February 6, 2009
Are the articles you’re writing striking nerves with your potential customers? If they’re not, you’re losing out on a valuable opportunity to establish yourself as an expert adviser to the folks who might be interested in your services. Being an expert on a topic doesn’t necessarily mean that your articles will be pertinent to your readers. Sometimes as “the expert” we lose sight of the more basic or practical concepts that our readers are interested in.
To a potential customer, you show your expertise by providing them with information that they want to know, information that will help them succeed.
But how are you supposed to know what specific topics are setting your readers’ brains on fire?
It’s hard to be a mind reader, but thankfully we do have ways of getting insight into the minds of our readers.
What types of topics are hot with your customers? You’re about to find out…
1) What questions are customers asking you most frequently?
When we’re trying to think of articles topics, sometimes we completely overlook the obvious. Because we’re experts in our fields sometimes our brains immediately think that the most advanced ideas will be the most perplexing to our customers, but sometimes it’s a beginner idea that stumps folks at the starting gate.
Remember that your readers may be beginners, and they may not even know the very basics of your topic.
2) Which posts get the most comments on your blog (if you have one)?
With our articles we usually don’t get the chance to see first hand feedback from our readers, but that’s not the case with a blog. If you have a blog, have you written any posts that generated an avalanche of comments from readers?
If so, that’s a clear indicator of a hot topic that deserves further elaboration in an article (or several articles).
If you don’t have a blog, this tip still applies to you. Just find a popular blog in your niche and watch to see which posts generate the most comments.
3) Pay attention to mainstream media.
When we’re marketing online we can get “Web 2.0 tunnel vision” and completely forget that there is a whole world out there offering clues to the interests of your target market.
Most of us have niches that in some way blend over into the offline world, so be sure to keep an eye open to print magazines in your niche, newspaper stories about your area of business, and even television shows that frequently talk about your niche.
If you have a very specific area of business that is rather obscure, you may try going a little broader as you look in mainstream media. For example, sometimes when I’m looking for topics in mainstream media to inspire my articles, I’ll look at magazines about writing or marketing. Both of those topics are mainstream, and both cover ideas that my target market would find valuable.
4) Check out Digg.com to see what topics are ranking the highest in your niche.
Digg is one of the biggest social bookmarking sites where readers can vote on online content. To see if there is any content that addresses your specific niche on Digg, just use the search box on the front page.
5) Look at the page views and publishing count for your previous articles.
Most article directories will provide stats of how many folks have read/viewed your article on their site and how many publishers have looked at your “publish page” for your article.
Do you have any articles that have unusually high numbers?
If so, that’s a sign that your article is popular (or at least more sticky than your other articles).
You did something right with that article–why not try further exploring that same article topic in another article or maybe write other articles in a similar topic vein? Seeing your most popular articles gives you an insight into what ideas your target market finds most interesting.
By using one or more of these 5 “topic hotness barometers”, you can gain valuable insight into the mind of your target market. Which one will you start with?
After you’ve written your article, you’ll want to invest in a high quality article submission service so that your article can get maximum exposure with minimal effort. SubmitYOURArticle.com distributes your article submission to hundreds of targeted publishers with the click of a button. For more information go to=>