It’s that time of the week again when you are ready to launch your well researched, interesting, infographic-filled content piece. You and your team, have logged in quite a few hours researching and processing the necessary data. The language is spiced up with eye-catching phrases and markers. You are absolutely confident that this article is going to create a lot of hype, and will be shared all around, which in turn is set to land you in Google’s top 10.
The post is published, and you try very hard not to check on it for a while. Later, the same day or the next day, you find that the post received a meagre amount of views and even some generic compliments, with people looking for links.
This probably sounds familiar to a lot of people, who are looking to constantly create interesting pieces of content for their blogs.
The problem is that people often tend to create content that is interesting to them rather than their audience. It’s easy for audiences to become uninterested when the post doesn’t relate to them, irrespective of whether they like you as a writer or not.
Let’s take a look at how you can accurately determine the needs of your audience!
1. Analyse the Comments Section
This has got to be the first thing you do to figure out exactly what your audience likes. From the comments, you can gauge your reader’s views and interests to a significantly accurate extent. A lot of the time on popular posts they reveal what they would like to see next. A sneak peek at a recent post about actionable marketing techniques, reveals a decent amount of comments.
Quick Tip: Try to ask your audience about, what they would like you to post about next. Ask the question in many different ways and in a subtle manner in the majority of your posts.
Make sure you browse through the comments section of your competitors including your own. Assuming your competitor is also operating in a similar niche, you will find questions like:
“Awesome post! Although you can please write about …”
“It would be amazing if you elaborate on…”
“In my experience, this is applicable only in this scenario, what about …?”
And so on.
Make a move, publish posts about what the target audience needs, and you might even be able to get people from other sites onto yours if you properly syndicate your content piece.
2. Audience’s Answers
Try to get feedback directly from your readers about what it is they would like to know. You can do this through surveys, too. The amount of replies will leave most people pleasantly surprised. In the beginning, it is quite easy to be a sceptic, and site numerous textbooks that say these methods don’t work. However, the reality is that readers really like to engage and they will let you know exactly what they want.
“I designed a Survey Monkey survey with six questions I hoped would spark some insights. I posted to Twitter and Facebook and sent it to all my email subscribers. Within a few days, I had 380 responses…”
The nature of the responses is what will be interesting to you. You might be selling customized album art for weddings, and writing about the wedding niche. Following the survey, you might find that your readers would like you to create customized art for baby shower albums, birthdays and other occasions.
3. Identify and Evaluate Interesting Topics
This step very much applies internally and externally. You need to reflect on things you have done, as well as seek out external sources for inspiration in your niche. You can use BuzzSumo for this. BuzzSumo accurately measures the levels of engagement and shares on social media. If you drop these into a spreadsheet, you can make out interesting topical patterns that garner the most interest. Twitter has stopped publishing data about shares back in 2015, Buzzsumo can still measure this factor. All you have to do is paste the URL and the data range and you are set. Blog ideas are everywhere, make sure you check topical trends carefully.
For monitoring external trends, you can again make use of the same software by entering the name of your niche instead of specific URLs. This will give you a great idea of what content is doing the rounds. A handy thing would be to know keywords that are meaningful to your target audience.
Quick Tip: Social Media shares can sometimes be fabricated. Hence, if something seems weird, then head over to the comments section and that will give you a good idea if people are truly engaging.
For example, we can have a look at what topics are popular on cNet.
We can also have a look at what is happening in the tech niche in general.
You can base your content along these lines. Another great tool you can make use of to keep niche sites organized is Feedly. Feedly will give you a quick glance about what’s happening globally.
If you need a strong indicator of what topics are doing the rounds then twitter is it. You can simply use the search box, to see content centred on your target keyword.
4. Analyse your Competition
Whilst you must never ever focus the substance of your content on something that is identical to your competition, you can always get ideas about topics. To know what the competition is up to, you can make use of Ahrefs. It gives you a great insight into the keywords your competition is focused on. You can sort by using the top pages report, which displays the pages that generate the most traffic. You can measure everything from backlinks to authority and much more. For instance, you can check out all the pages of CNet that are generating traffic:
You can see from the example that there are multiple posts involving Tech giants Apple and Google that generate a lot of traffic.
Quick Tip: You can use the backlink checker in Ahrefs to find out the different places you can get posts from. This helps with the distribution process for your content.You can see from the example that there are multiple posts involving Tech giants Apple and Google that generate a lot of traffic.
Just like the key to being a good leader is to listen, the key to being a good content provider is to observe. Let your audience be your guide, rather than you constantly forcing content that is irrelevant to them. If the majority of your posts solve their problems, then they will be extra receptive when you post about some of your own thoughts. If you are into the habit of posting about technical issues that you have encountered, you can always put them out, without having to do too much research. As people who come across the same issue, can find your content extremely useful. This can give you a massive advantage. Keep exploring for tools that give insight, so that you may produce amazing content for the digital world.