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.
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.