Content marketing is big (obviously). For B2B and B2C companies alike, their content creation strategy is critical for the overall lead and sales generation process. I’ve formulated very successful content strategies for a few companies and the part I find people struggling with the most is choosing what to write about. I’ve legitimately heard individuals say that they have written about everything possible – which is never the case. There are always unique ways to choose your next blog topic.
When choosing your blog topics, it is critical that you remain authentic, but also be as methodical as possible. Here are some great ways to choose your next blog topic.
Consider Your Goals
What are your goals for this blog post? What is your goal with your blog? Are you trying to educate readers? Make a connection with them? Or, are you looking to drive traffic to a certain service offered on your website? Determining a solid goal will help you narrow down what your next blog post should be about. If your goal is to educate your readers but also to drive traffic, then you will want to be specific and relevant to your brand. This way you will get readers that are in the market or the same industry as your audience reading your blog. And, in a perfect world, you would have those readers navigate to your site after they read your blog, or to other posts.
Find A Hole In The Market
This might be easier said than done. If everyone could find a hole in the market then there wouldn’t be holes in the market. But, by looking for gaps you will be able to see what types of content is out there and what might not be out there. use your previous blogs and competitors’ blogs as a starting point. Then, navigate through what has been written and see if you can see any topics that are missing. If you notice a topic not being written about then I can promise you others have tried looking for that content.
AdWords & Google Trends
This is a gimme and is used by marketers everywhere. You can go into your Google AdWords account (or create one for free if you don’t have one) and under tools, you will find the Keyword Planner tool. You can either put in a keyword related to your industry or insert your website domain. When sifting through the results, you’ll likely see some long-tail queries that will make for a great blog topic.
Similar to AdWords, you can use Google Trends to find out what people are searching for and use that to form your next blog post.
Whether you decide to use Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends to find the perfect topic to write about, you should do a simple Google Search about that topic. See what other authors are writing about, and if there are any gaps in the current articles that appear on the first page of search results. If you notice that all of the results are articles that are very very similar, or posted by enterprise-sized companies, it’s best to slightly adjust your topic to be more niche.
What are your direct or indirect competitors covering in their blog posts? You don’t have to directly rip them off but instead look for ideas in the topics they have already written about. You can also see what your related publishers are writing about and then search those topics on Google. this will give you an idea about how popular that topic is and if you should write about it. As I mentioned, you don’t have to rip them off. But, if they are writing about the best Italian places to have dinner in Toronto, then maybe you can write about the best Italian restaurants in Toronto. The topic is similar but you can have a whole different spin on it which includes drinks, music, lunch, etc.
Google Analytics and Spinoffs of Already Successful Pieces
If this isn’t your first time writing a blog piece, you likely have some data on what content is successful in driving traffic. Look through your Google Analytics account for blog posts that have been successful in the past. Then try to create a follow-up or spinoff to that piece. If you have previously written about the best scheduling software for small businesses. Then you see that it is a top driver of traffic, you could write about other software. Or, write about other topics small businesses might be interested in. Such as ways to drive traffic on a budget. Looking at your own Google Analytics is a crucial part of picking what you should write about next. Your readers came to your post for a reason, give them another to come back for more.
What’s Popular and Does it Have Implications for Your Audience?
This is a big one. It is important to stay up-to-date on trends in not only your industry but also mass consumer culture and see if you can relate it to your audience. Remember how everyone was playing Pokémon Go? Well, when working for a workplace health and safety training company, we wrote an article on how Pokémon Go has the potential to be a workplace hazard, and people loved it! This is only one example, but I think you get the point.
Find Your Voice
By finding your voice you will be able to see what type of content comes naturally to you. Once you know what type of content you enjoy writing about you will naturally have ideas about how to choose your next blog topic in the future. This will save you time down the road as you can write these ideas down for when you need your next piece of content. Also, nothing is worse than reading content by someone who you can tell doesn’t care about or have a passion for the content. It is dry, boring, and is missing that passion we are all looking for. Once you find your voice and passion your readership and posts per viewer will dramatically rise.
What are Your Clients Asking About?
Go talk to your Sales or Customer Support department to find out what your clients are asking about! These people spend all their time dealing with customer problems. So they likely have some insight into what clients need to know – which always makes for good articles. For example, if you are a SaaS business and your clients or prospects keep asking about integrations, or how to use information elsewhere. Then this is a good indicator to write about ways to get information into other applications.
Think About Conversions
Lead generation and ultimately conversions should always be at the top of your mind. You want to write articles that will resonate with your company, and give you the opportunity to subtly plug your company within the article content. Like I mentioned above, answering questions that your company could solve is a great way to generate leads from your blog. Plus, you’ll be writing about topics that people really care about.
Things change constantly, go through your previous content and you may find some of it needs to be updated to still be relevant. This is a great method that prevents you from starting at square one. Further, you can still distribute older content that has been updated as your network would likely appreciate the update!
Overall, there are better ways to find relevant high-quality content topics than throwing a dart at a list. Further, this doesn’t just have to be for blog content, it can be for any form of content you are focused on at that time!
What Matters To You?
There is a 100% chance that if something matters to you, then it will matter to someone else as well. Think of something that is important to you, or that you are curious about. Then write about it. If it is important enough that you are writing a whole blog post about it, then there is a good chance someone is searching for it. This is a great way to choose your next blog topic because it goes back to the suggestion of finding your voice. There is almost no better way to find your voice than to write about something you care about. Have you ever been in a conversation and something comes up about what you are passionate about? You probably were captivating and enthusiastic. It is hard to not listen to people like that. Channel that into your writing.