Do You Know What Your Readers Want to Read?48 COMMENTS
A guest article by Amanda DiSilvestro. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
Ultimately your online marketing campaigns revolve around your readers. You might make it to the top of a search engine results page (SERP), but it won’t mean anything if readers don’t find value in your content. Even loyal readers will begin to drop off if your content strategy is erratic and disorganized.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to know what your readers want to see on your website or website’s blog. If you have a large number of followers, it is up to you to take steps to find topics that you can customize for your readers. This won’t always be obvious, so there are a few things you can do to help give you insight into your readers’ minds:
Top 5 Ways to Find the Content Your Readers Want
1. Look for questions in all of the comments on your website.
Whether you’re starting a business or working to improve your current business, you likely offer a space for reader comments. Readers are most often asking questions or offering up opinions about a specific article, but if you really pay attention you will see that the comments are usually full of potential blog posts. If a reader ever asks a question in the comments, write an article answering the question. If two readers ever have a disagreement about something, consider looking at both sides of the issues and writing a detailed blog post. These ideas are coming straight from your readers.
2. Create an open forum for readers to tell you what they want to read.
Some websites create a discussion board where readers can tell you, the editor, exactly what they’d like to see. This works great because people will generally agree with a topic and then reply to the idea. This will let you easily see which topics are the most popular and which topics you may need to take a pass. Ideally you would be able to write about every topic that was mentioned, but these forums can sometimes get a little bit crazy! This is a potential issue you could have if you were to take this approach, so it’s important to evaluate the size and outspoken-nature of your audience. Will they be upset if you have to skip their idea? Do you have time to write about every idea that is mentioned.
3. Create a poll that gives readers options for your next blog post.
Sometimes people do not know what they want until they see it. Creating a poll gives readers choices when it comes to the topic for your latest blog post. This will also help bring a level of engagement to your website as well as give readers a reason to continually check back to your website. After all, if you voted to see something specific, you’re likely to continue to come back and see if you “won.” As an editor, you may not want to put out a poll every single day, but once a week is usually successful.
4. Use other statistics and trends to make an educated guess about your readers.
If you can’t figure out a way to talk with your readers directly, you should try and follow the trends of people everywhere. I often look at the Twitter trends to see what people are thinking, but more often than not I look at the trends of other websites. Do you notice that a lot of websites are getting engagement from an infographic? Do people enjoy reading articles about social media? You may also want to check out LinkedIn Today to see what is trending.
5. Accept guest posts on your blog.
Many companies accept guest posts in the hopes that they will get a break or the author will draw in a few new readers, but the accepting guest posts is also a great way to give the readers what they want. After all, there is no better way to discover what your readers want to read than to let them write it themselves. You will of course want to monitor and edit everything that is written before it is published, but accepting guest posts is sure to bring your blog to a new level.
In the end, creating customized content for readers will go a long way. They will know that their thoughts are taken into consideration, and this isn’t something you cannot get with every website. Ultimately, writing for your readers is one of the best things you can do for your website. If you don’t know what they want to see right away, a little bit of research is worth the time.
What do you do to find out what your readers want to read?