Can you find what your readers want? Do you offer them what they like? If you said yes, then you are on your way to becoming a great blogger. Else continue reading this blog post as I show you the exact ways I use to find what my readers want.
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And did I tell you that I’m also going to show you the 3 unusual ways of finding what your readers want? Most bloggers either don’t know these 3 ways or they don’t use it.
But why should you know what your readers want?
To gain trust and become an authority in your readers’ eyes, you have to know what your readers want and also offer it to them. As I said in my previous post on ‘3 actions that will make your readers call you a great blogger’, if you can help your reader by giving them what they want, you will become an influential blogger.
So what should I do to find what my readers want?
1. Blog Comments
Blog comments are the best way to find what your readers want. This is the place where your readers, most often, let you know about their needs. In almost every post you write, you will be able to find a blog post idea. It will sometimes be direct question and the rest of the times, it will be in a disguised form.
Direct questions are easy to find in your blog comments. The indirect questions are the ones which is tough to find. You should be able to find a question in whatever form they maybe.
In fact, this post is written after reading a comment in my previous post. The first commentator in my previous post, sba, wrote the following line in the comment which made me to write this post:
“It’s hard to do #1 (Influencing your reader’s life to your best) without knowing what readers need; most don’t volunteer that info unless they leave a question in a forum.”
It wasn’t a question. But when you read it, you can tell that there are bloggers who want to know how to find what their readers want.
Blog comment is the best source for finding what your readers want.
Twitter is the next big thing in the internet. If you are not in twitter, you are probably missing something in life. Twitter is not just for fun. It is actually more than that. You could build relationship with people, find cool stuff and do a lot more.
How will twitter help you find what your reader wants?
Most of your readers will be in twitter. Try to follow them and listen to what they say. Indeed you can’t go and find every single reader of your blog. But you could give your twitter account in your blog and even add it at the end of every blog post to get your readers to follow you first and then you can follow them back.
Ask your readers what they want to know. Pose a question. Note down all the questions you get. You will be amused to see that even your non-readers will answer your question and thereafter become your blog reader.
So start using twitter. You can find me in twitter as Ramkarthik. Tweet me and I’ll surely tweet you back and also follow you.
Forums are a huge treasure of ideas for blog posts. You could almost always find a new question in a forum (the authority forums in every niche). You can find forums in your niche by following the tutorial I wrote here. Forums are a place where some of your readers will be hanging out and posting questions. So register in the forums that belong to your niche and start reading the threads. There are more advantages in using forums. You can read the 17 ways forums help you become a better blogger. Check out the Blogging Tips forum.
4. Instant Messaging
This is a better way to know what your readers want. Display your IM name in your blog and you blog readers will be glad to add you and talk to you. Ask your readers if they want to know anything about your niche. In IM, you can get to know what they want more clearly.
The 3 Unusual Ways
The following 3 ways are not tried by most of the bloggers. Many of them don’t know these.
5. Mailing List
Mailing list is a way by which you create a form and display in your blog where your readers will give their name and email ID. Mostly people use mailing list for sending articles, how to posts, other helpful tips and occasionally some product recommendations. People who do affiliate marketing use this method quite often. Recently bloggers have started to build mailing lists. You can subscribe to the mailing list of Blogging Tips using the form in the sidebar.
When you have a mailing list you can ask questions to your readers or simply send an email asking them what they would want to see in your blog. The best thing with mailing list is that you can send your mail to whole list in a single click.
You can use services like aweber or getresponse (both are not free but they are worth the price) to build mailing list. You can also read the post where I explain the difference between autoresponder and feedburner.
6. Other Blogs
Yes, you can find what your readers want in other blogs. Go to the popular blogs in your niche and check out the comments they have. There would be many questions in the comments section. Most of these questions go unnoticed. So why don’t you step up and answer the questions in your blog? The owner of the other blog would be happy to see that someone answered their reader’s question. Why go to popular blogs? It’s because that’s where most of the blog readers of any niche will hang out.
7. Your Traffic Stats
Though it is a bad habit to check stats every hour, there is no wrong in checking it out once a day. You can check it at the end of the day. See which posts in your blog gets more traffic, the posts that gets more comments and the ones that get linked the most. Write them down in a notebook and start writing posts related to these posts. If I find that one of my posts on article marketing gets the most traffic, I would write more posts targeting article marketing quite often. This way I can help more readers by providing them what they want.
What else do you do to find what your readers want to know? Have you tried any of the above and found it useful? Also do you have anything that you want me to write on? Please share your views in the comments. You can tell what you want me to write either in the comments or using twitter @Ramkarthik.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
Should You Aim for Blog Post Quality or Quantity?
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The human mind is silly. It thinks one or the other. It thinks you cannot have it all. You can have blog post quality and quantity but you need to make a clear decision on what you define to be a quality blog post.
Quality posts do not mean 2000 to 4000 word, pillar style masterpieces. A quality blog post answers the question you asked via title or delivers on the promise you made on the title.
I do understand how Google ranks 2000 word or longer, SEO-optimized posts requiring hours of work for even skilled bloggers to write, package and publish. But Google also ranks 600 words posts. 600 word posts are quality posts. Guess what? For the 30,000 bloggers out there asking the title question, I just wrote a quality blog post because they get a clear, concise, dead on answer.
Avoid Scarcity Thinking
Any time you FEAR posts are not quality because word length is 600 words, you think scarcity, or, not enough, or, not quality. But fear is not true. Fear is illusion. I can write 10, 600 word, quality posts today to make a massive impact and to help people IF I think abundance. But if I only believe I write quality, helpful posts in the 2000 word range, I stopped thinking abundance and began thinking scarcity. I chose fear over love and abundance. Naturally, all bloggers who think scarcity either struggle, fail and quit or work like beasts just to make end’s meet. Not good.
Go for quantity and quality. Some posts may span 800 or 1000 words but you can answer most questions and solve most problems in 600 words if you have immense clarity. Seth Godin answers most questions in 100 to 300 words. You have so much more to work with. So…work with it!
Think abundance. Blog abundance.
I have referenced Gary Vee many times recently and his 2000 video interviews on YouTube. Before he landed world famous speaking gig he had a pure abundance mindset, doing videos left and right, offering quality insights on a high quantity of channels. Blogging fools would try desperately to land an interview on a TV show, pitching, fearing, worrying, striving, and wasting months of time, thinking scarcity. Gary thought abundance, seized every opportunity through interview requests from some entrepreneurs who registered zero views per video, gained massive exposure organically, and, the dude became famous through his abundance mindset.
He thought quality and quantity. He did not hold back.
I am beginning to gain massive exposure through the 5-10 guest posts and blog posts published under my name daily. I do not turn down a microphone. I also know the easiest way to become well known is to focus heavily on quantity and quality, to share the wealth.
Many bloggers would obsess over a quality post being 2000 words, SEO-optimized and all that jazz, spending 4 hours to write said post on blogging tips. Meanwhile, I just wrote and published 8 quality, 600 word posts during those hours. I am being seen helping people in 8 spots. While you are on the sidelines. Even if that SEO’ed out, 2000 word post gains massive traffic over the long term, via Google, I am gaining even more massive traffic, being in 8-10 places daily via my posts and guest posts.
Think exponential increase. Imagine my 10 guest posts building up over 365 days. That is 3,650 guest posts, 3,650 spots where I am spotted online. That is a lotta spots!
See why it pays to think quality and quantity?
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