How to Find Topics to Write About
Successful content marketing outreach relies on finding the right topics to write about and then smashing the delivery out of the park. It’s no use mastering just one or the other.
The first part can sometimes feel like the hardest. You stare at a blank page with no idea what to type and where to go for inspiration. It’s not uncommon. Writer’s block is an experience as old as writing itself.
The truth is that inspiration needs to be actively searched for — at least when it comes to content marketing, anyway. It’s unlikely that you’ll pluck a topic out of thin air that will get shared a thousand times. That’s why we have a list of our favourite (and free) tools for researching content marketing outreach articles.
1. Use Google for content marketing outreach research
The first port of call for most things in life is a Google search, and your content marketing strategy should be no different. Google knows what people are looking for and helps them find it as easily as possible. Start typing one of your target keywords into the search bar and Google will provide you with a few suggestions, based on relevance and search history metrics.
For example, if I type in “guitar lessons”, Google suggests “for beginners”, “for kids”, “near me” and “London”. These last two might not be applicable, but if you’re looking to write an outreach article about learning to play the guitar, make a note of this demand for beginner material. If you do want to target your local area, then using locational keywords will help to boost your profile in your area.
To find topical news stories related to your keywords, head over to the news tab of a Google search. Keeping on top of and piggybacking off of the latest news and trending topics helps your writing to stay relevant, fresh and, crucially, clickable and shareable.
2. Find topics to write about with Google Alerts and Google Trends
As well as its search engine, Google has a couple of other awesome research tools. Alerts and Trends enable you to see what’s hot and what’s on the rise. These are invaluable if you want to keep your content marketing outreach topical.
Google Alerts lets you set up a daily, weekly, or as-it-happens news alert for certain keywords. If you’re in the coffee business, you could set up a daily alert for the word “coffee”. Alerts will email you when anything about that delicious black nectar gets published.
While Google Alerts is perfect for creating topical content for your content marketing campaign, Google Trends lets you zoom out a bit. Plug in a couple of keywords and you’ll see the amount of Google searches for that term over a certain period, and how they compare to one another. This is great for seeing what’s hot and what’s not.
Should you be writing about “guitar lessons” or “music lessons”? Google Trends seems to think the former.
Keeping your outreach content topical will encourage more shares and thus be more editor-friendly. Don’t underestimate this; keeping editors on your side is a big deal for your content marketing campaign.
3. See which articles generate the most shares with BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo lets you see which posts get the most shares on the internet on specific topics. It also lets you see where those shares came from, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.
First of all, type in one of your keywords. Let’s say you’re trying to think of outreach article topics about vaping. The results might show an article about a court ruling that you could write an opinion piece on, or a cool infographic about the benefits of vaping over smoking.
You can also use BuzzSumo to get an idea of the type of content that gets shares. There are filter options for infographics, guest posts, giveaways and more. Think about the kind of content marketing outreach that you’re trying to do, then see what gets shared around most often. If you’re not currently making infographics and they are the type of content most shared for your particular industry, you’re definitely missing a trick.
4. See what people are talking about with Twitter
It’s not just for procrastinating — Twitter is a research tool as well. It lets you see, in real time, what’s trending. Piggybacking off of popular trends is just one way to find great topics to write about.
Be warned, though, that clinging onto the latest viral content or internet meme without really understanding it can look a lot like your middle-aged uncle rapping along to Kendrick Lemar. Backlash against businesses desperately hijacking something popular is fierce. Finding relevant topics to write about is one thing, but trying to make your plumbing business look cool or relevant to young people with bad memes is embarrassing. It might generate publicity, but all press is not necessarily good press.
Twitter’s also useful as a networking tool, since it gives you access to most of the world’s journalists and bloggers under one domain. Look out for hashtags such as #journorequest — this is a journalist’s rallying call for experts in certain areas. You might be able to get a quote and a backlink in a national newspaper by keeping an eye on Twitter.
Spending a bit of time researching is vital for your content marketing outreach. Editors will want to see that your content is topical, interesting and shareworthy. Use some of the free tools we’ve outlined and your finger will be well and truly on the pulse.
If you have any other questions about content marketing, contact Exposure Ninja today. Our FREE website review will help you to figure out what kind of content marketing campaign would work best for your website.