Category Archives: Guest Blogger

How To Generate A Steady Stream Of Tantalizing Topics For Your Blog

finding new blogging topics

Business blogs always sound like a great idea, until you run out of interesting things to blog about. We’ve all heard of writer’s block, but “topic block” is another common affliction among bloggers, and it can set in three weeks, three months or three years after launch. Here are a few techniques to help you keep your posts full of information that your audience wants to read, listen to, or view.

Get Help!

Topic block has set in. Now what? One of the most valuable business lessons I ever learned is, when you’ve got a lot of hard work staring you in the face … get somebody else to do it! This technique works like a charm for topic generation. Perhaps the best sources of topics for your blog are your readers, your customers, and your sales and customer service teams — survey these people to get their ideas. This can be done by —

  • Talking to them in person
  • Writing a blog post asking for their input
  • Emailing an online survey
  • Asking publicly or through private messages on social media

The key to making this work is guiding the responses. Asking an open-ended question such as, “What should I write about?” requires the respondent to do too much thinking. Frame your canvassing efforts with questions that facilitate a useful and specific response. Examples —

  • What is your biggest business challenge with (product/service/industry)?
  • What is your biggest operational challenge with (product/service/industry)?
  • What is your biggest financial challenge with (product/service/industry)?
  • How has this (product/service) helped you save money?
  • How has this (product/service) helped you become more efficient?
  • How has this (product/service) helped you?
  • What (product/service/industry) issue confuses you?
  • What do you wish you knew about this (product/service/industry)?

You should include response options if you do an online survey and have some ready if you’re in a live meeting to make it even easier for the respondents.

Look at Keywords

Whether or not you’re worried about SEO for your blog (you probably should be), keywords are an excellent place to mine for blog topics. The keyword data about search terms reveals a lot about what issues are of wide concern, and the language people use to research those issues. Uncovering common issues drives interesting blog posts, and using the popular language in the post title and text attracts blog traffic and holds reader attention.

Online keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer are easy to use and exceedingly helpful. For instance, if you have a food blog and wanted to write about rice pudding, the Moz tool might lead you to consider one or more of the following topics —

  • How to Make Rice Pudding
  • How to Make Rice Pudding From Scratch
  • How to Make Easy Rice Pudding
  • Rice Pudding Recipe With Cooked Rice
  • Baked Rice Pudding Recipe
  • Simple Recipe for Rice Pudding
  • Easy, Creamy Rice Pudding
  • Best Rice Pudding Ever
  • Rice Pudding With No Egg
  • Stovetop Rice Pudding

Note that this type of result can translate into multiple posts around the same topic. In this case, a general “How to Make Rice Pudding” post could be followed up with several more specific posts using titles from the list above.

Also, if your company is running a PPC campaign, you absolutely need to review the keyword data. It will tell you what keyword phrases are generating conversions — which tells you what keyword phrases are generating interest. It’s a must-do topic creation chore.

Stop Writing and Start Talking

A final suggestion for topic generation — probably the most enjoyable and for me, the most productive of all — is talking to colleagues and peers. Co-workers, bloggers in your niche or related ones, and maybe even competitors, are just like you, in the sense they are living, breathing and thinking about the same issues day in and day out.

Whether you talk one on one, attend a local meet-up, travel to a convention, use Skype or social media, you will eventually find people who make great brainstorming companions, and topic ideas will flow like a raging river. The nice thing about this topic-generation technique is that it helps not only you, but also your companions. They will develop ideas to help their business and blog, and may lead to guest blogging opportunities and other forms of collaboration that are good for business all the way around.

Winning the SEO Race By Creating Content With Your Competitors In Mind

One of the most common conversations that I have with my customers surrounds the idea that they need to create content with their competitors in mind. Common reactions include:

  • "I don’t want to help my competitors!"
  • "Why on earth would I do that!? My competitors will never link to me!"
  • "Why do I even want my competitors to link to me?"

You may feel this way as well. It does sound kind of strange. After working in this industry now for about 13 years, I have learned something extremely important. If you can get a small majority of the people that currently rank in the search engines for the same keywords that you want to rank for, Google often considers you the expert.

Search Engines Want Authorities Appearing In Their Search Result Pages.

Think about the logic to this. Google wants to show its users the most relevant search results. Therefore, the pages that currently come up in the top 100 or so of the search results, are the sites that Google feels are the most relevant. So, if 10 of those 100 sites link to your website, with specific anchor text that contains the keyword you want to rank for, Google is obviously going to consider your website an authority on that topic.

Creating Something Great For Your Industry.

As an example, in 2007, I opened an Internet marketing agency with my business partners. We knew, that because the website was so new (brand-new in fact), we were going to have to do something really impactful if we were going to rank well for keyword phrases related to "Internet marketing agency". Obviously, there would be a large number of websites that had a lot of great links already because of us being in the seo service industry. We looked for "holes" in the content currently available… needs that maybe we could fill and we created a list of well linked to resource pages in the industry. We determined, through all of this research, that there was a great need for a link building chart. So, we created a visual representation of the methods in which you can use to build links into your website. We allow the people to download a high-resolution version of this in PDF format. Then, we actually put a price tag on it and allow people to purchase the chart in printed form.

Spread The Word About Your Awesome Stuff.

Next, we put together a list of websites that commonly talked about link building. We found their e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information and simply reached out to them. We said things like, "I hope all is well with you. We just wanted to reach out quickly and let you know that we have created a really cool chart that breaks down all of the different ways in which your customers can build links into their websites. We think that they’ll probably find it pretty useful and it could be a really great resource for you to be able to share with them in a graphical manner how you build links. Feel free to use it as often as you like. All that we ask, is that you mention it on your website and give us some credit. Have an incredible day!"

Within a week, we had hundreds of links pointing into our website. Today even, if you Google "SEO link building," you’ll find the chart somewhere on the first page of Google. Not positive, but I’m pretty sure we have not built a link to that page since we created the chart.

Make It Unique Or Better Than What’s Already Out There.

Now, you don’t have to spend the money or time creating and infographic, a laboratory, or anything like that. But, as long as you create something that is better or more unique than anything else that’s out there, you can have a winner!

Think about this! If you’re in the insurance industry, and you’re really great at sales, why not make a guide that contains information and links to every single insurance sales related resource on the Internet? Then, go to forums and comment on blogs that a lot of insurance salespeople read and tell them about it.

Help And Be Helped.

But don’t forget this. If you sound overly promotional and not very helpful your not going to get the results you’re looking for. Zig Zigler said it best, "if you help enough people to get what they want, you’re sure to get what you want."

Difference between B2B and B2C content writing

B2B ContentBusinesses need websites to instantly provide relevant information to their visitors. They also need engaging content that prompts them to take an action, and eventually turn them into their paying customers and clients.

Regardless of the type of site you have, its content should help generate traffic and build relationship with your target audience. Businesses are normally of two types: B2B (business to business) and B2C. For instance, Credible Content Services is a content writing service primarily catering to the B2B market because we provide content to businesses.

How do you differentiate between writing B2B and B2C content?

When writing for a B2B website, consider the language you would be using. B2B content is normally written for professionals working within a particular niche. These professionals use a certain jargon and terminologies in their day to day interactions with potential clients. Your content should therefore be written with phrases that would make them feel at ease, identify with your business and perceive your business as an expert within that niche.

On the other hand, the language employed in B2C website writing should be devoid of professional jargon and terminologies. It should be written with one thing in mind― how do we meet the needs of the consumers with easily understood content?

In a B2B, the buying process begins when a prospect accesses a company’s website or blog. Decision makers from different departments from within that particular company need to have access to some kind of information to accelerate their buying process. Because of these varied audience involved in the buying process, your web content must have sections addressing all these. But when writing for a B2C website, you are writing to the general public (which may be a varied audience I agree) and they all have one thing in common―How does this product or service meet my needs? If you are able to capture this in the content writing process you are done. Anyone who visits your website would see his or her needs met (though they are from different backgrounds).

B2B websites purchases require evaluating multiple factors. The buyer needs to do more research on the products, organize thoughts and analyze before a purchase is made. The content writer should go the extra mile to make whatever information a company may need to facilitate the buying process available, research should be presented in a form of write-ups (web contents) and condensed in an easily readable and or downloadable format. Such write ups may include white papers, case studies, referencing, e-books etc.

On the contrary, B2C writing does not need deep research in order to generate the contents as the consumer makes the buying decision alone. As such if he or she is convinced, the product or service meets his or her expectation and more importantly, if the pricing is right compared to other competitors, he or she would settle for yours.