Okay, so you have finally subscribed to the idea that having a blog will add value to your website or business. Whether your goal is to improve SEO, engage your audience, enhance the customer experience, or establish credibility in your field, you’ve made the right decision.
What you probably didn’t expect, was how to drudge up content day after day. From seasoned writers to new website owners, the steps below will help you find the right topic, every time.
1. Engage your audience.
Truly, the simplest method of identifying your next content idea is to go straight to the source, which basically means asking your target readers what they want. Naturally, you’ll want to polish the approach with a more subtle inquiry, so instead, you might ask questions that clue you into what they’re interested in like asking your followers what they need help with, what their favorite posts are about, or what they might be working on.
You’d be amazed at what people share, and this way, your blog post will not only be timely end relevant, but you will have solved an immediate need WHILE engaging your audience. BOOM! It’s what industry leaders refer to as a “two-fer” (actually, I just made that up, but it sounded good no?).
2. Go to Google for Ideas.
One of my favorite methods for culling content is to go straight to Google. Google, or any search engine for that matter, makes content research super easy. In fact, Google probably has more data than any other website in existence on what people are actively looking for online. For you not to leverage a site that has already done the heavy lifting for you, would be an egregious oversight...in my humble opinion of course.
For starters, begin by simply typing in a few topics into the search bar and letting the magical, albeit often eerily intuitive, autocomplete finish the sentence for you.
One of the factors in autocomplete’s algorithm is based on current search trends, so it’s a quick way to get already optimized suggestions, especially for long-tail keywords. A short amount of time spent Googling popular or trending keywords in your industry can tell you what blog topics people are interested in, or what niche you should be homing in on.
3. Look at past blog posts and their performance metrics.
Historical performance can be one of the best predictors of future success, and your blog is no exception. Looking at the metrics in previously published blog posts can help guide your content strategy and help you come up with new blog post ideas. Don’t have any historical data or posts to pull from? Not to worry, the tactic works on any blog…just pick one you admire with a sizable following.
Be sure to really dig deep by asking yourself how many readers commented, reacted, or even reposted the content? Which ones were the most relevant, controversial, had the most engagement or inspired a call to action?
Additionally, you can even turn to industry leaders and ask them, or other bloggers for their best tips. Great content is everywhere, and culling ideas from experts or bloggers with a strong following actually serves everyone well… influencers get some promotion, backlinks, or perhaps a mention on social media, and you get excellent content ideas and advice from people you want to emulate.
4. Expand on points or subheadings
This has always been one of my go to ways of pulling blog post ideas out of thin air. Look at any blog post topic that is general in nature, then basically work your way down the list of subheadings and write full-length posts on them. You can even use parts of the original post and/or create links to boost SEO ratings.
For example, you may have written or read a blog post about creating a digital marketing campaign. Mentioned in said post, was the importance of a good website, landing page, and engaging social media posts to promote your site and drive traffic. Violá…you just came up with blog posts on creating engaging social media posts, landing pages, and web design.
You can go even further: Best Tools to Create Stunning Visual Instagram Stories, or Before you Create a Landing Page, Use This Checklist, and lastly, The Web’s Best Drag n Drop Web Builders, or Pitfalls to Avoid When Designing Your Website. See what I did there? You’re welcome.
5. Read through blog comments
I know it is said that one shouldn’t live in the past, but such places are rife with content ideas. Readers may have weighed in on their opinions in past blog’s comments, or even the comments of other blogs they read. Analyze their questions, opinions, and ideas and see what new content can be uncovered.
Similar to looking at how well previous blog posts performed, perusing comments will inevitably unveil insights that most analytics tools glaze over. There’s a treasure-trove of information left in comment sections that’s often overlooked, even by bloggers themselves. Followers leave industry tips and tricks, share their likes or dislikes, and will even tell you what they’d like to read about next…you just have to take the time to listen.
Okay, so you should now have plenty of methods to find your next blog post. However, so many more exist…some of which are a little sneaky, but downright brilliant. If you want my Cloak & Dagger guide to Creating Content for your blog, website, or social media posts, be sure to tune in tomorrow for a free download of the tactics used by leading bloggers and marketers.
Be warned though, once you learn the ways of the Dark Side, there’s no going back. I’m just kidding, nothing nefarious or illegal here, but you will feel a surge of power. Just don’t let it go to your head young Jedi…with great power, comes great responsibility. Happy Blogging!