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by James Perrin on 20th October 2011
Whether you’re thinking of starting your own blog or you’ve already got one up and running, you need to make sure that you have good topics to write about. These topics need to be relevant to your industry as well as being engaging to keep your existing readers interested whilst also attracting new readers.
Blogs are useful for many reasons. Not only are they a great way to keep your readers up-to-date with industry related news and stories, but the more content you have on your site, the more pages that are indexed by search engines. This is hugely beneficial when it comes to ranking and driving more traffic to your site.
However when all is said and done, you need to make sure that you have something to write about, and that can be very hard when you’re all out of ideas. It’s happened to the best of us, so don’t worry. Ideas for blog posts are everywhere, but these are some of the tried and tested methods to ensure you have good topics to write about.
1. Look at Your Traffic
Use analytics to determine which pages on your site have received the most hits. This may be for a particular product or service. From here you can begin to unravel some ideas about a blog topic. For example, if it is about a particular product, you could write a post about the benefits of this particular product or why it is so popular.
2. Look Through Your Comments
Of the blog posts you have written, look through the comments to get additional ideas. Some of the best ideas are put forward (either intentionally or unintentionally) by people who comment. They may have asked questions or provided a provoking thought about that existing topic. You’ll know which posts are the most popular or the most engaging because of the amount of comments made, and if a debate ensues, use the ideas to write a post.
3. Find Out What People Are Talking About
The internet is an astonishing resource of information; if you want to find something, you’ll no doubt find it with a bit of intuition and patience. Likewise, you can use resources such as social media, social bookmarking sites as well as industry related news sources to establish what people are currently talking about. More so you can use traditional media, keep up to date with what’s being said on TV and in the radio as well as the paper, if it’s related to your industry, why not write your own post with your own comments and thoughts?
Making sure you are quick is quite important too as the faster your post is up, the more likely people will read it when the search for the news story. It’s important that you don’t just copy any existing story out on the web, but rather report on it and make your own analysis and comments. Copy that is identical is known as duplicate content, and search engines will penalise any site that uses duplicate content, meaning you’ll face a drop in rankings.
4. Use Lists
Everyone loves lists, they’re quick and easy to read whilst they are always bound to generate a bit of debate as to what deserves to be in there. Aim to write things like, ‘The Top 5 Ways to…’, ’3 main benefits to…’, ’10 reasons why…’. These can be fun and trivial because you’ll be taking a quick look at something relevant. You can make them a bit more serious and informative; it really depends on the topic and the tone of your post.
5. Try Something Different
If you mix up your posts with something entirely different, then this will have a big impact. For example you could hold a contest or give something away to someone who comes up with the correct answer to a question you may have posted. You could write something relevant to the current season, so it could be a fun one about Christmas or Halloween, and why not write an April fools post about something really far-fetched within your industry. Blog posts that are a little different should be written every so often, so you their effectiveness aren’t reduced.
These are just some of the ways to develop blog topics, there are many more ways out there; you’re only limited by your own imagination, so get creating and get writing. If you have any more ideas then please feel free to share these below.