As content marketers, we spend a lot of time researching, writing, and posting blogs to help us attract our ideal customers; the challenge is making sure they're consistently relevant. And let's face it, we all go through creative dry spells.
You might spend hours and hours perfecting a piece of content you're convinced will be a hit, to find it gets only a handful of views and even less of a conversion rate. It really, really sucks when that happens. So what can you do to make sure you're choosing blog topics that are truly relevant to your audience's interests?
1. Find out what already works
It's right in front of your nose! Well, shimmy on over to whatever blog analytics tool you use and then it will be right under your nose...
The most accessible data source that can help you make informed decisions for your blogging strategy are your own metrics. Sort your previous blogs into topics, then measure each topic's performance with data analysis. HubSpot has a great content strategy tool for this. Alternatively, you could use Google Analytics, or even Excel! Ain't nothin' wrong with going old school if you've got the time.
Make sure you take into account how many blogs you've posted for each topic. You want to find your audience's true interests, so don't overlook those potentially successful topics. For example, you could have only one or two posts on a topic, but they could still each be high on those metrics!
2. Stalk your competitors
Your competitors' audiences are more than likely your very same target audience. Which means their popular content should be your popular content, too.
Buzzumo is a great tool for this. It helps you analyse your competitors' most-shared posts, so you can see what their (your) audience is more likely to engage with. Then, don't just steal their blog topics. Rather, try to add a little more to them. Ask yourself 'how can I make this better?' Offer your own unique spin by providing extra insights or a different perspective.
3. Pay attention to your audience's online conversations
Look at hashtags on social media, scroll through the comments of competitor blogs, or search for your audience's questions on Quora. Just type in your topic to find loads of relevant questions! You could also set up and monitor a community for your customers, where they can talk to each other about their experiences and ask questions.
4. Take advantage of Google's 'People Also Ask' box
Google has this cool feature which tells you what other people with similar interests are also searching for. These topics branch off a main search query, meaning they're likely things your audience are also interested in. So, if a blog topic works well on the analytics side of things, pop it into the search box and see what else comes up in the related search terms.
5. Ask your existing blog subscribers
Why not send a survey to the people who are already engaged with your blog? They are, after all, probably the best people to give you insight into the content they like most from you.
But remember, not everyone will be super responsive. To help encourage your readers to take part, you could offer an incentive. For example, you could offer them a chance to win a gift voucher if they fill out your survey.
6. Ask your sales team about your customers' FAQs
It's a bit of a no-brainer really, but if you want to provide helpful, interesting blog content for your ideal customers, talk to the people who speak with them daily!
A great way to involve sales in the content calendar is to set up a regular sales and marketing meeting. Or, to save their valuable time, you could create a Trello board where they can 'brain dump' any frequently asked questions or pain points they receive from your customers. These common questions and problems will make for great content recommendations, and should spark some great blog topic ideas for you.
So there you have it! The next time you feel like your brain is having a bit of an off-day, try out some of these tips. Happy blogging!