your readers about the topics or areas they’re most interested in. Use your insights to create new articles. Not only will you deliver anticipated content. You will also gain reader trust by making them feel listened to.

Sample Reader Survey Questions

Here are a few examples to inspire your survey creation process:

  • Rate the content relevance on a scale. Here’s where CSAT surveys or smiley scale surveys will be a perfect solution).    
  • What types of posts do you like the most on our website?            
  • What topics would you like us to focus on more on the blog?       
  • Is there any type of content on our blog that you don’t find relevant?     
  • How often would you like to receive our newsletters?      

Lastly…

Process the Feedback Suitably

What is revealed in a reading interest survey can be enlightening, supportive, or – conversely – ugly and difficult to process at times? Hence, take a deep breath and review your readers’ answers carefully.

Depending on the survey tool and method you use, many (if not all) of your respondents will be anonymous, which promotes both openness and, well…occasional coarseness. If a respondent uses the opportunity to rant about you in a non-constructive manner, you should take such opinions with a pinch of salt.

However, if the harsh reviews have some truth in them, assess them correctly to track and acknowledge your mistakes. You can also share your thoughts on the survey results and publish them in the form of a graph. Such posts will help build your brand reputation.

Reader Interest Survey Image Source: Moz

Remember that reader surveys can be of enormous help for your blog’s growth. Although blogging is a lone voyage in many cases, surveys are a way to open yourself up to your readers’ opinions. Not to mention an opportunity to nail those content engagement metrics!


Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson is a marketing analyst at Blue Mail Media, a leading marketing company based in Irving, Texas. Emily is also a chief content writer interested in entrepreneurship and startups that help organizations grow to a new level.