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Blog Post Ideas: Maximize Your Reach with the Right Topics – Whiteboard&nbspFriday

Home/SEO blog/Blog Post Ideas: Maximize Your Reach with the Right Topics – Whiteboard&nbspFriday

Blog Post Ideas: Maximize Your Reach with the Right Topics – Whiteboard&nbspFriday

With the ubiquity of blogs, one of the questions we hear the
most is how to come up with the right topics for new posts. In
today’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores six
different paths to great blog topic ideas, and tells you what
you need to keep in mind before you start.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution
version in a new tab!

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard
Friday. This week, we’re going to chat about blog post ideas,
how to have great ones, how to make sure that the topics that
you’re covering on your blog actually accomplish the goals that
you want, and how to not run out of ideas as well.

The goals of your blog

So let’s start with the goals of a blog and then what an
individual post needs to do, and then I’ll walk you through
kind of six formats for coming up with great ideas for what to
blog about. But generally speaking, you have created a blog,
either on your company’s website or your personal website or
for the project that you’re working on, because you want to:

Attract a certain audience, which is great.

Capture the attention and amplification, the sharing
of certain types of influencers, so that you can
grow that audience.

Rank highly in search engines. That’s not
just necessarily a goal for the blog’s content itself. But
one of the reasons that you started a blog is to grow the
authority, the ranking signals, the ability to rank for the
website as a whole, and the blog hopefully is helping with
that.

Inspire some trust, some likeability, loyalty, and
maybe even some evangelism from your readers.

Provide a reference point for their
opinions. So if you are a writer, an author, a
journalist, a contributor to all sorts of sources, a speaker,
whatever it is, you’re trying to provide a home for your
ideas and your content, potentially your opinions too.

Covert our audience to take an action. Then,
finally, many times a blog is crafted with the idea that it
is a first step in capturing an audience that will then take
an action. That could be buy something from you, sign up for
an email list, potentially take a free trial of something,
maybe take some action. A political blog might be about,
“Call your Congress person.” But those types of actions.

What should an individual post do?

From there, we get into an individual post. An individual post
is supposed to help with these goals, but on its own doesn’t do
all of them. It certainly doesn’t need to do more than one at a
time. It can hopefully do some. But one of those is, generally
speaking, a great blog post will do one of these four things
and hopefully two or even three.

I. Help readers to accomplish a goal that they
have.

So if I’m trying to figure out which hybrid electric vehicle
should I buy and I read a great blog post from someone who’s
very, very knowledgeable in the field, and they have two or
three recommendations to help me narrow down my search, that is
wonderful. It helps me accomplish my goal of figuring out which
hybrid car to buy. That accomplishment of goal, that helping of
people hits a bunch of these very, very nicely.

II. Designed to inform people and/or entertain
them.

So it doesn’t have to be purely informational. It doesn’t have
to be purely entertainment, but some combination of those, or
one of the two, about a particular topic. So you might be
trying to make someone excited about something or give them
knowledge around it. It may be knowledge that they didn’t
previously know that they wanted, and they may not actually be
trying to accomplish a goal, but they are interested in the
information or interested in finding the humor.

III. Inspiring some amplification and linking.

So you’re trying to earn signals to your site that will help
you rank in search engines, that will help you grow your
audience, that will help you reach more influencers. Thus,
inspiring that amplification behavior by creating content that
is designed to be shared, designed to be referenced and linked
to is another big goal.

IV. Creating a more positive association with the
brand.

So you might have a post that doesn’t really do any of these
things. Maybe it touches a little on informational or
entertaining. But it is really about crafting a personal story,
or sharing an experience that then draws the reader closer to
you and creates that association of what we talked about up
here — loyalty, trust, evangelism, likeability.

6 paths to great blog topic ideas

So knowing what our blog needs to do and what our individual
posts are trying to do, what are some great ways that we can
come up with the ideas, the actual topics that we should be
covering? I have kind of six paths. These six paths actually
cover almost everything you will read in every other article
about how to come up with blog post ideas. But I think that’s
what’s great. These frameworks will get you into the mindset
that will lead you to the path that can give you an infinite
number of blog post ideas.

1. Are there any unanswered or poorly answered questions that
are in your field, that your audience already has/is asking,
and do you have a way to provide great answers to those?

So that’s basically this process of I’m going to research my
audience through a bunch of methodologies, going to come up
with topics that I know I could cover. I could deliver
something that would answer their preexisting questions, and I
could come up with those through…

Surveys of my readers.

In-person meetings or emails or interviews.

Informal conversations just in passing
around events, or if I’m interacting with members of my
audience in any way, social settings.

Keyword research, especially questions.

So if you’re using a tool like Moz’s Keyword
Explorer, or I think some of the other ones out there,
Ahrefs might
have this as well, where you can filter by only questions.
There are also free tools like Answer the
Public, which many folks like, that show you what people
are typing into Google, specifically in the form of questions,
“Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Do?” etc.

So I’m not just going to walk you through the ideas. I’m also
going to challenge myself to give you some examples. So I’ve
got two — one less challenging, one much more challenging. Two
websites, both have blogs, and coming up with topic ideas based
on this.

So one is called Remoters. It’s remoters.net. It’s run by Aleyda Solis, who
many of you in the SEO world might know. They talk about remote
work, so people who are working remotely. It’s a content
platform for them and a service for them. Then, the second one
is a company, I think, called Schweiss Doors. They run hydraulicdoors.com. Very B2B. Very, very niche.
Pretty challenging to come up with good blog topics, but I
think we’ve got some.

Remote Worker: I might say here, “You know
what? One of the questions that’s asked very often by remote
workers, but is not well-answered on the internet yet is: ‘How
do I conduct myself in a remote interview and present myself as
a remote worker in a way that I can be competitive with people
who are actually, physically on premises and in the room? That
is a big challenge. I feel like I’m always losing out to them.
Remote workers, it seems, don’t get the benefits of being there
in person.'” So a piece of content on how to sell yourself on a
remote interview or as a remote worker could work great here.

Hydraulic doors: One of the big things that I
see many people asking about online, both in forums which
actually rank well for it, the questions that are asked in
forums around this do rank around costs and prices for
hydraulic doors. Therefore, I think this is something that many
companies are uncomfortable answering right online. But if you
can be transparent where no one else can, I think these
Schweiss Doors guys have a shot at doing really well with that.
So how much do hydraulic doors cost versus alternatives? There
you go.

2. Do you have access to unique types of assets that other
people don’t?

That
could be research. It could be data. It could be insights. It
might be stories or narratives, experiences that can help you
stand out in a topic area. This is a great way to come up with
blog post content. So basically, the idea is you could say,
“Gosh, for our quarterly internal report, we had to prepare
some data on the state of the market. Actually, some of that
data, if we got permission to share it, would be fascinating.”

We can see through keyword research that people are talking
about this or querying Google for it already. So we’re going to
transform it into a piece of blog content, and we’re going to
delight many, many people, except for maybe this guy. He seems
unhappy about it. I don’t know what his problem is. We won’t
worry about him. Wait. I can fix it. Look at that. So happy.
Ignore that he kind of looks like the Joker now.

We can get these through a bunch of methodologies:

Research, so statistical research,
quantitative research.

Crowdsourcing. That could be through
audiences that you’ve already got through email or Facebook
or Twitter or LinkedIn.

Insider interviews, interviews with people
on your sales team or your product team or your marketing
team, people in your industry, buyers of yours.

Proprietary data, like what you’ve collected
for your internal annual reports.

Curation of public data. So if there’s stuff
out there on the web and it just needs to be publicly
curated, you can figure out what that is. You can visit all
those websites. You could use an extraction tool, or you
could manually extract that data, or you could pay an intern
to go extract that data for you, and then synthesize that in
a useful way.

Multimedia talent. Maybe you have someone,
like we happen to here at Moz, who has great talent with
video production, or with audio production, or with design of
visuals or photography, or whatever that might be in the
multimedia realm that you could do.

Special access to people or information, or
experiences that no one else does and you can
present that.

Those assets can become the topic of great content that can
turn into really great blog posts and great post ideas.

Remote Workers: They might say, “Well, gosh,
we have access to data on the destinations people go and the
budgets that they have around those destinations when they’re
staying and working remotely, because of how our service
interacts with them. Therefore, we can craft things like the
most and least expensive places to work remotely on the
planet,” which is very cool. That’s content that a lot of
people are very interested in.

Hydraulic doors: We can look at, “Hey, you
know what? We actually have a visual overlay tool that helps an
architect or a building owner visualize what it will look like
if a hydraulic door were put into place. We can go use that in
our downtime to come up with we can see how notable locations
in the city might look with hydraulic doors or notable
locations around the world. We could potentially even create a
tool, where you could upload your own visual, photograph, and
then see how the hydraulic door looked on there.” So now we can
create images that will help you share.

3. Relating a personal experience or passion to your topic in a
resonant way.

I like this and I think that many personal bloggers use it
well. I think far too few business bloggers do, but it can be
quite powerful, and we’ve used it here at Moz, which is
relating a personal experience you have or a passion to your
topic in some way that resonates. So, for example, you have an
interaction that is very complex, very nuanced, very
passionate, perhaps even very angry. From that experience, you
can craft a compelling story and a headline that draws people
in, that creates intrigue and that describes something with an
amount of emotion that is resonant, that makes them want to
connect with it. Because of that, you can inspire people to
further connect with the brand and potentially to inform and
entertain.

There’s a lot of value from that. Usually, it comes from your
own personal creativity around experiences that you’ve had. I
say “you,” you, the writer or the author, but it could be
anyone in your organization too. Some resources I really like
for that are:

Photos. Especially, if you are someone who
photographs a reasonable portion of your life on your mobile
device, that can help inspire you to remember things.

A journal can also do the
same thing.

Conversations that you have can do that,
conversations in person, over email, on social
media.

Travel. I think any time you are outside
your comfort zone, that tends to be those unique things.

Remote workers: I visited an artist collective
in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I realized that, “My gosh, one of
the most frustrating parts of remote work is that if you’re not
just about remote working with a laptop and your brain, you’re
almost removed from the experience. How can you do remote work
if you require specialized equipment?” But in fact, there are
ways. There are maker labs and artist labs in cities all over
the planet at this point. So I think this is a topic that
potentially hasn’t been well-covered, has a lot of interest,
and that personal experience that I, the writer, had could dig
into that.

Hydraulic doors: So I’ve had some
conversations with do-it-yourselfers, people who are very, very
passionate about DIY stuff. It turns out, hydraulic doors, this
is not a thing that most DIYers can do. In fact, this is a
very, very dramatic investment. That is an intense type of
project. Ninety-nine percent of DIYers will not do it, but it
turns out there’s actually search volume for this.

People do want to, or at least want to learn how to, DIY their
own hydraulic doors. One of my favorite things, after realizing
this, I searched, and then I found that Schweiss Doors actually
created a product where they will ship you a DIY kit to build
your own hydraulic door. So they did recognize this need. I
thought that was very, very impressive. They didn’t just create
a blog post for it. They even served it with a product.
Super-impressive.

4. Covering a topic that is “hot” in your field or trending in
your field or in the news or on other blogs.

The great part about this is it builds in the amplification
piece. Because you’re talking about something that other people
are already talking about and potentially you’re writing about
what they’ve written about, you are including an element of
pre-built-in amplification. Because if I write about what
Darren Rowse at ProBlogger has written about last week, or what
Danny Sullivan wrote about on Search Engine Land two weeks ago,
now it’s not just my audience that I can reach, but it’s theirs
as well. Potentially, they have some incentive to check out
what I’ve written about them and share that.

So I could see that someone potentially maybe posted something
very interesting or inflammatory, or wrong, or really right on
Twitter, and then I could say, “Oh, I agree with that,” or,
“disagree,” or, “I have nuance,” or, “I have some exceptions to
that.” Or, “Actually, I think that’s an interesting
conversation to which I can add even more value,” and then I
create content from that. Certainly, social networks like:

Twitter

Instagram

Forums

Subreddits. I really like Pocket for this,
where I’ll save a bunch of articles, and then I’ll see which
one might be very interesting to cover or write about in the
future. News aggregators are great for this too. So that
could be a Techmeme in the technology space, or a Memeorandum
in the political space, or many others.

Remote workers: You might note, well, health
care, last week in the United States and for many months now,
has been very hot in the political arena. So for remoters, that
is a big problem and a big question, because if your health
insurance is tied to your employer again, as it was before the
American Care Act, then you could be in real trouble. Then you
might have a lot of problems and challenges. So what does the
politics of health care mean for remote workers? Great. Now,
you’ve created a real connection, and that could be something
that other outlets would cover and that people who’ve written
about health care might be willing to link to your piece.

Hydraulic doors: One of the things that you
might note is that Eater, which is a big blog in the restaurant
space, has written about indoor and outdoor space trends in the
restaurant industry. So you could, with the data that you’ve
got and the hydraulic doors that you provide, which are very,
very common, well moderately common, at least in the restaurant
indoor/outdoor seating space, potentially cover that. That’s a
great way to tie in your audience and Eater’s audience into
something that’s interesting. Eater might be willing to cover
that and link to you and talk about it, etc.

The last two, I’m not going to go too into depth, because
they’re a little more basic.

5. Pure keyword research-driven.

So this is using Google AdWords or keywordtool.io, or Moz’s
Keyword Explorer, or any of the other keyword research
tools that you like to figure out: What are people searching
for around my topic? Can I cover it? Can I make great content
there?

6. Readers who care about my topics also care about
______________?

Essentially taking any of these topics, but applying one level
of abstraction. What I mean by that is there are people who
care about your topic, but also there’s an overlap of people
who care about this other topic and who also care about yours.

hydraulic doors: People who care about
restaurant building trends and hydraulic doors has a
considerable overlap, and that is quite interesting.

Remote workers: It could be something like, “I
care about remote work. I also care about the gear that I use,
my laptop and my bag, and those kinds of things.” So gear
trends could be a very interesting intersect. Then, you can
apply any of these other four processes, five processes onto
that intersection or one level of an abstraction.

All right, everyone. We have done a tremendous amount here to
cover a lot about blog topics. But I think you will have some
great ideas from this, and I look forward to hearing about
other processes that you’ve got in the comments. Hopefully,
we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard
Friday. Take care.

Video
transcription by Speechpad.com

2017-05-19T15:34:45+00:00 2017 May 19th|Categories: SEO blog|