Sometimes you’re just empty and without any inspiration on what to focus on next. Either too busy – too many projects, but all work in progress and no end in sight. Or you’re looking at an empty desk shortly after finishing a bigger project and just feel there’s nothing left to say.
But that’s not true. There’s always more to write about. There’s always more to teach, and more knowledge to share.
If you’re not sure what you should write about the obvious solution is to actually ask your target audience: your readers.
Ask Your Readers
Your readers are the people you’re writing for. They decide whether they want to read your articles or rather not – if your topics aren’t relevant for them, for instance. To find out what’s relevant to them you just need to ask. Yes, it’s that simple.
Last month I was overwhelmed by too many ongoing projects and not sure what to focus on next.
Should I launch a third edition of Shawl Design in Plain English? People went crazy for the second edition so this felt reasonable, especially as I had collected so many things I wanted to add to the book.
Or would it be better to write about another topic people kept asking me all the time? I’m talking about adapting stitch patterns – so many knitters are struggling with converting rectangular charts to include in other shawl shapes.
The third thing I thought about updating is my book Adjustable Shawls. Over the last year I collected lots of new ideas and shapes as well as construction methods, so I felt like it’s time for a second edition.
I decided to write an email to my list asking about their favorite topic. This is what I sent out to almost 5000 people on my list:
“Besides the Plant Anatomy project I’m working on three concurrent projects at the moment and am not quite sure how to prioritize them.
– Adjustable Shawls has been published in December 2015. Since then, lots of new shapes and construction methods have been published on my blog and it’s really time for an update.
– Shawl Design in Plain English: same here – new shapes and lots of new construction methods are awaiting to be published in a comprehensive format, so this books are in need of a major revision, too.
– Adapting Charts: so many people are asking me on a daily basis on how to implement lace stitch patterns into specific shawl shapes it really looks like there’s a huge demand for information on this topic. If you think this is your number one, would you prefer a book or an online course, or both?
Which one would be YOUR number one?
Interesting enough I anticipated a clear vote for another edition of Shawl Design in Plain English but that was not true. The response was very clear as you can see in the chart representing the answers shown below.
People wanted to learn about adapting stitch patterns!
Writing Relevant Content
Interestingly enough people preferred an online course over a book. I was really surprised! But this again emphasizes that content you consider relevant might not be the most relevant one for your readers.
Ask your readers before you start writing. It really pays off – and it might even surprise you, and it will provide you with additional valuable insights about your audience.
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