Our recent study into how some of the UK’s top tech companies are using social media (download it here) found that while only 28% had a corporate blog, those that were blogging were taking it more seriously than ever.
An effective blogging strategy can help you build expertise and form the foundations of a broader thought leadership platform. And, with Google paying more attention to individual thought leaders with its use of AuthorRank, there has never been a better time to invest in blogging.
But setting up a blog and making it look nice is only the tip of the iceberg. As we all know, the success of any blog relies on the content you produce.
To really engage with your target audience, your content needs to add value. And that is easier said than done.
Here are five ways you can get blog post inspiration based on trends that are guaranteed to excite your readers:
1. Power up your RSS feed
RSS is often neglected but remains a good way to tap into the zeitgeist. By identifying key blogs and news sites in the area you are interested in, you can keep an eye on topic trends and burning issues of the day.
By referencing blog posts that are written elsewhere in the community, you’ll begin to build more awareness of your own efforts, driving traffic and SEO-beneficial links in the process.
2. Tap into search or social trends
If you haven’t come across Google Trends, then prepare yourself for a significant time sink. It’s a great way to find out how popular certain topics are and whether a particular subject area’s popularity is on the up or not.
You could also use other SEO tools such as the Google Keyword Tool to find search-friendly topics or keywords.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on social trends too. Sites like TrendsMap will help you identify Twitter Trending Topics filtered by location.
3. Piggyback on the news agenda
Building on the previous suggestion, it would be wrong to ignore the traditional media entirely in favour of just social or search trends. Keep an eye on your trade media titles or the national news agenda and use articles written by others to inspire blogging topics. Can you comment on current stories or offer an alternative opinion?
There’s no point piggybacking off news just for the sake of it. It has to fit in with your content or thought leadership strategy and be relevant.
4. Canvas your community
What are your Twitter followers talking about? Can you identify key influencers and segment their Twitter feeds to keep track of hot topics they might be discussing?
If all else fails you could just be bold and ask your social communities for thoughts on what they would like you to cover. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
5. Learn from the past
Google Analytics is your friend! If you aren’t looking into previous blog posts to see which were most popular then it’s time to dust off that Google login and get involved.
You’ll be amazed by the wealth of data available. Don’t just focus on visits, look into other metrics such as time on site and uncover the posts that managed to achieve the most social traffic.