How to Know What Your Reader Wants

Sometimes, in the hurry of meeting our self-imposed deadlines, we neglect the one resource that can provide endless ideas for valuable content ... our readers.For many of us who blog, sometimes the hardest part of blogging is not the technical challenge or all the conflicting advice.  It’s coming up with something to write about every week (or even more often for some!)

We scour Google and Pinterest for blog post ideas, and there are a ton of great lists out there.  I have one of 65 Christian blog post ideas, plus another one with 35 more ideas.  Mary DeMuth has one with 30 creative and compelling blog post ideas … lots of fun things to spark your creative juices.

But sometimes, in the hurry of meeting our self-imposed deadlines, we neglect the one resource that can provide endless ideas for valuable content … our readers.

See, we often fall into the trap of sharing what we want to say …. our experience, our opinions, our ideas. The blog becomes a cathartic vehicle to process life and sift through our emotions.  And while it is important to be transparent and relatable, we risk making the blog all about ourselves. Even if you are The Most Interesting Woman in the World, eventually a blog all about you wears thin.

Busy women with real life issues and struggles are looking for more than what is going on with us.  They want to know what it means to them. We can share those same experiences, opinions and ideas framed by what our reader needs to hear. But how do we know what they need to hear?  We do like Samuel. We listen, and then we pray

When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 1 Samuel 8:21 (NIV)

How to Listen

  1. Read the comments – Every time a reader comments on your blog, she is telling you something.  What spoke to her, what questions she still has about the topic, what she plans to do with the information.
  2. Pay attention in Facebook groups – Hopefully, you are an active participant in Facebook groups with your ideal readers.  What are they talking about?  What questions are they asking?  What struggles are they facing?
  3. Do a survey – Asking your readers a few questions can provide a lot of information about what your readers need.

Check out this post with tips for creating a killer reader survey, including a free download with sample questions to make it easy!

Create a Killer Reader Survey

 

How to Pray

  1.  What of this is for me?  Not every question your readers have is yours to answer.  Prayerfully filtering those questions through your purpose and mission will bring some topics to the top and let other topics go for someone else to answer.
  2. What can I bring? This is where you match those experiences, opinions and ideas you are burning to share with what your readers want and need to hear.  Your personal view is what makes you unique and valuable.
  3. What do I say? Ask God for the words that will speak to the needs you’ve identified.  Not just easy, ear-tickling words. But words that will settle deep in hearts and make a difference.

Learn more about using your purpose as a filter in the FREE 3-part mini-course

Pinpoint Your Purpose.

 

When Samuel brought the words of the people to the Lord ….their desire to have a king like the pagan nations around them … God gave an unexpected answer.

“Give the people what they want.”

Sometimes what the people want is good for them, and sometimes what they want is not necessarily what they need. But when you listen and pray, God will lead you to the right message to share.

boot camp logo (1)To learn more

about developing content to serve your audience, check out my session in the His Girls Online Summit!

 

Linking up with Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at #GraceandTruth and Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement

8 thoughts on “How to Know What Your Reader Wants

  1. This is a great perspective, Christa! Thanks for sharing. Especially interesting is the story of Samuel. Modeling his lead as bloggers is a wonderful idea….listen + pray….sometimes it’s too easy to skip one of those steps, or both! Thanks for these reminders and tips!

    • So glad you stopped by, Nicole! Which are you more prone to skip? When I’m in a hurry, I’m nore prone to skip praying about what I am going to write. And that’s when the writing is most hard!

  2. Superb questions to ask ourselves, Christa.

    I find the best answers in the discussions that follow a post. It’s there that I find what my readers are truly passionate about, what they fear most, what they’re searching for and struggling with.

    And then I wait and see what God whispers, what I can share from what I’ve learned along the way.

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