Attract More Readers By Writing Posts They Already Crave

Get Readers by giving them what they crave

You write a lot.

Naturally, you run out ideas.

But why do you write posts?

What’s the goal of each post?

Your goal is to make each post benefit the reader in some way. This could be by entertaining them, informing them, or by teaching them.

If it’s benefit you’re after, isn’t it better to solve problems they already have? You don’t always have to spend your time trying to come up with ideas to blog about. It’s hard to make some random idea you came up with interesting to your readers. Figure out what they want and write about something they already crave.

Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas decided to do exactly that and provide solutions to his audience’s problems in a post. His company went from spending over $250,000 a month on advertising and over drawing from the bank to making $1.7 million in sales from the first post alone. Even New York Times had to talk about him.

He wrote a post solving a problem his audience had and it spread like wildfire.

Don’t waste time tying to come up with things your readers might be interested in.

It’s like trying to attract bees to something you think they might be interested in, like a cheesecake or a hot dog. Just figure out that they want honey, and give them honey.

Don’t make this harder on yourself than it has to be. Not only is trying to come up with ideas a painful process, it’s also a lot less effective. Solve your readers’ problems and answer questions they can’t seem to figure out. This will benefit your readers more and attract people to your blog.

So, how do you find out what your audience wants? What are their problems and questions? What’s their honey?

 

1. Use Google To Find Out What’s Bothering People

What’s the first thing people do when they have a question? They look it up on Google. Use this to your advantage.

Step 1. Go to the Google Keyword Tool and Log in. If you don’t log in, you’ll see the older version of the page that’s slightly different, but you can still use it in pretty much the same way. Once you Log in, click on “Search for keyword and ad group ideas“.

Keyword Tool 13

Step 2. Type in your niche or a broad topic from your niche under “Your Product or Service” and click “Get Ideas“.

Keyword-Tool-23

Step 3. The “Ad group ideas” alone should give you insight into what problems your niche is facing but click on keyword ideas so you can look for more specific questions.

Keyword Tool 32

Step 4. Arrange them by “Average monthly searches“.

Keyword Tool 42

Step 5. Look for keywords that are three or more words long. These usually indicate a problem.

Keyword Tool 5

Step 6. These keywords should give you insight into the problems people have. Here’re a few possible questions (in posts) that you can answer from these keywords:

  • Why Should I Consider A Raised Garden Bed?
  • How To Build Raised Garden Beds
  • What To Look For In Square Foot Garden
  • What Makes A Good Raised Garden Bed

 

2. Find What People Are Complaining About On Forums And Online Groups

If you spend time on forums and online groups in your niche, you’ll probably notice that people ask a lot of questions. If one person has a question and it bothers him badly enough to ask about it, chances are other people have same question as well.

Take advantage of this fact. Look at what questions people want the answers to. An added bonus to this method is that the second you write about it, you can go ahead answer the question in the forum with a link to your post.

Find a forum in your niche, browse people’s posts and look for questions. Here’s an example from Warrior Forum in the marketing niche. Notice how many of the posts are questions. If any of them fall within the bounds of what your blog is about, answer them.

Forum questions

Groups on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can be used in the same way. Find groups that are relevant to your niche and take a look at the questions people are asking and the problems they are running into.

 

3. Use SeoGadget’s Content Strategy Generation Tool

There’re a lot of places you can go to if you want to look for questions, but doing all of this takes time. This is where the Content Strategy Generator Tool (CSGT) by Daniel Butler of SEOgadget comes in.

This is one epic tool and a huge time saver. You type in a keyword into the tool and it searches a massive list of news sites, social media sites, content aggregators, and Q and A sites for related content. Here’s a break down of the huge list:

  • News and Discussion sites – Google Discussions, Google News & Bing News.
  • Social Media – Digg, Reddit, Youtube, Topsy Latest Tweets, Topsy Latest Top Trending Tweets, Twittorati Search, All Things Now.
  • Q and A sites – Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers, How Stuff Works.
  • Content Aggregators – Blog Catalog, Fark, Redux, Helium, Cracked.

It takes all the data and breaks it down so it’s easier for you to digest. The data from the news sites is broken down into Title, Who and When and Description.

CSGT11

It also order’s questions from Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers and How Stuff Works by most answered. Start here. Look at what the biggest questions are. You’ll generally find something worth writing about here, but if not, move on to the rest of the sections. A lot of the data from other sources are questions in disguise. They hint at what people are having problems with.

Go get the tool here. It’ll make your life a lot simpler and save you time. When you get the tool it’ll be in view only mode.

CSGT2

To change this, you have to make a copy. Log into your Gmail account. Go to File and click make a copy.

CSGT3

This window should come up and ask you what you want to call the copy. Type a name in and click save.

You can now use the tool to look for problems in your niche. Enter a generic term in cell B3 and look for what to write your next post about.

 

4. Ask Your Followers

Take advantage of your Twitter and Facebook following. Once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to just ask. If you don’t have a large following, go to Forums and Facebook groups and post a question there. Ask them what they’re struggling with.

  • What are some problems you ran into this week?
  • What is your biggest hurdle in accomplishing ____?
  • What’s a problem that keeps bothering you?

 

5. Tap Into The Power Of Quora

What better place to find people asking questions than on Q and A sites?

Quora is a popular site for asking questions and you shouldn’t have any problems finding some. The only exception to this might be is if your niche is extremely small.

Step 1. Head over to Quora and type in your niche or broad topic from your niche. Quora will give you all the questions people had about your topic. Here’s what it would look like if you’re looking to write to Breaking Bad fans:

Quora

Step 2. That’s it. Your done. There is no step 2. It’s just a matter of picking one.

 

6. You Are Part Of Your Audience

To really be a successful blogger you have to understand your niche, which means on some level you have to be a part of it. Take a closer look at what’s stopping you from accomplishing things. What’re some problems you’re running into? What questions do you have?

Figure out how to solve these problems and write about it. You’ll be surprised by how much this’ll resonate with your audience.

 

7. Search Twitter For Questions The Right Way

Twitter is another place people go to when they’re looking for answers. With a few simple tricks you can search Twitter for questions very effectively.

Method 1. Look for the phrase “does anyone know” + your keyword. So if you’re looking for questions about content marketing, you’d search “does anyone know” content marketing. This is very accurate at serving up real questions:

Twitter1

Method 2. You can also look for question marks. Use this syntax: copywriting ? -filter:links. This makes sure you’re not getting promotional tweets of blog posts in your search. No links. Only real questions.

Twitter2

Set this up through Hoot Suite if you’d rather monitor a constant stream. Use Tweet Beep if you’d rather get one automatic daily email.

 

8. Ask Your Readers And Get More Sales

Neil Patel wanted to test out the power of conversation. At the end of an email he asked his subscribers to “hit the reply button and tell me what you think of the email“.

When some these people emailed him, he replied back to each and every single one of them, thanking them for the feedback. Out of these people, over 71% ended up buying his product.

So talk to your readers. This will help you generate ideas and will help you sell things down the road.

The next time you send an email to your subscribers, end by asking them if they have any questions. You can also make it more specific and ask them to tell you about some problems they ran into this week.

If the people take the time to actually email you back, you can bet it’s a problem that’s been really bothering them.

A simple “Click reply and send me an email if you’re running into problems” goes a long way. If you get any emails, be sure to reply back to them or at the very least tell them you’ll be writing a post on it soon.

So, how do you listen to your audience? 

you should tweet this post 

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36 Responses to “Attract More Readers By Writing Posts They Already Crave”

  • John Gibb says:

    hi

    I make a habit to always respond to each email I get, and often find that high ticket item sells are done because of the interaction I have with people over email, isn’t this amazing?

    Also, surveys are of great help when launching products or require new ideas for blog posts/articles…

    Cheers!

    • Mark Trueman says:

      Hey John,

      That sounds about right. People who feel as if they had a conversation with a real person are a lot more likely to buy.

      Yup survey’s are great. The only reason I didn’t include it in this post was because I only wanted to include methods that could give immediate results when you’re struggling with finding something to write about.

      Hope you liked the post :)

      - Mark T.

  • Suvin says:

    I was also out of ideas.i’m gonna check some forums or q a sites.Thanks you

  • Alisson says:

    Hey Mark,

    Another great post. I like how you always try and find methods that other bloggers don’t talk about.

    And the Marcus Sheridan example was compelling.

    Awesome post.

  • Dror says:

    Hey Mark, I like the first Twitter method. That phrase is not something I would’ve thought of.

    The CSGT tool seems pretty awesome as well. Never heard of it. Thanks for the pointing it out.

  • Brian says:

    Mark, saw your post on the WF about this. Really good tips for finding questions to answer. The River Pools and Spas article is interesting. Not very long and just the facts people are looking for. Then he didn’t try to sell anything, but did have additional educational information such as an ebook that required an email address to read.

    • Mark Trueman says:

      Hey Brain,

      Thanks, glad you liked the post :)

      Yup I think there’re a lot of things you can learn from analyzing that post he wrote.

      He wasn’t selling anything but he did have a call to action you can take if you liked what he wrote.

      - Mark T.

  • Welcome back Mark :),
    Its been a while and i really missed you. You just disappeared and i kept wondering if everything was good with you man.

    This is a post i should really describe as EPIC man :) and, i really agree with all you said here as always.

    If you can be giving your readers exactly what they want then, they will certainly be coming back and will always like and share what you like.

    I’ve not heard some of the tips you mentioned here before and I’m going to start implementing them ASAP and, I’ve also bookmarked the page.

    Thanks for sharing man and, I’m happy to read a post from you once again :).

    • Mark Trueman says:

      Theodore,

      Hey man. Yea sorry about that.

      I had no internet access for like 2 months there when I was abroad.

      I got back to the US a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to contact you first thing but I didn’t want to touch my Gmail until I finished catching up on all the things I needed to do first. Because if go on my email, I knew my productivity would drop and there were just too many things I had to catch up with from my 2 month absence.

      Thanks man, glad you liked the post :) And I’m happy to hear from you again.

      - Mark T.

  • No issues at all Mark,
    I honestly understand how it feels like to be away for long and, I also had some internet connection issues some time ago and, it was really a sad experience.

    You really have a lot to catch up with man and, I’m sure you can do it :). More strength to your elbows.

    Expecting to hear from you soon man and, hope you brought something for me from abroad.

  • Great Post Mark,
    These are great ways to get post ideas, I have bookmarked this post for future reading.
    I think this is my first time of commenting here and I must say you are doing a great job here. I just followed you on twitter and hope to connect with you .

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you for this excellent article! As a blogger, I’m always trying to come up with ideas that satisfy my readers. I appreciate the tools that you showed us, and how to use them!

  • Carlos Coto says:

    Hey Mark, great post!

    I learned today about the Content Strategy Generator! Thank you very much for that. Love the way you explained everything.

    Thanks,

    • Mark Trueman says:

      Thanks Carlos,

      Yea, I love that tool. Its very helpful with not just finding out what you’re niche needs but also in seeing who is influential in your niche.

      Thanks :) Glad you liked it.

      - Mark T.

  • As a rookie trying to market my business, I read a lot of articles – but this one is really different: sensible, practical and helpful. Will definitely try this tomorrow – thanks!
    Miriam

  • Shawn says:

    I especially find step 6 informative. It’s important to expand in depth what related concerns people have whom are within the target market critera

  • Mr Duan says:

    Thank you for great post. For me,
    1, I usually ask my friend for getting new ideas
    2, Walking on the street.

    • Mark Trueman says:

      Hey Mr Duan,

      Walking is pretty good for solving problems and thinking through things. I usually walk around in my room when I’m lost in thought and if that’s not enough I go out for a walk.

  • Okto says:

    Hi Mark,

    What a complete suggestions. I have tried some but the other are new to me. Going to look for more. This is great post to add our resource idea in making blog post.

    Thanks

  • SMNadim says:

    Great ways to get new ideas to blog about.
    Thanks.

  • Apollo says:

    Hi Mark, congrats on an excellent post. I think it is very important that you satisfy what your readers want, but still stick true to your own personality as a blogger/writer. It is good to know what is currently bothering people as you put it, but then you should write something that really stands out or offers a different point of view than the standard BS that you can find. I really like how you find what is currently trending and tackle your posts from that perspective.

  • That how service should be offered, we should have the goal of solving and giving them options that will help their business. I usually check my website if there are any queries that then I’ll be able to reach with my audience. Great tips above. :)

  • Denis D. says:

    I really like the does anyone know method on Twitter. I think this is an excellent way to find some of the questions people are looking to get answers to and generate content ideas.

    Overall this is a very helpful list, especially the content idea generator V2. I actually have been looking for a tool such as this to help me sort all the content out and get some ideas for my own blog posts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hana says:

    Hi Mark,

    Just came across this via your kissmetrics guest post – just want to say that its really well done :)

    I find we tend to overcomplicate things when sometimes the most obvious topics (i.e. your customers problem) are almost always more popular (not to mention more helpful!)

    Cheers!
    Hana

  • Hey Mark,

    You have some very solid tips here pal.

    What I also recommend is that bloggers analyze their blog or other blogs, check out their top articles and write along that line.

    I have done this and it helped to bring in tons of readers and got lots of subscribers as well.

    Thanks for the other awesome times. I am sure going to try out the Google keyword tool for some blog post ideas.

  • Dan Carter says:

    I could not agree more with you. Writing something which one is already looking for or which is in demand is the best possible way to get more traffic .thanks for the great post.


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