Consider these stats:
- Marketers who blog are 13 times more likely to drive a positive ROI, as compared to marketers who don’t blog.
- B2B marketers that engage in blogging get 67% more leads than their non-blogging counterparts.
- 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority.
It is clear that blogging is an effective marketing strategy and an indispensable part of the process of optimising a website for search engine performance. It is also clear that this truth is not lost on most marketers.
Be that as it may, producing high-quality blog content consistently is a known marketing challenge. In fact, 60% of marketers struggle with creating engaging blog content.
While there are many challenges that may deter marketers from creating engaging blogging content, most of these challenges can be overcome with the help of a professional content writer.
However, the one challenge associated with creating engaging blog posts that you have to overcome on your own is finding things to write about, aka, finding website topics/blog topics.
If you are struggling with the same challenge, you’ve landed on the correct page.
In the following sections, we will be showing you how you can create a detailed blogging strategy that allows you to further build a blog backed by a virtually endless supply of relevant and focused blog post ideas.
But before we do that, let’s talk about the topic finding advice that is already available on the internet. When you look up the subject on a search engine like Google, you will be presented with hundreds of articles. Perhaps that’s how you found this one.
In this list, you may find a few common pieces of advice like browsing social media to find topics of interest, or going through the comment section of top industry blogs to find unanswered questions, or heading to.
While these are all great ways to find some truly potent blog topics, these strategies are not sustainable. Since success with blogging is a long game, having a consistent and dependable strategy to generate blog topics is indispensable.
Let’s see how you can create such a strategy:
Step 1: Determine Your Objectives
The first step to creating any successful online strategy is to be clear about your goals and objectives. Be it a social media campaign, a landing page design, or in this case, a blog.
In the case of blogging, in order to be successful, you must first determine what you want as an outcome of your blogging efforts. Some examples of objectives are:
- Generating more website traffic
- Lead Generation
- Establishing industry authority
- Informing and educating prospects (visibility)
- Boosting conversions
Remember, at the end of the day, your blog content is also a form of marketing communication. When you know what you want to achieve with this particular marketing strategy (blogging), you can use the knowledge to guide your choices of topics in the following steps.
While ‘generating more traffic’ is a great objective to get started with, it is also advisable to make your goals very specific and in turn, measurable. For instance, if traffic is your objective, you must specify how much more traffic you want.
By doing this, it will be easier to keep track of your progress, and the effectiveness of your efforts.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
At this point, you may be thinking that you (thankfully) already have identified the target audience for your product.
However, it is important to remember that your blog is not only meant to be read by interested prospects. It will also be read by other industry experts, thought leaders, and people that are closely similar to your ideal buyer persona but not quite it.
Even if we only consider potential prospects, you can have different buyer personas for prospects at different stages of the buying cycle.
For instance, some may have just realised that they have a problem (Example: “I need to edit photos”). On the other hand, others may need convincing that your product/service is the best solution to their problem (Example: Which photo editing apps are the best?). There may also be others that like your product but are not so sure about your brand’s credibility and your ability to live up to your claims (Example: photo editing app reviews).
While the personas of all these prospects may closely resemble each other, it is important to understand the subtle differences in them in order to be able to target your communication (blog topics) to nudge them closer to being a paying customer with relevant content.
Another benefit of producing relevant content is ensuring your website is perceived as ‘trustworthy’. This perception is elemental in ensuring your content production efforts don’t backfire in the form of a search engine penalty.
Before moving to the next step, it is also important to determine the content positioning of your website blog. There are two broad options available:
- Publications publish newsworthy content that has a short shelf life but great potential to drive a spike of traffic to the website
- Libraries publish in-depth content that has a long shelf life. Content assets like guides and lists stay relevant for a long time and if used correctly, have the potential to drive a consistent stream of traffic to the website for a long time, sometimes stretching into years.
You don’t have to choose one out of the two options. However, if you decide to employ both, you will have to determine how much effort you will be investing in either. A general rule of thumb is to expend 80% of your efforts in creating content for your website library, and 20% of efforts in creating publication content.
Step 3: Create Content Silos
Now that you have understood your audience and determined your objectives, it is time to start generating topics.
This first step in this direction is creating content silos.
A content silo is basically a broad category of content pieces on relevant topics. Consider it sort of like those focused blog websites that only talk about one particular topic.
For instance, for a marketing agency website, a good content silo would be one of paid social media advertising. Within this silo, the agency will talk about topics like:
- Interest targeting
- Campaign budget optimization
- Ad copywriting
- Using visuals for social media ads
- Advertising on various platforms (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
Now, many of these topics are pretty broad and may have many ‘sub-topics’ that the agency can write about. For instance, if we consider the example of ad copywriting, there are many things to learn.
From best practices to writing copies for different industries, different objectives, and different audiences. If explained in the right manner, each one of these topics can be transformed into a full-length blog post.
So, by now, you have a content silo, a bunch of broad content topics within that silo, and a bunch of focused topics within the broad categories.
The flow should look something like this:
Content Silo —> Broad Content Category —-> Focused Blog Posts
Once you’ve got this down, you can then create a dedicated content silo for each one of your buyer personas.
Bonus Tip: How To Use Content Silos To Boost SEO Performance
Content silos can be used to boost the SEO performance of your entire website. Here’s how:
- Make sure each content silo targets a medium to high volume keyword. You’re looking for a business-relevant keyword that has a monthly search volume between 1,000-10,000. These numbers are not rigid and may vary for various industries.
- With each broad category, try to target a long-tail keyword. For instance, the ad copywriting category can target ‘how to write effective social media ad copy’.
- Within your blog posts, make sure you target even more specific keywords, like ‘ad copy best practices for LinkedIn ads’.
- Now, make sure all these pages are interlinked. This means, the silo page is linking to the category pages and the category pages are linking to blog post pages, and vice versa. It is also a good idea to establish an interlinking network within the blog posts as well.
By doing this, you can ensure that even if one piece of content in a content silo is performing well, the whole silo enjoys its benefits. With consistent effort, you may be able to rank for the high volume keyword being targeted by the silo page. However, till the time it happens, you can ensure that your website is still showing up high in the search results of relevant long-tail keywords.
Step 4: Build And Expand Topic List
You may or may not have generated a few topics in the previous steps, but by this point, you should be sure about a few general directions that can guide your topic choices.
Now, we brainstorm.
There are three basic types of content that a brand can generate:
- Product/Service related topics: These topics generally focus on the problems that your product/service can help your target audience to solve. Many content pieces that fall under this category are directly promoting the product/service. The point of this type of content is to position your product/service as the ideal solution in the mind of the reader.
- User-centric topics: While all your topics should be user-centric, the ones falling in this category will talk about user problems that they can solve on their own, with a little bit of guidance from your blog content. This type of content is usually used to build industry authority and credibility for a brand.
- Niche Topics: These will probably make the biggest chunk of your blog content. Such topics usually revolve around current industry-specific trends. These can be controversial in nature, or simply informational. The objective here is to produce content that caters to your target personas that may not necessarily be your buyer personas, but may still be involved in your industry or in a relevant industry.
Here are a few ideas using which you can generate/find topics for each of these categories:
- Competitor keyword research is a great way to find the keywords your competition is ranking for. It is also a great idea to conduct competitor research on your competitor’s blog pages to find out which short and long-tail keywords they are targeting with the content. Out of these, you can start generating content around the keywords and topics that have generated the maximum engagement.
- Google Trends is also a great place to find trending and relevant topics for your blog section.
- Finally, you can also use Reddit to find topics. Simply go on the platform to find as many industry-relevant subreddits as you can. Then, in each of these, you can filter out the conversations by ‘hot’ or ‘top’ to find the most trending and active discussions. In most cases, these discussions prove to be a gold mine of topics that you can target with your blog.
Step 5: Prioritize Content Production
Whether you are writing the content yourself or outsourcing it to a pro, it is important to prioritize. This prioritization can be done on the basis of a variety of factors or metrics discussed throughout this blog post.
If your objective is conversion, you may want to develop content within the silo that directly targets your ideal buyer personas. Similarly, if your objective is to rank on the search engines, you can create content for topics that target low competition keywords.
You can also prioritize your content to match with the current industry trends or with upcoming updates and features of your product (if any).
After you have determined your goals, understood your audience, researched topic ideas and produced content, make sure you don’t forget to optimize the same for search engine performance. Moreover, simply building a blog filled with superb content is not enough to achieve digital success, you have to promote your content. Social media marketing and email marketing are perhaps the two most effective ways to get your blog content in front of the right eyes.
We hope that this guide will come handy for the readers that are looking for new topic ideas. We would also encourage you to share your own unique ideas for blog topic generation in the comment section below.
This is a guest post by Sahil Kakkar. Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch – a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever-growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.
Other posts by Sahil
- How to Identify FAKE Social Media Influencers
- Simple Strategies to Optimize Your Stock Photography Website
- How To Run A Successful Facebook Ads Campaign
- How To Get Started With Podcast SEO
- How Social Media Affects Your SERP Visibility
- How to Boost Audience Engagement Using Interactive Marketing
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