Do you ever spend lots of time and effort writing great content, only to be disappointed by the lack of blog traffic you receive?
Not only that, but hardly anyone shares your posts on Twitter or Facebook. And almost no one leaves comments.
If so, you know how frustrating and disappointing it can be. You probably wonder if your blog will ever become popular – much less successful and profitable.
What if I told you there was a way of writing blog posts that not only are popular, but also grow your email list and help you sell your products or services?
Stalking the Blogosphere Looking For Pain and Suffering
It’s all about knowing your prospective audience – your potential readers.
Who are they? Where are they? With what are they suffering?
You need to know what they want to change, what they want to do, and what they want to be. Not only that, you need to know what blog topics will compel them to take the action you want them to take – such as joining your email list, or buying your products or services.
How do you do all that?
You figure out their pain point – the thing they are struggling with.
Every day, your potential readers are trawling the blogs in your niche trying to find answers to the questions keeping them up at night. And they’re getting frustrated because they can’t find anyone who can help.
If you can help them, they’ll be eternally grateful to you.
They’ll also likely bookmark your blog, subscribe to your list, share your posts, and eventually become your customer.
For example, here’s a post I wrote for Mirasee about promoting guest posts:
With over 80 comments, it’s one of the site’s most successful guest posts.
And if you read those comments, you’ll see several readers talking about how “timely” they found the information inside the post – proof they not only liked reading it, they found it useful.
That’s the key to writing blog posts people want to read.
How did I know Mirasee’s readers would find my post useful? Because I followed a simple formula.
Let me walk you through it…
The Simple Formula That Helps You Create Popular Posts
Step 1. Find Their Pain
At the time I wrote my guest post for Mirasee, there were lots of posts across the web advising people on how guest blogging is an excellent technique for driving traffic back to your blog.
And it is – if you know how to do it right and if you know that getting your guest post accepted and published is only part of the strategy.
That is why people found my post so useful.
All the advice out there talked openly about how to write a guest post, or how to pitch a guest post and get it accepted, or how it could build an email list. But they were leaving out the most important part.
That’s why so many people were struggling to make their guest posts drive traffic back to their blogs.
How did I know they were struggling? I listened.
Before writing my guest post for Mirasee, I researched other posts that had been written on the topic.
However, I wasn’t interested in what those posts were discussing – I was interested in what the readers of those posts were discussing. More accurately, I was interested in what they were complaining about.
I kept reading comments like “guest posting hasn’t worked in driving traffic for me.” Or “I’ve written several guest posts that just haven’t delivered the traffic I expected.”
Comments like these were goldmines of information because they showed me that people were following the blogosphere’s well-worn advice on guest blogging as a great traffic-generation strategy, but they weren’t getting the results they wanted or expected.
It was clear there were gaps in the advice people were getting. Missing steps. Want to discover the pain points for readers? You need to keep your eyes peeled for gaps like these.
Then you need to go fill those gaps.
Step 2. Take Away Their Pain (Solve Their Problem)
The most important part of getting traffic from guest posts – the part other tutorials on the web were failing to address – is promotion.
Not many people seemed to recognize the need for a well-executed promotion plan for their guest posts. If you want to drive traffic back to your blog, such a plan is a must.
And you know what? Mirasee’s readers loved it. They loved it and found the information incredibly useful.
That’s the beauty of finding out people’s pains – the thing they’re struggling with, the thing that’s not working for them, the piece of advice they’ve been failing to receive.
When you find the ailment, and when you give them the cure, they’re hooked.
They’ll happily read every piece of content you write.
But it doesn’t stop there…
Of course, merely knowing the pain points of readers isn’t enough. You have to execute.
You have to get your solutions, your blog posts, in front of these struggling readers.
And you do that by echoing their problems or frustrations back to them in your headlines.
For instance, look at my headline:
“Why Your Guest Posts Don’t Drive Traffic To Your Blog (and What To Do About It)”
In this headline, I repeated their problem to them and offered a solution. I offered them a way to actually change their poor traffic results for results they wanted and expected.
Let’s undress this. You’ll see in the image below how this 2-part headline repeats the problem of guest posts not driving traffic back to your blog.
The first half pinpoints the problem: guests posts not driving traffic.
The second half offers a solution and a promise: “Ah, finally, a way to make my guest posts work!”
If you’re struggling with this problem, would this headline get your attention?
Of course it would.
It presents a known problem, and then provides a solution.
Let’s dive into this concept in more detail…
The Problem-Solution Content Method
It’s how I wrote what quickly became one of the popular posts on my blog, Traffic Smart Marketing…
This headline is almost a direct quote from a disgruntled, discouraged, and frustrated reader who left a comment on a blog post I read:
“With all the blogging tips, tactics, etc. out there, it’s hard to know which one to follow without getting burned.”
I understood this commenter’s pain. I knew what it was like to be struggling as a blogger and hoping that some piece of advice out there was actually going to work (and not turn out to be another dud).
So, I wrote a post about this strategy on my blog. The results speak for themselves.
But it’s not just me…
Smart bloggers know writing blog posts using The Problem-Solution Content Method lets you create blog posts people want to read because they answer real problems, real pains, and real frustrations.
These kinds of posts build your email list. They create income for you.
It’s how Brennan Dunn created his first tiny product for freelancers and now has a thriving online business.
It’s how Nick Piegari writes (and creates video posts) that grow his email list with people hungry for answers to their video problems, pains, struggles.
It’s how I’m building my email list and planning my first product.
And it’s how you can start building and planning yours.
After all, a product you create after discovering what’s nagging your readers is a product that has a pretty good chance of getting SOLD.
But, I’m getting off track.
We’re talking writing popular posts here. Let’s get back to the task at hand…
How Do You Use the Problem-Solution Content Method to Write Blog Posts People Want to Read?
As mentioned above, there are TWO steps:
Step 1. Find Their Pain
Step 2. Take Away Their Pain (Solve Their Problem)
But how do you actually take these steps? What action do you need to take to make these steps work? And how?
Let me walk you through a real-life example.
Finding the Pain
I searched for pains in my niche in places where my potential readers hang out.
I searched in forums like Reddit, private Facebook groups, and in the comments sections of blogs that focus on Blogging and Blogging For Business.
And what did I find? I found comments and questions like these…
This comment was from a reader of one of my guest posts.
“…feeling discouraged today, another post but little response.” – This was a comment shared by a member of a Facebook group I belong to.
“How do you figure out what to blog about? How do you get people to read it?” – This was from a person on Reddit.
These are a just a few of the problems expressed by people still struggling to find readers (and asking for help).
They’ll be people like them in your field, or topic, or niche – whatever you want to call it. You just need to look for them.
Offering the Solution
You need to put their “deep heart” problem into your headline. The pain I kept finding was related to lack of readership. So, I came up with the following headline:
“Why Nobody Reads Your Blog Posts (and What To Do About It)”
By putting their “deep heart” problem into my headline, I immediately grabbed the reader’s attention.
But it isn’t enough to simply call out their problem. Any yahoo can do that. No, you have to make a promise…
“Yes, I know you have this problem. But guess what? I have a solution. Just read this!”
But it doesn’t stop there. Yes, you’ve hooked them with your headline, but the best headline in the world won’t do you any good if your opening paragraphs suck.
Show them they were right to click on your headline or “Read more…” because – hey! – you really know what they’re going through. Someone like you is bound to have an answer. Right?
So, reflect their thoughts and feelings back to them.
For instance, if you find your pain point via comments saying something like this…
“What I really want to know is how does one go about finding where one’s readers hang out in the first? It’s all very well saying I should go where my readers hang out. But where is that? What if I can’t find them when I get there?”
…you take those words a frustrated commenter used to describe their problem and use them in your opening paragraph.
(Incidentally, I used a reader’s comment very like this one to write this blog post.)
And once you’ve hooked them with your opening paragraph, answer their questions. Give a solution to their problem. Just make sure you don’t give too many solutions.
As Derek Halpern says…
The problem is, people think “more is better,” but in the real world, long product lists are conversion killers. And if you want to increase your sales by 1,000%, you must streamline your offerings.
One solution for one problem prevents your readers from feeling overwhelmed.
“One thing? I can do that,” they’ll think to themselves.
And then they’ll go do that one thing. If you’ve done your homework, found their pain point and offered a well-thought-out solution, you’ll see them again. They’ll return to your blog, subscribe to your list, leave you comments, and share your posts.
And when you have a product to sell, they’ll be among the first to purchase it.
Are You Ready To Write Blog Posts People Want To Read?
Then it’s time to find people’s pain points.
Writing blog posts people want to read is all about knowing your audience; your readers. Who are they? Where are they? What are they suffering from?
Find out what’s troubling them and then offer a solution.
They’ll love you for it.
What do you think of The Problem-Solution Content Method? Have you tried it? Are you going to? Leave a comment below and let Kevin and me know.