Getting Your Blog Posts Read – A Simple Strategy
So I don’t want this post to be about the typical “just write a good article and you’ll get traffic” mantra that everyone sees to be repeating these days. Is it true? yea, for sure.
So go ahead and start by writing a great article. It doesn’t end there. Go ahead. Post it and tell me how much traffic you get.
Unless you have a well established site like Huffington Post or Mashable, chances are it won’t get much more traffic than any other post on your site.
Eventually, over time, search engines might pick it up and and rank it for a keyword or phrase, but why wait for “maybe” to happen and “someday” to come?
So how do you go about finding a great article topic? I’m glad you asked. There are a tons of great resources these days.
Option 1. Google Trends – https://www.google.com/trends/
This is an option that’s been around for a while but they just came out with a huge upgrade that gives up-to-the-minute updates, where as before it would show you trending topics over time.
This was helpful for seeing how certain topics would rise and fall over time, but when looking for hot topics, it was not the best option.
The way you navigate your way around the site hasn’t really changed, but if you are new to Google Trends, take note of a few things. The home page will show some of the hot topics in each of the different categories.
To dive deeper into what might be a good topic for you, click the “All Categories” drop down at the top right. Google does not have a lot of topic categories, which might be helpful in not overwhelming you with trying to find what you’re looking for.
To the right of that drop down you’ll see a drop down for specific countries, which can be helpful for obvious reasons.
If you are running a news blog, consider finding a topic that is trending in multiple countries to try and get the most traffic.
You can also consider translating your post into that country’s language if you see it trending there as well.
If you are using WordPress, there are some decent translation plugins you can get, but if this is something you are serious about, I would recommend using an actual translator.
You can find some on sites like Fiverr.com, UpWorks.com or by Googling “Translation Services”.
Option 2. Buzz Sumo – http://buzzsumo.com/
This is one of my favorite sites to find what’s going viral in social media. By finding what’s being shared, you can create a topic around that or share the links on your social pages.
Keep it simple when using this service. I always use the free version but do see the value in the paid version, where you get more than 10 results. The results I get in the free version are typically enough to give me a few good ideas for a new article topic. If you need more results, by all means go for the paid upgrade.
Now go to the home page and in the search box, type in a word or phrase you are thinking about writing about. Let’s say your topic is “cold remedies”. Type that in and press “search”. You now get a list of the most shared articles on the topic of cold remedies. You can get a few things now from this result:
- Topics. In my search, I found article ideas like 16 Remedies to Kick the Common Cold, How To Easily Make A Homemade Cold and Flu Remedy, and Home Made Cold and Flu Remedy as the top 3 results. So this gives me a few ideas to write an article on.
- Social Shares. To the right of each of these topics, I’m seeing how many times each link was shared on Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +. The top 3 results in my search show over 40k shares on Facebook alone, with the first getting over 100k shares. This now tells me this is some really sharable content if I get it in front of the right people.
- Now the stacked buttons in the middle are where the paid option comes in handy. You could see backlinks that were created for that article and who shared it. This can be powerful stuff for once your article is written, but don’t worry. You can sign up for a free trial of Buzz Sumo.
Now if you don’t have a topic in mind, check out the buttons at the very top of the page and click on “Trending”.
Similar to Google Trends, you can see what’s hot based on a few select categories, only this time, you can see what’s been trending in the last 2 hours up to 24 hours. No stale content here!
Buzz Sumo has a few other interesting options that you can explore if you want to do the paid option and have specific need. This is all you should need though to get ideas for a topic of your own.
Option 3. Google Auto Complete and Google Search Related – http://google.com
Ok, this one is a little more common and really low-tech, but worth mentioning. It’s on that I’ve had good success with and is really easy to do.
For Google Auto Complete, simply go to Google.com and start trying in the search bar. Using “Cold Remedies” still, I start tying that and just below that, you should see other search options like “Cold remedy tea”, “Cold remedies for babies”, and “Cold remedy drink”.
This is great info because it’s Google telling you that these are popular searches.
The Google Search Related option shows up once you have done a search. Scroll to the bottom of the page and in most cases, you should see up to 8 other similar search options. In my case, I see options like this:
This is so powerful because it’s a list of other words and phrases that a common when searching for my topic and are related to what I was looking for. Consider using these as keywords within your article.
Option 4. Hubspot Topic Generator – http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator
If you are still having a hard time finding a good topic, consider trying Hubspots Topic Generator.
Just type in a few nonns that you might consider writing about and let Hubspot generate 5 blog article ideas for you.
I’m not sure where they get their ideas from so I can’t say if they are topical, trendy or if they just filled in some blanks like Mad-Libs, but the results I got were pretty interesting and definitely something I would consider writing on.
Here is a list of some other good tools for finding keywords. Each have their benefits and work a little different. If you are not liking any of the options I’ve already suggested, chances are you might find more of what you are looking for here.