You Can Learn A Lot By Listening: 3 Ways To Listen to Your Readers

JD Supra Perspectives

Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” It’s true in baseball and it’s also true for writers who are working to build an audience around their expertise. We can learn a lot from observing what our audience is saying.

We can learn a lot from observing what our audience is saying...

Yet for many writers, producing content is a often a one-way street – pushing out content without taking time to listen to audience feedback. Most of us loathe conversation partners who do this. If someone does all the talking without taking time to listen we typically find them to be bores and quickly lose interest in what they’re saying. The same actually holds true for writers who wish to build an audience.

Before you throw your mouse at me and ask how it’s possible to listen to readers, here are three easy ways for you to decipher what your audience is telling you:

  1. Your readership analytics offer a wealth of information on what your audience finds interesting. Which articles were shared the most? Which had the most comments? What was it about these pieces that made them more interesting than other pieces that you wrote? If those topics were the most interesting, what else should your audience know about those topics? What might this say about their needs? There’s your next article topic.
  2. Paying attention to articles by other authors that are liked and shared by your clients and prospective clients gives you additional insight into their world. What does this say about their interests and their go-to sources? Anything shared that would be a good topic for you to cover? Are there any authors that would make good collaborators or partners for you?
  3. Now that you know the top issues and topics that resonated with your audience from your work and from other authors, think through their implications and start asking your clients and prospective clients about their needs in these areas. Perhaps it will start a conversation about a new way in which you might assist them. You know how to take it from here.

Give these a try and tell me what you think. I think you’ll find that you can really learn a lot by listening. What are your ideas for listening to your audience?



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*image credit: My signed Yogi Berra baseball.

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