How To: Come up with a brilliant blog idea
Most business blogs come under four main categories:
- Instructional or ‘How To’ e.g. How to make a gingerbread house.
- List Based e.g. The twelve best gingerbread houses that have ever been made.
- Curated e.g. “Why this is the best gingerbread video you’ll ever see”
- Newsjacking e.g. Why the gingerbread man won the Presidential election.
There's been a shift in the creation of online content that "quality is the new SEO" In other words Google's latest algorithms are finely attuned to seek out the best quality content on a certain subject and serve that up at the top of the search rankings.
In a bygone era one would be able to research a keyword, stuff a blog full of references to that keyword and google would recognise that as the best blog on the topic. Those days are long gone.
The Google algorithm is now much more sophisticated and recognises well written pieces that genuinely answer a person's query or peaks their interest. (We’re grateful for this)
A sure-fire way to ensure your content is seen as quality is by writing blogs that directly answer your potential customers' queries in an instructional post.
So a great business blog will pick up on the things your audience really wants to know and answer those questions in a clear, informative manner. That will mean when the blog posts are discovered, your readers will stay on the page for longer, sending a valuable 'trust signal' to google that the blog post should be trusted as useful information.
Every blog you write must appeal to your target audience. So answering all the most important questions your potential customers have about your niche is a great way to inform the titles of your blog posts.For some companies that's going to mean answering only a few questions, for others it will be hundreds.
For small businesses, micro businesses and startups where the blogging is often kept in house, it may be wise to follow the following paths:
Option 1 - Google Predictive Search
For a few years now Google has predicted your full question or search query before you finish typing it.
If you start typing your potential blog topic into a search bar and Google doesn't finish it off for you, chances are not a significant amount of people are searching for that term online.
That's not necessarily a bad thing if you are appealing to a super-niche market. But it's a great starting point to test the viability of a good topic for your next blog post.
Option 2 - Search Quora and other Q&A sites
Quora is the premium website for getting your questions answered by people who know more about a subject than you.It's actually a pretty good place to spend time if you want to get recognised for your expertise online (and ultimately in the wider media) - but that's a subject for another blog post.
Option 3 - Direct Customer Feedback & Market Research
What are the questions that people are asking you during the set up of you business? Is there a big problem that you are trying to solve? Here at BuzzRamp we ask "
What's the biggest issue in getting media interest in your business?" whenever we get the chance, either via a conversation with our audience or via an email list.
We also run a meet up group on media relations for small businesses in London.
As part of the sign up process for this group it's compulsory to for all members to answer the question: (What's the biggest issue in getting media interest in your business?) which keeps a constant trickle of market research and potential blog post titles/ideas coming in. It's a golden source of blog post ideas, so be sure to keep your stock piled high!
This is a case of taking the most popular keywords that people are searching for in your niche and turning them into a list article.
For example, if you are a marketing agency in London don't be afraid to create a list of the top 10 marketing agencies in London and put them on your website (ensuring you're number 1 of course)
The more authoritative the list the better, if someone has already produced a list that is performing well for a certain keyword, try and beat it.
For example, if someone has written a list of the top 10 cat grooming salons in the U.K, make a list of the top 20. Google (in time) will see your list as superior.
Think of a curated post as an extended social media post. It's when you've pulled in a piece of content that you've read, seen or heard online and analyse it.
This is a great way of leveraging other people's content to great effect and demonstrating that you're up to date with what's going on in the world you operate in.
Be sure to save content that you come across and think will be useful, either by Bookmarking it or sending yourself an email.
When writing about the content, ensure that you show a link to the original to give it some clear context.
Newsjacking is when you take an existing story or trend and fit your story around it. People are more likely to read your piece if it has something they already recognise within it.
A simple way to do this is during public holidays, if you're an online plat retailer you could have a blog posts titled "Flowers that light up a Thanksgiving table"
Another way is to piggy back onto unexpected events, for example, if there was a storm (and you're still an online plant retailer) you could have a blog post about "10 plants that survive storms"
A great example of Newsjacking by the Salvation Army.
Thanks for reading
Until the next time
The Buzzramp Team