In my last post I wrote about how to create epic content through root cause analysis; by asking “why?”. This helps you get down to the actual cause of the problem rather than only covering the surface. But before you get to the root cause of the problem you have to figure out what the problem is.
So how do you find your audience’s pain points? You can ask them directly. Because there is no better source to find out what your audience wants than your audience. (Tweet This).
Here are four places you can use to to ask your audience what their concerns are and get ideas for value-packed content topics.
1. Your Opt-In Confirmation Page
After individuals sign up for your email list, you can ask them what they want to learn about right away. This is the approach I take.
Below is a screen shot of the confirmation page for new subscribers. I ask new subscribers to “Like” my Facebook page if they hadn’t already done so, and then I ask for feedback.
This form has not only given me a few ideas for content, but has also afforded me the ability to read some awesome feedback from readers. Thank you!
And since I mentioned Facebook…
2. Your Facebook Page
Ask your Facebook fans. This requires a certain report between your fans and you – something I admit I haven’t done a good enough job of building.
Get in the habit of updating your Facebook page with a variety of content. You can include blog content updates, interesting news, quotes, tips, a promotion here and there, and general discussion questions so that people have an excuse to interact with you. And every once in a while you can ask for feedback to gauge what people are interested in.
3. In the Follow-Up Email
After people sign up for your list they should get an automated confirmation email. Once they click the confirmation link, you can set up another follow up email asking them to respond with questions.
Many people already have this follow up email set up because they offer freebies in exchange for an opt-in. Why not use that email to its fullest potential? Include a request for a response within that email. People may be more inclined to oblige since you are giving them a free gift within that same email.
But even if you’re not giving anything away for free, following up with a question shows you care – and lets you inside the minds of potential customers.
This is what Derek Halpern does, and he describes it in this post.
If you’re getting stuck for ideas, why not just send out a broadcast to your list? Just ask a question. You’re not promoting or trying to sell anything so it might be well-received.
Want some more ideas on generating content topics? Check out the Generating Content Ideas 101 Series.