If your message appeals to your visitor, you have a better than average chance of engaging them than if you just sling up content without giving it much thought.
And many times, we see messaging that appeals to the site's owner, instead of his/her prospects and customers. Look for sites that promote features, rather than benefits. (This is one of the most important things for website owners and managers to understand)
FEATURES may be of some interest to prospects and customers, but its the BENEFITS that convey value to your customer. "Features tell, benefits sell."
So, how do you find out what your prospective customers want? How do you find the terms they use?
By visiting blogs that cover the niche. By participating in forums and other Web 2.0 communities related to your industry. By reading the publications they're reading. By subscribing to online newsletters, both paid and free.
Go to magazines.com and you'll find a publication for just about anything!
Google "blog directories" to find sites that will help you find the most popular blogs by subject. Do the same with "forum directories" and "newsletter directories."
An added benefit of cruising blogs, forums and other communities is that you can leave comments and answer questions, which builds your reputation as an expert and increases your brand awareness.
Don't forget to put a link in your sig file or profile, so that when you answer questions and comment, the readers will know where to find you AND you get an incoming link to your website, which helps with the search engines.
Talk about an ROI! I would try and spend time doing this every day, even if it's 10-15 minutes.
Sometimes it's helpful to look from the top down. What are the biggest magazines people are reading, for instance? Here's an article about magazines that are kicking it in 2010 in terms of increasing ad sales. Maybe it will give you some ideas!
But a simple trip to a well-stocked news stand or magazine section in a bookstore can be very incisive too!