Your company’s blog can support your site’s SEO strategies, reach new audiences through social sharing, and build your authority on the web. But to achieve all that, and your ultimate goal of drawing more traffic to your site, you must create blog posts that are:
• Keyword rich
• Engaging and
…on a regular basis for the foreseeable future. Sounds easy, right? No? That means it’s time for a good old-fashioned blog brainstorm! To help you begin, I offer this indispensable list of 6 tips for finding rich topics for new blog posts:
1. Google it.
When in doubt, Google it. A Google Webmaster Tools post on blogging suggests that it’s a “great idea” to Google topics related to your industry to come up with ideas. Specifically they recommend that you search for questions that haven’t been answered by anyone else yet. Search to see what is out there, and then strategize unique ways you can fill in the gaps.
You can also use the Google Suggest tool to get ideas. Type the first words of a query into Google Search to see the suggested phrases that come up. This will help you find out what people are already searching for. Let’s say you sell hot sauce and you want to write a blog that offers new recipes. What types of recipes might get the most response?
2. Keep On Top of Trending Topics.
Participate in the national conversation about topics related to your industry. This is an opportunity to use your blog to educate, inform, and share your expertise. There are many online tools you can use to look for trending news stories and relevant memes you can share and comment on:
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help you discover stories that are more likely to inspire engagement. If you are sharing your blogs through social networks, monitor your analytics closely to find out which posts garnered the most likes, retweets, and comments. Find a way to revisit those topics from other angles. When you cover the same topic again, you can and should link the new blogs to relevant previous posts on topical keyword phrases. This strategy can help boost your rankings, broaden the scope of the information you provide on that topic, and encourage visitors to explore your site in more depth.
3. Review Your Keywords.
Keyword research can be a springboard for great blog ideas. After all, these are the terms that people are already searching to find your business or industry. As you review your keywords for blog ideas ask yourself, who is searching for this term, and why? What are the most useful answers or information that you can offer that person?
4. Listen to Your Customers.
When you talk to your customers, what topics and ideas do they seem most interested in? Your blog is a forum where you can offer answers to the hot button topics of the day. Ask everyone on your team to keep a list of common questions and suggest blog ideas that will serve your customers’ interests and needs.
You should also listen for inspiring stories you can share on your blog. Can you interview a client who was able to achieve something amazing with your help? Real world stories connect with readers and they can illustrate your mission and your impact more effectively than self-promotion while connecting another community member, company or organization to your story.
5. Respond to Other Blogs.
Do you have a unique take on a topic covered by another blog? If you are responding to an authority in your industry—you have an opportunity to link to their blog post or article with a “Yes, and…” or “I respectfully disagree and here’s why” response.
6. Speak from Your Heart.
What are you passionate about? If you find yourself getting excited when talking about a subject related to your industry—you’ve got yourself a blog topic. If your subject genuinely inspires you, you are more likely to produce a blog post that will resonate with your readers. Keep a notebook of blog subjects handy or on a spreadsheet on your desktop. If inspiration strikes or you stumble upon an intriguing topic you have unique insight on, write it down!
Putting it All Together
As you use these tips and tools, record all of the blog post titles that you come up with in a spreadsheet. Seeing all your topics in one place can spark even more ideas. Look for opportunities for blog series. Group topics by intended audience so you can make sure you are covering all of your target markets.
Above all, remember that the primary goal of blogging is to connect with people. You can inform, educate, or entertain but your ideas must connect. It takes work to find rich blog topics, but if you prove to visitors that your site is a worthwhile place to spend time, it will be well worth the effort. Good luck and happy brainstorming!