ContentWritingChat with Monika Jansen

#ContentWritingChat June 7 2016 Recap: How to Consistently Find Fresh Blog Topics

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? There’s no need to worry! We have you covered with a recap of Tuesday’s chat, which was filled with great tips to help you come up with your next blog topic.

Let’s dive into the tweets!

#ContentWritingChat June 7 2016 Recap: How to Consistently Find Fresh Blog Topics


This week, Monika Jansen joined us as our guest host. Monika is the founder of Jansen Communications, as well as an experienced online copywriter. She shared key tips on creating “fresh” content for your blog.

Q1: What are ways to come up with new topics for your blog?

The truth is, sometimes it’s hard to come up with interesting topics to write about on your blog. Instead of stressing as you try to come up with ideas, check out these tips:

Monika suggested starting with your FAQ. Odds are, you’re getting a lot of questions from clients or readers of your blog. Address those questions in a blog post. It’s so simple, but it’s effective because you’re giving your audience exactly what they want.

If you’re still stuck, just ask your audience what they’d like to see from you. They’re the best people to tell you what they’d like to read.

Kyle knows it’s important to keep your content relevant to your product or service. His tip is to choose topics that haven’t been covered yet or haven’t yet been covered in depth. Ask yourself what could use more coverage in your field and start writing.

Jeff likes to use Google Alerts and also tracks hashtags to see what other people are talking about. This is a great way to alert you to trending topics or questions people in your field may have. Asking your colleagues for ideas is another great tip!

For Hannah, coming up with blog topics starts with a brainstorming session with the team at her job. If you have multiple people on your team, get everyone together to talk about ideas. They just might have some amazing tips you can use.

Our CEO, Julia, agrees that teamwork is powerful. She also likes to use BuzzSumo to research competitors for inspiration.

Don’t forget to read! You want to stay updated with everything that’s going on in your industry. Reading will help you come up with ideas, plus give you amazing content to share with your audience.

Erika said social listening is a great way to come up with content ideas. If you join a few Twitter chats, you’re sure to find people asking questions. Use those ideas to spark new content for your blog.

One thing to keep in mind via Michael: give your audience what they need, not just what they want.

Q2: What are your favorite tools/methods to help you come up with blog topics?

There are plenty of tools you can use to find blog post topics, plus a method or two you can implement. Here’s what our chat participants like to do:

Monika’s advice is pretty clear: read more often! Find books, articles, etc. in your industry and start diving in.

Brittany likes to use Google Keyword Planner and she also likes to check trends and hashtags. While they’re all helpful, she also knows sometimes you just need to brainstorm with a pen and notebook.

We’re also fans of BuzzSumo here at Express Writers, so we highly recommend it. Check out Feedly to see what other websites are posting about and it might spark some ideas of your own.

Erika is also a fan of BuzzSumo, which is awesome! Some other tools she uses includes: Google Adwords Planner, Meltwater, and Feedly.

Sarah from ThinkSEM knows Twitter is a great place to find ideas. She also turns to articles from industry experts and uses Google Analytics. Don’t forget to check out your analytics to see what people are searching to get to your site and what they’re searing while on your site. It’s the perfect way to discover new ideas!

Google Docs is a great place to brainstorm your ideas. TimeTap suggested taking a look at what other bloggers in your field are doing. You don’t want to copy them, but you can still draw inspiration from their content and put your own spin on things.

Q3: How can you ensure you consistently provide great content for your audience?

You want to make sure all of your content is amazing, right? These tips will ensure you’re always publishing your best content:

Monika’s advice is to write like you talk. Conversational writing will keep your audience engaged and help them to develop a connection with you. It’s much more personable.

Debi knows it’s important to address the pain points of your customers. What problems are they struggling with and how can you help? Address their biggest issues and answer their questions. It’s the best way to provide value to them.

Make sure you’re paying attention to your analytics. As Erika and Maggie said, you need to know what your audience is actually reading and engaging with. Provide them with the content that resonates with them to keep them coming back for more.

Varun suggested looking at your content through the eyes of your audience. Ask yourself if what you’ve written adds value. You can also ask for feedback, but make sure you actually implement what you’ve learned.

Similarly, you want to ask yourself if you’d find your content to be interesting. If the answer is no, it’s better to come up with a new idea.

Great advice from Hannah: test, learn, optimize. You need to make sure your audience is actually responding to your content, which means testing is very important.

Just give them what they love! It really is as simple as that. Get to know your audience and figure out what kind of content they enjoy so you can create more of that.

Q4: What makes a blog topic “fresh”?

So, what exactly is a “fresh” blog topic? Here’s what our #ContentWritingChat friends had to say:

Monika said it’s all about providing your perspective, your experience, your approach, and your tips. It’s your knowledge and personality that keep content fresh.

Kyle said a fresh blog topic could cover a current event or a new piece of technology. It could even mean providing a new point of view on a topic that’s already been covered.

Eliza said fresh blog content is relevant. If it’s relevant to your audience and the time, then you’re golden.

A fresh blog topic could be something new or it could be a new spin on something old. Add your perspective for a unique take on a topic.

As Brittany said, you can also freshen up old blog posts if they’re still relevant. We also like her use of “freshify.”

Well said, Julia! This is exactly right.

Q5: Should you incorporate trending topics into your blog content?

Should you write about trending topics on your blog? Check out these tips and see for yourself:

As Monika said, you can write about trending topics, but only if it’s relevant to your audience and your brand. Keep that in mind when choosing which ones you write about on your website.

It seems Ray agrees. If there’s a trending topic you want to write about, ask yourself if it’s the right fit for you. Is it appropriate for your industry or your company? Does it fit with your products or services?

Tim and Zachary said you should go for it, but only if it’s relevant to your niche. You don’t want to just jump on the bandwagon to be trendy.

When it comes to writing about trending topics, Kyle said to make sure you contribute to it in a meaningful way. You should be able to add value to your audience.

Consider your target audience and whether or not it serves your long-term goals to write about a certain topic.

Michael suggested seeing if you can spin trending topics into evergreen content ideas. Evergreen content is always great for your blog and can help bring regular traffic to your site.

Q6: What are some tips for being consistent when it comes to blogging?

How important is consistency as a blogger? It’s pretty important! Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your game:

Having an editorial calendar is key! Make sure you’re planning posts on the topics your audience is most interested in.

Fantastic advice from Christoph: never stop blogging. You need to make the time to commit to blogging on a regular basis. Scheduling your posts in advance is definitely helpful for this.

Sarah recommended having an editorial calendar. It’s a great way to keep you organized and you’ll never have to wonder what you should post. She also said to have a few posts ready to go for those slow weeks and months.

Like Sarah, Brittany also recommended having evergreen content ready to go for those times when writer’s block strikes.

Having a schedule is so important. Make sure your writers are aware of the schedule and stick to it as well.

Julia said to set aside time every week to plan out your content. You never have to stress about what you’re going to post if you plan in advance.

Jeff suggested checking your analytics to see if there are better days to post. If you notice one day is more popular than another, take advantage of it.

Great advice from Molly: set realistic expectations for yourself. You’re going to have to work your way up. You won’t see results right away.

Q7: How can you repurpose your blog content?

Don’t just leave your best content on your blog. Find ways to repurpose it!

Monika said to create graphics out of your best tips and share them on social media.

Here are some ideas from Julia: create quote visuals for posting on social media, make a SlideShare with great tidbits, or turn your written content into video content.

You can even turn your blog posts into podcast episodes. To drive traffic back to blog posts, include a round-up in your email newsletter.

You can even turn your post into an infographic or a complete eBook.

For Jeff, he reuses blog content by sharing it on social media, in emails, and in a magazine.

Molly said to keep an eye on your top performing posts. Make sure you update them with a new call to action, relevant links, etc.

Kelli knows link building within your site is important. Make sure you’re adding links to your newer posts in those old posts to keep people on your site.

Zachary was still sharing ideas even after the chat! He recommended choosing a favorite blog post and saving it as your pinned tweet on Twitter to drive more traffic to it.

Q8: What metrics can you measure to see how effective your blogging is?

How can you determine if your blogging efforts have been successful? Keep an eye on these metrics:

As Monika said, you should always consider what your goals are. Those are the metrics you should be measuring.

Are people sharing your content? Are they interacting with it in any way? Are they converting?

Are people reading your post, sharing it, and talking about it? What does your bounce rate look like? You want to get people to stay on your site once they land there.

Molly also knows checking your bounce rate and the amount of time spend on the page are important to measure. This will give you an idea of whether or not your audience found value in your content.

Don’t forget to include a call to action (CTA) within your post. Then, track your results to see if people are responding.

Are you getting return visits to your site? You want to make sure people keep coming back for more. You should also track that important length of time on page, social media shares, CTA results, and email newsletter sign-ups.

Great tip, Jeff! Remember that not everyone will tag you when sharing your content on social media, which means you’ll miss some shares. Search your URL on Twitter to see all the shares from your site.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

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