We've all heard about how important it is to create great quality content that's relevant to your target audience and helps boost your following and authority.
Sometimes though, the pressure to constantly come up with fresh, juicy topics that your audience will love can be daunting.
In my experience, the best way to shortcut this dilemma is to answer these four questions:
1. Who exactly are you talking to?
The most important thing that you need to know before creating any content is who's going to be reading it.
If you don't know who they are and what drives them, it's going to be difficult to come up with topics that are relevant to them. The more intimately you are familiar with their mindset, the easier it will be to tap into their concerns, address their problems and engage with them. And in turn, the more likely it is that they will be interested in what you have to say.
We all talk to different people in different ways about different topics. The clearer you are about who you're addressing, the easier it will be to identify what subjects will appeal to them - and how to write about them.
2. What appeals to you?
There's a reason why your target audience is drawn to you - it's because you're a lot alike. You share similar interests, values or are just on the same wavelength.
So a good gauge of whether a particular topic is going to be of interest to your fans, followers or potential clients is to ask yourself whether it appeals to you. If it doesn't, then it probably won't grab them either.
Start there and you'll seldom go wrong. Nine times out of ten, if you're excited or passionate about something, it'll shine through in what you say and your readers will sense that - and respond.
3. What's your audience interested in hearing about right now?
Some topics become 'hot' because they're on the news or they're on people's minds. To identify those sorts of topics, don't be afraid to ask your audience what their current concerns are.
You can ask your subscribers and following to participate in a survey or a quiz. You can create a poll on social media platforms. Or you can create a question-based blog post and ask people to comment.
Alternatively, look at the stats on your previous posts and see which generated the most hits/reads/views. This will give you a good indication on the type of topics that are likely to get your readers' attention.
4. Where does your expertise lie?
What area of business are you qualified to talk about? What subject can you claim to an be an authority on? What are you so passionate about that you talk about non-stop?
This is the first question that you might ask of a teacher or a non-fiction author. And there's a reason for it. After all, if you wanted to find out about something, you wouldn't ask a layman, would you? No, you'd seek out an expert.
Figuring out what hard-earned experience, specialist skills or expertise you have to share is a sure-fire way to help you get clarity about potential course/blog topics and service packages. (Need help creating your service package / signature program? Check out my online course here.)
Lastly, don't be afraid to go niche or slightly off-piste. Appealing to a select few who aren't necessarily typical of the mainstream can actually be your greatest asset.
For example, a huge number of people love gardening and growing things. There may not be as many people who are interested in learning to create a windowsill herb garden, but those that are will be riveted by everything you have to say!