The results of my reader survey are in
Surveys are a great way of finding out what your readers want, for discovering if you’re writing about the right topics, and for getting new ideas for your writing projects.
They’re particularly useful for non-fiction writers who are invested in helping readers.
These aren’t the only reasons why I ran this survey. I also wanted to find more out about the people who read Become a Writer Today.
I wanted to find more out about you.
If you took part in my survey, thanks for your time. If not, do let me know if these findings reflect you.
I used SurveyMonkey for this survey.
The good news is: it’s free to use SurveyMonkey if you ask ten questions and collect 100 responses or less. Alternatively, you can also use Google Forms, which is also free.
What I Did
I sent the survey to members of my Insider list and then waited two weeks.
I asked these questions:
- Are you male or female?
- What is your age?
- What type of writer are you?
- Would you like to read more: How To Articles, Reviews, Writing Tips, Creativity Advice, Productivity Tips
- What’s your favourite book(s)?
- What have you written or published?
- If you could only use one social media network, which would you choose?
- What would you like to discover in a book about creativity?
- If I could write about or explain how to do one thing for you, what would it be?
- What day of the week would you like me to email you writing advice on?
I asked questions in such a way that I wouldn’t lead you to answer one way and not the other.
Here’s what I found out:
I Failed To Master Instagram
When I started blogging, I concentrated on building a presence on one social media channel: Twitter.
I even wrote a short eBook about Twitter.
Then, when I learnt more about online marketing, I focused on building my email list instead of building a presence on social media.
The thinking is: once you have an engaged list, you will naturally attract email followers.
Today my email list grows organically. So, recently I spent a couple of months experimenting with Instagram. I took pictures of book covers, posted quotes that inspired me and even tips about writing.
I didn’t attract many followers or succeed in really engaging with anybody on Instagram.
I either don’t understand the platform enough, or my content was poor.
Based on the survey and my research elsewhere, writers gravitate more toward Facebook than Instagram.
Up until now, I’d been avoiding building a presence on Facebook as it costs money to attract followers. That’s going to change
In 2016, I will devote more time to my Facebook page and less time to channels like Instagram.
You Want More Practical Writing Tips
In the past, I reviewed various writing and marketing tools, and I’ve also written extensively about productivity methods like Getting Things Done.
These posts were relatively well received, but those who took my survey are more interested in practical writing tips than in these reviews and guides.
I want to commit to you, and I will write more articles with practical writings tips in 2016.
You Want a Practical and Deep Book about Creativity
I’m almost finished the first draft of a new book about creativity.
I asked what you’d like to read in a book like this, and many people said I should go deep.
A book about creativity should include practical creativity tips, and I should explore the rituals and thought processes of creative people.
One person said:
“I always like to learn how various writers/artist sink into their creative mindset.”
First drafts are messy and unwieldy things, and I have my work cut out. During the imminent rewrite, I will make this book as helpful as possible for you by answering your questions
If you’re interested in becoming a beta reader for this book and receiving some free early sample chapters, please let me know.
Getting Noticed Is Tough
Many of you want to know how to get discovered and learn how to market your writing and your books.
The best way to do this is to take charge of your writing by self-publishing your work and by growing an email list of your fans.
You also said that you wanted to know how to love writing, focus on your work and create a writing routine that sticks.
These are a themes I’ve come across before.
After new subscribers join the Insider List, they receive a one question survey via email.
It says: “What are you struggling with right now?”
Some of the more common answers include: “I’m struggling to organise my writing”, “I have no idea where to start” and “I can’t focus.”
These are questions I will answer next year when I create a course for you.
You Write and Read Fiction, Non-Fiction and Blog Posts
The majority of you write fiction in some form, although a significant number are also non-fiction writers and bloggers.
You also enjoy reading everything from classics like Anna Karenina to more recent popular non-fiction books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I write and read fiction and non-fiction, although over the past few years I’ve written and published more of the latter.
Finding this out helps me figure out whether I should write my about struggles with fiction, non-fiction or blogging.
It’s encouraging to see so many people are making great progress with their writing and are taking advantage of the opportunities writers have today for sharing your voice with the world and for self-publishing your work, whether that be through blogging or writing eBooks.
Mondays are a Good Day for Email
The best way you can market your writing is to grow an email list.
I asked what’s the best day to send emails so I could figure out if I was sending too many emails at the wrong time.
Why did I do this?
Earlier this year, I sent a number of emails for a promotion over a short period. This resulted in a number of people unsubscribing at once.
The majority of you said Monday is the best day for receiving emails closely followed by Saturday.
The curious thing is the open rates for email on Saturdays are always low, and this is something I will have to experiment with next year.
Does This Reader Survey Reflect You?
This reader survey is a snapshot of subscribers to Become a Writer Today.
Snapshots are useful, but they only offer a view of a particular audience segment at a single moment in time.
In other words, this survey helps, but it’s not definitive.
Do these findings reflect you? Are you thinking of running a reader survey? Please share your questions in the comments section below.