Close
Close

Six Ways to Get Feedback On Your Posts and Pages (And Why You Need To)

This guest post is by Ali Luke of Aliventures.

Are your blog posts working well, or leaving readers unsatisfied? Is your About page enticing, or confusing? Does your Hire Me page do a great job of selling your services, or is it too bland?

Often, the only feedback that you have comes in the form of numbers. Maybe readers aren’t spending long on your blog. Maybe you rarely get comments. Maybe no one’s ever hired you.

The problem is, it’s hard to tell why. Without any feedback from readers, you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.

Honest, constructive feedback isn’t the same as a comment saying “great post!” Good feedback:

  • tells you exactly what’s working, and what isn’t
  • offers suggestions on how to fix any problems
  • encourages you to make the most of your strengths.

Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking no one will give me any feedback. I don’t have any readers yet. Or maybe your blog isn’t even online—you’re struggling away with your posts and pages, trying to get your core content together before you launch.

Don’t give up. I’m going to give you six easy ways to get feedback.

Six ways to get feedback

1. Look at your current comments

If you’ve received any comments on your blog, look at the following.

  • Which posts have the most comments? These will, in some way, have struck a chord with the reader.
  • Are there any suggestions that you can use for future posts? Sometimes, commenters will tell you exactly what they’d like to read. Other times, they’ll mention what they’re struggling with—and you can use that as the basis for a post.
  • Did any posts get negative or confused comments? If a reader leaves a comment to say that they didn’t understand, you might want to take another look at that post and make sure it’s clear.

2. Ask around on Twitter or Facebook

If your blog is new, you might well have a bigger following on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks. Try asking there for feedback: post a link to a particular post or page and explain that you’d welcome any constructive criticism.

You’ll be surprised at how generous your friends—and even complete strangers!—can be. Don’t discount the opinions of non-bloggers, either; they might not “get” the technology, but they’re likely to be representative of your general audience.

3. Find a blogging partner

Some bloggers like to swap posts with one another. If you’ve got any blogging friends, ask around and see if anyone would be interested. A blogging partner can do a lot more than just read your posts, too—check out Find a Blog Buddy [Day 15 - 31DBBB].

If you don’t know a single blogger yet, try looking in the comments sections of relevant blogs (ProBlogger might be a good place to start). Find someone who seems to be at a similar stage to you, and drop them an email.

4. Post a message in a forum

When I’ve been looking for feedback, often on sales pages, I’ve posted in the Third Tribe forum. I’ve always had great responses from other members, with plenty of insightful feedback. When you put out a request like this, it’s often helpful to specify what particular areas you want feedback on. You might ask questions like these:

  • Was my About page clear?
  • Did it encourage you to read on?
  • Is there anything you think I should add?

If you’re not currently a member of any blogging or business-related forums, you might want to take a look at ProBlogger’s own community site: ProBlogger.Community.

5. Join a blogging-related course

Many ecourses will include some element of interaction—that might be live calls with the tutors, or forums where you can easily interact with other members. There’ll often be a chance to ask questions and get specific feedback.

Even if it’s a big course without any individual instruction from tutors, you’ll find that other members are very willing to help out. People taking an ecourse are often more engaged (and at a slightly further stage) than your general audience on Twitter or Facebook.

6. Hire a writing coach

For really in-depth, expert feedback, look for a writing or blogging coach. They’ll work with you to help you shape and polish up your content, and a good coach will be careful to preserve your own voice and style.

Coaching is definitely an investment, but many bloggers find it a very worthwhile one. That applies even if you have a strong writing background. One of my own coaching clients, Prime Sarmiento, is an experienced journalist. She wrote about the benefits of getting coaching in a guest post for Men with Pens: Why Hiring a Writing Coach Can Help You Build Your Business.

The review

So, you’ve found someone willing to give you feedback. What should you ask them to look at?

I think there are several key areas where you’ll want to make sure your writing (and formatting of posts) is as good as it can be.

Your cornerstone content

If you’re creating a series of posts as cornerstone or pillar content—posts that readers will go back to again and again—then you want them to be as good as possible.

It’s worth asking someone to read through the whole series, so that they can help you both with the small details (like typos and clunky sentences) and the big picture (making sure that all the posts fit together well).

Your About page

Did you know that your About page is probably the most-read page on your blog after your home page? (Check your Google Analytics if you’re not convinced!) It make sense—new readers will often read a blog post or two, then click on “About” to find out who you are and what the blog’s purpose is.

A great About page can turn a casual visitor into a subscriber. A poor About page might lose you that visitor completely. About pages are really tough to write, so it’s definitely worth getting feedback and even some help with the drafting.

Your Services or Hire Me page

If you’ve got any services (or products) for sale, you want to make sure that your sales page does a great job of drawing potential customers in. That means, at a minimum, being totally clear about what you do and who you work with.

I’ve read lots of incoherent and confusing sales pages—and even decent sales pages often don’t sell the blogger as well as they should. You should always get feedback on a sales page, to make sure that your offer is totally clear.

Your next steps

Pick one page or post on your blog, and find someone who can give you feedback on it. That might be a friend, a forum member, a coach … the important thing is that you get a second opinion. Ideally, it should be someone who understands your audience (even if they’re not part of that audience themselves).

And if you’re not sure who to ask, why not pop a comment below? You might just find a new blogging friend…

Ali Luke is a writer and writing coach, and author of The Blogger’s Guides series of ebooks. She has a weekly newsletter for writers and bloggers, and has just released a mini-ebook How to Find Time for Your Writing click here and sign up for her newsletter to get your free copy.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. I suppose it all depends on the sort of blog you have. Personally, I’m trying to create a work of avant-garde literature, and the people I would like feedback from – Rimbaud, Kafka, Beckett, etc – are all dead.

    • Maybe I need to see a medium. But then there could be language problems with some of them. It’s a nightmare!

    • Forgive my ignorance, but are there any contemporary/living writers of a similar style (maybe the ones who are in turn influenced by those departed), that you could approach for said feedback? What about the editors/publishers of those past authors? I’m just picking ideas from the ether, so may be you’ve already tried these avenues: like I said I am not extremely knowledgeable about this particular niche, but they were my immediate thoughts… Good luck with your search :)

      • Ali Luke says:

        Michael, who are your audience? Or are you purely creating for yourself? (Which is fine!) I’d imagine that your readers are people who are also fans of Rimbaud, Kafka and Beckett … so perhaps asking for feedback from them would work. (There must be Beckett groups/forums out there!)

        • I have to say I’m writing for myself. Whatever happens, happens.

        • Does it matter to get feedback at all if you are satisfied with what you write about? Or if getting feedback just a method to keep your readers engaged.

          If so, I would like some quality feedback on my blog. Anyone!!!

          • Samantha says:

            If you write just to recieve feedback what is the point in writing at all :) Yes feedback is important and great tips by the way, but not something you should consider each time you write an article

  2. Kendra says:

    Thanks Ali! I have been thinking about this for some time now. I am in the process of revamping my entire blog strategy and will be taking some time to assess my blogs for effectiveness and strategies for improvement. Your tips for getting feedback will definitely come in handy.

    Thanks,

    Kendra ~ TLS

  3. This is a great post! Especially the find a buddy part. The Buddy System has been around for thousands of years (I’m sure), because it works!

    I recently started a blogging circle — where we all write on a similar topic one month and help each other get the word out collectively. We have room for a few more quality folks who write for the small biz market. Anyone interested can check it out here: http://thewordchef.com/blog-carnivals

  4. Glo-w says:

    Greetings. Looking for feedback on my page, especially the “hire me” page. Still not too sure about my niche. If you see it do let me know ^^definitely a casual, lifestyle blogger. Have gotten feedback that I’m a nice person, I worry that readers find it a tad boring =( do let me know. Thank you and have a beautiful day.

    • Ali Luke says:

      I think “Advertise” or “Advertise Here” would be a better title for the page … at first I assumed it was about hiring *you*, but it’s about hiring space on the blog.

      I don’t think the page is too boring; advertisers probably aren’t looking for creative prose, just the facts!

      And being nice is a great thing! Darren Rowse is known as the “nice guy” of the blogosphere and it’s not done him any harm. ;-)

  5. Thanks for the tips, Ali. I went and looked at the things you mentioned and decided my About page is boring. That will go on my ‘to do’ list pronto.

  6. I am going through the growing pains still with my blog, even though my Blogaversary is coming up here in a couple of days. (3 years already!)
    If someone could visit my site and just take a poke around, that would be awesome.
    The idea is that I am going to transfer my skills in the kitchen to help a diabetic person out, who is just been diagnosed. I have a cookbook, and videos in the works, as well as perhaps selling my services as a cooking demonstrator. I am trying to create content that drives that, but I have no idea what my readers actually want.

    • Are there any people out there who wish to be blog buddies?

      • belledame says:

        cooking is not my thing, so i’ll take your word on the content. at a glance, i like the color scheme of your blog. the grey background enhances everything else. i don’t understand what that plant image has to do with cooking though. and you need to rethink the design of your title: it’s too small and the same font as the rest of the page. at least that’s the impression i got, and i spend a lot of time thinking about fonts at work. think about a page design that is more exciting. you seem to want to excite people about cooking but i don’t see that when the page comes up. we tend to skim things nowadays and rely heavily on visuals to communicate and your blog forces me to read the text to get the idea.

        personally, i’m in book publishing, so i read long form all the time. but when it comes to short form, i tune out quickly. frequently, in the middle of a caption. your visuals need to grab your readers and make them want to weigh in.

        • Wow, thank you for the feedback! I am currently redesigning the theme, so that is probably why the plant picture is there.
          I will incorporate your ideas, and hopefully make things better!

  7. Tom Ewer says:

    Good article – I think far too many bloggers underestimate the value of feedback and testing. We work in a highly-competitive market, and you can’t expect to do well without knowing what your audience wants.

  8. sibin says:

    Thanks for telling about “About Page”.I didn’t set a About page.I don’t know the important of About page.Thanks for giving greater information.

  9. Thanks for this very useful post. I have an older blog which has loads of good-quality, well-written and informative posts. However, nothing I do seems to make any difference to my traffic. I’ve tried everything I know.
    I wonder if anyone reading this would like to take a look at my blog, The Relationship Supermarket.com and see what strikes you. There must be a reason a blog with so many helpful and original articles is getting such few views.
    I do appreciate your help.
    Thanks.

    • I like what you have on your blog, but it is way too busy.
      Some thoughts:
      There are too many choices in the Nav bar. How about slimming it down, and making sub menus?
      Even though you have a domain name, it is obvious that you are using Blogger as your platform. In that, it is a little busy. When I go to you site, I am confused as to what it is all about.
      On the right hand side I have a plethora of different things to distract me. Links to your other blogs, ads, weight loss books, frugality books. You get the picture. I thought the site was about relationships?
      If it were me, (and I am just being honest here.) I would pick one thing, and really drive that home.
      I made the same mistake with my blog when I started talking about diabetes, health, exercise… and I want to help the community with the cooking aspect of diabetes. The rest can be left up to others…

    • Greeting, Anne. For me, it’s a bit too busy. So many ads, banners, graphic boxes, etc. trying to grab my attention I didn’t know where I was supposed to look, and that annoying BloggerSentral box on the left made it difficult to focus on the actual article. I really, really don’t want crap like those kind of boxes, flying Twitter-birds, sparkly twinkly things, or anything else to come between me and the article I am trying to read.

      Whereas the header of your blog itself could use some jazzing up, maybe a graphic of a shopping cart with a cute guy in it or a couple…? You want people to REMEMBER the name of your blog, which is very clever. That’s one of the only sections of your blog that’s kind of plain-Jane right now. (Mind you, I’m newish at this, so please take my comments with a grain of salt.)

    • belledame says:

      you’re losing people on first impression. you need to look into a new design. a free template would be fine. even a header in blogger simple template. but what you have looks amateurish and does not convey that a pro is writing with expertise. beauty always attracts people. if you’re design was sharp, people would stay to look around and see what you’re about.

      check some similar blogs, are at least blogs you admire and see where they got their templates made. there are loads of free ones if you just search online. lots of designers make really creative free ones.

      think about it.

  10. Jeffrey Kang says:

    But will the few comments on posts be a large enough sample of the entire blog’s readership to improve your site rather than hurt it?

    • Ali Luke says:

      In my experience, the readers who are vocal enough to comment are often those who are highly engaged! Sure, you’ll need to consider whether their view is representative of the majority (and that might mean waiting until you’re getting more than a handful of comments on each post) — but any feedback is better than none at all!

      • What do you do if the people who are commenting on your blog the most are NOT the target audience?

        • Ali Luke says:

          I’d consider changing my target audience… ;-)

          Seriously, if you’re attracting commenters who aren’t in your target audience, it might be worth figuring out why!

          Could you run a very short survey/poll that’d give you an idea of what your readers are looking for? That might bring out some of the non-commenters.

  11. I’ve seen some bloggers use the Mechanical Turk service from Amazon to get feedback.

    They offer to pay $0.05 – $0.10 to have a user visit their site and use a free service like Screencast-O-Matic to record their visit. The visitor can give feedback in the recording and the blogger gets to see how new visitors use their site. Where do they click? What draws their eye? Where did they lose interest?

    The feedback you get from this can be vague, but getting to watch a user interact with your site live is a killer opportunity. Particularly when it’s so darn cheap :)

  12. James says:

    After reading this article I feel more encouraged to work on my comment section of my blog and do a better job on asking for advice. I need more interaction on my blog and your suggestions have really helped me. Thanks for a great post.

  13. This is a really great post. I have bookmarked it for future reference. Getting people to leave any kind of comments, constructive or otherwise is like pulling teeth. I have found some great traffic sources out there, but readers never stick around very long. Additionally I need to learn how to track RSS subscriptions better.

    This post is really generating some great goals for my to pursue!

    Thank you,

    • belledame says:

      i think you’re problem is white text on a dark background. problogger or someone did a survey of blog readers and the majority said that was a huge turn off. the reverse contrast doesn’t work for a lot of people.

      it might not be the issue, but it struck me right off.

  14. Perfect timing for me to read this! I’m in the middle of evaluating EVERYTHING over at my blog… would welcome any feedback if you would care to visit and I would happily return the favor if you are looking for feedback yourself!!

  15. Ali,
    The About page stuff is True. I believe most start up bloggers often miss to update this as required. The content could be simple and tiny, but certainly a mandatory page which introduce yourself virtually to fresh readers.Thanks. Manickam

  16. Navneet says:

    Yes we should update About me page as when we start a blog ,i update it frequently .And most of my traffic love my personal touch that is in About me.
    Thanks for nice post.

  17. Toy says:

    Thank you. I haven’t expected that About page is so important. I did not create on in the past. I will do this later.

  18. As my current site is only 3 days old I’m not too worried about no comments yet. That said, these are some great tips that will help improve. John Saddington at TentBlogger.com is another great resource on building community on your site and, at least from what I’ve seen, is more successful than just about anyone.

  19. Getting a coach is pretty popular these days. You’re the only coach I know, so you’re the first I’ll contact once I decide ;)

    Finding a blog partner is a great idea. Having a second opinion from a different angle is usually very constructive and bounces the work quality rapidly.

    regards, daniel.

    • Ali Luke says:

      Cheers, Daniel :-)

      Just drop me a line any time ([email protected]) if you want to go ahead with some coaching — or if you want me to put you in touch with any of my existing clients so you can get the inside scoop from them. ;-)

  20. Sam Thatte says:

    I feel like I am talking to myself most of the time. Got a few friends who visit and comment on and off. But not very many real peeps that are interested in my niche. Granted, it’s new. I get compliments on the design and the writing from F&F, but nothing I write has been tweeted or shared on FB yet, other than by me. If you folks have a few minutes take a look. Thanks.

  21. Justin Dupre says:

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips. I believe that if bloggers followed these, they’d get more feedback on their posts.

  22. Well … Hiring writing coach is beyond the imagination of many bloggers … do not know whether this kind of options are available in all countries.

    • Ali Luke says:

      That’s why I put it as the sixth method … it’s not a cheap option. Some coaches will work with people all over the world (I coach via Skype, for instance) though, so money is the only real barrier.

  23. Meredith says:

    Great tips from both the article and the comments. I would be interested in any constructive feedback or criticism of my home blog, Making a Dream Home http://www.makingadreamhome.com

    I would also be interested in becoming blogging buddies with any home bloggers or lifestyle bloggers. Shoot me an e-mail if you’re interested: meredith (at) makingadreamhome (dot) com

    • belledame says:

      i’d be interested in buddying up with you. we have loosely similar topics. i’m more into interiors inspiration (and fashion, but that’s mostly on my tumblr).

      at a glance, i wonder why you don’t have a sidebar listing previous posts. i don’t think many people enjoy scrolling through blogs until/unless they realize that it has a large archive of posts they really love. then the odd person will sit there going through posts and snagging images. otherwise, it’s a drag to scroll all the way down and look for the older posts button.

      my link is in my name.

  24. Rezbi says:

    This is a great and timely post for me.

    I just changed the structure of my blog and been getting more visits – doubled in a week, in fact.

    But, I just learned some stuff from this post I started using as I was reading.

    Thanks for the great info. I’m copying this into a document for keeps.

  25. Naijadotcom says:

    I think some of the tips listed are very relevant to get feedback, I also think some of the tips are not so relevant to get feedback.

  26. I get roughly about 3000 unique visitors per month Or roughly about 100 to 150 per day. & roughly about 30000 pages views per month. Or roughly about 1000 to 1300 page views per day.

    Also, how does it even work ?

  27. Michelle says:

    I like the idea of finding a “blogging buddy”.

    Adding “like” buttons does make it easier to indicate interaction. And I realise that with all of the logging into profiles and captcha stuff, leaving comments can be frustrating when you do want to leave encouraging comments.

  28. Roblol says:

    So I started a new blog, basically ranting about my job and customers I deal with. I think I do it well. I work in a Desktop Support position providing premium support for subscription customers (people who pay more so we support more than just the internet connection and email.) I feel I have a good twist on it, and focus on the idiocy, not the computer illiteracy.

    Anyways I’ve made posts in several forums (with the kind of reader I’d imagine I’d attract) and I’ve had nothing but positive remarks. I’m yet to get any true criticisms or feedback. All they’ve said is it’s funny or they enjoyed it.

    Well to the point, I’d like to find someone to “buddy” up with. I’m new to the whole blogging thing (I haven’t since livejournal and I was 14.)

    Anyways, if you’re interested in buddying up, or even supplying me with some much needed criticism please take a quick look at my blog. I’m concerned with the content at the moment, and not really the design (it will change as I get my domain and hosting set up)

    http://www.roblol.com/

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

  29. There are other ways to encourage your readers to participate in discussions and leave comments.Wordpress plugins such as Top commentators can encourage users as by getting listed in top commentators they can get more link-juice, coverage and possibly more traffic.

    • I was wondering if you know a place you could refer me where I could see the Top Commentators plug-in active as an example. Conceptualizing how it would look and what it does is difficult to visualize. Like the idea a lot. Thanks.

  30. Karan Lugani says:

    My about Page is what I am done with . I am little bit confused about the other ones. About befriending a blog buddy , its really difficult to choose a perfect one from my niche which includes Computer Tricks and Tips. So I am thinking to get a blog buddy from blogging tips niche. Would it be an apt idea?

  31. Wow! What a great and timely article. My present blog is fairly new so I am not expecting a lot of attention, comment, or reaction, yet. I am anticipating that at sometime in the near future that could be an issue and I love your suggestions as possible solutions.

    Twitter has been where I have received the most feedback of any of my social media activities. What I have noticed that seems to make a difference is regularity. The more regular your tweets or posts the more attention and depth of influence you end up attaining.

    I would love to hear what you have to say about this. At this point, of course, I am working hard to build up my readership and number of subscribers. Thanks.

    All the best,
    Tim Stanforth
    Twitter: @affasttrack

  32. Like other have said, the timing on this blog is great. A blog post once a week is as much as I can manage, but I don’t think anyone is reading it. I’ve been trying to think of ways I can get some feedback so this is extremely helpful. Thanks!

  33. I recently redid my website and started a blog. I would be very thankful for any comments or suggestions for improvement. I am blogging about words, because I have a book proposal ready to submit entitled, “Like Sticks and Stones, Words are More than Weapons.” Not getting many comments on the blog and not getting very many hits on the site.

  34. I recently redid my website and started a blog. I would be very thankful for any comments or suggestions for improvement. I am blogging about words, because I have a book proposal ready to submit entitled, “Like Sticks and Stones, Words are More than Weapons.” Not getting many comments on the blog and not getting very many hits on the site.