Hey! Are You Really Listening?

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Your blog is about them, not you. It seems so obvious and yet I find many bloggers who get this backward. I know there were times I had it wrong when I first started blogging.

The tricky thing about blogging your passion is that you can make your blog too much about you if you’re not careful.

I’m not saying you should never be personal or talk about your life experiences. Just remember what the end goal is for you. You are going about this blogging thing all wrong if your end goal is to:

  • Make a lot of money
  • Make a name for yourself
  • Prove someone wrong about you
  • Try to be successful in other people’s eyes
  • Live a comfortable life

Your end goal in blogging your passion ought to be to add value in as many lives as possible. In order to do this you must learn to be a good listener. The best bloggers have a 3 step process. Write. Listen. Adjust.

I love this quote: If you listen, your audience will tell you what to create. -Brian Clark

If you’re just writing and not listening, blogging can become weary. It feels more like forcing words on a page to just check the box instead of change a life. While not every post can be epic enough to change the world, it ought to change someone’s world. There is nothing more exciting than to answer a question, solve a problem, change a perspective, or offer hope to the discouraged.

But it all starts with listening.

How do I become a better listener? Let me offer you some practical tips before we finish our conversation today. I’m not saying you have to do all of these. Start with the obvious ones for you. Create an Evernote folder labeled “blog post ideas.” Place any question or feedback you get into this file for later.

How to Become a Better Listener as a Blogger

  • The blog comments being made on your blog – I have grabbed the questions people are asking in the comments section and captured them for future blog posts.
  • The questions being asked via email – Every question you receive in your email is a question other people have. While you don’t have to share the person’s name, the question might make a great blog post and help many other people facing the same problem.
  • The new keyword phrases in your Google Analytics – I love discovering the new keyword phrases that people are using to find my blogs. I personally do this via the Keyword Strategy Tool, but you can do this just be looking in your Google Analytics account.
  • The open rates on your email lists – If you have an email list, go through and observe the emails that received the largest open rates. This is a good indicator of the type of topics your audience wants to hear about.
  • The social media shares on your blog posts – Which blog posts have gotten the most “likes” and “shares.” This is also a good signal for the type of content your audience finds to be most helpful and interesting.
  • The answers to survey questions you ask – Use a service like Survey Monkey to collect data on what is most important to your audience. I did this recently with one of my blogs and it was most helpful. By the way, the less questions you ask, the more participation you will get. Ask them what they would most like to learn about in the next 12 months and listen to what is being said.
  • The questions people are asking on the search engines – We have talked about this strategy in depth on this blog. People use the search engines to get answers to their questions. We use a tool called Keyword Researcher that helps us discover the questions people are asking in our niche.
  • The questions you receive from holding a webinar – On every webinar, hold a Q&A time. Later, capture all of the questions being asked and place them in your Evernote file. You will have a list of relevant topic ideas to blog about for months to come.
  • The questions people will ask via your podcast – Many podcasters encourage their audience to ask questions. They then take those questions and answer them via the podcast. It is a great way to show that your podcast is not just about you, but it is for them.

Question: In what ways, have you become a better listener when it comes to your blog?

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.