What Do I Blog About?

AKA: 3 Ways to Discover Blog Topics

How do I find what to blog about? That question hits every blogger with the same intensity after the company blog has been launched, the initial excitement has faded and you’re suddenly faced with the daunting task of feeding the blog beast with fresh content on a recurring basis. Honestly, there won’t always be a press release to announce or a product to launch.

The solution? Take on three roles: become a detective, a news junkie, and a spy.

Your Incoming Search Terms will Show You What to Blog About

Becoming a detective means using Google Analytics to look at the inbound traffic to your website. What search terms (AKA keywords) are they typing to get to you? If you’ve written your content with SEO in mind, the answers shouldn’t be surprising for the most part. However there may be search terms used that you never thought of. There will even be a few funny ones which I promise will make you laugh aloud.

Action: Take these surprise search terms and use them as SEO keywords, blog titles, blog topics, and social media content. After all, if a good number of visitors are already finding you through these search terms, you ought to give them exactly what they came for.

Monitoring Headlines via RSS Reader Will Show You What to Blog About

You’re probably already a news junkie, but if you aren’t, this tip is for you. There is a river of news waiting for anyone with an internet connection. Wading through the river requires a useful tool known as the RSS reader. (If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, read this.) RSS feeds allow you to keep track of blogs and websites within your industry without having to visit each individual URL.

Action: Sign up for a Feedly account and start following RSS feeds of your favorite blogs. Or you could use a service like Prismatic or Flipboard to follow topics of interest.

TIP: Limit your news consumption to a specific time of day so you don’t drown in info overload. Then find inspiration for blog posts from trending topics, from stories that have exploded over the internet and from news within your space.

Reading Your Competitors’ Blogs Will Show You What to Blog About

And finally, you need to be a spy. Add your competitors’ blogs to your RSS reader and monitor what they’re talking about. There shouldn’t be any shame in following them or even quoting them in your own blog posts if they have some input on a topic you want to tackle.

Action: The trick to beating your competitors at their own game is to use Google’s Keyword Tool to find a blog post title by your competitor that contains keywords that people are actively searching for. You then hijack these keywords, write a better post, and pepper your post with one or two more relevant keywords. You can then watch how your blog post climbs up the search engine results page — hopefully higher than your competition.

Any other tips for figuring out what to blog about? Hit the comments and share, after all we’re all learning here.

IMAGE CREDITS: “Blogging when the children have gone to bed, after Carl Larsson” by Mike Licht on Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

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