How to Decide What to Blog About: 6 Data-Driven Tactics for Choosing Blog Topics

blog-topics.pngHave you ever written a blog post you were sure was destined to go viral? You spent hours crafting each sentence — positive that your audience would devour each word, shared it on every possible social platform, and knew it would propel to internet fame in a matter of mere hours.

You even thought about changing your LinkedIn headline to “Marketing Guru” — because why not? You were about to become one.

Sadly, your digital utopia was just a fantasy. The post — as some inexplicably tend to do — tanked. But while you were writing it, you would’ve bet your life it would break the internet. So what the heck happened?

As marketers, we often succumb to a cognitive bias called the overconfidence effect. Since we’re technically experts, we tend to overestimate our industry knowledge and our ability to predict content performance.

This can lead us to rely on our intuition more than data when we brainstorm new blog ideas. Since we like our own ideas, we think our audience will too.

But just because we like our own post, doesn’t mean our audience wants to read it.

Instead of relying on our own personal taste, we need to let our audience’s behaviors and preferences drive our new blog ideas — or else we risk publishing irrelevant content.

Analyzing audience data before ideation is crucial for crafting desirable content. Take a look below to learn six data-driven tactics for choosing the topics your audience actually wants to read.

6 Data-driven Tactics for Choosing Blog Topics

1) Find Out What’s Already Working for You

The most accessible data source that can inform your blog strategy are your own metrics. You just need to tag each of your blog posts with their respective topic first. By categorizing your blog posts, you can measure each topic’s performance with data analysis tools like excel or HubSpot’s Content Strategy tool.

The performance metrics you decide to track depend on your marketing goals. At HubSpot, page views largely determine a topic’s success, but other metrics like time on page, subscribers gained, or leads generated can also indicate whether a topic resonates with your audience or not. It’s crucial to determine a key business objective you want your blog to serve and monitor the metrics that indicate its success.

It’s also valuable to take into account how many posts you publish on each topic. You want to make sure you’re serving your audience’s true interests and not overlooking potentialy fruitful topics.

For instance, let’s say HubSpot’s blog posts about display advertising and video marketing generate the same amount of total traffic. On the surface, it seems like our audience enjoys these topics equally, right?

But a particular topic’s total traffic might not tell the full story. What if we publish display advertising posts three times more often than video marketing posts?

This means publishing 30 display advertising posts produces the same total traffic that 10 video marketing posts produce. In other words, video marketing posts are three times more effective than display advertising posts.

By cutting display advertising out of our content mix and writing more video marketing posts, we’d serve our audience’s interests better and generate more traffic with less content.

Here’s a concrete example of what I’m talking about:

Old Blog Strategy

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 3.29.50 PM.png

New Blog Strategy

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 3.34.43 PM.png

When you analyze your blog topics, use the average or median views per post to paint the clearest picture of your audience’s preferences. Looking at a topic’s total traffic without accounting for post quantity could make you prioritize a topic that your audience doesn’t really care about.

2) See What Works For Your Competitors

Odds are, you and your competitors have a very similar audience. This means their most popular content could potentially be your most popular content too.

Consider using a tool like BuzzSumo or EpicBeat to analyze your competitor’s most shared topics. Are they writing about something that would interest your own audience?

Once you discover their top performing content, ask yourself how you can improve upon their work. It’s fine to cover the same overarching topics as a competitor, but you should offer your own unique perspective and provide new insights to your audience.

3) Read Your Audience’s Conversations Online

As a writer who blogs about inbound marketing, I constantly comb through Inbound.org and the Content Marketing Institute LinkedIn group because they’re full of fodder for my best blog ideas.

Marketers post questions to these sites every day. And since they publicly display their professional information, you can tie their inquiries to your buyer personas. This helps clarify your personas’ needs and makes it easier to personalize content for them.

On Inbound.org, I like to scan the Discussions section where the top marketing questions of the week live. When someone posts a question about a topic we want to cover, I check to see if that person’s role aligns with one of our buyer personas. If so, I write down a blog post idea that answers their question and pitch it at our monthly brainstorm.

If you don’t blog about marketing, then you can search for your audience’s questions on Quora. Just type in your topic and you’ll find loads of relevant questions. If an overwhelming pile of questions presents itself, then just check out your topic’s top followers and read the questions they’ve answered about your topic.

Check out the tutorial below if you need more clarification.

4) Leverage Google’s People Also Ask Box

If one of your chosen topics resonates particularly well with your audience, and you want to keep leveraging its popularity, Google it to discover related search terms. When you search for a term in Google, you’ll see a “People Also Ask” box pop up beneath your entry, like this:

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 6.00.36 PM.png

Think of these queries as high-demand topics that branch off of your main topic. If your audience loves consuming content about your main topic, then they’ll likely devour content about its related topics.

5) Survey Your Blog Subscribers

Is there a better way to capture your audience’s reading preferences than surveying your own audience?

Before you send out your surveys, though, you should know that not all your subscribers will pounce at the chance to provide feedback. But that’s where incentives come in. Consider offering respondents the chance to win a prize, like a gift certificate, to encourage feedback.

Every time we incentivize subscribers to complete our blog surveys, we see much more participation than when we don’t dangle any carrots.

6) Ask Sales and Success About Your Customers’ Pain Points

Sales and customer success help consult your prospects and customers everyday, so they have the firmest grasp of your audience’s actual needs and pain points. Collaborating with these teams is the best way to pinpoint your readers’ most pressing issues.

To better understand your prospects and customers’ struggles, you could set up a monthly meeting with sales and success or ask them to jot down the most common problems and the content recommendations that would likely solve them.

How do you research new blog ideas? Tell us in the comments below!

free hubspot blogging trial

from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/research-blog-topics

Advertisements

Author: London SEO Services

We have been providing SEO solutions to clients since the birth of the internet. Whilst our approaches have evolved over the years, our overall aim by no means has and thats making sure our users web pages rank on the first page of the search engines for suitable keywords at the same time only using ethical and long-lasting strategies. While many agencies think that they must resort to black hat SEO techniques to get success, we are able to get page one rankings for our clients even though continuously ensuring we follow practices that are not frowned upon by the the search engines. What happens if you decide to start black hat methods? Sure, you will get some early success, nevertheless, the search engines will quickly figure out what you are doing and you can face severe penalties including getting your site blocked with the search engine results totally. We work inside suggestions of main internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing! so that you never need to worry about receiving any penalties from the work we do on your behalf.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s