Tuesday, 17 May 2016

3 Super Simple Reasons To Survey Your Audience

Yesterday I was scrolling through social media and came across yet another blogger asking their followers what content they wanted to see from them, and sure, every once in a while is a good thing to be doing, especially since your social media followers change quite frequently, but is asking on social media the best method of getting to know your audience? Is there not a much easier, less time consuming method you can use in order to get the best out of the people who read your blog or use your website regularly? Yes, there is. Surveys.

We all know what surveys are; they're those poor people in market centres asking if you can spare a few minutes to answer some questions you neither care about, nor will benefit from at any point in the future, but alas, not all surveys are made the same. Surveys don't just provide the creator with information on a certain subject, or demographic, but they enable the surveyee (yes, that is a word, English is funny that way!) to provide much needed and wanted feedback to the creator, and feedback is the most important thing your audience can give you.

In this day and age, their are very few people blogging for themselves, and by 'for themselves', I mean they don't particularly care about the interaction their getting from other people, or their numbers growing, BUT for every one of those bloggers, there's plenty more who do. Some of them want to turn their blog into their career, while others are happy to see a sizable difference along their journey, but don't want dollar in their back pocket. In truth, it doesn't matter which of these you are, you still need to have some idea of what you audience want, and surveys are the best way to do that. Plain and simple.

But why? Why should I survey my audience? Why can't I just ask on social media?

There's nothing stopping you from just tweeting out to your followers, but a survey allows you to get to the nitty gritty. It allows you to target your audience who really care about your content, the people that check out your blogs content than just stick around for your tweets, and find out what they enjoy, what they want, what they want more of from you as a provider, as a teacher, as a tutor, as a person in the know.

Surveys give you top-quality feedback on your audiences honest opinion of you and your service

A survey provides a certain anonymity that social media doesn't, which means you're automatically more likely to get an honest response. Nobody is going to send you a message saying they didn't enjoy a specific style of content, because it quite frankly sounds cruel, but a survey gives your audience a change to be completely truthful with you. Sure, it might hurt to find out your audience don't actually care about your trip to Turkey in comparison to learning about customising their blog and newest, biggest books of the month, but wouldn't you rather know and stop than turn an interested audience away?

Social media is also much quicker in comparison to a survey, which means you're less likely to get a quality response. If you've only got 5 minutes, you're not going to spend it responding to one question in depth on 20 question survey - you're going to tweet and go, which doesn't help anyone in the long run. A survey in comparison allows your audience to tell you exactly what they want, but most important, it gives them the opportunity to tell you WHY. Once you know WHY your audience wants to know something, you'll be flying.

Surveys allow you to tailor your audiences answers to suit your needs based on what you want to know

Say for example you want to know how people are likely to interact with your content, you can create a survey that gets into the details and helps you come up with the best way to write your content. If your audience says they read your content more on-the-go, you may ind that adding more headings and splitting your paragraphs into smaller chunks works better, as it's easier to scan smaller sections of writing. You might also find yourself writing shorter, sweeter posts so your audience can cram it in before work and still get top-notch content. Surveys help you completely tailor questions to your audience in a way that helps both creator and content-muncher in a way social media never could.

Surveys educate you on your audience in a way statistics never can, from their goals to want they enjoy

There are plenty of methods you can use to check out your audience. You can use Google Analytics Demographics (easy peasy guide to GA for beginners right here people!) to find our what they - male or female - where they live, (by country obviously, we're not stalkers) and even their general age and interests, but what GA doesn't tell you is WHO your audience is. Very few tools show you what kind of people your audience are, whether they're side-hustlers or total hobbiests, whether they're a single mother of three looking for an escape, or a entrepreneur genius with 5 business and 3 in the way, but a survey can, and does.

With a survey, you can find out who your audience is and what makes them tick. What do they come to your blog for, the tutorials, or the general chat? What do they want to achieve in their lives, and how does your blog help? What do they wish on all the stars they knew how to do? A survey enables you to look past the statistics of your audience and see people interested in what you have to offer, which makes what you do as a creative even more important and impactful. You have the ability to change peoples lives, just as long as you know WHO they are.

Okay okay, I'm convinced, but what survey provider should I use? They're are so many!

You're right, there are A LOT of survey providers out there, all promising you different set-ups, different perks, different price ranges and whatnot, and they allow you to achieve all manners of different things, but one my personal favourites is Typeform. It's easy to set up, minimal but customisable and also allows you to check out your responses in detail, from the platform they used like desktops and phones, to how many actually finished the survey against those that didn't (which is extremely helpful in terms in deciding how many questions to include - the less people that finish, the more likely you should dial back on the q's.)

As if all that wasn't enough, it's free too, so I'll be sharing more about Typeform and sharing a complete tutorial from start to finish on how to create your own survey with Typeform in a few days time. We'll be talking about all of the features, how to get into the nitty gritty of the secret tricks and how to nail your first official survey right off the bat. If you don't want to miss this tutorial, make sure you're following along on Twitter and Bloglovin'.

Have you used surveys on your blog before?


  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I was JUST about to do a survey for my blog, but I couldn't find a template that was intuitively obvious/would work for me. This is amazing. I am so glad you shared this, you have no idea. You da bomb!

    The Penslayer Blog

  2. YESS I LOVE SURVEYS!!! I basically do one at the end of each year! :D Although I'm entirely selfish, tbh, and while I like the feedback I do actually only blog the kind of content I'm interested in. HAHAH. Ahem. I mean, I don't blog content I know NO ONE is interested in, but yes. I tend to go with the muse over my followers...even though I probably shouldn't. :/ BUT ANYWAY! Surveys are great. *nods* I also like sending out anonymous ones so people can point out things about my site that don't work (like aren't navigable or the font is weird, etc.) because I want to make everything super easy and comfortable for them. :D

  3. I have never done one. I really want to though but I just felt like no one would answer it haha. I don't know, but I just had this feeling I would get zero entries on the survey and it would be pointless. Plus... I have zero clue what questions to ask. Maybe I should. Especially now I really want to get back into blogging.

  4. I have done many surveys before and I think they totally work! They help you so much and are totally worth it :)

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

  5. Thank you for sharing this insightful post once again! I haven't done many surveys, (one, actually?!) in my blogging life, and you're right, it's important, but I always get scared that people wouldn't want to answer / care.... I do try to track blog posts that people comment on the most and like the most, in order to interest people more, but sometimes it's hard, and sometimes I feel like doing something completely different, taking a leap and just, well, trying, haha.