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As a business owner, you probably have a lot of ideas.

And as it goes in life, not every idea is going to be a great one.

So how do you go through the motions to determine whether or not your idea could really turn into a profitable product? You don’t want to spend hours of your time creating the product, then hundreds of your dollars promoting it, only to find out that it was a bust and your target audience doesn’t actually want to buy it.

That does not sound like a great idea.

Gif of Aladdin turning on an idea light for a blog article about identifying target audience

Instead, you want to test the waters with your new product idea. Find out if your audience is actually interested in it, and whether or not they would actually pay money for it. Before you invest any time or money into creating and promoting it!

teal graphic that introduces free worksheet and blog about using a blog reader survey

Check out the episode below:

And one of the best ways to do that is by putting together a reader survey.

What is a reader survey?

A reader survey is a list of questions you send out to your audience to generate overall demographic data and determine what your readers want to see from you.

But creating a survey can also be a great way to test interest in your new product idea.

How is a reader survey at all helpful?

Sure, I understand your hesitation. Putting together a list of questions to send out to your audience?

Pointless.

Ah, but you see, that is where you are wrong.

It is not at all pointless!

It can help ensure you’re creating content your readers want to see.

Maybe you’ve been talking a lot more about one topic in your niche recently because you have no idea that your most loyal readers actually prefer learning and reading about a different topic in your niche.

A blog reader survey allows you to figure that out! Now you can create content your readers actually want to see from you.

It can help you test out course ideas.

We’ll go over a few great survey questions to ask in order to do this. But it’s the perfect way to see if your product idea will resonate with the people who are already digesting your content and following your blog.

It can help you find out your readers’ favorite types of content.

And pretty much any other information you want to know about what your readers think of your blog. There’s really no other way for you to know this information, so when you think about it, why aren’t you currently putting together your reader survey?

It helps you gauge reader interest.

Thinking about introducing new topics into your blog content? Why not ask your readers how they feel about it? You can ask what their interest is in certain topics on a scale of 1 to 10 to really gauge how well that content could fit in with the rest of what you create.

How do you create a reader survey?

There are so many different online survey programs to use in getting started creating your survey.

I personally recommend Typeform. It creates beautiful forms and surveys that you can match to your own brand colors.

screenshot of How to Prove Your Product Idea is Profitable With a Reader Survey (Before Investing a Dime)

Now let’s go step-by-step through creating your reader survey.

1. Determine the purpose of this survey.

Obviously we want to talk about the importance of using a reader survey to prove your idea is profitable before you invest any time or money into it.

But there are several other ways you can use your reader survey. Three of the most common purposes are:

  • Purpose A: Do you want to start sending a quarterly or yearly survey out to your audience to see how they’re benefitting from your content, what their demographics are, and how they’d rate your site? This is a great way to find out specifically who your audience actually is, and if they’re at all close to who you think your target audience is.
  • Purpose B: Do you want to gauge reader interest in a potential course or ebook idea? Nods vigorously. Yes, yes you do.
  • Purpose C: Do you want to find out what content of yours really resonates with your readers? Or determine what they want to see more from you? This can help you if you feel like you’re at a crossroads with your blog, your traffic or engagement has been stalling, or you want to test the waters with new blog content ideas.

2. Put together your questions based on this purpose.

The questions you ask throughout your survey are going to vary based on what your goals and objectives are. What do you want to find out?

Here are a few sample questions for each purpose:

  • Purpose A:
    • How old are you?
    • Where are you from?
    • How long have you been a reader/follower?
    • How did you find [your website name here]?
    • Which content category is your favorite?
      • Make this a multiple choice question by including your content categories.
  • Purpose B:
    • Which content category is your favorite?
      • Make this a multiple choice question by including your content categories.
    • Would you be interested in reading about [your potential product idea]?
    • What do you struggle with in relation to [your potential product idea]?
    • How much would you pay to learn exactly how to do [your potential product idea]?
      • I wouldn’t pay to learn that.
      • $1-10
      • $11-50
      • $51-100
      • $100+
        • Change up these price ranges to something that closer matches your industry averages.
  • Purpose C:
    • Which content category is your favorite?
      • Make this a multiple choice question by including your content categories.
    • Out of these posts, which did you like the most?
    • What content category would you like to learn more about?
      • Make this a multiple choice question by including your content categories.
    • Rate how interested you are in the following content categories.
      • Include your current content categories and any you’re considering writing about in the future.
      • Allow users to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.

It’s also a good idea to include some open ended questions for your audience to respond in short answers. Here are a couple of examples:

  • What is one goal you want to accomplish within the next month?
  • What are you struggling with the most in your [insert your niche]?

If you’re struggling with questions to ask in your own reader survey, download our cheat sheet with 50 free question ideas!

teal graphic that introduces free worksheet and blog about using a blog reader survey

3. Create your survey using Typeform.

Start by creating your account. You’re able to create a survey with 10 fields and receive 100 responses each month with their free plan, or you can upgrade to the PRO plan for $30/month.

You’ll be brought to your new dashboard where you can easily start your first Typeform.

Typeform Screenshot for article on How to Prove Your Product Idea is Profitable With a Reader Survey (Before Investing a Dime)

They do have templates that can help get you started, but I recommend simply starting from scratch. You’ll want to input your own brand colors instead of the template options so it matches your business.

Name your survey and Start building!

How to Prove Your Product Idea is Profitable With a Reader Survey (Before Investing a Dime)

This is what your blank survey will look like. You have tons of options for question types, so start off by exploring what each one does if you’re unsure by the name of it. There are so many things you can do with this software, so take some time to look around!

Start with your welcome screen.

Click the top block to create your welcome screen, or the first page that anyone who clicks to your survey will see.

Type out a short intro explaining what the survey is for and thanking everyone for taking the time to complete it.

screenshot for a blog about creating a ready survey to ensure your product idea is profitable

Input your questions.

Click on each of the question blocks you need to insert them into your survey or simply press enter and start typing your question.

You can easily choose what type of question block you need in the left sidebar.

screenshot of the steps to creating a blog ready survey

Design your Typeform.

If you look in the lefthand navigation, you’ll see a raindrop icon. That’s the design tab, where you can customize the colors in your Typeform. Be sure to grab the hex codes for each of your brand colors so you can input them into your form design.

There are also a number of fonts for you to choose from to match the font to your brand as well!

screenshot for a blog about creating a ready survey to ensure your product idea is profitable

Save your Typeform.

The last step is for you to save your survey and view what it’ll look like when you send it out to your audience!

4. Send out your survey.

When you’re putting together a reader survey, you want results, right?

Um, duh, Kevin, obviously.

Okay, okay. That’s a given.

But how do you strategically send out your reader survey to ensure that the people who care about your business enough to fill it out see it?

You want to send your survey out on multiple media multiple times.

When you’re creating a Facebook ad, you don’t want anyone to see it more than three times or else ad fatigue sets in and they start to ignore it or get annoyed by it.

So it’s a good rule of thumb to follow that same best practice with your reader survey. Don’t send it out on any one media more than three times or else your audience will start to get annoyed.

Send it in an email.

Put together an email newsletter focused all around your reader survey and why you’re sending it out. Consider offering an incentive to your audience if they do fill it out, like a freebie PDF that you link to in the description of your last question.

(Also, if you sign up for Typeform PRO, you get access to their thank you pages so people actually have to submit their survey in order to get access to your incentive.)

After you’ve sent out the initial email, send it out as a reminder call-to-action up to two more times.

Share it on social media.

Share the link to your reader survey on Facebook. Put it in your Instagram bio. Tweet about it. Create a graphic for your Instagram Stories and promote it there.

But don’t share it on any platform more than three times.

Write a blog post about it.

Many bloggers and business owners send out an annual reader survey and share the results on their blog. If you’re doing this for the demographics, you can absolutely do that too.

So, basically, you’re getting two blog posts out of this deal: the first one where you explain why you’re sending out this reader survey, what it’s going to help you learn, and who you need to fill it out; and the second one to go over your results!

This is also the perfect way to put together a case study. If you’re sending out your reader survey to gauge interest in your potential product idea, share the results on your blog. Did your audience like or dislike the idea? What did they say their price range would be for something like that? Did the results push you towards creating your product or away from it?

Everything is a learning experience, and learning experiences are the perfect blog topics.

5. Gather your results.

Typeform allows you to view your results on their platform or export a CSV with all of the responses to your questions. Decide which method of viewing results is easier for you.

Then analyze all of the answers to see if you can find any patterns. Pay attention to the most popular content categories. Look to see if any of your results surprise you.

And most importantly of all, focus on what your responders had to say about your product idea. Would they buy it? For how much? Did you get the proof and approval you were looking for from your audience?

Next time you’re getting ready to create a new online course or other informational product, consider sending out a reader survey first. And don’t forget to download our 50 question cheat sheet so you know what to ask in your survey!

graphic image for a free guide on how to create a blog ready survey

 

GET MY 5 PROVEN STEPS

These are the EXACT same steps I used to 10x businesses just like yours and generate new customers on autopilot!

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!