How to choose blog topics

It’s a Sunday afternoon and Day 4 of  Hubspot’s 30-Day Blog Challenge. I’ve been fiddling around undecided about what blog topics I should choose for my blog today. Then I realised that perhaps choosing a topic was the best topic!

In my search for guidance and inspiration, I’ve compiled the following five tips on choosing blog topics from a variety of different internet sources:

1.  Choose blog topics that genuinely interest you (often described as ‘passionate about’)

I do think the passion word is somewhat overused now but it is much more fun to write about something that genuinely interests you. As I want to come up with 26 more topics that you’ll find interesting too, this subject currently has me hooked!

 

2.  Choose blog topics that your visitors will be interested in

Leading straight on from tip #1, remember it’s not all about you. It’s about what your ideal buyer would be interested in. I’ve written before about identifying your market niche and ideal client avatar. If you write with that person in mind, it will be a lot easier.

 

3.  Choose blog topics that you’d like to discuss with your readers

Successful blogs, as with all social media, need a two-way conversation between you and your audience.  As you are hoping that your visitors will leave comments on your blog, you need to be responsive and open to them. Your blog’s long-term success will depend on the sense of community you can create around it.

 

4.  Choose a single topic for each blog

This is one piece of advice that is absolutely consistent with all the ‘top tips’ I’ve read. It will help you focus on the message you want to deliver. It will also keep your message clear for your readers and encourage them to return for more information.

 

5.  Choose blog topics you enjoy researching

Fresh, quality content is the key to getting your blog noticed by your ideal clients and search engines. It is probably the one area where the oft-quoted saying from the film Field of Dreams “Build it and they’ll come” is true! However, a word of warning if, like me, you are easily distracted and intensely curious, don’t forget to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Or, just like me, you’ll spend all your spare time wandering around the internet or combing your bookshelves!

The missing element of all these tips for me is the “how to”.  Despite the fact that most of these blogs had the inviting title of “How to…”.  I often find when I read “how to” articles they are more “what to do” rather than “how to do” it. To me, it’s like giving you the ingredients for a recipe and not the method of making it. For example, which order to add the ingredients, how long to cook it for or at what temperature the oven needs to be set.

In my drive to provide practical advice and help, here are my suggestions which will hopefully avoid the ‘staring at a blank screen’ syndrome:

1.  Brainstorm

Set aside no more than 10 minutes and scribble down a list or mind map of all the subjects that you think your ideal client will find interesting – I’ve scribbled down things like

  • Mistakes to avoid
  • SEO
  • How to promote your blog
  • Key ingredients
  • Creating killer headlines

as just a few of my ideas on blogging.

2.  Create your own library of ideas

When you find articles that interest you, or you think you could use, cut them out and keep them in a reference file or scan them and store them in a service such as Evernote (free, unless you have a huge amount of data). I find Evernote’s Web Clipper function fantastic for saving articles that I’ve found on the internet that I used to waste time printing off, I can even add a tag so I can group articles together.

 

3.  Sources for finding inspiration

This is a list of sites that have a regular flow of content.  Between them, these content aggregators are bound to throw up something you can latch on to and blog about:

Check out your own trade association or professional body to see what’s current too.

 

4.  Keywords

Keywords are important for your website and are the words that people are most likely to use to search for you on the internet.  They make great topics as they are exactly what your potential client is interested in.

 

5. Seasonality

I don’t just mean Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter – though these are very important for areas such as gardening or cooking.

I could go on but Sunday evening is now beckoning and hopefully, this will give you a starting point and no excuse not to come up with a few topics.

Why not share with me where you get the inspiration for the topics you write about? Or you could let me know what you would find useful for me to write about blogging.

Kim

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