02.02.2017 by Marisa Krystian
Just before the new year, we decided to ask our readers about their experience with the Infogram Blog. This was the first time we’ve ever conducted a company blog survey, and we’re happy we did. It required a good amount of research and brainstorming.
In this article, we will share why surveys are important, tips for designing a great blog survey, and what we learned in the process:
Why are blog surveys important?
Blog surveys are a fantastic way to quickly collect feedback from readers and email subscribers. The results help you gauge what you’re doing well and what you can improve, which ultimately leads to better content. Because let’s face it. You’re not a mind reader! The best way to find out exactly what your readers want to see is to simply ask them. Show your readers you value their opinion and their thoughts have value.
Checklist for a great blog survey
1) Set goals
Before you begin, you need to determine what you want to know. You may want to learn more about reader demographics, receive recent content feedback, or discover the level of interest surrounding your product or blog offerings.
We wanted to know how our readers were interacting with our most recent content, including our blog, eBooks, workshop videos, and Infogram itself. This is why we began a multiple choice question with, ‘in the last 6 months have you…’ That way our survey results were current and up-to-date.
2) Choose a survey tool
Typeform, Google Forms, and Survey Monkey are all popular survey tools. Feel free to explore your options. Some tools are a little more complex, and some cost money, so pick a tool that best fits your needs.
3) Thank your readers for their participation
It is polite to thank your readers for their participation before they begin the survey. We know our reader’s time is valuable, and we want to make sure they know that as well.
4) Keep it short
For the same reason you want to thank your readers for their time before they start answering questions, you also want to make sure your survey is fairly short. We suggest asking no more than eight questions.
5) Be clear and concise
You don’t want to make your reader work extra hard to try and figure out what you’re asking. Use simple language and shorter sentences. It’s also important to use proper grammar and word your questions correctly.
6) Leave the last question open-ended
It is helpful to leave the last question open-ended, so your readers can leave additional comments or suggestions. Multiple choice is quick and painless, but chances are you’d like your survey-takers to explain themselves in more detail.
7) Brace yourself for negative feedback
Brace yourself for critiques. Let the ‘less than sunny’ comments fuel your fire. Make better content that people want to read. This is a good chance to spot weaknesses in your content, leaving you with a better idea of how to create valuable posts.
8) Know exactly how long your survey takes to fill out
Let your reader know right off the bat how long your survey will take. It’s better to be honest about how much time you are asking for. This step builds trust and might get you more survey submissions.
9) Promote your survey
Once you’ve worked hard to create your survey, it’s time to get it in front of your readers. We suggest you create a blog post, send emails to your subscribers and targeted users, and share your survey on social media.
The email subject line and timing are crucial. We went with ‘I need your help’ and sent the email mid-week. The approach worked! We experienced a 40% open rate. We also asked people to reply to the email if they didn’t have time to fill out the survey but wanted to share their thoughts. If you go with this method, make sure you respond to everyone who replies to your email. It shows you care.
5 helpful questions to ask your readers
- ‘On a scale 1 to 10, how would you rate the content of our blog?’
This is an easy way to get a quick rating of your overall blog content. Asking readers to rate your content on a scale of 1-10 helps you quantify reader confidence. You can also use this number to set goals for your next blog survey.
- ‘What types of content would you like to see from Infogram?’
This is a great way to find out if your content is striking the right chord with your audience. We know how long it can take to create effective blog posts, so it’s important to make sure you are spending your time wisely.
- ‘Is there anything you don’t like about the blog. Why?’
Don’t be afraid to ask people what they don’t like about your blog. This feedback can be very useful. It may be hard to hear, but if you know what isn’t working you’ll have a much better chance of fixing it.
- ‘Please name other news sites, publications, or blogs you enjoy reading.’
Identifying and analyzing the content your readers enjoy from other sites can give you insight into what they love reading and sharing. Then you can come up with new content ideas for your own blog that are sure to drive engagement.
- ‘Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your role?’
This is a good way to find out more about your readers. The more you know about your readers, the more relevant and pointed your content will become. It’s the competitive advantage you’ve been looking for.
- ‘Can we contact you with follow-up questions?’
Some readers won’t want you to reach out after they finish the survey, which is why this is a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. The idea is that your survey doesn’t end here. You may want to contact your readers to clarify some points or learn more information.
Analyze the results of your survey
Once you’ve ended your survey, it’s time to look at the results and gain new insights. Take a second to look over the information you’ve collected. Download the data and turn the numbers into easy-to-read charts and graphs. Data visualizations will help you better understand the data and see the bigger picture.
We received 300 survey submissions total, which makes for a lot of actionable data. We used Infogram to visualize our results and shared with our team. We were able to quickly see some interesting facts, which you can view below.
First, a majority of our blog readers have created an Infogram chart or infographic sometime over the last six months. This is great news because it means our readers use our tool and trust us to help them craft professional data visualizations.
The average score for our blog is close to seven. This provides us with a quantitative benchmark for our reader’s overall satisfaction. We will use this data to help track our progress and continue to provide even better content.
We witnessed a strong demand for more data visualization examples and how-to guides. We’ve already started to respond to this feedback. In January we launched a new gallery featuring the best examples Infogram has to offer. We also plan to start writing more informative guides like this one for you to enjoy.
We felt like a blog survey was a good way to close out 2016. Why? Company blogs have become increasingly important for growing businesses. Blogs attract customers, educate current users, and help establish companies as thought leaders in their industries. We wanted to make sure our vision was in line with our reader’s needs.
P.S. If you’d like to experience our survey for yourself, click here.
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