Here’s my notes on Darren Rowse’s Problogger Free Podcast on 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. You can listen to Darren Rowse’s free podcast here Day 16 Solve a Reader’s Problem. The complete list can read here on Day 0 – Welcome and Introduction.
In order for us all to get the full benefit of this series, I’m going to go at a slower pace posting going forward in September on Tuesdays each week. I hope with this challenge we are all able to improve our blogs and websites.
So lets do this together! Day 16 here we go! Subscribe and check back often! #31DBBB
Day 16: Today the challenge is solve a reader’s problem.
This is a general writing challenge. This is not a challenge to write a specific post but to do something for your readers. This is a writing challenge that might apply to multiple readers.
Darren’s goal is to solve at least one problem a day. He knows if he is solving people’s problems he is making a positive impression on people and a reason to come back.
This creates a memory for people, a story to tell others, and a reason to come back to your blog. If someone solves a problem for me I see them in a more positive light and want to interact with them more. I might even tell others who may have the same problem about the solution I found.
The key to becoming a prolific problem solver is to become a prolific problem spotter. This is what you need to turn your attention today.
Where can you find these problems? Here’s 3 suggestions where to find problems.
1. Your Experience
Share your own experience. Chances are if you have had this problem someone else has had the problem too. In many ways having posts based on your own problems is something that can be very effective in relating to people and actually break down the wall of people feeling like they can’t relate to you. Many times on blogs the blogger seems like the expert. That somehow they are much further advanced than their readers. That can be good on some level. However, sharing your own experience can show others you too are a human being. It can be very motivating to hear how someone else overcame a problem.
What problems did you have when you started out in your niche?
What did you ask?
What held you back?
What did you learn?
What were the problems you had a year into your experience?
What about 2 or 3 years into your journey?
2. A Reader’s Problem
Ask your readers their problems. Any way that you can ask your readers to nominate their problems or questions can be very helpful to understand what problems your readers face. Darren did discuss this on Day 11 (Link). Another option is to simply do a survey, take a poll, or ask a question on your blog. You could even email some of those who have recently commented on your blog.
Another option is to conduct an unofficial survey on your Facebook page, Google+ page, or Twitter account. Start a discussion with a simple question like “what’s the biggest challenge you facing?”
Another good idea would be to do a keyword search on Twitter itself. Insert the keyword that most relates to your blog or niche. You may find a lot of people are talking about the problems.
Another option is to create a focus group or Facebook group to talk about the issues your niche faces. It also helps people by solving problems together.
3. Your Perceived Reader’s Problems
Ask yourself what are your readers’ problems. What do you notice about reader’s problems? Sometimes the reader is too close to the issue to notice they have a problem. Some people for example spend a lot of time reading about blogging and learning about the topic but forget to put it into action. Others spend a lot of time reading about personal finance but continue to make the same bad choices.
Sometimes your readers’ problems are not specifically related to your blog topic. Some readers struggle with fear, confidence, health issues, etc. for example.
Another idea is to search on the forums or Facebook groups you joined a while back. Also, if you are subscribed to any blogs in your niche check out the comments in other people’s posts to see if you can answer a question there. Keyword searches are a really great place to start. Read this article about SEO to get you started. Ask yourself too what is being searched on your blog. Is there a specific search or keyword that multiple people have searched for? Also check out your Google Analytics too.
SEO Tools mentioned:
- Problogger: Content isn’t King – Here’s What Is!
- Problogger: Survey Your Readers and Discover Who They are and How You Can Be More Useful to Them
- Problogger: Blog Post Idea: Answer a Reader Question
- Boost Blog Traffic: The Surprisingly Simple Secret to Knowing What Your Readers Want
- EagleSoaringHigher: Write a List Post
- EagleSoaringHigher: Write a Link Post
- EagleSoaringHigher: Come up with 10 Blog post Ideas
What problem can you solve this month for your readers? What reader’s problems have you solved in the past? How did you work out what those problems were? Were there any surprises?