What is your most important goal as a blogger?
Is it to get more people reading your posts or is it about getting those who read your content to take further action?
I believe the majority will agree that clicks and readers are a piece of the puzzle, but actual conversions are the name of the game.
But in order to actually achieve the latter you should try to make every piece you publish resonate with your readers. In other words you should not only write relevant content, but you should also listen to what your readers have to say.
What are Some of the Ways to “Listen”
And there comes the big question – how can you do that effectively?
Some ideas to consider include:
- Adding a call to action at the end of your posts, encouraging people to share their thoughts
- Doing the same but as a P.S. at the end of emails you send to your subscribers, regarding new content
- Closely monitoring your social channels and looking for constructive criticism
- And of course always taking it a step further by replying and trying to strike a conversation
But here we have a problem…
You Need to Simplify the Whole Process
Not that many people will write emails or comments to let you know what aspects of your writing you should ditch and which ones you should pay more attention to.
Another option is using analytics and social shares to measure the impact of your blog posts. That alone isn’t always an objective metric though.
You might be seeing more sharing on one post, simply because you published it at a better time or because an influencer happened to find it and share it.
At the same time another piece, as equally good as the other one might perform poorly… Because you didn’t provide it with a good image or maybe because you didn’t write a good description when you shared it on Google Plus or Facebook.
All in all there are different variables that can overshadow that data.
This is the reason why we need an additional way of knowing what people enjoy, what they want to read more and what they are not interested in.
That is where FeedWeb comes into play…
What is FeedWeb and Why You Should Care
FeedWeb is a WordPress plugin (and one of the many reasons why you should move to WordPress if you still haven’t) that lets you insert a widget into your blog posts and thus learn more about the people who read them.
Okay, but how does that work exactly?
Well there are two basic options at your disposal:
- Voting system – the main feature is a 1-5 voting system that lets readers rate your content. The best thing about it is that completing the process takes just under ten seconds. You click on the rating you would like, decide if you’d like to do it anonymously, enter a security code and optionally add more details like gender.
- Yes/No Question – an additional feature is the option to also insert a question that can be answered with either yes or no. There are several default questions (like “Are you interested in similar stories” or “Do you agree to the author’s viewpoint”), but you can easily insert your own ones into the widget.
Both options are a really neat way to help you discover both poorly and well-performing posts. Having that list is the first step of course. From that point on it’s all about reading and analyzing the core differences between the top-performers and the below-average pieces.
An additional benefit is that you keep the reader engaged. Plus by displaying the results from the survey under your posts you can persuade more people to join your list or share the post with their friends.
Adding the FeedWeb Widget to Your Posts
So now that you have hopefully understood the benefits, let’s move to the details…
The first step is (obviously) to install the plugin. Here’s a link. I bet you know how to install it, but just for the record, you will need to go to the WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Upload and browse to the zip file you just downloaded.
The cool thing about this plugin is that once you have it installed and activated, you will automatically be prompted to insert a rating widget into every post you publish from that point on (you can disable that from the settings page if you’d like).
However the same isn’t valid for your older posts…
There you will need to add a rating widget manually. You will need to go to the WordPress dashboard once again, then under Posts you will need to click All Posts. Once there, next to each post’s title and date, you will see a plus-like icon (like the one on the right).
Simply click the icon and follow the steps in the popup screen.
NOTE: I am not sure why but for some reason FeedWeb does not allow you to add the rating widget on posts older than 45 days. It would’ve been better if that limitation wasn’t there, but I guess we can live with it.
Fine Tuning the FeedWeb Plugin
Moving on to customization…
The two things I really liked about the plugin is first that you have a choice between three different layouts (I’m currently using the modern) and second that you can easily edit the CSS file and alter the theme you are using.
NOTE: The best way to go about editing any CSS is to first start with the Firebug plugin for Firefox. That one adds a console (available by pressing F12) which lets you easily identify elements and add/remove properties. Chrome and Internet Explorer have a similar built-in feature, which however is not as user-friendly.
The next aspect you can customize is the size of the widget. Mine is currently set to 400px (with recommended width between 400-450px).
What I don’t like here is that the plugin isn’t as mobile-friendly, since the size you choose will remain the same for all resolutions. There is the option to select a mobile screen layout, but that will make the plugin look too small on standard screens.
The issue isn’t that big, as it affects only the smallest of resolutions out there. It would be nice if we see a bit more “responsiveness” still.
The Readers Community Portal
Something I didn’t mention is this checkbox that you can thick before adding a widget:
Doing so allows you to submit your posts to the readers community portal, which is similar to blog networks like BlogEngage and Blokube. And while at this time the portal might not bring you a ton of traffic, as more people start using FeedWeb (currently at 70,975 downloads), it will hopefully draw more visitors.
Considering that the whole process doesn’t take more than a minute, I’d suggest you to submit every post you publish. There’s nothing to lose.
License and Premium Version
Normally FeedWeb allows you to add up to 3 widgets per day, 20 of them per month and 300 of them in total. If you are fine with those numbers, then the free version is perfect for you.
If you would like more, you might want to consider the plus or the pro version.
Here is more information from the “License” tab:
By the way if you are interested in the premium version, until the 31st of March you can save 25% with the following coupon code: RWZTPS-14-03-WP
That’s pretty much it friends. All in all FeedWeb is a cool way to keep your readers engaged and to learn more about their experience at the same time.
If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below! Also do take a look at the plugin’s tutorial by going to FeedWeb > Tutorial or the interactive landing page the team has set up.
Have you tried FeedWeb? If yes, what do you think about it?
Do take a minute to share your thoughts and the post with your friends if you found it useful!