Solid understanding of the importance of content marketing for your business goals?
Idea for what to blog about? … Um…
Adding new content to your website on a regular basis is a great digital marketing practice. The search engines love it, but more importantly your audience should find it useful. Your blog is your very own channel to communicate directly with your audience of potential customers and advocates.
So, what does your audience want to know about?
Finding out where your audience spends time online and what kind of information they share is key to your content marketing success.
When you’re stuck searching for a good blog post topic, try one of these idea sources to get your fingers typing:
Competitor & Industry Leader Blogs
A good place to start is investigating the content in your industry that is already performing well.
Fire up BuzzSumo and enter your keywords to see the most popular content online by topic.
Often times, this will also reveal leaders in your industry (hint: they’re the ones with the biggest followings and coincidentally the most content shares). You can also identify industry leaders by checking out the top sites on Alltop.
To take a look at what kind of content your competitors are offering, enter the URLs of their websites in BuzzSumo as well. You can see their highest performing content, its backlinks, and who shared it.
By researching what content performs well in your industry not only will your own creativity be sparked, but it will be sparked in the general direction of proven shareable content.
Q&A Sites & FAQs
What better way to see what kinds of questions your audience is asking than to go directly to where they’re asking questions?
Quora is an excellent community of question-askers and answer-givers on any topic under the sun. Not only can you get great blog post ideas, but after you’ve published helpful content you can respond to Quora questions with a link to your post.
FAQs are also a hidden gold mine of possible blog topics. Take a look at the list of FAQs on your website and on your competitors. What types of questions are the most common and could use a longer explanation? Don’t be afraid to dig into old customer emails to look for questions either.
Groups & Forums
Groups and forums are organic communities where people congregate around similar interests.
Search for groups on social networks like Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Reddit that are related to your industry. What kinds of questions are members asking? What struggles are they sharing? What are they excited about?
To search specific niche forums, use Boardreader to enter your keywords and find posts on relevant topics. You may find entire forum communities you never knew existed!
While social media may be primarily used to distribute and promote content, it can also be a rich source of blog post ideas.
In addition to following top influencers for inspiration, take a look at what hashtags are being used in your community. What hashtags are top influencers using? What kind of chats are active?
Use Hashtagify to research related and popular hashtags. See what people are talking about in real time.
You can add popular hashtags to a social media management platform like Hootsuite to keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry.
Epic Blog Posts
Instead of generally overviewing competitors and influencers in your niche, take it one step further by zeroing in on one, epic blog post. In many cases it may be an extensive “How To” guide or a list of curated resources.
Consider using a technique by Brian Dean of Backlinko called “The Skyscraper Technique.”
The basic premise is:
– Find the best content
– Make something even better
– Promote it to the right people
When you improve content that people already love and share, you already have a list of people you can reach out to who would most likely enjoy your “new and improved” version. Not only do you have an awesome rendition of engaging content, but you also have an army of people to help you promote it!
If All Else Fails…
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If none of the above methods filled your editorial calendar with weeks worth of blog post ideas, there’s always… the Clickbait Headline Generator.
Warning: Use at your own risk.
(Actually, no. Don’t do this. Step away from your computer. Contact a professional immediately.)