Would you like a formula for increasing your chances of writing a viral post that attracts hundreds of new readers?
How about a simple way to find incredibly interesting topics every day?
You’ve come to the right place my friend.
Let me show you one of my most treasured techniques – Topic Drafting.
It’s Sunday afternoon right now and let’s say that I’m looking for inspiration for my next blog post. I’ll use Topic Drafting to walk you through my process:
1. Go to CNN.com. CNN, the cables news channels provides up-to-date news on almost every topic you can think of. Even better, CNN also is a decent way to determine what’s popular based on an articles prominence on the homepage.
Today, the top 3 topics are:
1. Couple loses 500 pounds in two years
2. The Dongle incident – two employees fired because of overheard joke
3. March Madness: A to Z
From these topics, I have a jumping off point for a:
1. Fitness blog post referencing the couple’s 500 pound weight loss
2. Social media ethics posts using the Dongle incident as an example
3. Personal leadership or team motivation post pointing to the team advancing through the March Madness tournament.
Why Topic Drafting Works
Each of these posts have an immediate “hook” because they reference news that is already popular. Readers feel comfortable with the subject and are intrigued to see how you will connect it with your subject.
It’s also very likely that no one else will use popular, general news as the foundation of your posts. Your posts will be original, interesting and relevant.
Think about it. Most people in your space, look at similar blog topics then write a slightly derivative post based on a common theme. This is often called the “echo chamber”, a situation where everyone copies each others topic leading to a cacophony of bland posts that all say the same thing.
Fixing your attention outside your niche will avoid the lure of the echo chamber and likely catch a popular audience who are interested in the inspiration for your posts. For example, people who search Google for info on the “couple who lost 500 pounds” will likely find your post in the search listing as well perhaps enticing them to visit your blog.
How I Used It
My first Topic Drafting post was “Lady Gaga’s 8-Point Guide to Spectacular Blogging”. This post put Pushing Social on the map attracting the attention of Lady Gaga fans and blogging enthusiasts. I’ve used Topic Drafting almost every month for the last three years talking about everything from “The Fockers and the Circle of Trust”, Tim McGraw, Presidential Debates, and parodying a Superbowl commercial within 30 minutes of its broadcast! Each of these posts brought hundreds of curious readers.
The inspiration for these and other articles came from:
2. Wired Magazing
3. TMZ – yes the TV show!
4. The Superbowl
7. Harvard Business Review
10. The History Channel
Notice that I avoided popular social media sites like:
1. Social Media Examiner
Each of these sites are exceptional but simply commenting on their editorial will draw me into the echo chamber, merely writing rehashed information. Instead, I’ve looked for sites that are outside of my niche but may appeal to my type of reader – smart, curious, driven, creative professionals.
Select your reference sites and start watching them for ideas.
I suggest visiting subscribing to the RSS feeds to get new articles in real time. If you want to watch a particular topic, try Google.com/alerts. Google Alerts will send you an email alert when new information about your topic is posted on the web. Be careful, don’t set-up alerts on your subject, set alerts for other topics you are interested in. From there, take the articles you discover and connect them to your subject –
For example, your blog might focus on parenting but you may be interested in gardening, 5K races, and renaissance artists. Set-up your Google Alerts for these topics and watch for articles that have a general appeal and could be used for Topic Drafting.
Ready to start topic drafting. Comment below if you have any questions.
Go Get ’em