How to Turn Trending Topics Into Incredible Blog Posts

how to blogA guest post by my colleague, Matt Banner

Blogging is all about knowing your audience. I think that’s something we can all agree upon.

When we start on the path to blogging success, we start by picking a niche, and it is within that very niche that we find out target readers. Everything we do is for them, not for the greater whole, but for the specific people we want to reach.

Given all of this, it’s doubly important that the topics and posts we created resonate with them and appeal to them directly.

It may sound easy, but in many cases, it’s about more than just sticking to your decided subject. You have to dig deeper, find what’s working, and find what questions people in your niche are asking. Answering questions, providing relevant information, these are the greatest goals of any single blog post.

Today’s question is how do we find those key topics for our niche? It’s time to find the answers you seek!

6 Resources That Will Inspire Your Next Pitch-Perfect Post

Now here’s the deal:

You can write the perfect blog post, but if you’re not touching upon the right subject or issue, all of that work was for nothing. Don’t be the person that creates greatness, only to have the target way off from their audience. Use these six resources to help you bridge that connection and create something that is both focused on, and useful to your readers.

1. BuzzSumo

When you begin planning your post, you probably wish you could just go somewhere and see what your audience is sharing. Yeah, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Turns out, many other people had that same thought and decided to make a tool that does just that. Known only as BuzzSumo, this tool allows you to enter a topic, or even a competitor’s website, and see this:


Not bad huh? You can see the top articles from that website or topic and how many times those articles have been shared across various social media platforms. We’re talking Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Seeing what topics are being shared most often is the perfect way to nail down a concept for your next post that adheres to that same idea.

Now, obviously you don’t want to copy what everyone else is doing. You should take these ideas and use them to form your own opinion or solution based on what people have shared. Take it, break it down to the basic parts and then rebuild it in your own way.

2. Google Trends

Even though Google is in total control of your blogging success, they’re not stingy about providing you with tools to help. One such tool is Google Trends, which allows you to see what topics are being searched for most often at any given point. You can see which searches are currently trending, and search for the same trending topics in your niche.

Here’s what was trending overall during the time I was writing this post:


You can start broad with this tool and narrow it down by selecting certain topics using the Google Trends visualizer which allows you to see subjects and click on them to find a list of websites where you can learn more.

3) Quora

I only recently discovered Quora myself, and I must say, it’s something that everyone should use. The site itself is a question/answer service where people can pose questions on any topic and have them answered by someone else who is knowledgeable about that subject. Really easy to use, check out this short demo:


See? All you need to do is type in the subject you blog about and presto! You’ve got a list of questions people are asking about that subject. It’s very simple and very easy to use with real world results.

4. Buzzfeed

While you may not use Buzzfeed for your main source of news, that doesn’t stop this popular site from being a major provider of topics for blogging. Not only are some of the articles focused on blogging in general, but you can find a variety of lists and hilarious joke articles to inspire your next post.

Here’s an example of something that was trending on Buzzfeed as of this writing:


It may seem silly, but there are plenty of topics here to choose from. If you’re feeling a bit humorous, or you just have to the itch to include a few memes in your next post, you’ll find a lot to love here.

5) Topsy

We all know how fast Twitter moves. Trying to keep up with a single feed is like trying to keep up with a stampeding herd of rhinos.

With a tool like Topsy, though, you can look for topics and keywords that have appeared in tweets dating back to 2006! Let’s take a look at a quick example of this tool in action:


6) SurveyMonkey

Our last tool is one that allows you to get your information straight from the source. Sometimes, finding that perfect topic is as simple as asking your audience.

With SurveyMonkey, you can do just that. A quick little survey embedded into your page makes it simple and easy for you to ask the readers a question or present them with a few topics to choose from.


This raw data then converts into topics that you know will resonate with your readers because it came from them.

Wrapping it Up

Knowing your audience is the first step, but getting to know them? That’s the hard part.

These tools are here to help you with just that. Seeking out questions that your readers are asking, looking at trending topics, and asking them through surveys are all fantastic ways to connect with them and find out what they want to see.

Once you have that information, you’ll be poised to write an army of blog posts, each of which will be irresistible to your audience.

Good hunting fellow bloggers, and don’t forget to weigh in with your tactics and strategies in the comments below!

I’m Matt Banner, and like most people, I don’t enjoy making mistakes. That’s why I started On Blast Blog, to help bloggers of all levels avoid common mistakes and embrace strategies that really work!Sign up here to put your blog on blast!


Sue Anne Dunlevie About Sue Anne Dunlevie
Sue Anne Dunlevie helps beginning bloggers succeed online. She works one on one with her clients to give them the tools to achieve their goals. You can find Sue on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


  1. says

    Hi Sue,

    Love the post. Buzzsumo — man, I can’t imagine myself without it. Haha! It is pretty awesome but limited for the free version. Still, not bad at all.

    Oh yes, you nailed it with Quora. Super awesome site to get serious information (and research). It could also be a great traffic generator too!

    Overall, great post!

  2. says

    Hi Matt and Sue,

    These are great resources! I used Quora a long time ago and it may be time to return, but this time for info. I suspect that usefulness of specific resources will vary by market, i.e., foodies probably use different avenues of info-gathering than techies.


    • says

      Believe it or not, tools like Buzzsumo and Quora are really designed for any niche – foodie’s included!

      However, you’re not wrong to say some resources might be more beneficial for some niches over others.

      Continue digging and connecting with others in your niche and you’ll come across those other resources we may not have mentioned!

  3. says

    I haven’t heard of any of these now I’m open to see what they are about. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Zarayna says

    Dear Sue and Matt,

    Just had to comment on this lovely, comprehensive, really useful post – thank you!

    Nothing useful to say or add but am grateful.

    Thank you to both of you.


    • says

      Thanks for reading Zarayana. Knowing that this was useful for you made my day :)

  5. says

    Hi Matt Banner and sue,

    Yes, BuzzSumo seems works amazingly. We need to know which topic is trending and most shareable. For this these tools works greatly.

    Most thanks for sharing Topsy and survey Monkey!!

    Anyway, very useful article you shared with us. Keep it up.

    Have a nice day.

    • says

      So happy you got some use out of it Minhaj!

      Let us know how it works out for you :)

  6. says

    Hi Matt!

    All helpful tools for nailing trending topics fast. I’d add that after seizing the topic, patiently create a helpful post. Some fear on missing the trend, to only publish garbage LOL. Value reigns supreme. Serve it up. Hop on a trend. Create something of substance to grow your blog traffic.

    Thanks for sharing :)


    • says

      Words of the wise.

      Quality and substance will outweigh timeliness trash any day of the week.

      Thanks as always Ryan!

  7. says

    Hi Sue and Matt,

    When it comes to finding out what the buzz is today, then these tools will definitely do their job. I’ve used both Buzzsumo and Topsy and they have helped me with my blog posts as well as for finding influencers within my niche.

    I haven’t used the other ones you mentioned. I signed up with Quora but haven’t dove into it. But i will keep it in my radar and make use of it.

    The only other thing I’ve been doing as far as what’s the talk of the town is just from reading different blog posts. I get some great ideas and a lot of the people who are in my inner circle keep up with the times.

    Thanks for sharing Matt! You two have a great weekend!

      • says

        Quora has been great for me over the years – an endless amount of what’s on the minds of the community.

        I know I can speak for Sue when I can that we’re glad you found this useful! Let us know what you discover.

  8. says

    Hi Matt! Fancy seeing you over here, huh? Great to see you doing some guest posting.

    (Sue, thanks for having Matt!)

    Funny enough, it was Sherman Smith that introduced me to just this week! I hadn’t heard of it before. I’m going to have to play around with it some more.

    Have a great weekend,


  9. says

    I think you revealed the secret of knowing the targeted audience. I use Buzzsumo and Quora to know about the popular topic. Buzzsumo tells about the most popular on social media whereas the Quora tells about the problems that people are facing nearly each topic. When one writes a post that is on popular topic and solve a specific problem, there is high chances that It will go viral.

    Survey monkey is new to me. I would make use of it.

    Thanks for this nice write-up.

    Your fan

    • says

      Hi, Nikhil,

      I was using Buzzsumo but not Quora. I’ve been now checking it out since Matt’s article.

      Thanks for your comment!

  10. says

    This is a really helpful post – thanks Sue Anne for introducing Matt Banner to us.

    I’ve been following trends on Google Trends and Buzz Sumo but must confess I’ve been a bit recalcitrant in terms of creating content from these sources – or anywhere else for that matter. Mee thinks it’s maybe time for a change.

    I also like the look of Quora so will take a look too. Survey Monkey is a useful tool – I use it to survey my list but more from a ‘sales getting’ point of view, than as a way to get pertinent content ideas.

    Thanks guys!


    • says

      I’m also checking out Quora, Kim. I’m glad Matt showed it to us.

      Thanks for commenting!

  11. says

    Hello Sue,

    I use Quora myself and I absolutely love it! I have yet to use Buzzsumo but I definitely would like to try it. I have gotten ideas from other bloggers blog posts and even comments. I am always on the lookout for anything that will help me get ideas. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • says

      I was also happy that Matt shared Quora. I’ve been using Buzzsumo and you will enjoy it.

      Thanks for commenting today!

  12. says

    I recently discovered Quora as well. It’s a real gem of information and inspiration. I knew of the site’s existence before but never new it held such an inspiring punch.

  13. says

    Very nice blogging tools indeed. Thank you for sharing with us newbie bloggers.

  14. says

    Great resources Sue,
    I agree with you on how important it is to know who your audience are as this will enable you to better know what they want and how to give it to them.

    All the tools you mentioned here are really very helpful when it comes to this and I’m already making use of most of them.

    If you really want to succeed in blogging, you have to figure out what your audience really want and then, take it to them.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Theodore Nwangene recently posted…21 Habits of Highly Successful Growth HackersMy Profile

  15. says

    I’m working on tech niche and Quora is very useful to me as it’s a good resources to find ideas for new post.

    It’s very simple by go to Quora, find for a most popular question with huge views and comments, then write about that question or cover the post under my voice.
    Alize Camp recently posted…Google DocsMy Profile

    • says

      I just started using Quora based on Matt’s article – thanks for the additional info, Alize.


  16. says

    Hi Sue,

    Good topic!! Thanks for sharing great resource from where we can find trends. I am aware of Google Trends and Twitter tredns till now. I have used Google Trends and Twitter trends for few of my blog posts and i get maximum traffic on that post. It was really great experience to me and after that i follow this method.

    Thanks for sharing such valuable information

  17. says

    Worthy tools to get blog ideas. Normally, I browse my competitor’s site and see to get some idea. When am done with his site, I shift to google suggestion and type my relevant keyword terms and see for blogs and get the topic.

    I never tried these tools, seems very useful thanks for the write up.

  18. says

    I always say that it is more effective to work for your audience rather than just working for a search engine bots. Buzzsumo, Google trends, Buzzfeed and Quora are definitely the tools that help to make blogging effective.
    Gaurav Kumar recently posted…How To Make Your Blog SexyMy Profile

  19. says

    Hi Sue Ma’am
    These are some great tips and I have never heard about them. However, I have heard about Google trends but I never thought that such websites can be useful for blogging. Searching trending posts is a great idea and I think I should start with BuzzSumo.
    Thank you for sharing this post.
    Mohit farswan recently posted…How To Download Youtube Videos For Mobile And PCMy Profile

  20. says

    Usually I use Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool, to make it more optimal more professional blogger reccomend paid IM tools such us Market Samurai combine with Long Tail Pro. But it need your good instinct to win in page one.

  21. says

    Hi Sue and Matt,

    What an informative post. I actually learned from it.

    I’ve used buzzsumo and I must say its a great tool.
    I have heard of Quora but I have not tried it out, will do that soon. As for the other tools, this is my first time hearing of them and what amazed me more was seeing that Google has such tool.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a blissful day!

    • says

      Hi, Kore,

      Matt’s article showed me Quora also and now I’m using it. Very helpful!

      Thanks for commenting.

  22. says

    Hi Sue and Matt,

    These are awesome … love the Donald Trump example! Anything with Trump should be trendy these days. And Topsy is new to me too!


    • says

      So did I – the caterpillar was a great one!

      Thanks for commenting, Cathy.

  23. says

    Quora is always been my favorite place for finding the best topic to write. I am currently active on quora and found out it’s great for getting traffic also. I just follow the people the main category related to my blog and whenever someone adds the question I write the post based on that and its working great!

    Thanks for the useful post!

    Best Regards.
    Saqib Ahmad recently posted…One Page Professional Employee Resume Template Free DownloadMy Profile

    • says

      I’m new to Quora and am glad it’s working for you, Saqib.

      Thanks for your comment today.

  24. says

    Hey Matt, you have written an extraordinary article. I love to use BuzzSumo and Quora.

    Quara is very helpful website to know what your audience are asking for. Just search your topic and see the results.

  25. says

    Hi Matt,

    Nice to see your content on sue’s blog. Thank you for giving tips to make trending topics into blog post. This is what I am going to start trying to more often now. Not only to get some Google love, but to capture the attention of more readers.

    People like to read about the latest news, gossip, and entertainment. Thank you for your great tips.

    Kind Regards
    Yasin Rishad
    Yasin Rishad recently posted…Seopressor Vs Yoast Which Is Best Seo PluginMy Profile

  26. says

    Hi Sue and Matt,

    “The Donald” made me laugh out loud!

    I love to pop into industry forums as well. By which I mean if I’m writing about home repairs, I’ll go into a home improvement forum and look for the one thing that people are ranting about. Angry comments are gems.
    Rhonda Chapman recently posted…How can copywriters help you boost search engine visibility?My Profile

    • says

      I loved that caterpillar also, Rhonda!

      Thanks for your comment on Matt’s post.

  27. says

    I’ve used some of these before and I can say they do help. I sometimes spend way too much time trying to find a perfect topic for my blog so that it matches my style and previous content.

    Nevertheless these tools are really useful and can be used for more than just finding out trending topics.

    Great post Thanks,


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