Every blog owner will tell you how difficult it can be to come up with new ideas for posts. This can be especially daunting when working on a small business’ blog.
How can you stand out amongst all of the noise and ensure that the topics you write about are relevant to your business?
Your Existing Topics
I’m going to suggest (again) that you spend some time in your Google Analytics account. Look at which of your previous posts have performed well. Which ones had the longest average view times? Also look at what people have searched for on your site. Are there particular topics that people often search for?
Your analytics account is full of valuable information so be sure to spend the time necessary to dig out that important information.
- Try to spot any themes in terms of what’s been popular with your readers.
- Review those popular posts and try to brainstorm potential topics.
Could any of the posts be turned into a series?
Could you use the posts to create an infographic or SlideShare presentation?
If you’ve exhausted your current content for potential spin-off topics, have a look at what type of content is resonating with your competitor’s readers. Buzzsumo makes this very easy to do.
To start, choose a competitor that’s similar to your business' size and offerings, who likely shares an audience with you. Then, grab their website’s URL and head on over to Buzzsumo.
On the home page, enter your competitor’s URL and hit Search. The site will then serve up a list of the site’s most popular content, based on social shares. Here’s an example using mashable.com as the domain:
Now you can get a sense of what type of content has worked well for your competitor. Read those popular posts, is there anything you can add? Could you write about them from a different perspective? If the content worked well for your competitor, there's a good chance it will for you, too.
Google’s Keyword Planner Tool
The tool’s primary use is to help advertisers plan which key terms they should bid on for ads. However, bloggers can also make use of the tool’s “keyword suggestion” feature.
To start, you'll need to sign up for a Google AdWords account. This is a pretty simple process as you use an existing Gmail account. It's important to note that during the sign-up process you'll be asked to provide credit card information. You can skip this step (unless you're planning on running ads.)
With your account set up, navigate to the Keyword planner which can be found under “Tools.” Here, you can use your website’s home page URL (or your competitor’s) and then select the “get ideas” button.
On the next screen you'll get a chart and table with two tabs, “Ad group ideas” and “Keyword ideas.” Have a look through the keyword ideas tab and see if you can use the suggestions to start brainstorming new blog posts.
Make Use Of Current Hot Topics
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all have some type of “trends” feature:
- Twitter: you can find what’s trending on your homepage (you'll need to login to see it.)
- Facebook: the trends can be found on the top right corner of your screen (when you're looking at your timeline.)
- LinkedIn: the “trending” feature is a bit buried. You'll have to scroll through your timeline and look for the “your network is talking about” headline.
If you're stuck for ideas, these trending options are an easy way to see what is popular in real-time.
Did you know that June 3rd is National Donut Day? Or that the first Wednesday in November is National Stress Awareness Day? In addition to traditional holidays, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, you can make use of some of the more unique “days” to generate content.
Check out the various non-traditional holidays and try to line your content up with them. For example, if you operate a small spa, you can create content leading up to Stress Awareness day offering unique ways to relieve stress and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
What tips or strategies do you use to keep your blog fresh with content?
About the Author:
Liz Da Ponte is a Digital Strategist hanging out where marketing, social media and technology meet to play. Liz loves writing, coffee, and finding the perfect font. Follow her on Twitter: @lizdaponte