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What Do YOU Want From Your Readers?


fashion woman holding heart shape pillow

When you start your blog, you think about what you want from your blog. You think about what kind of content you want to create. You think about what kind of design you want, what kind of logo you want… all of which are very important.

But have you thought about what you want from your readers.

Is it just enough that they come to your site? That they read your blog posts?

Do you want them to comment?

Do you want them to say nice things to you or about you?

Do you want them to click on  your links?

Do you want them to buy your products?

Do you want them to be your friends?

Do you want them to link to you from their blogs?

Do you want them to make you a cake and serve you breakfast in bed?

OK… the last one may be going a little too far. But it serves a purpose. We spend so much time thinking about what we think our readers might want, but how much time do we think about what we want from our readers?

It's just as important to think about what you want from your readers as any other element of your blog. Knowing what kind of readers you want and what actions you want them to take will shape your content to help meet your goals. How are you communicating what you want your readers to do if you don't know what you want from them?

Sooo… what do YOU want from your readers?

4 Ways to Get Actionable Feedback from Your Readers

Get Feedback Blog Readers

No matter how many innovative things you want to bring to your website or blog, they might not work properly. This might happen if your ideas are not achieving the high level of expectations your readers have from your site. However, the failure of big movements can be avoided with one simple strategy: Ask your audience for their opinion.

Usually, it's a highly neglected strategy, and under some circumstances, it can backfire. But, if used with caution, you can discover what the weaknesses of your brand are and even how you can improve them! Giving your public a chance to improve their experience on your blog or website will even make them more loyal to your content. You are putting them on the scene for the first time, and allowing them to help you will be their first step to consistency.

There are four main strategies to push your readers a little in the direction of actionable feedback. Let’s see what they are and how you can put them into practice.

1. Conduct Reader Surveys

Surveys are the best method to feel the pulse of your public. They are much better than the other approached methods for gathering feedback, and I’m talking about phone calls or chats. When asked directly, the people feel too exposed, and they resort to cushioned and brisk answers so as not to damage the relationship. However, hidden by the shadow of anonymity, people are no longer feeling the consequences of their words, so there is nothing to hold them back from the sheer truth.

Nothing but time, actually. The surveys should always have a call to action part in order for them to become more effective. Setting a deadline is a reasonably good technique to acquire a higher rate of reach. However, a deadline plus a reward at the end of the survey is a miracle worker combo.

The answers should then be collected in a spreadsheet and actually be analyzed. You may feel the need to ignore the bad feedback because there was a higher rate of good answers. However, remember that negative criticism is actually a constructive feedback which does better that the nice and friendly criticism. Even though some kind of feedback was gathered from a lower number of people, don’t forget that these people are also representing the ones that refrained from taking part in your survey, just because they came to dislike the brand too much. So, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to consider every piece of advice from your public.

2. Monitor Your Website Activity

The best kind of feedback isn’t always supposed to come in the form of words. It can be hidden right under our noses without us noticing. In other words, your own website can gather a lot of precious information from its users.

There are many online software that monitor the activity from your website and create heat maps based on their findings on the spot. What they do is tracking the mouse movements people make with cursors on your website. Then the hot spots are registered in such maps, and you have a clear picture on any page of your site. You will know what are the most popular features of your website, what to change about it, what to replace, and what options you should just simply get rid of. You will then understand what is good and what is wrong on your site.

So, the results of marketing campaigns just got more scalable than ever. You can now read the success of a “call to action” button just by analyzing how many times it has been clicked. If the numbers tell you that the button or ad had fewer clicks than any other feature on your website, it is safe to assume that they are not as effective as you thought they might be.

3. Check Out Behavioral Insight Surveys

This innovative way of getting access to valuable feedback has opened the way to “reader-centricity” to marketers. Now, it is possible to measure the satisfaction of your website at any step of the reader’s experience.

In short, the behavioral insight surveys are short questions that pop up at certain moments of the visit. They ask the users short questions like “What was the purpose of your visit?” or some more specific questions targeting one website element “Do you find the Community column useful?”. The answers can be selected, but they also have a blank spot where users can support their answer with a comment.

The collected insights will go great with the analytics. The numbers from the analytics will tell you which element is the weakest or the most popular on your website, and then you will know at which step and which question to pop up to your users.

Such a software that can make all these is Qualaroo.com that allows you to take informative decisions. Another insightful software is Google Consumer Surveys which kind of gamifies the online surveys by rewarding the users when they answer the questions with access to premium resources, like well-researched articles.

4. Follow Up With Your Readers

Even though these are just questionnaires, this doesn’t save you from sending follow-up emails. The client should know that he is appreciated within the community of your brand and his feedback lies at the foundation of the new improvements you have in store for your website.

However, it is obviously not possible to carry out a 100% follow-up task. If your surveys are constantly sent, which is how things are supposed to be in the first place, the number of participants is too overwhelming for just a team of marketing. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t try your best. The most sensible solution is to organize a certain system that prioritizes the feedback. The answers that were actually useful should be repaid as soon as possible.

The follow-up emails will round up the bond the client created when they participated in the surveys. Seeing that their actions contributed to the greater good, and they got the attention of one of their favorite brands, the clients will become loyal to the brand. Thus, the efforts put in for follow ups will have long term and efficient returns.

All in all, these are the four best ways to get actionable feedback from your readers. Without their feedback, the company will move in complete darkness in its goal to achieve evolution. So, improve all the feeble points of the brand whenever a reader points it out for you.

What ways do you strategize to get feedback from your readers? Comment below with more tips!

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Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) is a community of fashion bloggers who share their experiences and resources to build a better blog.

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21 Responses

  1. irene laura

    Awesome article! I just want them to get inspired..I think that’s enough 🙂

    www.ontomywardrobe.com

    Reply
  2. Mark Alexander

    Thank you! I think that’s the question I failed to ask myself when I started. A bit more engagement and appreciation on social media is what I’m after 🙂

    Reply
  3. Shannon

    I may be about to get myself blacklisted for this one, but I don’t spend that much time thinking about what my readers want from me. I post what I like. I write content that expresses how I feel. I share my feelings openly and then I hope and I pray that the right readers find and appreciate what I’ve put out that day. I spend more time thinking about what I want from myself and what I want from my readers than I do anything else.

    So what do I want from my readers?
    Acceptance, friendship, compassion, understanding (not much right, ha). If they click on a link to something I may make money from, BONUS! Comments are always amazing. It’s great to know that there’s someone out there reading what I’m writing and enjoying it.

    www.brasshoney.blogspot.com

    Reply
  4. Shannon

    I may be about to get myself blacklisted for this one, but I don’t spend that much time thinking about what my readers want from me. I post what I like. I write content that expresses how I feel. I share my feelings openly and then I hope and I pray that the right readers find and appreciate what I’ve put out that day. I spend more time thinking about what I want from myself and what I want from my readers than I do anything else.

    So what do I want from my readers?
    Acceptance, friendship, compassion, understanding (not much right, ha). If they click on a link to something I may make money from, BONUS! Comments are always amazing. It’s great to know that there’s someone out there reading what I’m writing and enjoying it.

    www.brasshoney.blogspot.com

    Reply
  5. Amanda Marie

    I have started to think about this exact thing and I think I want my readers to like and appreciate the content I post. I also would like them to comment and provide feedback on what they would like to see.

    Reply
  6. CynthiaCM

    It would be nice to get more comments and retweets/likes, but I realize it isn’t everything!

    Reply
  7. Irina Dorn

    This is a great point! I try to think of what my readers want to read, and how to make it interesting, and then figure out how to incorporate what I want from them into it (links, follow, comment). Still, I don’t want to compromise my content, but as a blogger, I have to make money.
    The best way is to keep it as seamless and authentic as possible.
    I wouldn’t mind some tips on how to engage my readers even more and have them share my content, not just comment or like.
    I love that someone mentioned that they want to get their readers inspired. That just might be key to everything!!!
    xoxo,
    Irina

    Reply
  8. Oh K

    I think I think of my readers by using a genuine voice. But I do that for the both of is. I think my readers (I don’t have many haha) and I both enjoy the same things therefore we are sharing output with each other.

    But what do I want from my readers?
    cake, comments, input, genuine interaction!

    Reply
  9. Audrey

    I think I want my readers to be inspired by me and my looks. I first started a blog because I was so inspired by the looks of other bloggers, I thought if I could take someone’s breath away like that, it would be amazing. I also don’t want them to be afraid to talk to me. Tell me what they like, don’t like, or want to see.

    Of course, my main goal is cake and breakfast in bed. Isn’t this the purpose of fashion blogging?

    (I would first need readers to accomplish any of the above things, so don’t hesitate to become one of the first)

    thesarcasticwasian.blogspot.com

    Reply
  10. Monika Faulkner

    Darn…I thought this article was going to give us some hints to help us actually GET more engagement from our readers!! I guess there’s no secret formula though; being “real” and being consistent (and persistent!) is probably the only way to go. Eventually, readers who love what you love will find their way to you; ideally, with some influential friends in tow!!

    Reply
  11. Beverly Catherine

    I think I would like more comments as I feel when I publish a post I am left in the dark because I don’t get much to no comments on it , which is not the greatest . But I think that it I think that it is important for me to carry on as I do get views so I think that makes up for the lack of comments .

    Beverly | Beverlysbit.blogspot.com

    Reply
  12. Jeanine Marie

    I want all of the above….Mostly I would like to meet a nice group of supportive bloggers who can inspire me to be the best blogger I can be. Not too many bloggers where I am so the online community is where I seek friendships.

    Jeanine Marie
    avalonandkelly.com

    Reply
  13. Toyosi

    I want to create conversations and connections with my readers. I want to hear their opinions and feedback on things that I post.

    Reply
  14. choolee

    great article i want to talk to my readers, to discuss with em 🙂 its nice to see that your blog is “active”

    CHECK OUT MY NEW BLOGPOST
    http://www.chicchoolee.com/2013/11/monthly-online-selection.html

    Reply
  15. Lauren Martin

    I think just posting relevant and engaging content that I think people will enjoy is enough for me. It would be nice to get more feedback sometimes but I often have people when i see them in person tell me how much they enjoy my blog. Which is nice and sometimes unexpected.
    -Lauren M

    Reply
  16. Lix

    I want interaction, mainly, and eventually I’d like to build a readership that wants to buy what I sell (graphic design services, photography products, that fashion/accessory line I’ve been working on). I haven’t quite figured out how to encourage those things, though.

    Reply
  17. maddie

    Great question! I want two things from my readers. First, I want them to leave my blog feeling like they have something they didn’t before they came to my site. Inspired, I hope that they spread the word about my blog to other friends and bloggers. This helps me shape my content by making sure that each one of my blog posts provides some sort of information or inspiration.

    Reply
  18. Debra Barretta

    I basically write for myself. I know that sounds selfish. I want to be true to myself and build credibility with my readers. I have a small following, but they mean so much. 🙂 Hopefully I leave them feeling inspired.

    Debra@stylewisebydebra.com

    Reply
  19. Ashley

    I want my readers to feel comfortable enough on my blog to become my friend, not just a commenter, and it wouldn’t hurt if they clicked all the links and bought a product every now and then!

    xo Ashley

    Reply
  20. Gemma Savage

    I’ve read all the comments on this post and there are so many valued points and I feel the overall view point is to know you are not blogging to your self and that people are actually reading and appreciating your blog. I like to think some of my post offer a chance for conversation even if they don’t agree with me (perhaps this would offer the chance for me to learn something from my readers).

    On another note: What I would love from you is to check out my blog and let me know what you think. And maybe, just maybe comment.

    http://savagegem.wordpress.com/

    Reply