Unique, interesting, and relevant ideas are a business blog’s oxygen.
Increasingly, I’m seeing general interest blogs getting beat by small and nimble blogs who find creative ways to identify new topics. It’s not enough to simply write about Pinterest photo tips ad 3x a week. Readers are demanding content that offers unique value.
The good news is that as the appetite for unique content is matched by tools that make finding blog topic ideas easier. We’ll review several today.
I recommend that you register for the Content Toolbox to continue getting blog topic information like what we’ll share in this post. The Toolbox is where we go in-depth on how to use these tools in your business. Sign-up for free here.
Quick Ways to Get Awesome Topics
Twitter is your real-time view into topics that are popular now. While Twitter’s search features aren’t as intuitive a Google, you can still use it for topic inspiration.
I suggest using the following search queries to unearth potential topics:
Review the tweets listed. Look for common questions. Common questions attract the most readers and serve as the launching point for new readers. Also consider obscure questions. More “niche” questions will attract readers over time.
Review popular hashtags
Hashtags are the shorthand of Twitter. Many tweets are peppered with hashtags, some #createdonthespot and others meticulously advertised like #SMSS15. You can use popular hashtags as a guidepost to potential blog topics. Use a service like http://hashtagify.me/ to find popular hashtags and the tweets containing them. From there, view the conversations looking for potential topics.
With over a billion users half a billion users who check Facebook every day, you can’t ignore the vast research opportunity. Try this:
It’s likely you’ve already attracted a network of people who have sought you out for advice. Ask your audience with a simple question or poll. Make your questions specific and open-ended. You want to encourage detailed answers that reveal the question and the motivation/need behind the question.
Go ahead and post follow-up questions to encourage posters to offer more detail. Your active engagement will encourage “lurkers” to jump in and offer their questions.
Use Facebook’s powerful search engine to get a direct line to influencers and niche groups for your subject.
Pay special attention to:
1. Page Suggestions: Facebook will suggest pages that are relevant to your search query. Visit these pages and look for questions and perspectives that work as blog posts.
2. Public Posts: Facebook users tend to write detailed questions and recount their personal experiences. Read between the lines and pull out topics that would be relevant to your blog audience.
Business bloggers often overlook the topics hidden in their blog’s metric data! Here’s where to look for potential blog topics:
1. Login to Google Analytics and click the Behavior link (left-hand sidebar), Site Content, and Landing Pages
2. Review the top 10 list of your most popular blog posts. Can you write a new version of any of these posts? Can you offer a new twist?
Top Posts Shared on Social
1. Select Acquisition -> Social – Overview -> Shared URL.
2. Review the list of top Shared URLs. These are the top pages shared on social networks. Since people want to share the most valuable info, this list will show you which post topics do well on social platforms. Look for ways to update, repurpose, or ad a new perspective to past winners.
Question and Answer sites make it easy for anyone to ask popular thought leaders, and passionate communities just about anything. Quora is one of my favorite Q&A sites. Quota tends to attract a more technically savvy audience base. The site also closely moderates question and answer quality which has led excellent content and high engagement between experts and questioners. Try this:
Search by questions
Visit Quora and add enter your question into the search field. Quora will return questions asked by other users related to your question. Many of the questions can be directly used as blog post topics.
Pay special attention to questions that are asked a variety of ways. Usually this means that the answers provided aren’t answering the question.
Every few months I revisit my suggestions for finding blog topics. In the past these have been public posts, but in the future we will publish updates in The Content Toolbox. Sign-up for free here for access.