3 simple steps to help you choose what to blog about
Blogging – we all know how important it is to content strategy, SEO, lead generation, and ensuring our ideas are in front of researchers and decision makers early in the buying cycle. But many marketers aren’t sure where to start. How do you decide what topics to focus on? While there are many other items that ultimately need to be considered when selecting a topic for a blog post – timeliness, counsel’s comfort with the topic, link building opportunities, reach with target audience and more – here are 3 simple steps to help you choose what to blog about.
Identify What You Know
First and foremost, you must have a deep understanding of your selected topic. If you don’t, you need to abandon ship and start over, full stop. One of the primary purposes of blogging is to demonstrate mastery of a topic to the point where you can help educate others about it. Audiences will almost always know if you are faking it. The good news is if you are in a corporate environment, you (the author/ghost writer) don’t actually need to know much about the selected topic. Instead, you need to identify an SME who is an expert, interview them for ~30 minutes, and then write your post based on their input, allowing them to review and approve before moving it up the approval chain. This allows for successful scaling of your blog program. You become the conduit for multiple SMEs to generate top-notch educational content that otherwise would never reach people who are searching for it online.
Identify What Is Important
Just because you know a lot about something doesn’t mean it is important to your audience or that you should blog about it. Being an expert on Bronies doesn’t mean you should author a corporate blog post on the topic, unless of course you are blogging for Hasbro or Discovery Family. Take the time to research industry trends, discover what competitors are writing about, read what industry journals and sites are publishing, and talk to your SMEs about what they are hearing from clients, prospects, and distribution partners.
Identify What You Rank For
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are indispensable tools in your blogging arsenal. To be sure, there are other powerful analytics and keyword resources out there, but for my money (which is none – they are free of monetary cost) they should form the foundation of any fledgling (or even advanced) blogging endeavor. With them, you can see what search terms – specifically, non-branded search terms – your existing content ranks for. This can help you identify the topics Google already identifies you as an authority on. Selecting a blog topic based on keywords you already rank for can help you further enhance that credibility with google, clients, prospects and distribution partners. Here is an SEO dashboard for Google Analytics I created. After clicking on the link, follow the instructions to import it into your GA dashboard gallery. If this dashboard doesn’t suit your needs, search the GA solutions gallery for one that more closely matches your goals.
Now that you know how to choose what to blog about
Using these 3 simple steps to help you choose what to blog about can take blogging from a difficult chore requiring lots of up-front time for topic identification, to an exciting project where you can dive right in.