October 3, 2018
“What’s a blog topic that could go viral?”
“What are the topics that people want to read about?”
“What are the trends in my industry?”
Thinking of topics, is one of the biggest challenges faced by content marketers on a daily basis. And, finding a good topic to write about is a lot harder than it looks. Thousands of articles get published on a daily basis, but only a few get thousands of likes and shares.
…because they aren’t interesting enough!
If writers pitch a dull topic, then no amount of writing or visuals can help increase its popularity. In contrast, if writers can find an interesting topic, then CTR (click-through-rates) might skyrocket through the roof!
But how do you brainstorm interesting blog topics? How can you determine the topics your readers want to read about? How do you determine the trends in your niche?
We’ve got all the answers.
In this blog post, we’ll give you tips on how to brainstorm blog topics that could go viral!
1. Survey Your Readers
One surprisingly simple way you can determine what your readers want is to ask them!
Yup, it’s as simple as that!
But what should you ask? Here are some sample questions that can help you get started:
1. Are you interested in reading about the following topics?
2. Which type of products (eBook, online course, whitepaper, blog post) do you want to see more of?
3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced when it comes to your [industry]?
4. What level are you at in terms of [topic]? (beginner, advanced, pro)
5. What topics [topic or industry] would you say aren’t being covered online (that you would like to be covered)?
Of course, it’s best to include relevant response options. For instance, if you want ask the question, “what are the topics that you want to read about?” include niche-related topics that you can cover in your blog. This way, respondents don’t end up writing irrelevant answers.
You can also use tools such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey to create your online survey. After that, you can send it to your subscribers via email.
One way you can get readers to answer your survey is to reward them with discounts, giveaways and free products, in exchange for a response.
2. Use Feedly to Find Underground Content
Another trick to finding good blog post topics is to find underground content. For starters, underground content consists of topics that haven’t hit the mainstream.
A tool that I like to use to find promising underground content is Feedly. It’s easy to get started on the platform. I just sign up using my Gmail account. After that, I follow the top websites in my niche. In the example below, I’ve followed Neil Patel.
I’ve also followed top publications in the marketing industry. This includes Hubspot, Marketing Land, Moz Blog, QuickSprout among many others.
Once I select the marketing section, I’m transferred to a page with a list of the most recent posts from the sources I’ve followed. The number in between the publication name and the blog post title is the popularity count. Blog posts with higher popularity counts are obviously more popular than blog posts with low popularity counts.
In the example below, the popularity count for the article “19 technical SEO facts for beginners” is colored orange, because of its high popularity count in the past 14 hours. This tells me that people in the marketing industry want to read about technical SEO, and there might be an SEO tactic in the blog post that I can cover in my blog.
I can also follow keywords such as “content marketing” on Feedly.
When I click the keyword, I am directed to a page where I can view the latest articles about content marketing from news sources from around the world.
3. Use Google Trends
Another tool that I use to find emerging and trending blog topics is Google Trends. This tool helps me find the trending topics in my industry based on certain keywords.
To get started, I type the topic or niche of my blog post. In this example, I’ve entered the topic “marketing”
In the top panel, I can adjust search results based on location, time, category and search type. For this search, I’ve filtered the results to searches in the United States from the past 30 days.
I can then go to the related queries section to discover adjacent topics. For my search on marketing, the related queries include facebook marketing, affiliate marketing, target market, network marketing and sports marketing. This example tells me that writing a piece about “affiliate marketing” is a good idea.
Now I know a blog post topic that a lot of people are searching for.
How Will You Brainstorm Your Next Blog Posts?
When it comes to brainstorming blog topics, the key is to find upcoming trends.
Find what readers click through Google Trends. Follow relevant keywords and determine the most popular blog posts for the past few hours.
The bottom-line is to brainstorm interesting topics. When in doubt, you can always ask subscribers what they want to read about.
Ritu from PageTraffic is a qualified Google Adwords Professional and Content Head at PageTraffic. She has been the spear head for many successful Search Marketing Campaigns and currently oversees Content Marketing operations of SEO India company, PageTraffic.