How to choose a good topic for your next blog post
There’s a movement in creating content for the internet 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.
A sure-fire way to ensure your content is seen as quality is by writing blogs that directly answer your potential customers’ queries.
In a bygone era one would be able to research a keyword and stuff a blog full of references to that keyword and google would recognise that as the best blog on the topic. Those days are 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.
So a great corporate blog will pick up on the things their audience really wants to know and answer those questions in a clear, informative manner. That will mean when the blog posts are discovered, 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 not to your own interests, but those of 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 be 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:
Just a few questions to answer?
If you only have a few questions to answer the best thing to do is follow the skyscraper posts tactic. This basically boils down to writing very detailed and in-depth , but well designed posts on your subject. Your aim with these posts are to create the most authoritative post on this subject online. Each post will likely be 2000-3000 words in length and include a huge amount of relevant backlinks, screenshots, videos, infographics – anything that can help illustrate your point in the most informative way possible. If you manage to do that backlinks (when another site links to yours) will, in time, start naturally popping up and you will rise up the search engines. But you can manually speed up that process by emailing sites that already link to similar content and ask them to include yours. Check out this blog from the site backlinko which explains exactly how it’s done.
Many questions to answer?
If you’ve got a lot of blogs to write – for example if you run a shop that sells a lot of products or you offer a wide variety of services – it’s much better to keep your blogs short – to 500 words or so – and just keep churning them out. The reason behind that is that regularity is also a helpful signal to Google that you are a good authority on your subject. It will also cover a lot more ground and allow you have a presence online. After a while you will start to see what is popular and you can either write more on that subject or extend and improve the blogs that are already there.
So you’ve got your blog structure, but what about the actual topics for the blog posts?
How to discover the questions your audience is asking?
To make sure you are answering the questions your audience, or potential audience, wants answers to you may well be identify some obvious ones off the top of your head, but it’s better to do some research.
Option 1 – Google Predictive Search
For a few years now Google has predicted your full question or search query before you finish typing it. Just like the example below.
If you start typing your potential blog topic into a search bar and google doesn’t finish it off for you, the 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 site on the web for posting a question and getting it answered by experts. It’s a 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. There’s questions on almost any subject you can imagine, meaning there might well be questions asked about your niche. So just put your main keyword into the search bar at the top and see what comes up. If there’s any questions that have been posed about your business’ subject, and particularly ones that have got a lot of responses and clicks, it’s well worth considering that question as the title for your next blog post.
Option 3 – Direct Customer Feedback / Market Research
What are the questions people are asking you during the set up of your business? Is there a big problem that you are trying to solve? In my own business I try and ask ‘what’s the biggest issue you have in terms of getting media interest in your business?’ whenever I get the chance- whether that’s as part of a conversation with people in my target market, in an online survey or by mailing the question to my email list. I also run a meetup group on media relations for small businesses in London. As part of the joining process for that group I make it compulsory for people to answer the ‘single biggest issue in terms of getting media interest’ question – which helps keep a constant trickle of market research and potential blog post titles coming in. The responses are golden sources of blog articles, so you should try and collect as many as possible in order to keep your stock of potential blog articles piled high.
Please let me know your thoughts or questions on the subject in the comments below