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31DBBB Day 16: Solve a Problem for Your Readers

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This is Day 16 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.

Today’s assignment is to write a blog post that solves a problem for your readers. I imagine that when a lot of you heard that assignment, your first first reaction was, “What problem can I solve?”

Well, fortunately Darren anticipated that and provided 7 excellent ways to identify readers’ problems in today’s lesson. Rather than repeat the 7 ways Darren explained in the 31 Days e-book. Here are two additional ways to identify reader’s problems.

1) Look in the comments on your blog. One of the principles that 31DBBB champions is to engage your readers by responding to their comments. This is an important principle, but there are some cases where rather than replying to a comment with an immediate answer, the best solution may be to write a separate article. Here are three that come to mind.

  1. A reader posts a comment that goes off on a tangent.
  2. A reader posts a comment that is on topic but would take several paragraphs to address.
  3. A reader makes a point or asks a question that is important enough that you want all of your readers to see it and you want to expand on it.

All 3 of these situations, provide great opportunities to write a separate article. I recommend you also reply to the original comment with a comment that includes a link to that article. I also recommend quoting the original comment, mentioning the commenter by name, and linking directly to the comment if you can. The end result is not only have you solved a problem, but you’ve interlinked your posts, and you’ve made one of your readers feel like a very valued contributor.

2) Look in forums. On Day 9 we discussed the importance of participating in forums in order to build relationships with people who share similar interests. Forums are also a great place to get ideas for problem solving posts. Check any forum and you’re likely to find many posts that are from people looking for help with a problem.

Discussion

  1. Have you written problem-solving posts in the past? If so, have they proven to be a popular type of post?
  2. Which of the ways for discovering readers’ problems mentioned in today’s lesson or this post resonates most with you? Which have you found most effective?
  3. What problem-solving posts might you write in the future?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
  • So, please review Dan King’s blog, BibleDude.net, and give him some feedback.
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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

39 Comments

  • My "problem-solving" posts tend to be personal testimony about how God is working on a particular issue in my life. They generally get a pretty good response.

    Today's post is actually about how I get the clutter out of my mind so I can write. I guess it's a problem-solving post, of a sort.http://bit.ly/bnsrf9

  • Many of the posts and guest posts I have done are related to solving some problem. But there are a number of things that could be done to create more interaction.

    I like the suggestions made in the post about gaining some insight through comments. I find most of the questions needing answers come from my involvement on Facebook particularly our two fan pages.

    I am particulary intrigued by Dan's idea of trying a new regular 'feature' using a 'it's your turn' or an 'ask the bibledude' kind of format.

  • hmmm, I need to to more of this. My blog being supposedly technical, problem solving should be the norm. But I am not always so sure what to 'solve', generally I think that it is just too simple; but maybe the simple thing are the best place to start. And leave the difficult one for later (or work on them over time)
    I wrote two posts that were a solution to a problem I was trying to solve for Tabbed Widgets: http://synapticlight.com/tabbed-widget-part-one/ http://synapticlight.com/tabbed-widget-part-two/

    If there is one thing I hate it is people who withhold solutions, so if I can figure it out then I am happy to share,

    🙂

  • Many people do not realize the importance of solving their readers problem. One of my readers in his comment asked me to write on hope and I did. I never knew that people are in need of a write up on that. Today search engines are bringing different people to that topic on my site more than others. I am glad that people are satisfied with it because many have called to express their satisfaction. Solving readers problem can make your site more popular

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