It has helped me fine-tune my blog, make it more relevant, and cater to the demands of my readers.
I know some bloggers might think that since they’re running a personal blog, what’s the need to have such feedback surveys?
While it’s true that you can do what you want, I don’t think it’s wise to ignore your users. I’ll give you my reasons and then we can discuss about it.
There are these two prevalent approaches to blogging.
Self-centric: I’ll do what I want and how I like. The users or readers should adjust to my style, preferences, and priorities.
User-centric: I’ll do what my users or readers like. I’ll sacrifice my personal preferences and priorities to help provide the best user experiences.
Well, there’ll be many bloggers who’d agree to either of these two extremes, depending upon their purpose of blogging.
If I use the blog as an extension of myself, to share my own thoughts, describe my own life, then I’d like to have a blog centered on my own self.
If my purpose is commercial and my ambition is to generate good traffic and reach high ranks, then I may prefer a blog focused only on the users.
What I try to do is take a middle path – have the blog my way but take into consideration the preferences of the readers, because my blog will be meaningless without them.
That’s why, before making any major changes or introducing new features, I like to know what my readers want and how they feel about the changes.
The best way to do that is to take a blog or website feedback.
What is Website Feedback
The dictionary meaning of feedback is a “critical assessment or suggestions to improve performance.”
Feedbacks are reactions or responses that contain critical opinions that can help you improve, and thus achieve success.
I’ve seen many websites prominently displaying a feedback button, while some have them hidden away. They’re mostly company websites.
Generally, a company or industry is concerned about their customers because they realize the sale of their products and services depend on their customers.
If you don’t keep track of what your customers want or like, and what all they have problems with, then you may lose them.
A blog or website feedback has a similar purpose. You want the visitors to keep coming back, so you want to know what will make them leave and come back for more.
Based on the feedback, you can give your visitors what they want to keep them happy. Of course, you can’t please everyone – nor make them happy, but this shouldn’t deter you from making your efforts.
Why Do You Need Feedback Surveys
It’s good to have a feedback form on a blog or website. Not only does it provide useful advice, but it also helps generate useful content for your website from the ideas your readers give you.
However, it becomes difficult to gauge the responses when there are many visitor feedbacks. Furthermore, it becomes tougher still to elicit responses to multiple questions from feedback forms.
Here’s where feedback surveys come to the rescue.
A feedback survey lets you present a set of similar questions to different visitors so you can get a better idea about the general opinion about a specific query.
You can get the answers in terms of simple statistics that also show the number of people who opt for a specific answer from the options given to the questions in your survey.
I used SurveyMonkey to create my survey. It was a paid survey, but it was worth my money as I got instant results accompanied with graphical charts to understand the responses at a glance.
But they also have free surveys, if you wish to take those, though they have limited resources available.
Feedback surveys help aggregate the information taking into consideration each response made in a timely manner. They are no longer time consuming.
In fact, a blog survey can be very revealing and inspiring, and help you take your blog to the next level.
My Blog Survey Report
My feedback survey has proved to be a great tool to help me plan my blog strategy.
Just like you create your life plan, you need to have a blog plan in place so you can set up intermediate goals and be able to measure your success.
I got important cues from my blog survey that helped me adjust its direction and focus, add new features, and take favorable actions.
I consider the survey takers as my random sample group. Though the results may not exactly represent those of my entire blog community and visitors, but it does give me a fair idea about what my readers want in general.
Let me share some of the inputs that I got through the survey.
● It was surprising to know that the men visitors to my blog are almost equal to the number of women visitors.
● I didn’t know that I even had visitors in the age group of 18-34, and they constitute about half of my blog readers!
So, that revelation was very pleasant. Now I can keep that age group in mind and create relevant content for them. I better start thinking young again
● Aha!NOW does have almost an equal number of married and unmarried readers, and many of the married ones have kids.
That makes my family and parenting niches more relevant and necessary. I can help this group to become better-married partners and better parents.
The spinsters too can learn about love and relationship problems from my relationship category.
I hope you all do remember that I’ve my special “Share Your Problems” post on 7th February, 2014 that focuses on “relationship problems”. Don’t miss that!
● While visitors from India and the United States constitute about 60% of the blog readers, the rest flock from 201 different countries.
There is a large number of people coming over from United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
● Majority of my blog visitors are freelance writers and bloggers, while others are mostly related to computers in some way or the way, and about three-fourths of them work from home!
I’ll have “Work at Home” related posts for them in the “Work” category that also caters to posts on “Careers”.
Though I can get the demographic data from Alexa and Google Analytics too, but I trust the information that the readers have filled in themselves more than anything else.
Likes and Dislikes
● More surprising was that about 85% of the survey respondents wanted and enjoyed the “blogging” category on Aha!NOW.
● About 65% of them want to read weekly posts on blogging! So, my thoughts and feedback to introduce the new “Blogging” category wasn’t wrong after all!
Now, that really makes me think that I had better start a new blog focused on the blogging niche. But hey, I also encountered an unexpected response.
● About half of the survey respondents want my blog to remain multi-niche! Can you believe that!
I know there’s a big controversy and diversity of opinions about having multi-niche or single niche blogs, which I’ll talk about in some future post.
Receiving such a response made me more confident about the way I’m leading my blog.
● While most of my readers like the self-improvement, life, and blogging categories, many have even expressed their desire to read content related to writing.
● Some even would like to have content related to spirituality, while others wanted to learn about making money.
So, I didn’t waste any time and started the “Making Money” category with a wonderful post by Enstine on making money online by blogging!
I’ll also be adding the “Writing” category and have spirituality related posts within the “Life” category.
● Majority of people would like to see videos and polls in the post, but not always. And I respect that.
● Since many blog visitors are from non-English speaking countries, about 40% of the feedback survey respondents would like to see a translation facility on the blog, which I already have in place now.
● About 60% want to read my post on a weekly basis, and about 40% want a guest post once in a month.
● 70% of readers like to be notified of the new posts by email. What is your preference? You can use the subscription box below if you haven’t subscribed to the blog yet.
Email subscribers are the first to know when a new post is published and about the new features on Aha!NOW.
● Half of the blog subscribers wish to receive a newsletter that contains tips on self-development and blogging.
This is something I feared and thought my subscribers won’t like to receive, especially if there are more than 1-2 post notifications in their mail, as it would fill their mail boxes too often.
However, I’ll start my newsletters soon, and keep them small and on monthly basis, initially.
● One aspect I consider as an important loyalty factor is that about 90% of the feedback survey respondents answered they would comment on my blog even if it didn’t have CommentLuv!
Not that I’m discarding CommentLuv, but now I know that bulk of my blog readers don’t come for the link love.
They come here for my relationship with them and my content – and I can’t be more thankful to them.
Another revealing fact that took me by surprise!
● About 45% find my post length as “perfect”, while another 40% found it only a bit lengthy, and only about 10% of them found the posts too lengthy.
This fact surely encourages me to write as I do, but I hear the opinions of many of my readers, and would also write shorter posts occasionally.
Did you notice that the previous post on getting online help was only about 1100 words! I hope you’re not asking me to go shorter than this!
● I’m glad that majority of you have liked the look and feel of the blog. However, I do need to work on the aspects of speed, design, and display to make it better and more user-oriented.
● Ah, one thing you ought to know is that 60% of the blog feedback survey respondents say they got to know about this blog through my blog comments on other sites.
Now, this must encourage you to comment more on the blogs of other bloggers, your own blog visitors, and the blogs of your own niche.
I also enjoyed reading what everyone had to say about the appeal factor of my blog. I’ll write them here in points, so you can try them on your blog too.
● Informative, insightful, and thoughtful posts.
● Easy to understand.
● Unique writing style
● Frankness and friendliness
● Variety of topics
● My responsiveness
What appeals you most about Aha!NOW?
Apart from these, many visitors find the content inspiring and motivating. And that the posts are thought-provoking and opinioned.
Also, engagements matters a lot. You can bind visitors to your blog by having engaging conversations through the comments on your blog posts.
Of course, there’s no substitute for quality content, and I’m so thankful to everybody for liking the content on Aha!NOW and encouraging me to write more of them.
● Few of the readers were not happy with the Ads that appear within the content and overcrowding of the sidebar of the blog.
I’ve taken the appropriate steps to make the viewing experience of my blog readers much better.
● Almost everybody liked the idea of having “Interviews” on the blog. So, be there on Friday, 31st January when I’ll have a well known blogging personality as the first interviewee of Aha!NOW.
Aha!NOW Blog Plan
I’m was not a big fan of feedback surveys, but my first blog survey helped me plan the strategy for Aha!NOW.
I was able to identify what all I needed to have, to eliminate, to improve, or to modify on the blog.
I made the following blog post plan to incorporate most of the suggestions of my blog readers.
● My posts – 4 in a month
● Guest post – 1 in a month
● Interview – 1 in a month
● Share Your Problems – 1 in a month
This year I’m adding a new monthly post on “Infographics” that should be a welcome short post.
I’m also thinking to have “Sponsored Posts” and “Reviews” as permanent features on Aha!NOW.
I’m going to honor the trust bestowed upon me by the community and blog readers, so be assured that I’ll be presenting only the truth in my write-ups.
So, finally I’m going to have two posts a week, every Tuesday and Friday as before.
Phew! I’m going to have a busy year, but I hope this schedule is going to cater most of your requests and demands.
● I’ve also created a logo for the blog that you can see on the sidebar, and scripted the motto of the blog – “bringing happiness into your life”, which is what the blog is all about.
● Now, you don’t have to search for the guest posts as you can find them right on the menu bar – guest posts are by invitation only!
● Talking of the menu, you can see I’ve streamlined and re-consolidate the menu options and the categories, and organized them as per your needs and convenience.
Feedback surveys have helped and given me what I needed.
It has helped me take the middle path and devise a blog strategy that will cater to most of my blog readers. I believe they are important for bloggers.
Blog comments too are great way of receiving feedback from the readers, and each one of them is important.
I wish to thank all those who took the survey and provided me with this wonderful data, which has helped me improve the blog and provide better service to all.
I hope and wish you too would receive benefits and success with feedback surveys, if you plan to have them on your blog.
There was also one important feedback survey result – 82% have recommended my blog to others, have you done that too?
You can let your family, friends, and fans know about the “Share Your Problems” feature on Aha!NOW.
Did you notice that I’ve a new “important post dates” notice on the sidebar so that you know what’s coming next. So, don’t forget to be here to read the first interview on Aha!NOW.
Over to You –
Have you ever tried a website feedback survey? How was your experience? Do you believe feedback surveys can help the progress and growth of a blog? What are your views about the Aha!NOW blog plan for this year? Share in the comments.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos