Community Discussion: How Do You Survey Your Readers?

how-to-survey-your-readers.jpg

As the end of the year nears, you might be thinking about plans for your blogging in 2018.

One thing that will help inform that is a reader survey. On both ProBlogger and Digital Photography school I do an annual survey, usually around November.

As we plan our surveys, I thought I’d share some of the types of questions you can ask and give you a chance to share some of the survey techniques that have been successful for you too.

Types of questions you could ask:

  • Demographics: find out your readers’ gender, age, income, and interests. You can compare this with the analytics you get from Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
  • Content: What types of content do your readers like? Practical, inspirational, case studies? What length of blog post do they prefer, and how often do they like reading?
  • Products: If you’re planning new products you can test out some ideas and price points in your survey.
  • Problems: Some of the most useful information you can find out is the kinds of problems your readers want solved – the keystone to creating engaging content.

Another area you may want to include is any questions that regular advertisers/sponsors may want to know, or information you can use to attract regular advertisers and sponsors.

A good example of this is finding out the intentions of your readers. If you have a travel blog, and know that 50% of your readers are planning international travel in the next three months, you can use that information to show the relevance of your blog to overseas destinations or maybe insurance providers.

Maybe you’re wondering about how to implement a survey. We use SurveyMonkey for our surveys, but you could also use Google Forms. Typeform is another survey tool we’ve checked out. The main thing is to use something that will let you ask succinct questions and get aggregated answers that can easily be viewed and analysed as data and graphs.

If you’ve got some tips on how you run readers surveys, please leave them in the comments below so we can create a more detailed post in the future.

Image Credit: Emily Morter

The post Community Discussion: How Do You Survey Your Readers? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Are You Making Progress With Your Blogging?

blog progress.jpg

Remember the 1st of January 2017? Did you decide “This is the year I’ll start a blog”? Or maybe you set some new blog goals for 2017, prompted by our community discussion?

Well, guess what? We’re coming up to the last quarter of the year – just 3 more months remain in 2017. Are you where you want to be with your blogging at this stage of the year?

If you haven’t set any goals you may not be sure how you’re tracking. It’s never too late to benchmark where you’re at and prepare for what’s ahead. A good start would be these 17 statistics to monitor on your blog. If it’s your first year of blogging, then check out our tips (and free download) for evaluating your blog’s first year. Even if it wasn’t your first year, the evaluation will still help you work out how you’re traveling with your blog.

If you’ve been blogging a while, you may want to conduct a more thorough review. Whilst it might be a little early to conduct a full annual blogging review, you may glean enough insights to get you through to the end of the year in good shape by evaluating these seven areas of your blog from Darren’s half-yearly review process.

With the final quarter of the year to go, you may also want to start planning ahead for next year. It will be Christmas before we know it, so it’s a good time to set some blog changing goals for the new year.

We’d love to know how you monitor your blog’s progress. Do you set goals – annually, quarterly, monthly even? Do you have a process for reviewing your blog’s performance? Perhaps you can share in the comments which metrics/milestones/achievements are most important to you? And, most importantly – tell us if you’re where you were hoping to be with your blogging as we move into the last quarter of 2017.

Image Credit: rawpixel.com

The post Community Discussion: Are You Making Progress With Your Blogging? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Should Bloggers Ask For Donations?

Bloggers calling for donations or reader contributions like “buy me a beer” or “buy me a coffee” have been around for over ten years, as has the debate over whether they should.

Now however, with more mainstream media putting up paywalls, the growth of subscription based content providers and the rise of crowdfunding, is it a better time for bloggers to put their hand out too?

As an example, it appears Guardian News and Media (Guardian and Observer) is trying to monetize its content every which way. It produces a variety of content from outside parties, categorising it as either:

  • ‘Supported by’ – editorially independent content, produced by journalists, funded by foundations and the like;
  • ‘Paid content/Paid for by’ – produced by the paper’s commercial department not journalists; or
  • ‘Advertiser content/from our advertisers’ – produced by the advertisers themselves.

Whilst they are earning money from advertisers and sponsors, the Guardian also asks its readers to ‘Become a Supporter’ (subscriber) or ‘Make a Contribution’ (donate).

Paypal has long had a ‘donate’ button you can put on your blog and even set up a recurring subscription-like donation. How would this go down with your audience?

Similarly, I’ve seen many bloggers disclose affiliate referrals to their readers as a way to ‘donate’ to help them keep the lights on or pay their internet bills.

Patreon claims to have sent over $150 million to creators using its membership model whereby your fans pay you a subscription amount of their choice. This model seems to be growing in popularity for creators of all kinds, but particularly podcasters and YouTubers.

Inklpay is a new player offering $0.10 micropayments either in the form of voluntary ‘tips’ or an enforced paywall per piece of content. Would this work for you?

At ProBlogger, we occasionally run blogging events and often receive feedback from attendees that we should charge more given the value of these events. We noticed that the event ticketing system Eventbrite now also offers a ‘donate’ option alongside its free or paid ticketing. This concept seems like those restaurants where they don’t have prices on the menus and instead ask you to pay what you think the meal is worth or what you can afford.

So, what about you? Have you ever asked for or received donations on your blog? What system do you use? Do you donate to others? Would a voluntary subscription fee, once-off contribution or a micropayment per piece of content work for you? More importantly, would your audience see value in that?

Please contribute to the production of this content by leaving your ‘tip’ in the comments below (see what I did there?!). 

(Photo by Thomas Malama on Unsplash)

The post Community Discussion: Should Bloggers Ask For Donations? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Analysis of Your Most Popular Post

So here at ProBlogger we love to look at what has been successful and what hasn’t in terms of content, and learn from it. There is always something to be taken away from each experience, and it’s important to know the difference.

There have been times when something unexpected has done really well, and in those times we really narrow down and pinpoint what it could be that worked so well, and how we missed it in the first place! But also we know we’re onto a winner when a blog post is useful, timely, solves a pain point for our readers, and gets shared by influential bloggers with authority in our niche. If it’s comprehensive we’re halfway there. We strive to have all our posts follow this formula, but as you know, every now and again a post will just fly.

Because replicating success is one of the best things you can do, today we’re inviting you to go through the last six months of your blog and find your most popular post. Go through each section of it and figure out what it was that made that blog post sing. Where was it shared? Was it a list post or a tutorial? Did it have images that worked well on Pinterest? Or was it SEO that helped it along?

Feel free to share your post in the comments below, with your analysis – how did it get such a great reaction, and how can you recreate that?

The post Community Discussion: Analysis of Your Most Popular Post appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Making Money

ProBlogger Community Discussion: Making Money

One of the most popular topics on ProBlogger (if not the most searched-for item) is making money blogging, and how to go about it.

There are so many ways of earning a living online, and we have almost just as much advice on how best to keep the dollars rolling in. Darren covers it quite extensively on his podcast, and it’s a topic we dive down deep in during every ProBlogger conference or event. If you’ve got a question, we would undoubtedly have the answer!

But because it’s so different, there’s no one real formula to success (and if there is, I’d probably say it’s “diversify“). Thats why I’d love to chat with you about what has worked for you and what hasn’t? What are the pros and cons of each choice for you? What would you love to try? What do you wish would be successful, but just isn’t?

For example, affiliate sales for me used to be difficult as it wasn’t as prevalent in Australia. Most of my income comes from freelance blogging, writing, and editing, and while affiliate income has grown, it isn’t what it could be if my audience was US-based. I also quite regularly had sponsored content on the blog over the years, but sidebar advertising wasn’t terribly successful. My next move is products (if only I can make the time!).

Where do you stand on making money? How much would you like to make? What kinds of income streams are you using or will you be experimenting with this year? Let’s chat!

The post Community Discussion: Making Money appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Your One Thing for 2017

At the ProBlogger event on the Gold Coast last year, Darren motivated us all with his rallying cry to find one thing we want to do with our blogs, businesses, and lives. Just one thing that we would prioritise, measure all things against, and work hardest at among all the other things that take up our time.

I’m still considering my one thing. I thought I’d have 2017’s figured out by now, but I don’t. Last year for me was “get back to my roots” – blogging had changed, and mine was no exception. But I wanted to get back to where it all started, what the passion was for me, and that was food and storytelling. So getting back to my roots was my One Thing.

This year I’ve a few ideas about what it can be, but I’m letting them marinate in the background, knowing that when the time is right the answer will appear. And then I’ll know what to put first, above all else, as a guidepost for who and what I want to be this year.

But I’d love to know what is your One Thing? What is it that you are concentrating on this year? Are you wanting to write a book? Do you wish you could take the leap from full time work to full time blogging? Determined to nail email marketing? Prioritising your health? Do please share and let’s discuss.

The post Community Discussion: Your One Thing for 2017 appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Do You Use a Schedule?

ProBlogger Community Discussion: Do you use a schedule?

Perhaps you’re using a schedule right now? We can’t be everywhere online 24/7 (and really, who would want to be?) but our work benefits from being available for the people wherever they are in the world.

I am a huge fan of scheduling, without it I wouldn’t have the work-life balance that I do.

I schedule not only my work days, my blog content and my social media, but often my non-work time too (Friday afternoon is Happy Hour and it must not be disturbed!). I actually feel like I have more flexibility and freedom when I schedule. I wouldn’t be caught dead without CoSchedule and other platforms’ scheduling functions!

You can read more about what I do and how I handle the ProBlogger content here: 3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger, and there are more tips here: 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier

You might also like to check out Darren’s super low-tech editorial schedule, a posting schedule that encourages engagement, and 9 ways you can create a usable blogging schedule.

And don’t forget – too much automation can actually be a bad thing: Could Marketing Automation Be Hurting Your Blog-Reader Relationships?

Do you schedule? Just your content or your hours too? What kinds of tools do you use? Have you tried scheduling and hated it?

The post Community Discussion: Do You Use a Schedule? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: What are Your Goals for 2017?

ProBlogger: What are your blog goals?

Ahhh can you feel that? The lively, motivating surge of new year energy. After my beach holiday over the Christmas break, and a recovery from that holiday since (we all need one, amirite?!), I am so ready to crack open the laptop and kick ass for 2017. Are you?!

To that end, I have been ruminating over the things I want to do this year, blog-wise. Experiments to try, older posts to update, slightly-high-but-still-hopefully-realistic social media targets – my list of goals is small, but I’m hoping that means they’ll be achievable.

Every year I sit down and project where I’d like to be at the end of it, and what kinds of things will get me there. Not only the end result, but how I can break that end result down and make it more manageable for my day-to-day.

If this is something you do (or want to start doing), you can find my never-fail goal-setting advice and template here, and Darren and I discuss goal-setting on the ProBlogger podcast here.

I’m very nosy, though, and terribly interested in blog goals, so I’d love to hear if you have any and what they are for this year? Do please let me know in the comments!

Extra help:

PB135: How To Grow Your Blog’s Traffic And Income By Setting Goals

How to Set Blog-Changing Goals for the New Year

Blogging in Brief: Goal-Setting … and Reaching!

5 Goals Every Blogger Should Set Up in Google Analytics

 

The post Community Discussion: What are Your Goals for 2017? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: Do You Use a Schedule?

ProBlogger Community Discussion: Do you use a schedule?

Perhaps you’re using a schedule right now? We can’t be everywhere online 24/7 (and really, who would want to be?) but our work benefits from being available for the people wherever they are in the world.

I am a huge fan of scheduling, without it I wouldn’t have the work-life balance that I do.

I schedule not only my work days, my blog content and my social media, but often my non-work time too (Friday afternoon is Happy Hour and it must not be disturbed!). I actually feel like I have more flexibility and freedom when I schedule. I wouldn’t be caught dead without CoSchedule and other platforms’ scheduling functions!

You can read more about what I do and how I handle the ProBlogger content here: 3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger, and there are more tips here: 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier

You might also like to check out Darren’s super low-tech editorial schedule, a posting schedule that encourages engagement, and 9 ways you can create a usable blogging schedule.

And don’t forget – too much automation can actually be a bad thing: Could Marketing Automation Be Hurting Your Blog-Reader Relationships?

Do you schedule? Just your content or your hours too? What kinds of tools do you use? Have you tried scheduling and hated it?

The post Community Discussion: Do You Use a Schedule? appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Community Discussion: What are Your Goals for 2017?

ProBlogger: What are your blog goals?

Ahhh can you feel that? The lively, motivating surge of new year energy. After my beach holiday over the Christmas break, and a recovery from that holiday since (we all need one, amirite?!), I am so ready to crack open the laptop and kick ass for 2017. Are you?!

To that end, I have been ruminating over the things I want to do this year, blog-wise. Experiments to try, older posts to update, slightly-high-but-still-hopefully-realistic social media targets – my list of goals is small, but I’m hoping that means they’ll be achievable.

Every year I sit down and project where I’d like to be at the end of it, and what kinds of things will get me there. Not only the end result, but how I can break that end result down and make it more manageable for my day-to-day.

If this is something you do (or want to start doing), you can find my never-fail goal-setting advice and template here, and Darren and I discuss goal-setting on the ProBlogger podcast here.

I’m very nosy, though, and terribly interested in blog goals, so I’d love to hear if you have any and what they are for this year? Do please let me know in the comments!

Extra help:

PB135: How To Grow Your Blog’s Traffic And Income By Setting Goals

How to Set Blog-Changing Goals for the New Year

Blogging in Brief: Goal-Setting … and Reaching!

5 Goals Every Blogger Should Set Up in Google Analytics

 

The post Community Discussion: What are Your Goals for 2017? appeared first on ProBlogger.