Ever sit down to write a post and think ‘I have no idea if anyone’s going to want to read this’? Whether you suffer with writer’s block or a lack of confidence, coming up with valuable content for your blog week after week is both daunting and exhausting.
But lucky for you, I have a silver bullet.
If you’ve listened to my podcast interview on What She Said, you’ll have heard me say that ‘questions are content’. Over the last few months this has been one of my biggest time and heart saving tricks, and a major part of my content and business planning, so I wanted to unpack exactly what I mean a bit more and show you how questions can help with your content.
Just to clarify before we get started: for me, the forum for asking questions is usually Instagram captions because it is easy and informal and I get quick, insightful responses from my target people. For you, this may work better as a Facebook post or an email depending on where your audience are and where they are most receptive. Play around on all of your channels and see where you find it working best.
Now, let’s get into all the ways in which asking questions can help you create truly read-able content.
We all know we need to get feedback on our business but often it can be quite off-putting; we think it needs to be formal and/or expensive, we’re not exactly sure how to go about it, or maybe we just don’t really want to know the answers.
But informal feedback is less scary and just as useful. Ask what your audience enjoy reading most on your blog, ask what other blogs they like to read, ask what they think is lacking or what else they’d like to see. This is a great way to get quite a general view of how your content is being received and see whether you’ve got the balance right or need to incorporate some more lifestyle, for example. It can also help you in your product development too; if people say they love your behind the scenes stories and want to know more about how you make your products, then maybe you should start selling workshops or courses.
- I’m thinking about writing more x, is that something you’d like to read?
- What have been your favourite posts of mine over the last couple of months?
- I ‘m having a bumper planning session this weekend, is there anything you’d like to learn more about x, y or z?
What are you struggling with?
This is my number one favourite question to ask. Well, it’s very rare that I’ll ask it in such a forthright way – mostly I’ll ask variations of questions around this theme. If I’m talking about planning I’ll ask ‘what do you find hard with your business planning?’, if I’m talking about Instagram I’ll ask ‘how are you finding your IG inspiration at the moment?’, and so on and so forth.
This is a great way to get really specific insights about your audience. Your content should always be providing value to your audience, and this type of question is the easiest way to get to the heart of what that value might be. What can be more valuable to you as a consumer than someone answering a burning question or solving a persistent problem you have in a blog post? Once you know what they’re struggling with, you can solve that problem and be valuable almost without trying.
- A lot of people have been asking me how I x – is this something that you’ve been wondering too?
- What do you think about x? Do you find it hard too?
- I’ve realised that I’ve not been making time for x, how about you? What’s been stopping you from achieving x?
I am a huge fan of putting together collaborative posts like The Things We Miss From Childhood and How To Get Inspired – from the Instagram Community. They are so useful in so many ways: they foster community, they make people feel a part of your brand, they lend you legitimacy and, let’s face it, they’re an easy yet still quality post to get live when you’re having a busy week.
For these types of posts you ask a question that you think will yield some very thughful and valuable responses, whether that’s ‘what are your tips for spring cleaning?’ or ‘what are your favourite things to do in autumn?’. Then you collate all the responses and pop them up on the blog – easy peasy! And if you also mention in the caption that you’re planning to make a blog post out of the comments then you’re more likely to get more quality responses.
- At this time of year I love to do x – what are your top tips?
- I want to write a blog post about x, and I’d love to know what you think about it?
- I’ve been thinking a lot about x at the moment, do you have any memories about it too?
And the bonus prize…
Questions aren’t just good for content; they’re also fantastic for engagement. We’ve all been in the position where we linger over a beautiful picture of some flowers wanting to say something, but not really knowing what. If the picture of the flowers has a caption with a question in it, even if it’s just ‘what’s your favourite flower?’, that gives us something to engage with and something to say rather than just ‘nice pic 😊’.
If you’re cynical you say that people online love to give their opinions and have their voices heard; if you’re more of an optimist you say that people online love to help out others. While the truth may be somewhere in the middle, the fact remains that including questions in your social media posts will increase not only the volume of your engagement, but also the quality. If you want to up your engagement, then give people something to engage with.
What questions do you find useful to ask?
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