Web Content Creation 101: Choosing Topics
If your blog is full of keyword-focused titles, it’s probably also full of completely useless articles. No offense, it’s just that the two often go hand in hand. It’s almost impossible to publish quality articles when your priority is keyword optimization.
That’s old news, but for some it’s still new to think about topics before keyword optimization, because “isn’t the purpose of a blog to increase your page rank?” (Nope.) The real purpose of a successful blog is to build a relationship with your audience. To have a two-sided conversation. To share your expertise and open up the floor (comments section) for questions, comments, and feedback. The purpose of your blog is to enlighten, educate, or entertain your audience. To make them feel something. Sure, you can use your blog to talk about a common problem or challenge that your audience faces with the intention of explaining a solution that your company offers. It works, and that’s a good topic as long as you deliver a useful article that isn’t too self-serving or overly promotional. Giving readers something to relate to is the best approach to any topic, and that’s why these following tips will point you in the right direction.
Write About Something You’re Passionate About
- It lets your audience know what you’re passionate about
- It gives like-minded readers something to relate to, another reason to love your brand
- It shows that you have an opinion and something to talk about other than yourself (your own products or services.)
- It doesn’t have to be relevant to what you do, but it should be relevant to what your target audience will also be passionate about.
Share a Strong, Controversial Opinion on a Hot Topic
- Every hot topic comes with two opinions—mine and the wrong one. (Just kidding.)
- Understand that you can’t post a controversial opinion without upsetting people. That’s good… it leads to 2 sided conversations.
- Also know that you can’t publish a controversial opinion without losing some readers or subscribers that disagree.
- Making an impact with your brand is not a popularity contest. Yet if you aren’t comfortable going bold, you should just avoid hot topics all together. (Vanilla-minded blog articles can be dull and pointless.)
Be The Original Source
- Do yourself a favor and avoid publishing list-style articles that only link out to external articles with more substance.
- Instead, be the original source for truly authentic, valuable, and unique information. Be the article that list-style articles link to.
- When publishing a tutorial or How-To guide, be sure to include pictures for each step. Take your own pictures!
Mix Up Your Mediums
- Writing articles is the most common default for a blog, but if you’re feeling stuck you should try publishing something that isn’t an article.
- Slideshows, videos, and infographics all examples of a fresh way to add some spice to your blog and stop things from getting too dull.
Things To Avoid
- Do keep tabs on what others in your industry are publishing. Do not parrot them.
- Do include keywords where they belong naturally. Do not try to fit keywords or long phrases in awkwardly.
- Do include a call to action or author box. Do not make the article all about you.
- Do edit before publishing, including the removal and simplification of all fluff and unnecessary text. Do not feel that an article has to be a certain word count.
- Do publish original content that your audience will want to engage with, by commenting and/or sharing with their friends. Do not plagiarize ideas from anyone. (The original is always better.)
- Do include a resource link to existing content that support your point. Do not forget citations for intellectual property that is not your own.