We all struggle with figuring out what is popular and what our blog readers REALLY want from us. Have you ever thought about just outright asking them? You can, and should! The fancy-schmancy word for this is a market survey, but let’s just focus on the asking part for now. My blog isn’t very old (just a little over one year at this point), but I have already asked my readers what they want and how I can help them four times. Each time I got a little better at it. I want to share what I did and how I refined my questions to get answers I could use! And, yes, they absolutely work. This last survey’s answers led me to the product idea that resulted in over $15,000 in sales in its first launch.
How I Surveyed My People
So let’s first look at what I did in the beginning and why I think it didn’t work.
My first survey was vague and didn’t direct my readers to give the kind of feedback I needed to grow my blog. Here is that actual survey.
My second survey was a bit better. I was now at least asking for answers to questions that might help me move forward with my blog. But the questions were not quite right — I ended up with a HUGE spectrum of answers without clear patterns. Here is that actual survey.
My most recent survey was astonishingly short—it had ONLY five questions:
- What are you struggling with the most right now?
- What are you most excited about learning about?
- What have you tried that hasn’t worked?
- What would it mean to you to solve this problem in the next three months?
- What is your name and email address?
That’s it. By keeping it this short, I was able to get my readers to really open up to me. I learned a GREAT deal about what they were struggling with, and some of it had nothing to do with my blog’s topic. And that was okay, because it meant they were really answering my questions. A good amount was in regards to something I blog about, and I was able to see the patterns with just this few questions. That is really key!!
Tip: If you want to try this, use the questions above exactly as I’ve typed them. Avoid the temptation to qualify them. They are written a bit vague for a reason—to get your readers to open up to you.
Here is the actual survey form I used.
What Do You Do With The Responses
After I got the responses back to the super short survey, I identified four different things I could help my readers with. I sent a new survey with those four things only to the people who responded (see that survey here). I expected them all to favor one, but it turns out they favored the option I thought was the least likely. This was a big breakthrough for me. So I ran with it, and within two weeks I was launching a product based around that topic.
Tip: If you’re observant, you’ll note I moved from the free Google survey to the paid Wufoo.com survey. Why? Because it was recommended by online course guru Brian Dixon as the platform he uses for his surveys, and because the analytics were WAY better than anything Google had to offer. And this allowed me to find the answers easier.
Learn More About Market Surveys
If you’re looking for more help in figuring out what to ask your readers, I recommend the FREE EBA Market Survey Handbook. It goes into more depth on why a market survey is so important, the things NOT to ask, ideas to get you started, and a bunch of other tips for successful market surveys.
I hope you found this story helpful! Feel free to ask me any questions here or via email at [email protected]