Earlier this month, I sent out my 2015 reader survey. This is the second year I've done this, and I'm always surprised at how much there is to learn from a short survey of my audience.

After running the survey for two weeks, I had 31 responses—but I got another one while writing this post!

That's not a massive number, but it's enough to get a snapshot of what my typical reader is like.

Exclusive Download: Click Here to download a free guide on the ten questions every reader survey should include.

If you're one of the individuals who took the survey, I can't thank you enough—your feedback helps me better serve you.

The Results—In a Profile

If I were to summarize the survey results into a reader profile, it would look something like this:

  • The typical reader of this blog is a male (77%) between the ages of 31 and 60 (56%) with at least a Bachelor's degree (88%).
  • His income is around $70,000 a year (though responses to this question were definitely all over the map).
  • He is married (74%), and most likely a business owner or entrepreneur (52%) who's business is just getting started (69%).
  • Out of several potential products, he is most likely to purchase The Get Noticed!™ Theme Unlocked, followed by The Platform Launch Plan Blueprint (a future ebook), and my Potential: Unlocked coaching service.
  • He has a blog (87%), and probably uses the Get Noticed!™ Theme (54%), with a site focused on productivity (21%), faith (21%), or leadership (17%).
  • He most likely reads my blog in the email updates (60%), and has been following me for 2-6 months (39%).
  • His favorite ways to learn including reading (63%) or listening (53%), but he also enjoys attending (47%) or watching (43%).
  • He's fairly active on Facebook (63%) and Twitter (63%), followed next by LinkedIn (40%).
  • Surprisingly, his favorite (23%) and second favorite (16%) topic on my blog is productivity, followed by self-leadership (10%/11%) and technology (10%/10%)—with entrepreneurship falling dead last (6%/11%).
  • His proudest accomplishment in the last twelve months is starting and growing a business (35%), or possibly launching a blog (17%).
  • If money or time were no object, he would most likely build a business (61%) or write and publish a book (32%).

What I've Learned from These Results

1. GetFeedback Surveys Rock

In addition to learning about my audience, I learned a bit more about survey tools this year.

In the past, I've used SurveyMonkey—which is okay, but the interface is starting to feel a bit out of date.

This year, I used GetFeedback—and I don't see myself switching again. Based on my experience, there are three key reasons that GetFeedback is superior to SurveyMonkey:

  1. It looks beautiful,
  2. It works well on mobile, and
  3. It includes incomplete surveys in your results.

That last one may not seem like much, but consider this—14% of my respondents didn't complete the survey and all but one of those finished everything but the final question.

There's no reason to disregard a pack of helpful answers if one question isn't completely filled out.

As far as the other points, check it out for yourself. Take the survey, or click here to view the results.

2. Dear Bitcoin… it's Time to Move on

One of my goals this year was to self-publish my first book—Decrypting the Bitcoin Phenomenon.

The only problem is, on my product survey “I'm not interested in any of these” ranked higher than my potential Bitcoin book.

In other words, it's time to let go of that goal.

I still plan to stay on with the Tennessee Bitcoin Alliance, but it's clear that my platform is no longer focused on digital currency—which my audience has grown to reflect.

Plus, I do have a short Bitcoin guide, which I will continue to offer for free.

3. I Better Get Linking

Forty percent of my readers use LinkedIn (up from twenty-eight percent a year ago), and I'm really not making full use of that platform.

As my focus has moved more and more in the direction of business entrepreneurship, it makes sense to step up my LinkedIn game.

I've seen signs this was coming. I switched out the Google+ share button with LinkedIn because that's where people were already sharing my posts.

I have a public profile (where I've written before), so I plan to start writing on LinkedIn more.

4. You Have More Influence Than You Know

The average income of my readers, according to this survey, is significantly higher than my own.

Income doesn't equal influence, but they do often go hand in hand.

The fact that I'm influencing the lives of successful men and women is at once both humbling and exciting—and gives me the energy to serve even more.

“Today's Lesson: Never underestimate your potential impact on this world.”

5. Entrepreneurship Ain't Cutting It

This one caught me off guard, and I'll have to reflect on how to move forward.

Most of my audience are business owners or entrepreneurs who are in the “just getting started” stage.

Despite that, my entrepreneurship content ranked dead last when I asked about favorite—and second favorite—post topics.

It's possible my content isn't what they need, or it's possible the word “entrepreneurship” just doesn't fit in.

Regardless, I'll make it a point to hone my content focus, and keep listening for hints at what I could be doing better to meet my audience's needs!

There is so much more I could learn, but these takeaways are something tangible I can apply right away.

Question: What could you learn from a reader survey if you ran one today?

About

John Meese is the author of the #1 bestseller Survive and Thrive: How to Build a Profitable Business in Any Economy (Including This One). An entrepreneur himself, John is on a mission to eradicate generational poverty by equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to build thriving businesses from scratch. He is the CEO of Cowork Inc, co-founder of Notable, and regularly publishes interviews and insight at JohnMeese.com.

9 thoughts on “The Results of My 2015 Reader Survey

  1. I think for me the problem might be the word “entrepreneurship” rather than the word. To be honest, on first glance, I thought your blog fell into the pattern/mold of a lot of blogs these days. Which is, that sort of motivational speaker vibe. Sometimes looking in from the outside it seems like there’s this echo chamber of blogs all designed around getting subscriptions, monetizing, maybe selling some ebooks. Blogs about blogging and building a platform and. . . .

    Well to try and articulate it more concisely, I’ll say that it seems a lot of these people want to get rich doing “nothing”. And I know that writing blog articles, making surveys, and setting things up certainly isn’t nothing, but it can turn into a real imitation game where people are rich/famous/influential bloggers for no other reason I can tell than because they just kept telling people they were and if you sign up for the newsletter and follow their super-system you can be too!

    And I’m not at all knocking what you’re trying to do here. I’ve found several of your posts enormously useful. But to me MOST resources on entrepreneurship aren’t really useful in terms of substantive content. When I’m interested in a productivity blog I’m looking for “How to do X” “Where to get Y” “The best tools for doing Z business task”.

    Just throwing in my two cents, poorly because I haven’t had my coffee yet. But I really admire the spirit of what you’ve built here in general.

  2. Wow John, I’m 100% sure you made your readers feel valued today. Way to listen to what they said and offer even more relevant topics and content in the future. I had to chuckle when you said a lot of your readers make more than you. I’m a financial coach and most of my clients who are in financial duress make more than me too.

    This is survey is just one more good example I will be emulating on my blog someday.

    1. Thank you, Laura! I’m so glad my results have inspired you to run a reader survey of your own.

      It’s funny how that happens—just because someone has significant income doesn’t mean they stop learning from others, maybe it means they keep learning even more!

  3. This was a very interesting post. You sure were able to get a lot of valuable information from your survey. I was impressed with GetFeedback also. Your survey was actually fun to take. Agree with your decision on Bitcoin. Your website looks fantastic and I’ve notice that your subscriber count has jumped substantially since you incorporated the new design a few months back. Congratulations! From a fellow Platform University member.

    1. Thanks Joel! Glad you could learn from my reader survey alongside me, and thank you for the kind words on the new design and uptick in subscribers!

      Yes, you have a keen eye—my traffic and subscribers have gone up a lot since I updated my design a few months back.

  4. Well, I’m the exact opposite of your typical reader but I enjoy your posts:} (Totally agree on the bitcoin thing, by the way)

    I always find it fascinating to read the results of surveys. Thanks for letting me do that today.

    I’m heading over now to check out Get Feedback.
    Sue

    1. Yes, Sue Anne, I immediately thought of you and a couple other regular commenters when I typed up that profile! It just goes to show you that you can never use a profile like that as a complete description of your audience.

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