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Here’s What You Should Do to Improve Your Blog Today

Posted By Darren Rowse 10th of April 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 61

Earlier in the week I was asked this question – what is one thing that I can do tomorrow morning when I sit down at my desk that will improve my blog?

My answer was this:

Identify a reader’s problem (or that of a potential reader) and produce a post that will solve it.

I’ve covered some of how to identify readers problems in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook (day 16) but this has been such an important part of my own blogging that I want to emphasise it again here.

Ultimately if you are solving someone’s problem you’re doing something that creates an impression and when you do that you do a number of things including:

  • increasing the chances that they’ll come back and become a loyal reader
  • increasing their trust in you – which helps build authority, credibility and influence
  • increasing the chances that they’ll tell someone else about you

I attempt to solve problems for readers on two main levels

Big Picture – What Problem is your BLOG solving?

I find it helpful to have a ‘big’ and overarching problem in mind as I start and then develop a blog. It helps keep me on track and is great for attracting new readers if you communicate it well.

For me on my photography blog the problem that I’m attempting to solve is that most people who own a camera are not using it to its potential. They take pictures that could be improve greatly with a little knowledge and so I want to give them more control over their cameras.

Small Picture – What Problem is your new POST solving?

With your big picture problem in mind you can now begin to break it down into smaller and more specific problems that your readers may have.

For me this means tackling problems like – taking blurry photos, not knowing how to take a decent social media profile picture, not knowing which DSLR to buy and not knowing the basic settings that most cameras have.

Some of these problems are more basic, common and general while others are more specific or advanced – but they all aim to help those who face the problems leave the blog better informed and equipped to solve the problem.

Ultimately this is all about being Useful. Of course being useful takes many forms and the problems that your readers might have could include a large list of things including some like:

  • “I’m bored”
  • “I want the latest news about….”
  • “I want to learn how to….”
  • “I want a laugh”
  • “I am lonely”
  • “I want to improve….”
  • “I need a review of….”
  • “I need advice about….”
  • “I think I’m the only one with the problem of….”

The list goes on and on.

Here’s what to do Today

If you’re looking to improve your blog and you have a few minutes right now – start making a list of the types of problems your readers (or potential readers) have. (if you need help on identifying these problems check out the 31DBBB workbook (day 16) if you have a copy).

Once you’ve got your list of problems – select one and produce something (a blog post, a video, a podcast, a PDF report or even a tweet if its a small problem) and publish it.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Funny, I started doing reader questions as posts 2 weeks ago. The response has been so great I’m going to do one a week.

  2. Maybe, by doing the keyword research before creating the new post can help us to solve the problem of “small picture”. Thanks for your great sharing like usual.

  3. Thanks for the tips. Keeping a list or journal of thoughts and ideas helps me maintain focus. Without it I’d be lost … writing posts on a random basis rather than focusing on problem solving for my readers. Again, thanks for sharing such valuable info.

  4. it’s good to include pictures, but i have some problem with pictures

    when i changing themes, the big picture go outside the container and it looks awful

    so i don’t use big picture after that :-P

  5. Thank you for this post. I have been blogging for awhile now with a few friends, and we aim to help a lot of kids and teens like us who have similar issues and problems. And you’re right – the posts that are most well-read are usually about a concerns that have solutions.

    It’s fulfilling to know that not only do you have an audience who reads what you write – it’s knowing that you can help them with whatever problem they have that makes us all feel good. And ultimate it’s what gives us the inspiration to write more :)

    – Steve

  6. Writing posts like these, over time, can be very prosperous for gaining traffic. People who have the question you’re answering, as you say, will often visit your blog again and may, potentially, be very valuable.

    These posts are also good for getting traffic. You can rank number one for a question and get a lot of traffic from people who have that question. You may not get a ton of traffic because the terms are usually not massively searched for, but they can generate a steady stream of loyal readers, and, overt time, that can greatly add up.

  7. Solve a need, solve a problem. That’s all I here from you, Darren. I guess it must be important. I guess it has something to do with retention. I guess it’s a good thing for me to start doing. I’m thinking, combine boldness and uniqueness with this solve a need thing, and there might be something there.

  8. This post has really got me to thinking that I need to stop posting about so many different topics!

  9. This post has certainly given me some ideas. I have a blog dedicated to the flash fiction story. My big picture is helping writers, especially young writers, to write better flash fiction. The smaller pictures are things like writing effective dialogue or using concrete sense details so that the reader “sees” the story and so on. But not until I read this post did I have what I was doing clear in my own mind. Now it’s clear. Thanks.

  10. Now i have a unique problem!! My blog visitors are extremely targetted and usually they revisit…people may think this an advantage but the problem rose when Google Adsense banned me thinking that i m generating duplicate visits. I get 100 uniques daily that give over 2000 pageviews. Sadly within a week i expect all of them to visit again. This is because the website is specifically oriented for a college. Please help me solve this problem. Website : iscexamnotes.blogspot.com

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