How To Use A Free Survey To Get Infoproduct And Article Ideas

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I’m trying something different today. I usually leave the how-to technical boring stuff to other people. Writing about this kind of thing usually doesn’t interest me.

But this week I conducted my first survey here at Ridiculously Extraordinary and the results have been a little bit mind-blowing. One of the suggestions I got (more than once) was to include more step-by-step hand-holding technical type information on this blog. If today goes well I will consider doing this more often.

If you got the survey it’s because you’re in a not-so-secret club. ;)

There is a lot of online survey software out there.

The most popular seems to be SurveyMonkey.com. Which, for the version I’d want to use, is $20/month. And even that only allows 1,000 responses/month. Seriously? Come on.

Free Surveys With Google Docs!

Which is where Google Docs saves the day!

I’ll be honest with you, I have a love/hate relationship with Google Docs. What I hate is the formatting gets really jacked up if you save a document and then open it in OpenOffice or Word. What I love is almost everything else. :)

I especially love the Forms feature.

There are a myriad uses for Google Docs Forms, but today we’re going to focus on surveys.

Surveying your audience is a great way to figure out what they want from you. Say you’re stuck on what kind of product to create. Run a survey! Maybe you’re out of blog post ideas? Run a survey! Looking for feedback about your site/products? Run a suvey!

Using Surveys For Infoproduct Creation Ideas

Back in the days when Google Adwords wasn’t such a beast we used to use surveys to figure out what kind of niche products to create.

The idea was simple: run a Google Adwords campaign on some topic, say dog training. The landing page would be a 1 question survey: “What is your biggest problem with training your dog?” (and variations on that theme)

It would cost maybe a few hundred dollars in Google Adwords spending to get a ton of awesome questions.

Then we’d compile all the relevant questions, get the answers, and BOOM, instant infoproduct. :)

You can use this exact same strategy now, but a better bet would be to use Facebook Ads, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft AdCenter, Plenty of Fish ads,  or any other ad system that doesn’t hate 1 page landing pages and is still comparatively low cost.

Step By Step Survey Creation

I’ve been wanting to run a survey here for a very long time, but it wasn’t until Day 26 of the EBK that I got the kick in the pants I needed to actually do it.

So on Monday I ran a survey about the future of RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com, including future premium products and future free articles.

This is how I did it.

Step 1) Go to Google Docs: http://www.google.com/docs

Step 2) Click on Create New > Form:

Step 3) Give the Form a name:

Step 4) Create the first question:

Step 5) Now, assuming you selected a multiple choice, checkboxes, or choose from a list question type offer up some choices:

As you can see this part offers you a few extra options. Click “add Other” to give people the option to suggest their own answer instead of using one of your stock answers. Then check “Make this a required question” if you want to force people to answer this question. (The survey won’t submit if the question isn’t answered.)

Click Done when you’ve finished with your options.

Step 6) If you want to do more than a 1 question survey click Add Item:

Then select what type of question. All very simple.

Step 7) Repeat Step 4 – 6 until you’re done with all your questions. The shorter the survey the more people will finish it. The longer the survey the more detail you can get out of each person. How you decide to tackle it is completely up to you.

Step 8 – Optional) Select a new Theme to give your form some kind of design other than plain white.

The default theme is plain, but Google has a few dozen theme designs for you to choose from if you’d like.

Step 9) Click on More Actions > Embed:

Step 10) Copy your Embed code and past it into a new WordPress blog post.

That’s it!

The Finished Product

Now just send your visitors to that blog post like this:

http://www.RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com/survey-time/

That is the survey I sent out earlier this week. If you want to help me shape the future of RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com please fill it out. It’s completely anonymous.

Photo Credit

{ 25 comments }

Adam Martin

Google docs is awesome. I think sharing this type of information would be great for the blog. I am not sure what other people think, but I would enjoy it.

Karol

Thanks Adam. By the responses thus far it probably won’t happen often, but I do love a good experiment. :)

Srinivas Rao

Karol,

I recently did the same and was kind of blown away by how many people from my email list responded and how detailed some of their suggestions were. I wanted to include a link (hope you don’t mind) to an article that Dave Navarro wrote recently about how to actually write up the survey as effectively as possible.

http://www.thelaunchcoach.com/survey-tips

I was blown away by how awesome this functionality was. I think that if anybody has an audience of 100 readers or more start learning about them as soon as possible. You might find product opportunities that you didn’t know existed.

Karol

Hey Srini,

No worries about posting a link. I love Dave’s stuff, am subscribed to his feed/newsletter and yet, I didn’t actually read that article. It probably would’ve helped before running the survey. :)

Karol

Mars Dorian

Crazy, I didn’t even know you could do that with google docs, that’s freaking awesome. I luv luv luv it.
Creating a survey is an awe-some way to interact with your community, and it will tell what kind of product your audience would like to have.
So much opportunity.

Karol

Yeah, Google Docs rules! :)

Corey Heller

Awesome! I’ve a survey I have in mind but haven’t taken the time to search for a widget, etc. to implement on my blog. This makes it super easy. So appreciative!

Thanks for sending out a tweet about this, Mars!

Karol

Hey Corey!

Awesome that you’re into this. :) Thank you (and Mars!)!

Karol

Joel

Completely agree with you Karol. Google docs is sweet for every reason but why, for the love of God, doesn’t it fix the “save-as-word” formatting errors?

Karol

hehe, we will never know. Google does what they want. :)

Glenn

Dang, that has a lot of potential uses. Thanks Karol!
This spawns more questions…
What happens to the results, what format do they come in?

Karol

You’re welcome. Format is a Google Docs spreadsheet with a couple of different quick views. :)

Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot

Impeccable timing Karol! Doing a survey re what product I should create first on my blog has been on my list for 10 weeks as part of my 10 week plan. The 10 weeks end today and this is the most important thing I haven’t done. So with a little luck and a lot of pressure I hope to get one out later today and your top tips will help.

Loving watching you and your blog blossom and grow, for me this is one of the most exciting blogs on the web:)

Karol

Thank you Annabel! You rock. :)

Karol

P.S. Get that survey finished! It’s so easy. ;)

Angela

Hey Karol

Very interesting and super helpful. Thanks!

Karol

Awesome Angela! :)

MiKo

What to say… simply great! Thanks!

Karol

:) You’re welcome MiKo!

Ana

Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! Great post, Karol. Really helpful. Thanks!

Karol

I’m glad you liked it Ana!

Erica

Hi Karol -

This was EXTREMELY helpful. I’m a new blogger and one of the many items on my bucket list is to write a book, but I wasn’t sure how to begin or what aspect of my crazy life should I tap into. This may be a good way to find out!!! AND cheap & easy!! SCORE!!! lol

thanks again!
Erica

Karol

Awesome Erica. You’re welcome. :)

Kenny Eller

I think I missed this one. Really helpful. Might see one of these on my site one day! Thanks man!

Karol

:) Awesome!

Dustin

Thanks Karol, I have been following your blog for a while and dig the posts that I’ve read. Def one of my favorites! Peace out.

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