As the old adage goes, give the people what they want. At the end of the day, you have a website for a reason and the principal reason is to provide quality content and attract readers, though you may have secondary goals, such as advertising revenue or promoting your products and services.
In order to attract readers, you have to give them a reason to want to read your material. Successful writers have two key elements: an engaging writing style and content that people want to read about. No one is going to read your site if you’re rambling on about topics that quite frankly, no one gives a crap about!
When you first start your site, you should already have decided what your main subject is, and as a result, know what your keywords are. These are the topics that you will be writing about. But to fine-tune it and come up with specific topics for writing new posts, you might need a little inspiration from time to time.
Look at your peers
A tactic that makes a lot of sense, but that not many people think of, is to look at the blogs that you read a lot. Obviously you’re reading them because you find them interesting, so they’re a great source of inspiration for topics that you can write about. And you can gauge how other people feel about them by seeing how popular they are and what people are saying in the comments.
This is by no means an invitation to copy from other people – it makes you look cheap and useless and also devalues the work of others. You should use them as a guide, but should be developing your own ideas for subject matter. Chances are that your readers will also read many of the same material that you do, so when their stories start appearing on your blog slightly modified a few days after publication, it’s going to be pretty obvious what you’re doing.
Google Insights is an excellent tool that isn’t really touted much by Google, but provides a wealth of knowledge about search habits dating back to 2004. However, if you’re looking for hot topics, you’re only really interested in searches that are currently popular.
One way of doing this is by looking at the most popular searches related to a certain keyword for the past week. For example, if you have a website about iPhones, it’d be worthwhile to search for popular search terms that include iPhone during the past 7 days.
Google Insights also helps you to narrow down your search geographically. So if you’re targeting customers in the States, you can see more specifically what American users are searching for in relation to your keywords, which may be vastly different to the wider world.
What other methods do you use to find new topics when you get writer’s block? I’m always intrigued to hear from you.