After finishing my first reader survey, I wrote personal recap on everything I asked and what information I gained during the process. It went so much better than I’d anticipated, thanks to a few guidelines I made for myself before running it! Today I want to share those guidelines with you, and show you how to create a survey from start to finish. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to run your own successful reader survey!
How To Run A Successful Reader Survey
1. Determine what you want to get out of your survey
Running a survey without much intention won’t provide you with much information, which is why it’s important that you know why you’re making one. Do you want to discover who your audience is? Did you launch a new design and need some feedback? Are you considering making some changes and want to know how your audience will handle them? I ran my survey to figure out what my audience enjoyed about my content, and determine how they were finding that content. Knowing your purpose will help you come up with questions for the next step!
2. Come up with specific questions
Part of the reason I think my survey went so well was because of the questions I asked. I knew what I needed to know, so I asked exactly those questions rather than broad ones. For example, if you want to know whether your readers enjoy your content, don’t ask, “Do you enjoy reading my content?” Instead, ask something like, “What types of content do you enjoy reading the most?” and list out the different topics you post about so your readers can choose. The main point is, avoid asking yes or no questions wherever possible. Your readers have answers, so let them give them to you!
3. Order your questions so they flow well
You don’t want your readers feeling confused when they go through your survey, so making sure your questions flow is important. For example, if you have multiple questions about your content, group all of those together. I also grouped all of my short answer questions together and placed them at the bottom, so it doesn’t look like I’m asking my reader for a whole essay!
4. Create your survey
Now comes the fun part! You have multiple options when deciding where you want to host your survey, but I personally like Google Forms the most. It has an easy to use format, and lots of designs to choose from. My favorite feature is the spreadsheet they create with all of your responses, making it easy for you to see how the survey is going and get a quick glance at what people are saying.
5. Launch your survey
Once you’ve finished making your survey, it’s time to launch it! I launched mine through a blog post, where I explained why I was running the survey and what I was hoping to get out of it. This is also the time to put your social media skills to the test and spread the word. Tweet it, pin it, and share it everywhere! Here are some extra tips for making your launch successful:
- Create a sense of urgency. You want your followers to complete it sooner than later, so by setting a deadline (say 3 days), you’ll get more responses.
- Don’t just tell people to complete it. Tell them why you’re doing this, and give them a good reason to decide on their own that they want to participate.
- Include an incentive if you think your efforts aren’t working. Maybe send a freebie to everyone who participates!
6. Collect and interpret your data
After your determined time period is over, take some time to look at your responses and analyze them. Are there any trends? Surprises? Make a list of these notes. Hopefully they gave you the information you were looking for!
7. (Optional) Create a graphic to display and share the results with your readers
Have some fun and put the data you got into a beautiful infographic. This will make it easy for your readers to see how your survey went, and gives you something to look back on! I decided to post about my results too, but that’s totally optional.