If you are not giving your blog community what they want they will leave you. That’s the truth of the matter. I have experienced it first hand on my own blogs and have seen it over and over again on others.
It is just human nature. When we are asked to invest time and energy into something, we usually want a return on that investment. Even in our most charitable moments, we still enjoy the satisfaction of the investment of giving.
Blog readers are no different. They come to you with all their needs and desires and look to have them met in some form or fashion.
If you meet them, they stay. If you don’t, well, they don’t.
So how do you find out what it is that they really want?
Here are three options:
1. Ask them.
Sounds obvious and easy doesn’t it? Be honest though, have you asked your readers or have you just written and posted and hoped for the best?
Take the time to explicitly ask them what it is that they want to see on your blog?
One way would be to set aside a blog post that is specifically targeted towards finding out the topics, themes and types of posts they want to see on your blog.
Another way would be to add a “P.S.” onto a blog post and ask questions. This way allows you to still publish content, but utilize the post for information gathering.
However you decide to do it – ask.
2. Ask them through a survey.
Here’s another human nature truth: People love to talk about themselves.
Survey’s are a great way to get them talking. Probably the most notable of the online survey products is Survey Monkey. You can use the service for free and customize a survey that can be included on your blog or sent out to your list.
Here’s a couple of tips to keep in mind while developing your survey:
- Keep it short. Pople want to help, but not all day.
- Make it user friendly. Nobody likes a survey that hard to complete.
- Allow for people to write an answer in if they don’t like your choices. It’s about them not you.
Surveys are becoming more popular in the blogging community. The might be the perfect choice for you to discover exactly what your readers want.
3. Ask them through Social Media
If you are on Twitter and Facebook (as a blogger, I hope you are) use those platforms to engage your readers about their wants and needs.
Some folks will never share what they want on your blog, but they will take the time to make a short list on Twitter or comment on a Facebook question.
Linkedin would be another forum that you could use to do a bit of surveying of your readers.
Social Media has tons of places for us to connect with our audience beyond our blogs. Use the tools they offer to get about finding out what your readers want.
In my opinion, the whole idea of blogging is about making connections and creating conversations. In order to do this we simply must know how best to meet the needs of our community.
Knowing involves asking. So ask.
I always learn from your experiences, so that’s what I’m asking for in the comments. What ways have I missed that you have used to discover the needs of your readers? What do you think about these three ways? How can they be made better?
Continue the conversation below.