A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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+.