‘Solve a Problem: 7 Ways to identify Reader’s Problems’, Day 16, #31DBBBDay16 with @problogger

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1285566

Successful blogs solves people’s problems:

  • Make an impression on people
  • People are more likely to return to your blog
  • People are more likely to tell others about your blog

For some it can be easy to identify this … for new/non-vocal readership bloggers it is much harder..

Today’s Task

Identify a problem that your readers are experiencing, and seek a solution:

  1. Solve your own problems. If you’ve solved a problem, don’t just solve it and move on, but write about how you solved it – as others are likely to have had a similar problem. This is a part of what we’re doing with #DigiLit – our ultimate aim is to get more people engaging with the Bible – especially online, but if we can help people to do it…
  2. Look at the keywords/questions that people have used to arrive at your site (e.g. Google Analytics, or WP-stats-plugin) – those most commonly used will help identify areas on which you can focus content. Remember they may be coming because of posts you’ve already written, so you this won’t work for all searches, but you can get a real idea of which are worth highlighting!
  3. Analyse internal searches. Look at the words people are looking for within your site – for example use Lijit, which works as your standard search, but sends a list to you, as publisher. The list can also produce a list of searches which returned no results – and you can think whether these are useful terms to write articles on.
  4. Ask readers for questions – assuming you have an engaged set of readers:
    1. Write a post asking for questions
    2. Email most recent commenters and ask if there’s anything they need help with
    3. Set up a contact form that acts as a questionnaire
    4. Run a survey for readers
    5. Run a poll asking for most pressing needs (ensure anonymity)
    6. Look for problems on other sites:  If you’ve not got a particularly engaged audience,  look on busy blogs/forums with lots of comments – see what kind of questions particularly ask, and see whether you can start to engage readers with this.
    7. Use social media to ask for ideas: Simple tweet saying you’re looking for post ideas, or identify a number of keywords to monitor – sometimes answer on Twitter, but consider whether they deserve a longer post.
    8. Ask friends & family: In your everyday conversations with friends/family – they’ll know what you blog about, and might ask you questions (they might feel stupid asking it) … use as inspiration for posts. I’m tempted to have a series “no stupid questions re the Bible”!

Today’s Notes

No one knows it all, so consider seeking out guest bloggers to bring expertise together (this is the whole point of Big Bible – although ‘expertise’ is more about a ‘questioning group’).

  • Would they write a guest post on the topic?
  • Would they be intereviewed on the topic?
  • Would they answer just one question on the topic?

Potentially undertake the 3rd option with 5 people, and get 5 different perspectives on a question.

Example

See a blog, a book and a business. Part of the reason this works is that the author refers back to his own articles, etc. in later posts – keeping people returning to them, demonstrating a continuity in topic, etc.

Further Reading

About bigbible

The #BigBible Project. Educating in the digital spaces, creating 'bigger Bible conversations' between #digidisciple(s). Look out for #bigread14.