CHALLENGE 2 WRITE A FAQ POST

Challenge: Create Content That Answers a FAQ

This is the 2nd Challenge of our 7 Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge that we kicked off a couple of episodes ago.

To recap – every day for the next week I’m going to suggest a particular style of blog post for you to create. My challenge is to create and publish that content – to join our ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook and to share your post on this thread and to check out the other posts others are submitting.

In Today’s Episode Challenge: Create Content That Answers a FAQ

Listen to this episode above in the player or here on iTunes (look for episode PB139).

Some of my most popular blog posts have been in response to reader questions. If one reader is asking a question, it is likely that many readers have the same question.

How to Find a Question to Answer

  • Ask your readers
  • Check your comments and email
  • Check other blogs and forums
  • Go to question sites like Quora
  • Find and talk to a beginner in your niche
  • Answer a question of your own
  • Think back and answer a question you once had

Today’s Challenge

  • Write and publish a FAQ post
  • Head to the FB group (search for ProBlogger Challenge Group on FB) and share your link on this thread. Share the link. Only new posts please.
  • Take a few minutes to check out, like, comment on and share other people’s lists.

Further Resources on Creating Content That Answers a FAQ

Update: Here are the rest of the Challenges in the Blogging Groove Series

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Hi there, this is Darren from ProBlogger. Today, I want to issue you with a challenge to create a frequently asked question post for your blog. This is day two or the second challenge in our seven days to get your blogging groove back challenge that we kicked off a couple of episodes ago.

To recap, everyday for the next week I’m suggesting a particular style of blog post for you to create. The challenge is to create and publish that post on your blog and then to join our Facebook group which is called the ProBlogger Challenge Group over on Facebook and to share the post that you created and to check out the post that others are submitting as well.

Yesterday, I asked you to create a list post and it’s fantastic to see all of those list posts being submitted to the group. I’m reading every one that I possibly can and there’s been some great posts submitted. Today, I want to challenge you to write a post that is an answer to a frequently asked question.

In today’s podcast, it will just take ten or so minutes. I’m going to tell you why I think this is a great post and give you a few tips on how to work out what question to answer. You can check out today’s show notes with all the details of the challenge as well as some further reading that I’ve got for you today over at problogger.com/podcast/139.

Let’s get to the challenge. One of the easiest ways to find something to blog about that connects with your readers, that actually brings about change in their life is to answer their questions, particularly questions that more than one of your readers is asking. Even in the first few months of my blogging, I remember getting a few comments and a few emails from readers asking for more information on something that I’ve written or asking for my opinion or insight on the topics that I’ve been covering in the blog. Sometimes, their questions were quite to the point and bite-sized that I could answer in a sentence or two, and sometimes they’re more open-ended. Sometimes there were very beginner type questions and sometimes there were more advanced.

When I first started getting these types of questions, I would attempt to answer those questions in the medium that they were asked. If it came in as a blog comment, I would reply to that via comment. If it came in via email, I would send an email back. I very quickly realized that I was being asked the same types of questions over and over again. The answers that I was giving to my readers one on one as I respond to a comment or via email might be relevant for a wider audience.

I decided as a result of this amazing realization that we all have overtime that maybe I should be replying in a public way and make use of those answers and turn them into blog posts. That’s what I began to do. For a while there, I had a folder on my computer’s desktop called Reader’s Questions that I put text files in with the reader’s questions. I began to take note of the questions I was getting over and over again.

I transitioned that system to Evernote and today have it all over on Google Documents because Evernote now are charging and Google Docs is free. That’s where I keep all my reader questions.

What I noticed when I started to turn questions and turn my answers to questions into blog posts is that my blogs began to grow in terms of search traffic. It turns out if one reader is asking you a question, you can bet that they and other people are probably searching on Google, social media and other search engines like iTunes for those answers as well.

As I looked today, my best performing blog post on both of my main blogs, a number of them are really just answers to questions. Over on Digital Photography School, my post How to Hold a Digital Camera is one example of that. It started as a question for a reader. How should I hold my camera?

On ProBlogger one of my most popular posts for many years was a post called What is A Blog? This was another example where that came in. Particularly in the early days of ProBlogger, 2004, 2005, a lot of people just didn’t know what a blog was. It doesn’t get so much traffic these days because most people are familiar with blogs. Back then, it was something that a lot of people were asking.

In both of those examples that I just gave you, the questions are very, very basic. They’re very, very beginner-y. In fact, in both cases I remember almost not publishing the post because I was a bit embarrassed about how basic they were. I’m glad I did because between those two posts, they’ve had over a million visitors. Imagine if I had not written them.

Pay attention to the beginner-y questions that you get asked. You will find that there is a lot of demand for answers to those beginner-y questions but you also will get some demand for more intermediate and advanced questions as well. You’ll also find those more advanced questions, there’s less competition for them as well. The beginner questions like how to hold a camera, there are literally thousands of posts on the internet on those particular topics. There is more competition there.

For your challenge today, I encourage you to go deep or to tackle something that is beginner-y. It’s totally up to you. For some of you, you probably already know the frequently asked question that you want to answer and so you might want to just stop this podcast right now and go away and write the post, come over to the Facebook group, and share it with us and check out some of the other posts that people have written.

But if you are wondering what on Earth am I going to write about today, let me give you some tips on finding the question that you should answer today. I’ve got seven things that you could do to help find that question.

Firstly, you could simply ask your readers what questions they have. It sounds a bit meta, I know, to ask the question to your readers to find their questions but it’s something I do semi-regularly on my blog and on my social. It could be as simple as putting a tweet out. “I want to write a blog post today based on your questions, what questions do you have?” You might do that on Facebook where people can see each other’s responses as well.

You might also jump on Facebook Live and do an ask me anything live video. That’s something that I’ve done semi-regularly and it never fails to unearth a question that I could then later on write a blogpost about.

You might want to email some or all of your readers and even send them a little survey, or just put out a call. “Do you have any questions that you would like me to write about,” if you’ve got enough readers.

All those depend on you having enough readers to answer that question. If you don’t have any readers already, check out other people’s blogs, check out forums, check out social media pages or social media groups that you might be a part of that are relevant for your niche. It’s amazing how many questions get asked in those forums and it’s very easy for you to take those questions and write the answer. You may even have the opportunity to share the link in response to the question that gets asked in those forums or social media groups. You might want to check out your own comments on your blogs or emails that you’ve received previously from readers, they may unearth questions for you.

You might want to go to a question site like Quora, I’ll link to it in today’s show notes, where you can type in any topic whatsoever and find what the most frequently asked question is on that topic. I just did it a few minutes ago and put in Photography and I came up with a list of three or four posts that we could write on Digital Photography School that we haven’t written before but they’re frequently asked questions. You could also choose to go to Yahoo! Answers which is another site dedicated to asking and answering of questions.

You might want to find a beginner in your niche to question. Perhaps you know someone just starting out in your niche or maybe you’ve got a reader who’s just starting out, who’s left a beginner-y type question. It’s something like, “I’m just starting with this, this is really helpful.” Email that reader. If they’re local to you, buy them a coffee. If they’re not, get on Skype with them and pick their brain, find out what their biggest challenges and questions are.

Another thing you might want to do is think back in time to when you had a lot of questions in your niche. When you were just starting out in your particular area of expertise, what was your biggest question? Write about what you’ve learned, how you would answer that question today.

Another thing that you might want to consider doing is writing a post on a question you currently have today. You don’t have to have the answer to your own question to be able to write a post on that question. You could actually have a burning question of your own and then spend some time today researching the answer to that question, seeing what other people have written, and then write a list post or a link up post to where you link to the advice from other people. Maybe include a few quotes from their articles and of course link to the source of those quotes as well and present the answers to your own question according to other bloggers in your particular niche.

There’s all kinds of ways that you can find a question today. The key is to identify one, and then to write your frequently asked question post. You may actually in thinking through this topic come up with a number of posts that you could come back to later as well. There’s a whole heap of different types of questions you can be asking today.

On Digital Photography School we get asked a lot of comparison type questions. “Which camera should I buy, this camera or this camera?” That might be the approach that you take. We get questions like, “Should I shoot it as JPEG or should I shoot in RAW format?” Those are two different types of image files. You can do a comparison type post. You could answer a question like, “How do I do this or how do I learn this?” You might want to write more of a teaching question. You might answer a question like what is blogging or what is photography or what is the rule of thirds? These are definition type posts. You can see here there’s a whole heap of different types of posts that you could write in response to questions.

My challenge to you today is to choose a frequently asked question if possible and to write a post or create a video or podcast that answers that question. Once you’ve written it, head over to the Facebook group. The Facebook group is called ProBlogger Challenge Group. Share your post, share the frequently asked question that you write, the link. Don’t share any old posts, just share the new one that you’ve written today.

Then if you’ve got time, take a few minutes to check out, like, comment on other posts that people are submitting in the Facebook group as well. I’d love to see your posts as a result of today’s challenge. Head over to the Facebook group now and share them once you’ve written them.

Tune in tomorrow because I’ve got another challenge for you to create for your blog. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with and chatting with you tomorrow.

I link to the Facebook group in our show notes so you can find it that way. Also, you can find some further reading and links to some of the examples that I used today and links that I mentioned today.

I really look forward to chatting with you in tomorrow’s podcast. In the meantime, if you’ve got any questions, ping me over on Twitter at @ProBlogger, more than happy to interact with you there or ask your questions in the Facebook group today.

As yesterday, I encourage you to invite your blogging friends to be part of this challenge. They can join anytime they like and I’d really love to meet them and see what they come up with as well.

How did you go with today’s episode?

I’d love to see your post. Tune it tomorrow for another challenge.

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  • Nice prompt! This sort of post is always welcomed by readers!