Don’t make assumptions about your audience. Don’t assume they have the same level of knowledge and experience as you. Don’t think they are in the same head space. I used to go into different topics, create content and instructions without introducing the readers and explaining the basics first. Putting things in perspective and giving context to people is a key for them to understand it better and get more out of it.
In some cases I even decided not to cover certain topic as I thought it was a very obvious topic and something that was easy to do so why would anyone need to read an article or a tutorial about it in the first place. I have found that this is a very wrong way of thinking. There are always people out there who are beginners and who need to know the simple things that you are very well aware of.
Take a second look at the things that seem mundane to you. The things you know by heart and take for granted have big potential for your content. Most people that search online for keywords relevant to your content will most probably be beginners who are looking to get introduced to your topic and who are looking to learn more about it. That is why they are out there searching and discovering things. If they were experts they surely would not be looking for it, they’ll be doing it or doing something else.
Why your best content comes from the simplified places
Some of the easiest and most simplified posts I have published are also some of the most popular posts in my archives. I thought these articles and processes I have explained in them were so simple and so easy that there was no chance in the world that anyone would be interested in and would find it useful to be reading a guide about it. But it did indeed turn out that many people found them useful and the articles were tweeted, stumbled and bookmarked many times.
I have learned that it is very important to always explain everything from scratch and in detail. When writing posts you must be clear, you must break down the process and explain it in simple steps. It might be too simple, you might think that everyone knows it and no one wants to read about something that is so simplified, but it is not true. There are always beginners who are looking for instructions from someone who is very familiar with the material and the tools and who can help them get started better and give them tips and advice on how to use the tool better.
You will not believe but many people would love to read, watch, learn, spend time on and even pay to get access to, something that is so simple and so obvious to you. Something that you know so much about, that sits very natural to you and that is so obvious to you that you think nobody else is interested in it or everyone else already knows everything they need to know about it.
There was several times where I discarded ideas thinking they are too obvious to even mention them. Several times I was close to not publishing an article because I thought it was too mundane to be written about. Who would appreciate such a thing I was thinking. I was very wrong. Some of the most popular articles I have ever published have been things I almost never did publish. I was making too many assumptions and I was not able to think like a beginner. I was not able to relate to people I have in my mind as my audience.
Do not make assumptions about your audience
So do not make any assumptions about your knowledge, about the topic that you are focusing on or about your visitors. Try as much as you can to think about your topic with a fresh beginner perspective. If it helps you better connect to your target audience go offline and discuss your topic with the outsiders, with newbies in your field and discover what they find interesting. Think back on the days and the times when you were a newbie yourself. How did you feel then? What questions were you looking to answer back then? You have to connect to that beginner mindset. Write things down, the questions, the facts, anything that comes to your mind.
Then you have to incorporate these learnings and ideas when creating your future content. Create content that answers the questions you have had. Create content that explains how something works. Create content that walks a newbie in a step by step process through something that may be difficult when you do it for the first time. Build that real bond and connection with your visitors and you are set to drastically increase your traffic and your network of hard core followers.
Are you having assumptions about your readers? Do you think everyone knows something just because you know it? Do you explain things very clearly, do you simplify your articles?