How Great Is Your Content Really?

Do You Know If Your Content Is As Great As You Think It Is?








You’re smart and you already know great content is how you stand out, get recognised and grow an entertaining, relevant blog.








What I mean is have you ever sat down with the intention of writing crappy content?




Of course not.




But, sometimes you just can’t help wondering….…






“How Do You Know If Your Content Is That Great”?




“Great writing just does not happen overnight………This means that your writing isn’t great unless your readers say it is”…….says Tom Southern, guest blogger Firepole Marketing




And they show this by how much they share your writing.




As a blogger and writer, your  job is to persuade readers that you deserve “great” writer’s status.




So, How Do You Persuade Readers Your Content Is Great?

  • YOU Give them what they want to read.
  • Great writers get tons of shares and links to their writing because they know what their readers want.
  • They know, before they sit down to write, what will blow their readers away, because they know how to get readers on their side.
  • They know how to make their writing stand out from mediocre content, and make their readers think: “Wow! This writer seems to be reading my mind. How does he/she do it?”




Great writers are smart bloggers who create and nurture engaged audiences that tell them what they want to know, what problems they’re struggling with, what they want to achieve.




Writing Great Content Is About Asking

  • It’s about asking QUESTIONS of people you want reading your content.
  • And it’s about asking these questions in ways that give you insight into what they want you to write.
  • To do this you need to:
  • Get good at asking questions and ……..get good at creating channels of openess for your readers that makes them feel good about giving you these insights.
  • In short,  you have to go out and really get to know your audience.
  • Your goal is to spend time getting to know what problems they’re struggling with.
  • What are their dreams, their goals and aspiration?
  • What’s holding them back?
  • Ask your readers what they’re struggling with most in the area of your topic (or niche).
  • Give them a chance to let it all out, guilt free.
  • For many people, this chance will be a priceless stress release – and it provides great information for you.
  • When you they tell you what they’re struggling with, it’s your chance to shine in their eyes.
  • If you can offer a solution to their problems (no matter how small), you’ll be on your way to “great writer” status.




Writing great content is about being willing to find out what people are struggling with, offering empathy and establishing something that creates a common bond of understanding and experience between you.




It means being willing to help, facilitate and guide people along the route you have taken to get to your solution by LISTENING to what your readers want……what they REALLY want…








Here Are 6 Places To You Can Start Listening To What Your Readers Want from Tom Southern, Firepole Marketing




#1: Comments On Your Blog

  • What are your readers telling you?
  • Are they simply saying “Great post” and moving on?
  • Or are they asking for more help on the topic your post is covering?
  • Commenters who leave the most responsive comments, such as sharing their experience, expressing a frustration, or offering their take on some issue or point you covered in your post, are going to be the most responsive to your getting in touch with them.
  • So get in touch.
  • Email them.
  • Send a tweet to their Twitter name.
  • Thank them for taking time to comment, then offer to help them out further with their problem or frustration.
  • Your intention here is to open up channels of openess between you and your readers.
  • This is huge, because those commenters who respond positively to your getting in touch are most likely to become your primary source of feedback.


#2: Ask The Reader Posts

  • Ask the Reader posts are great ways to engage your readers and encourage them to tell you what they want directly, or through the opinions they share in the comments.
  • When you write an Ask The Reader question, make sure your readers know about it and know that you want their responses, opinions and answers.
  • Also, be sure to ask your readers to leave a comment on your post!
  • Explain why you really want them to comment.
  • It’s often a good idea to explain that their responses will help the whole community of readers, not just you.
  • If you’ve never run an Ask the Readers post on your blog before, introduce this new type of post so that your readers know why you’re writing the posts, and that you’re looking for their insights, feedback, and contributions.
  • Highlight these posts by calling them something like …
  • Ask The Reader [Question]
  • Or …
  • What’s Your View On [Question]
  • Or …
  • Tell Me Your Thoughts On [Question]
  • You’ll find great examples of Ask The Reader posts here, here and here.


#3: Emails Your Readers Send You

  • Emails from your readers contain priceless insights into what your readers want.
  • Treat their emails like gold, and go out of your way to respond quickly and fully.
  • Now, a word of warning – don’t write out an entire blog post in your email response to your readers!
  • Be courteous and friendly, but don’t go overboard.
  • Be professional and give emailers the feeling that their email matters to you.
  • Then, keep track of the common problems or questions that come up.
  • Each one of these common questions is a good candidate for a future blog post that will wow your readers!


#4: Reader Surveys

  • You can conduct a reader survey by sending 1 to 3 questions in an email to your readers.
  • Or you can use something like
  • The trick is to ask questions that will give you insight into how your readers are thinking and feeling, as well what they’re thinking and feeling too.
  • The best way to do this is to ask questions like “What are you struggling with most right now in your [yoga practice / work-life balance / business / etc.] ?” or “If you could sit down with me for 15 minutes, what problem could I solve for you?”


#5. Start A Facebook Group

  • If you haven’t started one yet, now might be a great time to start a Facebook group for your readers.
  • I’d recommend setting up your group as a closed group, meaning that only your readers can join.
  • The purpose of your Facebook group is to interact with your readers, answer questions, and give advice.
  • It’s also a great place to watch the conversations that your readers have with each other.
  • Because the interactions in your group are going to help you write great content, it’s important that you go into the group at least once a week.


#6: Webinars, Podcasts and Google Hangouts By Influential Bloggers

  • Eavesdropping on webinars, podcasts, and Google Hangouts hosted by other influential bloggers are an excellent – often untapped – resource.
  • Here you can enter as a participant, get great advice from the hosts and listen in on what their readers are asking them.
  • If you hear someone asking a question that you think might be a question your readers might have too, you can validate if your readers are  curious about that topic by including it in an Ask The Reader post.





Ok, so you have read about the  importance of finding out from your readers what they most want to know on your blog and about where to go to listen for those needs.

  • But what types of questions are you actually listening for?
  • As a smart blogger, you want to look for a certain type of question.
  • You’re looking for questions that keep popping up – in reader comments, in social media exchanges, and on webinars and podcasts that stand out to you as BIG QUESTIONS.
  • Because these are the questions that people are desperate to find answers to!

So, how do you start turning these BIG QUESTIONS into the type of content that readers call “GREAT WRITING”  

  • Smart bloggers will take what you have read in this post and use it to:
  • Research and track big questions asked by their audience about their topic area or niche.
  • Combine those questions to find the larger question at stake.
  • Give answers that speak directly to the person asking AND their actual problem.

Example of a BIG QUESTION on Twitter:

  • “People on Twitter seem to have stopped following me. Don’t they like me any more?”
  • A smart blogger would write a post to answer this question, using the question itself in the headline:
  • “3 Reasons Why Your Twitter Followers Don’t Like You Any More – And What to Do About It”
  • Any reader asking this big question would be instantly attracted to this post.
  • It would be doubly valuable if you addressed each of the questions in the post: why a reader’s retweets have stopped, why followers are leaving, or why follower numbers have plateaued.
  • And then , after you’ve clearly shown that you understand exactly what problems your reader is having, you give them knock-out suggestions for encouraging their Twitter followers fall (back) in love with them.
  • This is the way smart bloggers turn readers questions into blog content that gets these same people giving their “great writing” vote.





If you’re looking for advice on how to write great content, the best people to tell you are your readers who just want bloggers like you who take the time to find out what they want you to write about, and give it to them.




Because you don’t just want to stand out, be relevant, you REALLY want to make a difference and write freaking great content.












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To Your Success,
Joan Harrington










About Joan

Joan is a full time blogger/network marketing coach whose passion comes from helping others learn how to brand themselves through blogging and become an expert blogger

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