Part 1: Topics & Keywords
Part 2: Meta Data
Part 3: Keywords, Headers & Calls To Action
Part 4: Links, Images, Formatting & Style

Today, in part 1 of this video series on the mechanics of a good blog post, we’re going to talk about identifying topics and using research to increase your chances of creating “engaging” content that people will want to link, like and share. If you haven’t already, read up on how we define “engaging content” which will help give context to this discussion.

Perform Search Volume Research To Identify Topics

At periscopeUP, we believe in market research. Whether we’re blogging on a client’s behalf or coaching them to write on their own, we first find out what questions the client’s prospects are asking. What is your prospect searching on? What do they want to know?

A great place to start is by asking your sales and customer service teams what product questions they are most often asked. get this is from your sales team. Don’t just limit it to product questions, but include industry and how-to questions. The sales teams are the front line and get these questions all the time.

Next, we start researching topic ideas with online tools. One free tool is Google Auto Complete, commonly known as Type Ahead. This tool will help you find out what people are asking Google in your industry.

google-search-bar-results

Other tools to find out what people are looking for are Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers, Quora, and Answers.com. Type in a few phrases and questions on your topic, and find out what questions people are asking. Then search Google to find out which questions or topics have not been answered, or answered well, in the blogosphere.

Finally, we turn to the Google’s Keywords Tool and Google Trends.

The Google Keywords Tool will tell you how many people searched on a keyword, and what the Adwords competition for that term is (which is not necessarily organic competition, but for these purposes a good enough indication). Google Trends will tell you if searches on a topic are increasing or decreasing over time, and give you an indication of the seasonality of search.

These tools should help you identify topics in demand, which should become part of your editorial calendar.

Up next in our four part series on the mechanics of a good blog post: meta data! Ooohhh. Aaahhh