How to Choose a Great Blog Topic
Successful and sustainable content marketing campaigns all come down to one thing – your employees. Do they have buy-in? Are you creating a culture that holds them accountable for participating? Do they feel empowered to produce quality content?
There are a lot of questions here and I’m not going to answer all of them in this blog. But I will answer the last one – and it all starts with choosing a great blog topic. Here’s how I learned this firsthand.
The Struggle Is Real
At BIG YAM, I have a lot of different roles – social media strategist, content creator, she who sings too much at her desk – but the one that I’ve struggled with the most is in my role as BLOG MASTER (Yes, that’s a self-given title. And yes, it’s in all caps to make it seem cooler.) As BLOG MASTER, I get the super fun job of assigning fellow employees to write blogs … and then nagging them to death over the next few weeks to do it.
Now, I want you to keep a few things in mind with this story:
- I work with smart cookies. Seriously, these folks are some of the most talented and knowledgeable people in their fields.
- Every last one of them is a workhorse. We don’t have a single lazy soul in the whole bunch, because, frankly, a lazy person would not be able to survive the pace!
- I’ve never met such a group of overachievers. We all put in the time to make sure we are producing world-class work for our clients because a desire for excellence is a fundamental part of our company culture.
So, the root issue with blog creation isn’t a lack of expertise, work ethic or a desire for excellence, which our employees all have in droves. What’s the problem, then?
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
Have you ever procrastinated an assignment at work because you just weren’t sure how to begin? Almost every time I circled back with an employee about a blog assignment, it was because they didn’t know what to write about. While they are all subject matter experts in their fields – graphic design, business intelligence, digital banner ads – they didn’t know how to translate their knowledge and experience into a blog.
How to Choose a Great Blog Topic
When you assign an employee to do a blog, consider passing along the following guidelines to help them choose a great blog topic.
PROVIDE VALUE – Quality content marketing is all about one thing – providing your target audience with value. It’s only after providing value and developing a relationship that you can then ask them to do something (i.e., buy my product or service). One way you can do this is by answering their questions or solving their needs. If you’re a social media strategist, for example, common questions I could answer include:
- Which social media platforms should I be on?
- How do I target millennials with social media posts?
- What should I do about internet trolls on my social channels?
CONSULT THE GOOGLE – The Google predictive search feature is a great way to see what people are searching for. Start typing your specialty or one of your questions from above and see the options that pop up. This can easily spark a blog idea or two.
GET SOCIAL – Social platforms are designed to see what’s trending. Look up phrases or hashtags in your industry to see what people are talking about. You can also use your existing social channels to crowdsource a question – ask your followers what they would like to learn more about.
INDUSTRY RESEARCH – The best way to figure out viable blog topics is to always be investing in your industry knowledge. I get several emails a day about the latest and greatest industry news in social media. I listen to podcasts, follow industry folks on Twitter and am constantly searching certain hashtags to make sure I know what’s going on, which makes choosing a topic super easy for me.
Even if you’re an expert in your field, choosing a great topic often takes a little bit of initial research and a whole lot of thoughtfulness. But once you have your topic down, it’s often a breeze to write, because you have the knowledge and experience to bring it to life.
Let’s Talk SEO for a Hot Second
This is your entry-level approach to choosing a great blog topic. But if you’re really serious about getting rankings in local/national search, you are going to need to layer in SEO tactics on top of this strategy. This would include things like keyword research, audience segmentation and readability. To learn more about how to develop a more refined content marketing strategy, contact us today.