Conducting Market Research for Topic Selection

As a business blogger, it is your job to provide content which is relevant, interesting, and accessible to your target audience. And while topic selection is a broad subject, one of the best ways to engage your audience is to understand them, and cater to their needs. So how can you find out exactly what topics will be of interest to your audience?
Thankfully, the age of the internet has given us the tools to examine almost everything thoroughly and efficiently. There will be three main places for you to look when attempting to understand which topics will be of interest to your audience. The first will be your competitor’s sites and content. Sometimes it is less important to be first, and more important to be in the right place. If you can look at your competitor’s content, it might give you an idea of which things are currently popular. If they utilize social media or have feedback systems visible, you might be able to even get some ideas about which of their topics have done well. In this instance, you are using their efforts as data points that allow you to pull results without doing as much of the work. This added efficiency will help you to have an edge in competition. Do not simply plagiarize their content though, this is unethical, and could result in negative publicity or even staleness. Rather, learn from their mistakes, and adapt from their strengths. Taking the time to look at what others have done before you and how it has been received is key in understanding your audience.
The second place to look for data on your audience will be social media. Looking at things such as which posts get passed around will be helpful in understanding which things are useful to your audience. If you frequently see posts focusing on style or individualism, then make note of this. Your audience clearly is interested, and if you are able to provide new and valuable content, they will reward you. Social media is a particularly valuable tool because of its public nature. You can easily see how many people have liked, shared, re tweeted, or up-voted any particular article or post. This can be incredibly helpful when looking to understand which topics strike a chord with your readers. Additionally, you can find feedback, in the form of comments or responses, which can help you to even more fully grasp the reception of different types of content. This can allow you to craft content specifically targeted at certain groups of people, allowing you to have a huge advantage when advertising to this group.
Finally, data can be obtained by examining search engines. Popular search engines command an incredible power to breathe life into, or kill business. Every business with a web presence understands the importance of SEO, and failure to properly prepare your online presence will absolutely affect your bottom line. Thankfully, many search engines make some of their data public. You can view how popular certain searches are in certain areas, or in relation to other searches. When choosing titles and content, examining how frequently each potential item is searched for can give you a good idea of the potential audience for a post. Crafting content which will show up as a result for the more popular searches will give you a noticeable advantage when looking to improve your SEO.
So, if you are willing, there is a wealth of data out there for you to base your content on. Planning ahead and using data based approaches to the selection of audience appropriate topics will only become more relevant as the internet pervades every part of modern life. Those who are able to fully utilize it and take advantage of it will undoubtedly be the ones who are successful. The better we can learn to fully utilize this resource, the better off we will be.

Once you have increased your understanding of which topics are likely to resonate with your target audiences, you can the begin the easier process of creating content which fits within these parameters. While this can still be a challenge, it is much easier to hit your mark if you know what you are aiming for. The first step is always to figure out what your end goal is, and you can work backwards from there. Decide on which topics and subjects are good, and then you can focus on details such as tone, format, and presentation. This post only covers the topic selection, but the other elements of your post are equally important. If your topic is good for your audience, but your tone or format alienate them, then you have failed to truly understand them and create content tailored for them. And if you are unable to do this, someone else will.