Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Secrets For Thinking of Blog Topics

A common question we get from customers is: "How can I come up with engaging ideas for blog postings?".  This is a great question for several reasons.  As many of you know, a blog is an invaluable tool that can significantly extend the reach of your website.  The days of 'setting and forgetting' your website are certainly over.  Content is king in the game of getting Google's attention.

However, even more important than search engine position is the idea of building a sense of 'community' with your readers.  The power of providing interesting, engaging, and factual information on your blog cannot be understated.  In doing so, you build loyalty with stakeholders and prospective customers.  Each new blog posting is a nugget of information that helps inform your readers about a common topic of interest.

But this still doesn't answer the central question at hand:  what should I write my blog postings about?

Regardless of the industry you serve, there are three great sources of blog topics you may not have yet considered.  Here are the places we frequently recommend to look first:

1) Take a Look In Your "Sent" Folder - If you're like most companies, you spend a significant amount of time each day at your desk answering emails from customers.  Why not leverage some of the work you've already done by using this as a blog topic?  Now obviously you will want to remove any sensitive information and boil the topic down into more generic terms to appeal to your entire reader group.  However, it really is a great place to start thinking of winning blog ideas.

2) Pull Recent Organic Keyword Results From Google Analytics - Keeping a close finger on the pulse of your Google Analytics metrics is important.  However, many people are not aware that Google Analytics allows you to pull custom reports that provide more detailed information.  (To set up this kind of report in Google Analytics, click "Custom Reporting>Manage Custom Reports>Create new custom report".  Then make sure you include the dimensions "Medium" and "Keyword" in the report you set up).  Once you have exported this information, you will be able to see what words people are using to find your website.  Many times, you will find that there are several questions listed in the report.  These are questions that people typed into the search engine and stumbled upon your website.  The logic goes that if someone is interested in the answer to that question, other people will be too.  You can even use the question as the title of your blog posting, which could yield additional SEO benefits if the term is significantly relevant.

Google Analytics Reports Can Be A Good Source of Blog Ideas

3) Send Out a Quick Customer Survey - With all of the free tools that are out there ( is a pretty popular one), it is really easy to throw together a quick survey that you can email to your clients.  Examples of good questions could be: "What do you feel differentiates our services versus other similar companies?" or "How could our product be improved to better meet your needs?".  In asking somewhat open ended questions like these, your clients will provide more candid feedback.  Candid feedback gets your creative juices flowing, yielding better blog topics.

As you can see, new blog ideas may be easier to come up with than first thought.  Start with the information you readily have and go from there.  Remember - it's all about delivering value to your readers.

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