Thanks to Giuss95 for the photo!
Content is the livelihood of any website.
It allows your site to be ranked in search engines, shared on social media, and provides a great vehicle for selling your ideas, products, and brand.
But one of the most daunting tasks faced by any and every website owner is where to take their content once they feel tapped on ideas. The early stages of building your website will come with a burning drive and desire to get noticed whereas the later years will have you stressing about how to expand your reach.
You can find the sweet spot for your content, if you only know where to look…
Finding the Sweet Spot for Your Content
The trouble with content production is that you may feel your efforts fall short of your audience’s expectations. The early content published on your website may not reach the target audience because you may not completely understand what readers want. Likewise, veteran site owners creating content may feel they miss the mark because there is so much pressure and expectation once they’ve been established.
Take a look at any well-established blog in the industry and you can almost “feel” the owner running out of ideas. Then look at the newcomer and see their fire and passion for creating great stuff.
This post is broken into three simple steps to help you craft the content that your audience will love:
Step 1. Use your website analytics to farm ideas readers want to consume.
Step 2. Craft content that solves your reader’s problems.
Step 3: Find ways to shape and repurpose your content.
Load up your analytics, open a notepad, and get ready to discover those hidden, valuable content ideas tailored to your audience’s desire.
1. Use Your Website Analytics to Find New Content Ideas
Note: Throughout this post I will share real data from my personal analytics as a hypothetical “case study” to reveal how you can replicate the process of data mining and content production. The content you produce on your website may be entirely different but the concepts remain the same.
With analytical tools like Google Analytics and Clicky, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. These tools help you track external and internal traffic sources, and can be used to create tailored content for your audience. Creating this tailored content allows you to become an authority on the topic, all-the-while building a robust source of information in your area of expertise.
For our example and “case study” I will use Google Analytics.
Table 1: An overview of my site’s content in Google Analytics
The screenshot provided shows a list of the top requested content for my website. You can click on the image above if you want to see it in full.
To discover this kind of information for your own site, sign in to your Google Analytics account, open the Content tab from the side panel, and click the Overview link.
For my own site, you will notice a variety of popular topics, including:
- A post which links to an inspirational video about life
- Making money on Fiverr
- Creating an online store with Paypal
- Niche website ideas
- Earning $20 a day, online
- Working the 9-to-5
- Lessons from my time in business
At this time it would be smart to write down each of these items on your own list of top requested content.
The knowledge you gain from viewing this list should immediately *click* and begin to form a few ideas for new content. But refrain from leaving just yet and pay close attention to the following section because we’re about to jump head first into the thick of things.
Step 2: Solve Your Reader’s Problems
So, what does this all mean and how can I use it for my content? I hear you ask.
In short, your content needs to fulfil an “itch”. You have probably discovered this by chance before. Your most popular posts were probably sparked by a question or a comment left by a visitor from a previous piece. You were obviously very passionate about finding a solution to your reader’s problem. This was great at the time because it was a topic you could really get into even if you had no idea whether it would be successful or not.
Now you have the benefit of understanding what’s valuable to your audience through data. Before you begin there are two other tasks you need to complete:
- Open the page of one of these pieces you’d like to use as part of this example and begin combing through the comments, taking notes on additional questions and comments individuals had post-publication. This can be used as inspiration for other posts that you will create.
- Browse through the keywords used to discover this post within search engines and record those in your notes because they will help you form ideas to tailor your content.
Great, now you’re armed with enough information to begin the new content cycle based on your analytical research.
Step 3: Shape and Repurpose Your Content
With the information at hand you can begin exploring different opportunities which creates a bunch of benefits such as link building, product creation, and more.
Take a look at the following diagram I created. It is an example I made of the possibilities of taking a single, popular piece of content and stretching it into these new content opportunities.
Right now, your task is to begin forming some ideas for all types of media formats:
- Who’s an awesome person you could interview about the topic?
- What kind of video could you shoot and upload to YouTube?
- Could you write a full Kindle book on the topic (hint: you probably can)?
- What products could you review in the marketplace, and then make a few extra bucks by becoming an affiliate?
It’s incredible what can come about when you have the data. The benefits don’t end there, either. Here are a few additional ideas you can think about when you want to shape and repurpose your content:
- Could you rework the piece as a slideshow and upload to SlideShare?
- Could you record yourself reading the post and share it as a podcast?
- Could you export the work as a PDF and post it on DocStoc?
- Could you print out the work and bring it to local meet-ups in your industry?
Let your imagination run wild and you’ll find that you weren’t stumped on ideas … just limited in your scope. You’ll have effectively taken a seed idea, that’s backed by data, and allow it to flourish into any number of opportunities to make an incredible impact online and within your community!
Why It Works
Content creation, as I mentioned, can be a daunting task because there are many times when a single piece may throw off the rhythm of your work. Regular readers will have an expectation that you will create content that’s relevant to the piece that got them hooked (this may be one of those top posts).
Tailoring new content based around one of these highly requested pieces will let you to explore the topic all-the-while satisfying your readers’ attention and desire for the topic. It’s a win/win, right?
There are loads of benefits for both parties when you take on this form of content creation:
- You appeal to your regular readers and increase the chances for them to return.
- You could use these related pieces as part of your interlink building strategy.
- You have the opportunity to create silo pages based on extensive coverage of the topic.
- You could republish the works into a marketable eBook, course, or audio series.
- You could earn referrals to products or services mentioned throughout the work.
- You could build lasting relationships with those you network with, and in turn, increase the exposure for your work through social media.
You’re effectively creating your own content ecosystem, which allows you unlimited opportunity to build your brand, authority, and even your business upon a singular topic.
Now imagine if you did this exercise for each of the other pieces on your list. You’ll create a media empire!
How Will You Use This Information?
There is a lot to take in with this post and I hope you found every bit valuable for your online efforts.
Every website has these opportunities whether you’re just getting started or if you’ve been part of the industry for years. I hope you will follow these steps and create content that your audience will love. Hopefully, you also feel more motivated to scratch the “itch” of your audience in new and exciting ways.
Now, what ways do you use data to create new content ideas? Please share a comment and let’s start a discussion to help those stuck in limbo with their work.