As a content specialist, I spend each day working on tactics to help drive more traffic to our clients’ websites. Tactics that include optimizing web page content and writing ad copy, meta descriptions, title tags, and even performing website content audits, but what takes up the majority of my time is blog writing. Lots and lots of blog writing.
First of all, I really enjoy writing blogs, but I am human and must confess that sometimes the last thing I feel capable of doing is stringing a sentence together. If you’re someone in a similar field or manage your own website and blog, then you’ve probably run into to the dreaded writer’s block, too. And when it hits, it’s like being in a staring competition with your monitor, desperately waiting for the other to blink first.
Unfortunately, in my field of work I don’t have time to play games with my monitor, so I decided to develop a system to help me quickly generate topics that will drive traffic and get me inspired to write.
If you don’t spend your time writing blogs but have an interest in learning more about what a blog is and why it matters, then let me explain that first and then I’ll dive into how I prep to write.
What is a blog?
A blog is a page on your website, or an entire website in and of itself, that serves as a platform for sharing information, tips, advice and hot topic trends related to your brand or industry. It acts as a conversation between you and your readers, it’s informal and should answer questions and share information worth knowing.
The content in your blog should be relevant to your industry, and most importantly, it shouldn’t be all about you (your brand), it shouldn’t be a sales pitch.
When you are writing a blog, remember that your readers chose to visit your site because they’re already interested in your brand and want to learn more about your opinions, your experience, observations and emerging trends related to what you do best — whatever that may be!
Now, let’s chat about how to generate topics your readers want to read.
How to start a blog
There are three tactics I use to help generate topic ideas for client blog posts, and they don’t necessarily follow a 1-2-3 order. The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “what is the purpose of my post?”
Are you trying to reach more traffic for a specific service or product you sell? Or, are you simply interested in sharing your expertise with your readers? Obviously the main purpose of every post is to drive traffic and convert, but sometimes the goal is more specific, while other times more general.
Generating blog topics for a product or service
You are the leader of your industry and the expert behind your products and services, so you should be the source for your industry’s how-tos, what not to dos, DIYs and more. But as an expert, it’s easy to have tunnel vision and miss the opportunity to answer common questions that you might assume are common knowledge.
With the help of Google Analytics and other web tools, you can find out just what product pages your traffic visits the most, and then search that product or service to find out what conversations are happening around it online.
Once you have a strong grasp of the types of conversations happening around your specific product or service, perform an SEO keyword research to get an idea of how much competition you have on the topic and how often it’s getting searched.
If your goal is more general, then start by performing an Internet search on other industry leaders or trends happening within your industry, then SEO the topics you pull from your search.
What is SEO and why does it matter for a blog?
SEO (search engine optimization) is the main player in optimizing the keywords that users organically use in a search engine for an unpaid result when searching the web.
Basically, the reason why a blog post should be written with optimized content is to get Google’s spiders that crawl the internet for relevant info to land on your site, deem your business as the best and most relevant source for info inquiry and rank your post higher up on the SERP.
For example, let’s pretend for a second that you eavesdropped on a conversation about a celebrity getting a pony for Christmas, and you’re dying to find out who it was, so in the search engine you type , “celebrity gets pony.”
You’ll notice that at the top of the search engine is E!Online and Perez Hilton’s blog post with the announcement. He didn’t rank that high out of luck.
Blog about what’s trending
There are millions of us searching, reading, learning, and sharing information on the Internet everyday, all of which Google tracks. When drafting your blog, check out what’s trending and add it to your post to pick up more traffic.
Keep in mind, you can’t just plug in any old trending topic. Your content and the trending topic still needs to be relevant to your post in order to not offend a reader visiting or get flagged by Google and removed entirely. It’s also important to point out that traffic will go up, which is great if that’s your goal, but you won’t necessarily get more conversions.
Eliminating Writer’s Block for Bloggers
I really enjoy writing blogs, but I am human and have experienced the struggle of writer’s block. If you’re someone in a similar field or manage your own website and blog, then you’ve probably run into to it too. My strategy to eliminate writer’s block and generate blog topics quicker starts with a quick review of traffic to your site’s pages, an in-depth keyword research on topics, services or products related to your industry and incorporate trending topics to reach more people.