Reader survey, Yah or Nay?

Hello friends,

Reader’s surveys are quite common among professional/ monetised blogs but recently I have noticed so many personal blogs launching questionnaires to their followers.

The reasoning “they say” is that knowing who are the people out there that value their work and are willing to express their preferences would definitely help to focus on the “desirable” content.  I agree that would be an interesting discovery for the blogger. But what’s for the reader?

Depending on the questions it would give readers the opportunity to say what’s ‘working’ or ‘not’ for them. A safe place where constructive criticism is asked and dealt with. Any of the survey’s I answered have not dealt with that matter.

But what are your thoughts? I would love to hear opinions.

Blog’s surveys a good thing or not? What types of questions are acceptable or not for non monetised blogs and why? 

  • I have no real views on surveys (this is like a survey on surveys right?) but I come here to see what you make and to read your pattern reviews. That’s about it for me, keep up the good work I guess!

  • I don’t care too much about surveys one way or another for myself. However, I feel obligated to respond to a blogger I gain insight from by reading their blog. I do to help them know that their work is appreciated.

  • I feel that personal bloggers should write about the things that interest them, rather than aim to meet the needs of a target market, so surveys on these types of blogs are a bit strange. I like blogs where the blogger has a unique (real) voice or makes interesting garments, not because they are customer focused. You can easily google search for a tutorial so a blog that is full of that kind of stuff is not that appealing to me, though the occasional tutorial is good.

  • I agree with NX44 100%. In addition, the responses to the survey would never be exactly the same, so some people will not get what they “asked for” anyway, but once the question has been asked the level of expectation might increase. I’m from the “blogs are for the writer” school of thought though, so that does frame my views.

  • I think there is always a danger of flipping from having a bunch of followers who are peers and fellow sewing fanatics, to seeing ‘them’ as a ‘target market’. I don’t like that. My favourite blogs are those who have managed to remain respectful of both spaces, like American Duchess and Wearing History.

  • I totally agree with everything above. I read/follow a blog because I like the content, variety, writing style and the personality of the blogger. If I don’t connect with a blog I don’t read it. Just the same as if I don’t like something on the television I turn it off! I don’t want to read a vanilla blog that is trying to cater to all tastes, you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. You make clothes that I would not necessarily wear (short, dumpy and considerably older) but I love your pattern reviews and the way you mix up the fabrics. However, the highlight for me in 2014 was your trip to Brazil and the insight into a different culture and way of life. Please stay ‘just the way you are’, after all it works for a large number of readers!

  • I read blogs as I am interested in the blogger and what they write about/ make. I don’t want a blogger to feel like they need to write more fitting posts because they have done a survey and that’s what people said. Sewing bloggers are people with a passion for sewing and sharing that passion. That would be lost if they felt they had to write about certain topics. Like those blogs that have obviously read a blogging course and been told they should post on certain days every week so we end up with lots of Friday finds/ weekend reviews/ whatever. I skip those posts in my reader without fail.

  • I fully agree with what was said above. I don’t like the idea of seeing the readers as a target market. If there is a survey I’ll fill it in to help the blogger. I think a blogger should be him/herself and that’s it…

  • That’s so insightful. I have 4 main areas of interest … Making clothes, trying new crafts, blogging in general and musing ( ideas that just pop in my mind) you guys are in the same page. This wasn’t to be a pre survey

    • That would be hilarious – a pre-survey survey to survey whether we want a survey! LOL!

    • i know. I DO love how clever my reader are!!!

  • I started a blog recently to document my makes, and it is not as elegant or well presented as a lot of blogs but I remind myself that the blog is about me developing my ideas, and if people choose to read and comment then that is a definite and welcome bonus. I think the blog should relfect the blogger not what people want to see or hear (although obviously good to be mindful of this), i think the integrity and character gets spoiled

  • I think your blog should remain what you want to post about, we read what you put out in to the public domain and return because we like what we see… at least that’s why I return…! x

  • a blog is about writers personal ideas/ creativity (you name it) and should be expressed freely and unbiased. don’t find the reason why the reader should guide the writer toward a specific path or topic. I believe that writing is a personal thing and that goes for writing a book a blog or a newspaper article, express unbiased whatever you want to share with others. I would like to know though your opinion on this.

    • I agree, blogs are personal journeys. Profesional blogs are online magazines so they may have a public target etc. I enjoy giving my readers the opportunity of talking to me by their comments. for me Is an opportunity to get to know each of one of you better and when I ask questions on subjects that pop in my mind, your feedback give me a great insight. I enjoy that exchange of information

  • I think a few questions is fine, especially if you have questions that you would like to have answered.

  • When I blog it is to share my successes, frustrations and the journey along the way. It is my blog and I write it for myself primarily and have never given a thought to who I target. I am glad others have chosen to enjoy what I share. I think a blogger that asks what I want to see on their blog, other than what might be cosmetic, Is not usually the type of blogger I follow. If they want my opinion on their new blog design and should they use red or white, I will give an answer. But to ask me what they should write? That makes me a target and them a marketer, not a blogger. I think if you don’t know what to write on your blog maybe you need a different hobby.

    • That last sentence was meant in general, not at you specifically or anyone else.

    • I know darling, writing can come across a lot harder. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • We read your blog because you already inform and entertain us. I’d rather you didn’t change what you write about just to suit your reader’s choices.
    Would love to hear about your crafty Makes though.
    But I like a survey just for the fun of it!

  • My honey does marketing for a survey company. I am all in favor of a regular paycheck and new shoes once a year.

    Aren’t the comments kind of a survey?

  • I’ve always taken an issue with such surveys. In my opinion, blogs should be about the blogger, not the reader, meaning the blogger should post what they want and to hell with what people think. Of course, with the monetization of blogs becoming a big thing, most bloggers would probably disagree with me, especially if they’re trying to make a living by brining in and retaining readers.

  • I love blogs that share real life, natural experiences., real mistakes and real learning in the day to day. I begin to hate the bloggers that post video- tutoriales and take an attitude in blogger- expert without have a real education in the work that make. The other day I see a video from a girl that make DIY but in the last day she want more traffic in her blog. She was crying because she want more traffic in her blog, so, in the video she asked what she must to do for have more comments, she was willing to do anything, even change theme. I see this kind of blogger into a ridiculous situation because now everybody write a blog for share things.

    I love blogs that share real life and progress in her work. I hate bloggers who write just for search fame or for become a trending topic. I read your blog because I love what you do. for me is inspiring.

  • Like a majority of the commenters above, I prefer a blog that reflects who the person is. Not what the person believes others want to read. Hence I have not been blogging for months, just because I can’t be fussed right now. I have nothing to say, and I don’t believe in blogging just to entertain people. No one is the center of the universe and if you stop blogging, people read other blogs.
    When I read your blog, the thing that stands out for me, is the love of your culture, and your country. I get that you like to help others, and you really care about what your readers and what they think. Which is all well and good.

    I think the type of survey matters. There are fun surveys, and not so fun ones. If a blogger has a survey say about what people thought of various sewing techniques or something of that nature, then by all means, I will be happy to participate.

    Some bloggers blog for their audience, because their audience is their commodity. The more followers they have, the more money they can make. You do not fall in that category as you are one of the few bloggers I follow with a big audience who does not view me as commodity, and I love you for that.

    I am sure I made less sense than I thought I would in my head, but there….my thoughts. lol

  • I come to blogs to see what that individual has to share, so for me the survey is a curious thing. I want to see what you are doing and wanting to show me, what you are excited about… as opposed to what I already know interests me. I don’t mind answering surveys… but I’d rather spend my time learning about something other than what I think. [And thanks for asking. lol]

  • I really dislike surveys, I prefer to read what people have to say, I like how honest most of sewing bloggers are. Like myself, I write one blog about my work in the fashion industry, behind the scenes and opinions about it and the other one my sewing projects. I’ve also come across blogs in which “muses” are portrayed and personally don’t like it because it becomes elitist, just like a magazine in which people might feel out of place for not being or looking like the muse. I like to keep it simple and read about honest experiences.

  • I have just done, such a survey and learnt some wonderful things about my readers… for instance what age group were reading my blog and did they like the crochet or the sewing posts best?
    I enjoyed collating the info .
    I always blog what i want to and have no problems thinking up new posts at all! I then am in favour of the odd survey, even if I am a smaller blog!
    bestest daisy j x