How to Hear Back from Your Readers and Followers (Setting up Polls, Surveys and Quizzes)

hipster grafitti
hipster grafitti by striatic, on Flickr
Being stuck is one of the major problems of an entrepreneur.

Working for 6 months on one project, trying to make the most of it, you at last find yourself with no new ideas at all.

All you can do is to continue doing what you have been doing so far – and this results into stagnation.

I’ve been there not once. And the best way for me to get inspired again is to ask my blog readers or followers.

The common tools to hear back from your readers or site users are: a poll, a quiz and a survey.

This post briefly looks at the differences between the three tools and the benefits of using them.

1. The Differences Between a Poll, a Quiz and a Survey

Poll Survey Quiz
Best feature Very easy to take => usually the highest level of engagement Is best to use to collect and organize user statistics Can be entertaining and viral
Example of best usage Short questions of the day to collect opinions on currently hot topics (within a niche) Long well-thought-over questionnaires to help you analyze reader demographics, their backgrounds, interests, etc. Entertaining questions to engage your readers in helping you promote your project by word of mouth and social media shares.
Recommended Software Web Polls Maker Survey Monkey Online Testing

I’ve had some luck engaging my blog readers (and hearing back from) with quizzes and even sending my posts to other blogs with quizzes. One of the recent examples is “Twitter quiz” we set up with my online friend Gerald Weber. The quiz went very well in terms of engagement and going viral. We managed to collect a lot of information on how our readers tweet, what they like to follow and what their RT and following preferences are.

Another example of using a quiz is to educate your followers of your new project purpose and ethics. My quiz about posting on other’s blogs had quite a feedback from MyBlogGuest users.

With ProProfs I use to build and promote quizzes, I can explore how people answered my quizzes at my leisure, person by person, answer by answer, or all at once. However you want to view the data, the system can be set up to show you exactly what you need to see. It even provides some visual aids in the form of graphs to help you better analyze the information you’ve collected.


2. More Ways to Benefit from the Tools

Apart fro obvious benefits I have already shared (like research and inspiration), there are any more reasons to experiment with either or all of the tools:

  • Engage your site users or email list subscribers. Engagement is the key. It’s the reason most projects either fail or succeed. Playing with either of the tools to achieve user engagement is a good way to learn to interact with your product users or followers.
  • Build anticipation. If you are planning to launch a new product, an online test can work well to learn how to better introduce your upcoming project and also to get your followers to wait for the launch.
  • Start a discussion. Getting your readers exchange the opinions and even argue with each other will encourage more and more people to participate, share and even link back.
  • Any more? Please share your experiences!