Does blogging give you writer’s block? If so, you’re not alone. Choosing topics is a common struggle for business bloggers. While 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority, 55% are unclear about what blog content should actually look like.
It’s not enough to just dash off a few paragraphs here and there. The world’s top-ranked blog posts are valuable, compelling, and relevant to readers’ lives, not to mention attractive to Google’s mysterious and ever-changing algorithm.
So, how do you orchestrate this magic of selecting blog topics? Here are some tips.
Tip #1: Know Your Audience
It’s simple but true: You have to understand your audience. Develop topics by thinking about what’s important to them. Don’t be afraid of jargon and hot-button words. Embrace your niche and load up your posts with keywords that show you “get it.”
So, for a trendy hair salon business, research trends, check with a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, and select topics that speak the language of your audience.
Instead of: “Today’s Hottest Hairstyle Trends”
Try: “Ombre Hair is Out and the Hidden Rainbow is IN.”
Tip #2: Bring Value, Not Boredom
Let’s look at entrepreneur Neil Patel for a moment. After all, he’s a best-selling author and the go-to blog strategy expert for companies like Amazon and Viacom.
Patel says he has seen many posts go straight to the blog graveyard simply by being boring. That’s why his widely-shared “Anatomy of a Blog Post” infographic leads with the instructions: Don’t be boring!
Patel starts with the idea of providing something valuable to the reader, like a nugget of wisdom or a startling statistic. Then he packages the valuable idea in upbeat language that holds the reader’s interest.
Here’s an example. When you visit Patel’s Quicksprout blog, one of his top-ranked posts is called “From ‘aha’ to ‘oh shit’” and links to an article called “35 Blogging Ideas That are Guaranteed to be Popular.”
What does Patel’s title/topic teach us?
It’s not boring.
It provides something valuable.
It speaks the language of entrepreneurs.
It’s funny and makes you feel like Neil Patel is your friend.
Tip #3: Be Helpful
Speaking of friends: Friends are helpful, and helpful blog posts come across as friendly. They encourage people to warm up to your brand and business. In fact, 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it will be helpful to others.
That’s why Hubspot says a blog topic like...
Solopreneurs Can Be Successful
is far less effective than...
5 Tips for Solopreneurs to Make Money on Pinterest
Every solopreneur wants to make money from Pinterest, right? The second title makes it clear that the post will provide specific and helpful information.
Tip #4: Dos and Don’ts
Let’s wrap up with a few dos and don’ts from blogging experts:
Take inspiration, but don’t steal. If you copy things exactly, Google will kill your rankings. Follow popular bloggers and gather fresh ideas from industry blogs.
Explore content tools. The world’s most popular posts are tracked by content tools like BuzzSumo. See what’s trending and build topics from there.
Don’t tease. The clickbait-style “You Won’t Believe What This Woman Did” post is dying. People are sick of teasers.
Tie in offers and refers. Always include free offers from your site and refer to other blog posts your fans will find helpful.