Guide to researching blog topics
So, you decided to try your hand at content marketing and identified your target audience. Now what? You should come up with ideas for your digital PR strategy and present them before the right eyes. That’s what specialized content writing is all about, but it’s not easy. Fortunately, we are here to prevent the panic that you may be experiencing right now and guide you through the process of researching blog topics.
Tips for researching blog topics
Few things in a writer’s life are more terrible than a blank page. But it is an obstacle that you cannot afford to stumble over. Having a blog section on your website is important, so you need to keep going. Remember that creating content is not easy and that other companies are fighting at least as hard as you. Bear in mind the fact that far more people will give up at the “blank page” stage. That makes your success even more valuable for being an exception, not a rule. So, how can you overcome the problem?
Setting goals and parameters
Just as you should have a goal for your overall digital PR strategy, you should also have a goal for each individual piece of content that you create. This can be a simple goal, for example, to really explain a specific concept well or to achieve a certain number of page views or shares. It can also be a more ambitious goal, such as securing a particular client. Or getting your article shared by a specific influential person that you have identified.
Along with goals, there are also parameters. You need to decide what you want to receive from your content, and then assign the appropriate parameters. Time is money, so if you have little time, you need to set a reasonable limit on how much time you will devote to each work. In addition, you can set budget limits depending on how much money you have to play with. Also keep in mind other restrictions, such as access to skills and technology.
Search for inspiration in a swipe file – write what you like
Now is the time to look for inspiration. And what is the better way to start than with what inspires you? Start by browsing the websites you like and get an emotional reaction from them. Analyze how they achieve these effects and whether that can be applied to your business and your content creation format.
Save the ideas you like in a swipe file that you can view when researching blog topics. You can bookmark web pages that you think really do something well. Or save them using programs such as Evernote or sites such as Trello Board and Pinterest.
Write for your audience
Alternatively, if you are not very similar to the target audience that you have identified, you will have to start thinking outside the box. Instead of visiting sites that you like, start visiting sites that they like and write down common topics and issues. For each piece of content, you create, you should be able to explain who the target audience is and why they are going to interact with it.
Stay on trend
Trends are an incredibly important phenomenon that content creators should be aware of. By catching trends in the early stages, you can become widely known in your business. And moving too late to the trend, you will look like an imitator, outdated or, worst of all, boring. To understand what’s trending, you need to use a tool like Google Trends, which shows the amount of search by keywords. This allows you to compare different trends and identify the words that people use to discuss current events.
Pay attention to the news
Relevance is connected with being in a trend. Responding to news and current events is a great way to add something valuable to the conversation before anyone else gets there. Is a new law proposed? Talk out loud about how this law will affect your business. People may not have considered your side of the story, and this might clarify the discussion well. You can use the Google News tab to search for the recently published news.
Competitor analysis – if it works for them, it may work for you
Everything is fair in love and business. No doubt, industry leaders in your area have spent a great deal of time and effort researching blog topics and deciding which ideas are good for creating content in your area. And absolutely nothing prevents you from looking at what they are doing and doing it better than they do.
Tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer and Backlink Watch allow you to see which sites your competitor is receiving backlinks from. Very successful articles usually have more backlinks, so you should take note of articles that get a lot of links. And then try to determine how you could use such methods yourself. Using a tool like Followerwonk will allow you to do the same with Twitter. It also allows you to see what methods market leaders use to attract attention.
Competitor analysis is never about pointless imitation, though. Just doing the same as other people will always leave you one step behind the crowd. Do not try to do what worked for someone else, try to understand why something worked for someone else. And then use this knowledge to create your own content.
Follow the reporters
If you follow the key journalists in your area on Twitter (and you should be), pay attention to their conversations. If they begin to show interest in a particular subject, ask questions or, obviously, conduct research for an article now is the best time to send them a tweet or even write your own article on this topic!
Choosing the best idea
When you select the ideas after researching blog topics, how to choose the best? First things first, go back to your goals and parameters and cross out everything that does not help you achieve your goals or goes beyond the limits that you set yourself. Then cross out anything that’s even slightly boring. When you have only the best ones, get feedback from people around you about what works and what doesn’t. When you have a consensus, you know that you have a winner, and the task of creating content can begin…