Why Running Surveys with Your Readers Rocks


by Darren Rowse

In the last two months I’ve started using Surveys to get in touch with readers more and more.

Those of you who subscribe to the ProBlogger newsletter will know this first hand because late last year you were invited to participate in one – but I’ve also run a couple on my photography blog that have been incredibly useful.

I’ve been running the surveys using SurveyMonkey (it is a little clunky but it is free for smaller surveys and not the most expensive option for larger ones).

I have found running surveys beneficial in a number of ways:

  1. Getting in touch with reader needs – this is the most obvious reason to run a survey, they give you real insight into the needs, problems and challenges of your readers. The information I’ve gleaned from surveys in the last two months have provided me with a massive source of post ideas for the coming months!
  2. Understanding who your reader is – some of the surveys I’ve been running have asked questions that help me not only identify the needs of readers but also have helped me understand what type of readers I have. I’ve asked questions about experience levels, demographics and other things that help me get a picture of what type of person is reading – again this helps shape not only content but many other aspects of a site.
  3. Warm up Your List – up until recently I’d not been sending emails to the ProBlogger newsletter list. Due to time constraints I’d let my email list go cold. Sending out a survey to this ‘cool’ list was one of the best things I’ve ever done – it not only helped me in the above ways – it helped me re-engage with old subscribers in a way that was not about promoting myself or any product but which was all about them, their needs, their challenges and their situation.
  4. Build Anticipation – later this month I’m launching another E-book on DPS. As part of the process of creating anticipation of this E-book among my community I’ve been running a simple survey to get readers engaging with me around some of the topics of the E-book. The survey will not only help me make the E-book better, but in the introduction to the survey we’re letting readers know about the upcoming launch – something that plays an important part in building some good buzz and anticipation of the launch.
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