Shortcut to Market Research: How to Create Content Your Target Audience Wants to Read

Oprah Magazine Cover What if you could figure out a way to write exactly what your target audience wants to read, without having to brainstorm for hours or randomly throw stuff out there until you find out what “sticks?”

You can, and I’m going to tell you how.

It’s shockingly easy, really.  See, glossy print publications spend thousands of dollars on market research to learn precisely what customers want to read, and create their headlines and articles based on that. So why not piggyback on that research, and use magazine headlines in your niche as an inspiration for your own content?

For example, let’s say you’re in the business inspiration niche, and you’re stumped about what your audience wants to read. If you look at Success magazine you’ll find headlines like:

  • Lionel Richie: Overcoming ‘No’
  • Vince Lombardi’s Rules for a Legendary Life
  • Conquering 6 Deadly Fears of Entrepreneurship

If you sat down with a few issues of the magazine and a notepad, I bet you could come up with at least a dozen ideas for blog posts to write, from your own perspective and with your own particular spin on things, of course.

In the lifestyle niche, there’s no better example than O, The Oprah Magazine. Check out these great headlines:

  • 4 Steps to Aha!:  How to Figure Out Exactly What You Want 
  • Express Yourself: 26 Ways to Tell Your Story and Share It With the World
  • The Healing Effect: How to Tap Into Your Mind’s Hidden Power

In the cooking niche, you could look to Bon Appétit.  I love to cook and I love to write about cooking, so I could look to BA for inspiration, where I’d find headlines like:

  • 50 BBQ Tips & Techniques From the Experts
  • Low-Fat Cooking Secrets
  • The 5-Minute Appetizer
  • Corn, Tomatoes, Zucchini:  12 Things You’ll Make All Summer

So set aside a couple of hours, grab your favorite adult beverage, a notepad, and several issues of a magazine or two in your niche, and go to town!  (If you don’t have access to physical copies of magazines in your niche, you can search for them on Amazon.com.)

And for more ideas on how to use magazine headlines to get your creative juices flowing, check out this article on Crazyegg.com, “7 Proven Headline Formulas That Convert,” and over on Copyblogger.com,The Cosmo Headline Technique for Blogging Inspiration.”

What techniques do you use for brainstorming content ideas? Let me know in the comments!

[For more on writing copy that connects with your ideal clients, sign up for free weekly updates and get instant access to the CREATIVE REBEL GUIDE TO WRITING A CLIENT-ATTRACTING ABOUT PAGE, plus copywriting & web marketing tips and other goodies for creative freelancers & biz owners that I only share with my subscribers, delivered straight to your inbox each Tuesday.]

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