What’s one of the biggest mistakes marketers make when creating content?

It’s when they plunge ahead, and immediately spring into creation mode.

Wait… really?

Yes, you heard right.

While it’s great to have ideas and inspiration for the creation phase of content, one vital, monumental piece is missing for success in the above scenario.

What is it?

What your audience wants.

Sure, you might think your content idea is great.

But if your audience doesn’t agree, content will go nowhere.

You’ll get zero traffic. Zero shares. Zero comments. Zero engagement. Zero conversions.


On the other hand, if you create craveable content your audience is dying to read, your content will go the distance.

Check this example of the lifecycle of one impactful piece of content. Done well, it can nurture your visitors into becoming loyal customers. (Read more about how our readers have become buyers.)

Impactful, audience-satiating content is a big deal.

So, the real question here is, how do you find out what your audience wants? How do you know which content topics are gold, and which are destined for the grave?

I’ve come up with a concept that will help. It’s called the Topic Circle. Let’s explore how to use it to create craveable content your audience wants and needs.

Don't go straight into creation without knowing what your audience wants. But how do you find out? @JuliaEMcCoy has a concept called the Topic Circle ⭕️ that can help you flesh out truly craveable content. Click To Tweet

topic circle concept

How to Create Craveable Content Your Audience Hungers For Using the Topic Circle Concept

The Topic Circle is a good way to visualize the intersection of your expertise + what your audience wants.

If you only rely on your expertise to come up with content topics, you’re climbing a slippery slope. Sure, you can write about those topics with confidence and authority, but at the same time, who knows if your audience will care?

That’s why you need to visualize how your expertise meshes with what your audience wants to read. This is what it looks like:

And put into practice, this is what a Topic Circle mapped to topics your reader actually wants to read looks like. For example, if your expertise is selling running shoes, your audience doesn’t necessarily want to read about types and styles of shoes. Instead, they might want to see content dealing with health and running apps, training, hydration, etc.

To arrive at your own topic circle, let’s look at how to build it.

1. Know Your Expertise

First up, knowing your expertise is fundamental for building your own Topic Circle. That’s because your expertise serves as your topic core – the area of knowledge you’ll focus on in your content.

There are a few ways to define your expertise (one or all of these may apply to you):

  • Your passion
  • What you do for a living
  • What you’re an expert in

Here are a few topic circle examples.

If you’re a pastry chef, your expertise might be baking desserts. Here’s how to map that to topics your audience wants to read about.

If you’re a nature photographer, your expertise might be identifying and photographing nature scenes, birds or landscapes. There are so many ways to map this to topics your audience wants to hear about.

And the list goes on.

How do you know what topics your readers will love? You need a Topic Circle. Define what your expertise is, to start. What's your passion? Your work? Your best skill? For more tips, check out @JuliaEMcCoy's guide craveable content Click To Tweet

2. Know Your Target Audience Inside-Out

So, you’ve defined your expertise and your core topic area. Now you need to know what someone buying or learning about products in your topic area wants to read about.

To help you discover those sub-topics, you need to do some digging.

2.1 Research Your Targets

Don’t guess what your target audience looks like. Research. That means:

Image: Facebook

All of these actions help paint a picture of who you should be targeting with content, and what they want to read about.

2.2 Know Where Your Audience Lives Online

One of your research goals should be to learn where your audience lives online, including:

  • Social media sites where they hang out
  • Hashtags they use
  • Forums they participate in
  • Influencers they follow and trust
  • Blogs they read and comment on

Once you discover these places and resources, you can internet-stalk them to find the questions and pain points people are talking about. Then, you can cover those in your content!

2.3 Create an Audience Persona

Once you have thoroughly researched your audience, it’s time to distill that information into a resource you can reference over and over: the audience persona.

This is an imaginary profile of your ideal audience member – the person who loves your brand, follows your content, and buys your products.

The profile should contain key information that helps you target them in your content, such as:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location, marital status, education, etc.)
  • Occupation, job roles and income
  • Work and life goals
  • Challenges blocking them from meeting those goals
  • Personal habits, preferences, likes/dislikes, etc.

Here’s a sample audience persona built for Express Writers:

This is an ultra-valuable tool that will help you figure out what your audience wants from your content.

MAJOR tip: When thinking about a possible content topic, ask yourself if your persona would benefit from reading it. If the answer is iffy, find another topic.

For successful content, you need to know your audience inside-out with deep research, discovering where they 'live' online, and by creating an audience persona. Read more on @JuliaEMcCoy's guide to creating your Topic Circle. Click To Tweet

3. Ask Your Audience Directly About Their Biggest Challenges

Another good way to flesh out your Topic Circle and understand what your audience wants:

Just ask.

Seriously. Send out an email to your list and ask them their #1 challenge in [insert industry here]. Tell them you want to know because you want to serve them better. Be sincere.

Once you get responses, listen. Use that information to create impactful, problem-solving, targeted content.

'Another good way to flesh out your Topic Circle and understand what your audience wants: Just ask. Send out an email to your list and ask them their #1 challenge.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on how to build your Topic Circle Click To Tweet

How Do You Create Craveable Content? Find Where Your Expertise and Audience Needs Intersect

Creating content that gets result requires thinking deeper than only focusing on our expertise. ️‍♀️

The Topic Circle concept is useful for answering the question “how to create craveable content” because it illustrates where your expertise and your audience wants/needs intersect.

This is your sweet spot for content topics.

Stay in your sweet spot, and you’ll create craveable content your audience hungers for.

Need help creating content? We play best with marketers that bring great ideas and are missing the element of a team of hard-working, experienced copywriters. (That’s us!) See our services and pricing. 

Read how we're proactively working to serve you best: 2021 Content Shop Changes