“What’s a blog topic that could be a hit?”
“What do subscribers want to read about?”
“Would site visitors want to find out about this?”
These are the questions that haunt content marketers on a daily basis. After all, brainstorming blog topics matter. If you have a boring topic, sometimes decent writing won’t be enough to save you. In contrast, if you write about a topic that everyone wants to read about, then you can expect click-through-rates to hit the roof.
But how do you come up with compelling blog topics? How do you find topics that everyone wants to read about?
A good rule of thumb is to find underground content. For starters, underground content refers to blog topics that haven’t hit the mainstream. If your peers are marketers, then you know how excited they get when they read about a conversion strategy that’s not so well-known in the industry. If you have friends who are super into indies film, you now they love finding gems that only a few have seen. The same works for content.
Often, people share content that’s new and fresh. After all, part of the reason why you share a blog post, is because you and your network have never seen the interesting information before.
Does this mean underground content is 100% original? Not exactly.
It’s true that blog posts with authentic and real-life experiences have the potential to go viral. It’s one of the reasons why thought leadership articles from CEOs and entrepreneurs get a lot of clicks. But sometimes content marketers don’t have enough interesting experiences that they want to write about. Sometimes there’s nothing interesting going on in their personal or professional lives. So how do you brainstorm compelling and trending topics?
One trick is to find good topics that haven’t hit the mainstream. This involves analysing trends and determining the potential of newly-published articles.
How Do You Determine Trends?
The main tool that I like to use is Feedly. It’s fairly easy to create an account. You can get started by simply signing up using your Gmail. After you create a free account, you should follow the top websites in your industry. In the example below, I’ve followed Hubspot.
I’ve also followed a bunch of popular sources in the marketing industry.
Now, I’ll click the label “marketing” under the Feeds section.
After I’ve clicked the marketing section, I’m directed to a page with a list of blog posts recently published by the sources I’ve followed. The numbers beside the source indicate its popularity count. Comparing popularity counts is one surefire way of finding out up and coming topics. In the example below, the popularity count for for the article “14 Ways to Get Smarter With Content and SEO” is coloured orange, because of its high popularity count for the past 20 hours.
I can also use Feedly to follow keywords such as “Shopify.”
Once I click the keyword, I can view the latest articles for Shopify from the world’s best news sources.
In summary, finding underground content is one way you can search for compelling and up-and-coming blog topics. It’s therefore in your best interest to create an account on Feedly to get started.