Are confused about what topics your target audience might be interested in reading?
You have yet to start publishing but you want to optimize your efforts rather than stumbling in the dark.
There is a better way of knowing what to write about rather than just guessing.
Measure the feedback that relevant content receives from readers!
How do you do that?
You need to find a website that operates in your niche, or close enough, and that publishes information about page views and reader feedback.
Easier said than done but let me show you an example.
Forbes does exactly that.
For each article it displays the number of views that the article has received so far.
Then, by hovering on the ‘Share’ button,
a ribbon is revealed displaying the number of Facebook Shares, Tweets, LinkedIn Shares, Reddits, G+1s and StumbleUpons.
The main reason sites display this sort of information is for social proof.
The more people read, comment, share, like an article the more the website gains authority in the eyes of the reader.
All you have to do know is starting to collect this information and plug it into Excel or spreadsheet program of your choice.
The next step is crucial.
For each social media statistic, calculate the number of share per thousand views.
For instance, an article that has received 3,249 views and 368 Facebook Shares will have a FB Share PM (per mille) of 113.
That means 113 Facebook Shares for each thousand views.
By expressing the appreciation of the article in such a way you are able to judge them regardless of the number of page views.
Yes, page views are very important but their number are impacted by a number of variables that might not have much correlation with how much the article itself is appreciated.
For instance, the website editor might choose to highlight on the homepage a particular article thereby bumping its readership.
The article gets a lot of views yet this result was driven by one person’s decision.
Once you start building a database of articles and their social proof performance you are in a better position to understand what work and what doesn’t for a certain audience.
Beware of putting too much emphasis on individual articles because their specific performance might have been affected by factors external to this analysis and beyond our knowledge.
However, you might discover that a certain author consistently receives a better appreciation for her articles.
Or that articles on a certain topic invariably draw more engagement from readers.
Or that a certain type of title is common the more successful articles.
Indeed you have the numbers that tell you that an article has been welcomed by the audience and that another one hasn’t caused a ripple at all.
At this point you are in a much better position to start planning and optimising your publishing efforts.
Do you analyse social media feedback on your content?