3 Ways Not to Host a Poll

Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Articles | 1 comment

Ad more interaction to your blog, blah, blah, blah, get feedback from your readers, blah, blah, blah. . .

All good advice! One of the best ways to do this is by adding a poll to your blog (or website, group, or what have you).

However, like most things, the worth comes down to how it’s executed. So, in hopes of saving you some trial and error and humiliation, I’m going to share three things I’ve seen or, yep, done myself which did not pan out so well.

All Positives. When asking for an opinion on something, sometimes the answer is “yuck”. Or, at least, not overflowing with adoration and worship. I have seen authors setup polls asking for feedback on their new release or an upcoming work, and the set of answer choices was a series of screaming flattery. Here are the things that came to mind:

1. Whatever your problem is, they make a pill for it.
2. Stop using so many exclamation marks.
3. I bet you’re one of those people who insist on a high five or a fist bump, aren’t ya?
4. Is this the only way you can get people to say good things about you?
5. No, really, stop using so many exclamation marks.

No “Other”. This one got me. I was so sure I had all my bases covered. Wouldn’t ya know it, someone had something entirely different to say. I’m not a psychic, after all. Who would have thought? I now add “other” to nearly everything. It’s just better that way.

Limited Number of Choices. I can raise my hand as being guilty to this one too. The “Ah, just pick one” mentality doesn’t fly with everyone. So, stop and consider if more than one can apply before pressing submit. Few things irk like having to choose.

Polls can be a great way to add “stickiness” to your site (I didn’t coin that, I promise). It can also be a great way to get useful information from your readers. Then again, an improperly hosted poll can make you look like a jerk. So double check your polls, or have someone else look at it before it goes live, and hopefully your readers won’t be worried about what sort of medication you forgot to take.

Do any of the above scenarios bother you when participating in a blog poll? What other things would you suggest not to do?

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  • http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com Nicole

    The other choice gets me or Undecided is annoying too. No! Force people to have an opinion! That is a crap, cop out thing to leave open – make people have a decision! :) obviously after a couple of glasses of wine, I feel very strongly about the matter!