The main focus of any business is to finding out what people need or want (or both) and giving it to them. When it comes to online business it’s no different. You need to figure out what your audience needs and find a way to put it in a box, wrap it up, and present it to them in a way that’s easy for them to understand.
I’ve been practicing this more lately because sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own thing. “I’m working on ‘x’ so I’ll write about that.” That does work and it’s a great way to share your own experiences but think about your audience. What part of ‘x’ would they struggle with that you may not have?
Over on Squidoo there have been a lot of changes including a new filter that’s aggressively scanning every lens for poor, spun, light, or overly commercial content. Like all automated filters, while it’s weeding out a lot of really bad lenses it’s also catching some good ones. The owners of Squidoo have been giving out some hints as to how to avoid the filters but it’s not very concrete.
None of my lenses have been locked on my main account. I got two warnings on a 2nd account but I figured they would get locked because they were really skimpy lenses meant to sell for other people to fill in with content. Well, I may not have any locked lenses but I know everyone over at Squidoo is worried about the changes. It’s time to speak to my audience.
I started out by writing a post telling them not to worry and what they can do while their lenses are being checked. I stayed up to date on the newest updates including a conference call the Squidoo staff had with a large group of members. I looked around and realized that most people were confused about what the Squidoo HQ meant when they said they wanted “personal lenses” and I answered that question.
I’m able to do this because my audience is full of my people. I’m a Squidoo writer. I hang out where Squidoo writers hang out. I worry about a lot of the same things. I get frustrated about changes just like they do. Their needs are normally my needs as well but sometimes I see people struggling with something that I can help with, and I jump in and do that. That’s the real key to successful blogging.
It’s not about SEO, keyword density, or anything like that. It’s about caring enough to find out what your audience wants and finding it for them. If you don’t know, do some research. Find someone who does and interview them. Heck, write a blog post about how you don’t know the answer and you’re trying to find it and open it up for discussion in the comments. Maybe one of your readers will give you an answer that will help the rest of your readers.
If you haven’t already, watch this video. If you haven’t already started thinking about what you can do to serve your audience, this video will get you thinking hard.
What does your audience need and how can you prepare it for them?