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Coming up with fresh new content for a blog day in and day out can get tough, especially if you’re blogging in a tight niche. Call it blog writer’s block, blogger burnout or whatever you choose, but it’s a real epidemic affecting hundreds of bloggers every day. The good news: There’s help for this condition!
Blogs are incredibly powerful social tools. They provide a way for you to connect with your audience or customer, establish your authority or thought leadership in your area of expertise, and they offer tremendous SEO value. Aspiring bloggers dream of the day when their blog content is shared hundreds of times on Twitter and Facebook. If you know how to nail down trending topics, this can happen for you, too. Here are a few helpful techniques for nailing down hot topics for your blog.
It’s a no-brainer: If you want your content to be shared on Twitter, discuss something users are already talking about! On the Twitter home page, there’s a box in the right-side column called Trends. It shows what the most popular topics are currently. The default setting shows worldwide trends, but you can change it to reflect trends in a geographic location. If you see something in your niche, start blogging! Note: Some trending topics are sponsored, meaning the company is paying Twitter to appear there. This is noted, so pay attention!
Truth is, the Twitter Trends box is always somewhat sparse for my liking. And what if I don’t see anything in my niche? Then it’s useless to me, at least for today. Fortunately, there are a few other cool tools that delve a bit deeper into Twitter Trends. TrendsMap.com is a particularly cool tool that allows you to narrow your search by geography, view trending videos, see a larger list of global trends and even track trending users.
Ah, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, or the holy grail of search engine optimization. If you’re blogging for SEO value, plug your possible blog keywords or topics into the Google Keyword Tool and find out how many people are searching for your terms and phrases. Terms with higher search volume will get your blog article more visibility, especially if your site ranks fairly well to begin with.
One of the web’s best-kept secrets for bloggers. If you can get your blog listed in Google News, you’re almost guaranteed more Twitter shares. But that’s another story. Google News is a fantastic place to get blog ideas. You can enter keywords to bring up news articles from the past 24 hours, past week, past month, or during a specific historical timeframe. Search periodicals, journals or news publications. This is where journalism and blogging meet! Find a news story related to your industry and blog about it.
AllTop.com is one of those really random useful tools that many bloggers don’t take advantage of. The site was founded by Guy Kawasaki (yep, the “Rich Dad” guy) and lists popular stories globally and categorized by the best-known industry gurus and bloggers. You can narrow your results by category, too. If you’re struggling to come up with a great blog topic, why not talk about what the gurus are talking about or post an analysis or response to an industry leader’s blog?
Monitor your inbox. If you’re getting the same question from multiple clients or customers, chances are, you’ve just uncovered a great blog topic. Focusing blog content on common questions often correlates to a frequently searched-for key phrase, not to mention, you’ll be saving yourself time responding to emails.