It’s time to schedule more blogs – oh crap!
Even as professional marketers, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves staring at a blank editorial calendar. Bottom line is this: coming up with blog post ideas can be hard.
Even when you’ve been working with a client (or industry) for a while, crafting a publishing schedule with fresh topics can be daunting. But fear not – there is hope!
Professional content marketers always have blog post ideas up their sleeves when it comes to blog topic generation.
In today’s post, we’ll give you an inside look at a few ways your in-house marketing team can generate relevant, in-demand blog topics for your writers. These are the exact techniques we use for our own client accounts, so be ready to download the information in a PDF to use in your office.
Next, select additional related keywords by referencing the “related queries” section:
“Breakout phrases” are experiencing extremely high search volume, and should be considered both high in popularity but also high in competition.
You should always be following your cilents’ top competitors online – not only will it give you cues as to what’s happening in the industry, it will also give you ideas as to what type of content is most important to competitor’s clientele as well.
Note: You should never steal competitor content. Spinning, plagiarizing, or utilizing information without proper accreditation is bad business practice and opens the door to trouble with the Google Police.
Instead, research the topics being covered by competitors and create better, more informative, and more detailed alternatives about similar subjects. Your clients’ blog should offer more up to date, easy to read information using their own unique brand voice.
We recommend checking out Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique during this step.
Quora is a forum about everything under the sun.
As one of the key places people turn to for answers, it’s a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the biggest consumer challenges in any industry. what the biggest questions in your clients’ industry.
Want to see what other companies in an industry are successfully publishing?
Feedly is a handy web tool that curates a list of an industry’s top performing blog posts.
By studying the most popular titles, you can get an idea of what your audience really cares bout at this moment in time. Pick either the free version for a tight budget, or the paid version for the ability to curate your own lists and hand-select your favorite publishers (or competitors!) to follow.
BuzzSumo is an extremely handy (but unfortunately not free) tool that aggregates lists of trending topics, posts, and news from around the internet, and neatly places the information on your BuzzSumo dash board for you to analyze as a human.
By monitoring your BuzzSumo dashboard correctly, you can learn about the trending topics in blogs, YouTube Videos, and social media.
6. The Sales Team
Your sales team is constantly in contact with your target audience- why not use their knowledge to your advantage?
Ask your sales pros what questions (and problems) your clients struggle with – then create a wealth of content about that topic in any and every format you can think of.
7. Customers Themselves
If you’re collecting honey, you’re going to have to stick your hand right into the bee hive.
Learning information about your target audience (or existing customer base) is exactly like collecting honey. To get the sweetest information about who they are, what they need, and how you can help, you need to stick your hand into the beehive. And by that we mean you need to talk to your customers directly. Are they dying for better quality? Faster service? Both? You’ll never know unless you ask.
“Are your clients dying for better quality? Faster service? Both? You’ll never know unless you ask.”
8. Expert Interviews
Another great way to gather information about your industry and wrap it into bite-size piece of information is to interview an industry expert, like:
- Non-competitive businesses
- Industry professionals
- Non-profit businesses
9. Twitter Trends
Twitter trends is an aggregate source of information about what the hottest topics are on the platform. You can dial down your “trending topic” radius to the whole world, or your small local town – whichever suits the needs of your clients.
10. Company Milestones
Is your company celebrating a milestone (individual or collective) that is worth talking about?
Things like industry awards, hiring new employees, or adding new products and services to your inventory are all prime examples of reason to publish a detailed (BUT BRIEF) blog on the subject. Take the tone of a news article rather than a sales pitch, and use the opportunity to let your target audience learn more about who your brand is.
11. Elaborate on Your Own Blog Content
What better way find blog topics than to expand on information that has already been successful on your site.
Here’s how to do it:
1) Make a list of the most successful blogs on your site.
2) Starting with the most successful post, jot down the subheadings in the piece. This list should include your H2 and H3 tags. Repeat this process for each of the top performing blogs on your site. The end result should be a big list of niche topics to write about for months.
12. Recently Searched Items on Google
At the bottom of every Google search is a “recently searched” section. There, you can find five to six keywords (or key phrases) related to your original search.
These phrases are gold!
Write them down and find a way to craft a blog that revolves around those suggestions.
By monitoring the top images on Pinterest, you can determine which topics and trends are currently relevant to your audience.
Example: If you search “content marketing” on Pinterest, you’ll find a variety of infographics. They’re all on different sub-topics (like social media and PPC) which helps us zero-in on the specific information our audience is most interested in.
14. Curate Hit Content from Industry Leaders
What better way to bring value to an audience than by curating the latest, most informative content in your space?
How to do it: Find the best blog articles, infographics, or videos published over the last week, and share them in a “roundup” style blog post. Keep in mind: be sure to use proper citations when using someone else’s data, opinions, or quotes.
Powered by the one and only Hubspot, the tool gives you trendy titles for your next blog, giving you an endless supply of content topics to choose from.
To use the topic generator, enter 3 relevant words (they say nouns are best, but we occasionally use verbs as well) in the input fields and hit enter. Then, review the topics that load.
Here are our topic results for the terms: content, marketing, and blog.
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a simple tool that gives you feedback on the quality of your blog title.
You have to enter your e-mail to gain access to the tool, but that’s fine – CoSchedule’s newsletter is worth a read.
To find out what people are really interested in learning about online, why not learn about their needs first hand?
As one of the largest internet forums, Reddit is full of real-time discussions about everything from plumbing to marketing.
How to use it: Search Reddit threads that relate to your industry, and take note of common questions, challenges, and complaints users talk about. Then, write blog posts that answer the most common questions you found.
18. Infographics Turned Blog Post
Infographics are full of solid, relevant information that – above all – tell a story.
If your company has published infographics, now is a good time to re-use those assets by translating that information into a new medium.
How to do it: Use the key points of your infographic as the primary headings in your blog post. Then, incorporate the statistics from your infographic into the body of your post, and use commentary to add volume.
19. Latest Product Releases
Discussing new products, services, and companies in your industry is a great way to position a company as a thought leader.
Keep an eye out for innovative products and companies that are worth discussing on your blog. Extra points if you can incorporate an interview into your piece as well!
20. Ask your Blogger
When all else fails, ask your blogger what topics and content mediums are popular in your industry.
Any blogger worth their salt can give you a list of blog topics are relevant and SEO-friendly.
A successful blog is made up of a thousand well-thought out pieces. But even the most well-written articles can’t be successful without a captivating title to attract readers. We hope this list comes in handy for yours (and your clients’) content campaigns.
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