Solve a Reader’s Problem [Day 16 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog from Problogger]

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

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.

Become A Problogger with Darren Rowse

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.


Group Problem

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:

Further reading:
Previous Writing Challenges in this series:

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?

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{Click to go back to day 15 here} {Click to go forward to day 17 here} *Coming Soon*

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

71 Comments

  1. My web designer has been telling me this for over a year. Honestly, I still don’t have the concept, which is why I am a professional gift basket designer instead of being a professional blogger.

    • Tina, you can solve problems every day. You don’t have to be a professional blogger to do so. Not sure what qualifies for professional blogger anyway… What kind of problems to your readers come across with basket designing? Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I’ve been blogging for such a long time, but I don’t see myself as a pro-blogger. There are so many bloggers before me that deserve the title more. But I’ve helped people along the way too, the ones interested in starting a blog. It really is nice to give out tips and invest some time to listen to their struggles.

    • Elizabeth, we all have something to pass on and hopefully we continue to learn. Never too old for that. That’s great that you have helped people along the way! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    • Melanie, finding your voice and experience is just as important. Maybe even more so depending on your niche. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Sorry to just respond to this now but this comment was in the spam folder for some reason.

  3. I have not been blogging long and certainly not complaining, but I have had a lot of positive feedback, but I always am concerned that I am going to maintain my audience – great post to help think of what my audience really wants, thank you for sharing

    • Eileen yes reaching our audience is key. Maintaining their interest and engaging their needs is something that we all struggle with. Something to consider and strive for! Thanks for commenting and reading!

    • Stephanie, thanks for stopping by and commenting! We are all learning and hopefully we’ll learn together. Sorry to just respond to this now but this comment was in the spam folder for some reason.

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