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How to come up with blog ideas that search engines will love

If you don’t have a blog for your business or organization, then you’re not doing your marketing right. Blogs are doorways to your website that bring in organic traffic, and they serve as the foundation for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Here’s why: Google prefers long-form content that provides helpful information for users searching for answers. According to HubSpot, 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. Blogs also boost brand awareness and develops trust with your audience.

However, there is one hurdle even the most seasoned content writers experience from time to time: writer’s block. With the right strategy and planning, however, consistent content production is much easier. Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive return on investment (ROI) — including a steady stream of organic traffic, a boost in brand awareness and lead generation.

Here are 10 ways to keep the blogs rolling:

#1: Use the Google Search Engine Query

A quick rule to keep in mind when coming up with content ideas: don’t overcomplicate the process. Sometimes an idea can be sparked with something as simple as using Google search engine query.

Simply, type a couple of keywords into the Google search bar and take notes on possible content suggestions based on what other people have searched. This allows you to come up with relevant content that will draw opinions and start discussions. Also, consider using Google Analytics for blog ideas by seeking out what queries were used to find your website.

PRO TIP: Integrate your Google Analytics account with your Search Console account first. Find the Search Queries report by navigating to Acquisition » Search Console » Queries. Check out Monster Insight’s blog for more information.

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#2: Study your niche’s social media influencers

In marketing, blog is the message and social media is the channel that delivers that message. Check out what experts and influencers in your industry to find out what makes their content so attractive. To be clear, we’re not saying to plagiarize or steal ideas from an influencer. However, it doesn’t hurt to take the same content model or approach of an influencer to interpret your own ideas.

PRO TIP: Check out niche social media sites for content ideas. What are people talking about? This Medium article offers 18 niche social media sites that could help. 

#3: Read through blog comments

The comment sections of blog posts are one of the most underrated sources of information. Most content producers make the mistake of thinking the comment section is only for blog members to interact with one another. However, they often forget the fact that it is also a place for blog members to share their experiences and give critical feedback on content ideas. Oftentimes, readers leave comments urging the bloggers to make changes or to provide more information.

#4: Ask for audience feedback

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask! Don’t worry about appearing vulnerable. Today’s audience craves authenticity, and they will likely find requests for blog ideas as a relatable move. It also allows you an opportunity to gain specific details on how to change your content ideas to improve the user experience.

Here are some ways to ask for feedback:

  • Send a survey to your audience asking for ideas
  • Start a conversation on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
  • Ask private groups in Facebook or LinkedIn for ideas
  • Send out an e-mail asking your subscribers for ideas

#5: Run competitive analysis content audits

Marketers regularly use competitive analysis content audits for future blog posts.

Don’t worry. This process is not as technical and complex as it sounds. The majority of what it takes to run an audit simply includes spying on competing blogs in your niche to see what type of content they have. What is their writing style? What topics are trending? How accurate is their content? How in-depth does the content go?

PRO TIP: Pay attention to the way your competitor’s blog is structured. This will tell you how effective their blogging is. Check out HubSpot’s guide on how to conduct competitive content analysis.

#6: Keep up with the latest trends in your industry

This tip is a no-brainer. It should be part of your everyday strategy on keeping informed about your industry’s trends or latest news. Stay tuned in to current events in your industry or niche by following other bloggers, listening to industry podcasts, reading trade publications and following hashtags. Use Google e-mail alerts to receive instant notifications when content containing keywords related to your industry is indexed.

PRO TIP: Use Google Trends to identify popular topics within your industry — by season and by specific regions. Elegant Themes will walk you through how to use Google Trends for blog ideas here.

#7: Use a blog topic generator

Blog topic generators provide a list of ideas based on keywords. While it might not provide the most relevant content ideas, the main purpose of an online blog topic generator is to give you some inspiration for brainstorming. Here are a few online blog generators that might help:

#8: Launch live Q&A sessions with your audience

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIN, the ability to use the live broadcast feature is a boon for blog ideas! (P.S. Live videos are the No. 1 way to produce strong engagement for your brand on social media). Going live allows you to connect with your fans and followers on a real-time basis. Whether you are soliciting for ideas or just showing a sneak peek behind three scenes, take notes on the questions your audience has. Frequently asked questions make wonderful blog topics because they help inform your process and pre-qualify leads. You also can use FAQ blog posts to educate existing customers.

#9: Use keyword research (kind of)

There are different schools of thought on using keyword research for blog ideas. SEO sycophants will say keywords are the foundation for a well-ranking website. After all, keywords are how users search.

However, digital marketers with a holistic approach will tell you that SEO has changed. People are using voice search with long-tail search terms, such as “How to come up with blog ideas.” SEO guru and expert Neil Patel warns against searching for keywords when most are already being used by top-ranking websites. Google favors blogs that are well-written, well-researched and well-read, anyway.

Instead, why is the user searching for those specific keywords? What information is the user trying to find?

PRO TIP: Use on-site search tools to gather direct data on why people landed on your website. Google Analytics offers this information by going to Behavior >> Site Search >> Search Terms. If notice users searching for terms on topics that you haven’t covered, these topics could be great blog ideas.

#10: Update old blog content

Update older blog content by changing outdated information or add more relevant media such as photos and videos. Add more words to the blog with relevant information. Check for broken links. These simple tips will help improve your website’s ranking, because it shows search engines your content is constantly refreshing itself.

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