Audience Watch Me offers a free website review (for a limited time so don’t wait!) and then emails you a feedback report with helpful tips about what works and what doesn’t work on your website. Meg Cook, owner and operator of Audience Watch Me, does the review herself. I signed up specifically to get help with my header. I asked Meg Cook to go to my site and give me her first impression of it because a little voice inside of me wasn’t too sure about the way my header looked, but I didn’t really know what was missing. Meg Cook figured out what was missing quickly – pictures! She suggested I add some photos of my art and myself so people would be able to connect with me and my work more quickly. She even suggested particular art pieces because they demonstrated a skill or visually represented me well as a person. I even included a silly photo of me because I wanted people to know that this is often a humor blog too.
I think what I liked about Meg Cook’s suggestions is she really emphasized connection, which is the primary reason I blog. I want to connect with people and make connections between people. Community is extremely important to me. If it wasn’t, I’d just have an art website and no blog. If you want to read the review of my blog header just click here: Lillian’s Audience Watch Me review.
Yesterday I wrote a review about UserTesting and I answered some questions about that service so I am going to answer the same questions about the Audience Watch Me review today:
1. Was it helpful? Yes! Meg Cook gave me some excellent concrete suggestions that I was able to implement immediately. She also checked in after the changes were made and gave me her thoughts on my new header. She did all of this for free. She obviously cares about her work and the people she works with very much. She also gave me some feedback on how my blog represented me. She could see the fun, humor, hope, and creativity that I am bringing to the Internet. This helped me see that I was sending the message I wanted to be sending to readers and so I felt very encouraged. This feedback helped me to understand that I am making choices based on my values and my dreams. Sometimes, because I can’t see myself or my work from the outside, I don’t know if people can see the cohesive thread that runs through all of the different things I make and write about.
2. Does the reviewers opinion matter? I didn’t know Meg Cook at all when I submitted my website for review on my first visit to Audience Watch Me so I think her first impression of my blog header was fresh and unbiased. When I read her review I discovered that she likes art and is a parent. She is a woman too. I don’t think I could have chosen someone to better represent the demographic of my average blog reader any better. If I were actively seeking new readers, she would be a member of the group I would be pursuing. So, her opinion is very relevant to me and my blog. Not to mention, she is a mom with an Internet business so she knows some of the challenges I face without me ever having to verbally communicate them.
3. How did it make me feel? I have to tell you I trusted Meg Cook from the first email she sent me. She sent my review and told me that it was published on Audience Watch Me, but that if it made me uncomfortable for any reason she would remove it. I also felt that she understood what my vision was and was willing to work with me to represent that vision in a more obvious way. She checked in with me to see how my new header looked. She also shared information with me about how (what photo programs might be helpful) to make a new header so I felt like she was invested in my success. I felt like I was part of a collaborative team. So, my Audience Watch Me review made me feel optimistic and energized. It gave me the courage to attempt some other changes I have been considering and to act a little more fearlessly because I knew, if I needed help, that Meg Cook would be there to share her knowledge.
4. Would I use this service again? Yes, I would. In fact, I plan to. There will come a time in the future when I will need feedback and I will be contacting Audience Watch Me to get it. I would have no reservations paying for Meg Cook’s services either because I know she is committed, honest, and cares about what she is doing. She understands how relationships can be important, finds positive and negative things to discuss, builds on your strengths, and has excellent customer service.
I think in some ways, what makes Audience Watch Me my preferred blog review service is that I know the person doing the review (her website has some biographical information and a picture of her on it) and it’s more personal than the services with a big pool of employees. It’s an ideal situation for me too because Meg Cook is such a perfect representative of my blog demographic. I got a comment on my blog post yesterday, about Peek (UserTesting) and the writer pointed out that I took the Peek review too personally and she was probably right, but I can’t think of anything on the Internet more personal than a blog. I mean, you are writing about your life almost daily and putting it out there for the world to see. Criticism of your blog is difficult to separate from criticism of yourself. In some ways, I think the problem with my Peek review is that it wasn’t personal enough. There are some people who would never come to this blog. They would have no reason to. There isn’t much here for a single guy with no kids who has little interest in home decorating for instance. Having a review from someone in that demographic wouldn’t really be that helpful. Connections are important to me, but there are some people I am just never going to connect with. Just like in real life…I am probably not going to be spending much time socializing with a young, single guy without kids, unless he is related of course!
I am also an introvert, so a one on one experience with a real person just makes more sense to me than a video created by an anonymous person that I can’t ask any questions of. How can I make improvements without having more details and a better understanding of a person’s experience? Sometimes things needs to be clarified for better understanding.
So, to summarize, UserTesting may work well for certain people and certain businesses, but for someone like me, Audience Watch Me is a much better choice. I need to feel like the person I am working with cares about my success and is someone I can trust. Maybe I am expecting a different type of feedback than the average UserTesting customer so if you have had a good experience with them I am glad for you. They do have an excellent customer service team. I was grateful when a company representative emailed me about my experience yesterday. In the end, we all have to do what works best for us. For me, that means hiring Audience Watch Me for all of my blog reviewing needs.