You might have seen case studies and heard success stories about how blogs can significantly improve your business and help to increase your target audience. While it’s true that blogging can skyrocket rankings, and increase customer awareness and trust– it’s only the case when done correctly and optimally. One of the biggest challenges that separate success from failure is how to find the best blog topics to write about.
Below, you will be given a six-step easy-to-follow checklist that will help you save time and effort. You are going to start from the bottom up. Don’t skip any of the steps. They’re all meant to build upon one another and work together to ensure optimal outcomes. You don’t need formulas, have to be a math wizard, or even need sheets of data to do this.
Most importantly, you’re going to have fun in the process of trying to find the best blog topics to write about. You are going to discover what works and discover what doesn’t, so you can save yourself a great deal of time. Extra time can translate to increased profits and spending more time doing the things you love.
Before you do anything, there is a bit of prep work involved. This holds true for creating blog posts. Before you can ever think of topics, you have to know what your overall direction is. Ideally, this direction should be something you know a lot about, and it should be something you’re passionate about.
If you’re passionate about something, you will naturally and tirelessly learn all you can about it. You are also likely to know more than others in this chosen subject. This will help to establish your authority.
Authority is essential to keeping your target audience interested, and it will help you gain visitors to your website because you’ll be the “go-to” person for everything pertaining to your direction.
Business owners know a lot about this, so this prep work should be fairly easy to do. If you’re just starting out, this will help establish everything else you’re about to do.
What you’re about to read will help you design a blog post (and many thereafter) that people will be able to find, that your target audience will like and love, earn you more subscribers to your website and establish you as an authority in your chosen subject.
However, you need to make sure you follow all of these to ensure maximum results. Let’s get started.
Develop a Customer Persona
You need to develop a customer persona before you start writing for them. You’re not just looking at demographics, but that is an important place to start. You will need to define who you want to find your site... and basically get inside their head.
Define Demographics, Problems, and Goals
Are they fresh out of college and looking for life-guidance? They may be single moms who need products, services, and tips that will make their day easier and save them money. Are they the retired bunch that is looking to make their life more exciting in their sunset years?
These are all important because you need to customize your website according to your audience and know what questions they are asking. They need to know you truly understand them, and that you’ll have all the answers they’ll need.
You need to consider their age, their gender, where they live, type of residence. You need to think about what they do for work, what they do on the weekend, what they love, who they hang out with, and more. Most importantly, you need to define what problems they might have, what their goals might be, and how can what your business provides help them?
This can seem like it’s hard to do when you’re attempting to look through your screen to the other side, but there are ways you can discover who your target audience is and how they think.
Put Yourself in their Shoes
You can always ask yourself a series of questions of something like, “If I was in my mid-thirties and was thinking about work, what kind of work would I be looking for?” Think of what a mid-thirty-year-old person is going through. They’re most likely starting a family. They might want to work from home.
Try to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Imagine what they might think, feel, or need. If you can find out what they need, you can meet this need for them. You’ll be their hero, and you can guarantee they’ll be back for more content.
Do Competitor Research for What’s Working… and What’s Not
Start by looking at other blogs that are similar to your industry, or even direct competitors. Take a look at what has been posted, look at the readers’ comments, and go from there. What are they doing right and gaining engagement? Answer the questions they failed to answer. Look at the overall trend of what the readers are saying and their sentiment.
Look at the competition’s social media pages. Read what their readers say there as well. Consider what makes them a success. Lookup any questions their readers have. Answer these questions in your blog, so that you’re already a step ahead of your competition.
Engage With Them and Get Feedback
Once you have established your blog topic (discussed later), keep in contact with your readers through your site and social media. Staying in contact with your audience will ensure that you’re actively listening to what they want and will continue to deliver content that’s in demand.
Write it all down, and review it often. Everything should line up with this customer persona. Like always, maintain contact with them to keep them engaged and to further learn about them.
BRAINSTORM: Write Out a Bunch of Ideas
Here’s where it starts to get fun. You’re going to do a free-write of sorts. This will help you determine how to choose a blog topic. Refer back to who your target audience is.
Think of your target audience’s struggles or something they need. You can write blog topics according to those needs. This helps to establish your authority because you will have the answers your readers are looking for.
Once you get the ball rolling, it should be fairly easy to come up with more ideas. For instance, once you start thinking of telling people how to make a gazebo, your mind might quickly go to where you can put a gazebo and what you can do with it. For instance, a gazebo can become an outdoor office, a place to catch up on work while a little one plays, or a makeshift miniature movie theater. From there, you will start to think of other ideas.
This process can be endless and extremely fun. It’ll help you map out your content so that you can deliver it on a consistent basis, which is also important for your audience.
To come up with more ideas, you can always brainstorm. Write down your topics with little bubbles around them and then offshoot into other ideas. These ideas will lead to others. Brainstorming helps you to come up with ideas, but it also helps you to keep them organized according to the categories you put your topics in.
When trying to find the best blog topics to write about, you can always do a search by typing in your keywords and seeing what’s out there too. This will show you what the highest rank finding is. Other factors play into how a page is ranked, but you can get an idea of what people are looking for. Always keep in mind to offer more than the competition so your information will always be in demand.
How to Find the Best Blog Topics to Write About:
Your 6-Step Blog Ideation Checklist
Step 1 – Long-Tail Keywords
You know that SEO involves keywords, but you need to use the right keywords. You also want to use four or more keywords together. These are referred to as “long-tail keywords.” You can also discover and create specific topics to write about using these long-tail keywords.
The reason you should use long-tail keywords is that others are most likely using far simpler keywords, but you want people to be able to find your blog posts out of a bunch of others. For example, if everyone lists “sandbags” as their keyword, there is no way to differentiate that your blog post is about constructing a house from sandbags, which you should use as a long-tail keyword. Better yet, add the word “small” to those keywords or mention the cost of making one.
Having more detailed keywords that contain all of the specifics you need will allow people to find your blog post better and quicker. For instance, “how to make a small house from sandbags” is specific and will help someone find your blog post much easier than the keyword “sandbags” alone.
The goal is to be as specific as possible in order to help people to find you. This will make your post higher ranking and help to further establish your target audience.
Step 2 – Keyword Volume
Like Ron Burgundy from the Anchorman, keyword volume is kind of a big deal. One word difference within your keyword can make the difference of a few people finding your post or thousands of people finding your post. Do you see what I mean?
The reason is that you’re searching for what’s most searched. Each month, you have a number of people who are searching for keywords to find what they need. If you incorrectly assume what these keywords are, you can be significantly off. You don’t want that to happen.
To get around this, you can look up the most commonly searched keywords. When you place these keywords into your content and list them as a keyword, you will draw more traffic to your blog post and site.
Look up keywords in either https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ or https://ahrefs.com keyword tool. The first one is free. The second one you need to pay for, and they show slightly different information, but they are similar. You can’t go wrong by checking both, which is advised.
Once you put in your keywords, take a look at the volume on the keywords. You’ll need to determine the right volume you need according to your site (because you want people to be able to find you). Remember to look up different variations of your keywords. Compare the difference between your keywords when you change the word “my” to “a” or something of the like.
Finding the right keyword variation is kind of like playing Family Feud: You’re not necessarily looking for an answer you’d give, you’re looking for the answer that most people would give.
Substitute verbs for nouns, use plural instead of singular uses of a word, use present tense instead of past tense, and so on. Try different combinations until you find the best keyword variation.
Step 3 – Keyword Difficulty
Keyword difficulty lets you know how “difficult” it is for people to find you and what you need to do to get your blog post within the first 10 results. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this on your own. The two keyword tools mentioned above help you with keyword difficulty too.
Ubersuggest refers to keyword difficulty as “SEO Difficulty” while Ahrefs refers to it as “KD.”
They’re letting you know the same thing, but it doesn’t hurt to check both. Both will let you know your keyword difficulty on a scale of one to 100.
Keyword difficulty is a big deal too when trying to find the best blog topics to write about. However, (and this is a huge, however) keyword difficulty does not take into consideration the other factors above. They all work together to increase your ranking.
The quality of your content, age of your domain and other factors matter too, so don’t get too hung up in keyword difficulty. You’ll have to find what works best for you. If you have a relatively new website, you’ll need to keep your keyword difficulty score to less than 30. For older sites, you might be able to get away with a score of up to 60.
Step 4 – Business Alignment
When following our checklist to find the best blog topics to write about, you can accomplish all of the above and still miss the mark. With each blog post, you need to ask yourself if it is in alignment with your business.
Let’s say you want to make a blog post about a DIY outdoor room. You’re not going to do much good for your target audience who happen to be contractors and depend on building houses for customers. They already know how to build things and don’t need DIY information.
You want each of your blog topics to be in alignment with your business or direction, who you are, who your customer persona is, and to solve the problems for your target audience. If you veer away from this, you’ll quickly lose your target audience.
No one wants to read about something they already know. You have to be offering the solutions to their problems. If they already know what you know, they’ll go to someone else who can meet their needs.
All you need to do is ask yourself, “Does my target audience want to know this information?” Even a “maybe” can be pushing it. If they don’t want to know, find something they do want to know about.
Step 5 – Search Intent
Google pays attention to internet usage behavior and account user behavior in order to modify the search results and keeps changing this over time. Google continually modifies itself according to people’s needs.
When you type in any type of product, Google takes into account that most people want to buy this certain product. If you add the word “reviews,” Google knows you want to find reviews specifically.
Think about your topic and what your keywords will be. You could discover what people searching those specific keywords and topic are looking for by what shows up in your results. If people are looking to buy a product or service, they’re most likely not looking for a blog post. If a bunch of blog posts pop up, you know you’re in the right field.
However, your website could benefit by following the trend. Look at the results that pop up. Make a page according to what you see, but make yours better. Always go a step beyond theirs. Make your page look nicer and be more user-friendly. Offer information no one else offers.
Step 6 – Evergreen Topics and Content
Let’s say you have everything else down. Great! People are looking up your blog post, and they’re coming in by the truck loads. You might start to notice that this slows down. If your topic isn’t “evergreen,” your success will lose momentum.
To keep up momentum, you need to keep your content fresh. It doesn’t mean that you need to keep spitting out hit after hit; although, that doesn’t hurt. However, what you’re aiming for is content that won’t be viewed as outdated or irrelevant.
It might be impossible to ensure that it is always relevant, but there are ways around this.
The whole idea of having “evergreen” content is that you want people to see your information as new and relevant. You want to present either an evergreen topic, or you want to present your information without pertaining to a certain time of the year or otherwise.
Ideally when trying to find the best blog topics to write about, you also want both your topic and content to be evergreen. This can be difficult because a topic can be something that is trending at the moment, but you can always think of some way to build on this with something that is related in order to update your information. Say, you’re talking about ITIL. You can always update your information by talking about the latest version of it.
You need to be an authority on any topic you cover. If people think your information isn’t relevant, they will go elsewhere. If your information is viewed as old, people will assume someone has newer information. After all, it’s the internet. There is always newer content coming out.
If you have something that needs the year mentioned within, you can put the year in the title and simply update that information, along with making an update in your content. You can do this by a comparison or simply add the update at the beginning of your blog so people can see the information they want immediately. This way, you will continue to draw people to your post and your site.
Don’t mention the date or year in your URL. If your URL contains an older year, you might chase potential readers away while losing some of your target audience.
Just be aware that some topics change too rapidly to keep them updated constantly, which means they won’t stay evergreen for long. New toys, kitchen products, trendy paint colors and many other things may be relevant now, but they are quickly outdated by newer things.
How to Find the Best Blog Topics to Write About: A Recap
Once you’re done going over these six steps, you will be in a good place to write a phenomenal blog post. Be sure to write clearly in non-technical language (unless your target audience regularly talks like this). Break up your content into small bits of information so it reads well and people can skim it.
As with anything else, there is a learning curve to find the best blog topics. It might seem like a lot to take in at first, but it will all become like second-nature to you before long. Just like in business, you need to keep up with changes as they happen to stay relevant and in demand. Review the information above to ensure you’re doing all of the steps, but always keep researching and learning. Download our 13 Week Content Planner to help you plan and write the best blog topics.