How to brainstorm good blog ideas?
I get students asking me how I come up with so many angles for content optimization. I don’t really have a magic answer. I wish I could say “drugs”. But we all know that at best, drugs lead to something like this, not to a good content brainstorm:
To generate great content every week you’ll need strong organization, clear direction, and maybe just a little help. While the process of blog writing is different for everyone, here are a few tips I can share so that you never have to fear an empty Google Doc again!
1. Know Your Shit
Stop talking to yourself. It’s boring and nobody wants to read that. Talk to people about themselves, they’ll love you for it! OK, but some of you are not here to get all the love in the world. Some of you need love, SEO traffic, quality leads and maybe some good skincare advice (wear SPF kids, it’s important).
Bottom line is: spend time Googling keywords and topics. Check out what people want and what people need. Go visit these sites to get your started:
- Google Trends
- Google Autocomplete (it’s that thing where you type what you want in the Google search bar and use the results as keywords)
2. Lurk for Your Life
Lurk for your life but I also call it competitive insights to sound more like the professional that I am. It can be tempting to dismiss your competitor’s product and branding, but do not underestimate the impact that their services can have on your own reach. Your competitors are a treasure trove of information of what works and what doesn’t. Their costly mistakes can be your own free research through careful market analysis. Here are three points to consider from your competition to optimize your own blogs:
Find what attracts your audience to your competitor
Use an SEO to see what keywords rank well in your competitor’s posts and see how your own work can incorporate changing industry trends. There are many tools such as BuzzSumo that will allow you to enter the URL of their blog and see which content was ranked well for competitive keywords. Adapt your own blog to originally incorporate this data.
Find your Competitors’ Unpopular Blog Posts
See what posts failed to resonate with their audience by using a SEO to see what posts were the least shared, then discover what content they were missing. For additional information wade into the comments section of their blog to see what people took to the time to raise as issues. Resolve these errors in your own posts.
Smart Data Needs to Lead to Smart Decisions
Develop a Competitive Analysis strategy to incorporate these aforementioned tactics to use your competition to improve your own services. Identify the most successful blogs in your field and use tools to gather data about them. All of this data is only useful if it is processed so using a tool like Mention can help plot trends, identify key terms, and elucidate complex relationships between variables. Once your dashboard is established compare your own data to your competitor’s.
3. Curate your Content
Content curation demonstrates your brand’s personality and the type of news, articles, and infographics you share can show you are on top of industry trends. Curation also allows you to scale up your impact without exhausting your resources of original content. By showing your audience that your brand is tapped into key social streams you can earn a reputation of being informed and show how your own product is relevant to the curated content.
Curate Tutorials that Complete a Full Project
When curating how-to guides string them into several stages and insert your own brief analysis of what should be accomplished at the end of each stage. This way you are doing some of the work for your audience who want to learn a specific task while also demonstrating the relevance of your own brand to their project.
Curate Content Relevant to Current Events
Once you’ve identified content relevant to your brand use the content others created to show how your own materials fill missing gaps in the industry. For example, if your own brand in content management identifies popular keywords curate content that shows the need for efficient SEO. Demonstrate the problem that you are providing a solution to by successfully curating an archive of the issues you resolve.
4. Use the Right Tools in the Right Way
Title generators, content idea engines, and topic archives are all tools that the industry has available to streamline your work. Think of these generators and analyzers as planting the seeds of good content. Alone they may not go garner much attention but with proper care and support they can grow into successful posts. If you rely too much on generators your content may seem generic, but with just a little bit of extra work you can make ideas from online tools flourish in their own way.