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.