Six Reasons to Poll Your Readers

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on May 23, 2011

in blog, social media, Uncategorized

Writing a blog is a commitment. For some writers, finding new material to write about and post is easy, but for many of us—it can be a challenge. Another challenge is that readers over time can become complacent and just take in the weekly/daily posts and not really engage with them. They don’t comment or respond.  What can a blogger do to energize readers and themselves?

One way to evoke a response from readers is to post a poll.  Here are some reasons why polls are good for bloggers and readers:

  1. Polls are a way to add interest to a post both for the blogger and the reader by raising a question, the answer to which is of interest to both.
  2. Polls are easy to create. All you need is a simple yes/no, or multiple-choice question and you are ready to poll your audience.
  3. Polls are easy to take. With just a few clicks, every reader can complete a poll.
  4. Polls provide instant feedback to the blogger who gets new information and insight about the reader.
  5. Polls provide interesting information to the reader. People love to know how they compare with others. Albeit in a very narrow context, a poll can tell them that immediately.
  6. Polls are free, thanks to a number of free software programs available.

Here is my poll for you today, created with Polldaddy. It is about social media—a topic I cover frequently in this blog.

Feee free to share this poll with your colleagues who may be interested in seeing how they compare with their peers in the use of social media.

If you are interested in creating your own polls,  you may wish to check out Survey Monkey and Zoomerang in addition to Polldaddy. The features are basically the same in all of them—but there are a few differences that may matter to you depending on what you want to do. Of course, they have upgrades for a fee. If you are going to use polls and surveys a lot—a pro version is probably a good investment.

This post was mostly about using a poll on a blog, but you can also put polls on your website, email them, and post them on your social media sites. Beyond the blog, polls can serve other practical purposes. For example, you can use Doodle to poll the attendees about the best possible day and time to meet for your next meeting. It is so much easier than multiple emails and phone calls and it is free.

Polls are fun.  Give them a try!

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marc Cardaronella May 31, 2011 at 12:35 am

I think you’re so right on this. I’ve just been thinking about the same thing myself. Blogging is interactive and you need to give people the kind of information they want. Instead of just guessing, why not ask people what kind of content they want from you? I heard this on 2 other occasions recently and have been convinced that I need to do this on my blog as well. It’s something I never really considered before but it makes perfect sense.

One other thing I heard, rather than do the survey services, just use the comments on your blog. Ask a specific question in a post and ask people to comment. That might only work well if you have a very engaged audience though.

I like this Polldaddy plugin though. I might try that.

Thanks for the post and the ideas!

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