How To Get Ideas For Remarkable Content
There is only one real way to succeed with blogging. SEO tips and tricks for getting traffic may help but without that one thing you are down and out before you even started. Without it link building turns into super hard, boring, and depressing activity that rarely brings any result. On the other hand, if you have that one thing links quickly start flowing on their own once you give them initial push. So what is it? A magic bullet or a super-innovative link-wheel plugin for WordPress? Of course not.
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Bloody remarkable content.
This is it. This is what makes or breaks a blog or almost every other web based business. Publish remarkable content and SEO will be easy. Be boring and you’ll have to fight, pay, beg, and pray for every single link from a low quality PR 0 site that no one reads anyway. Believe me, I’ve been on both sides. I’ve had sites with nothing but crap content written to please search engines and I know what is it to try to promote such useless stuff. And I have also seen how having a remarkable blog post, an impressive infographic, or just a super useful tool attracted links and traffic on their own and I never had to do much else than posting a link in a social news site. Just to get the ball rolling.
Or if you don’t believe me hang around some popular SEO forums. SEOChat is a great example. Hang around and see what advice is given to newbies all the time. Guess what? Create great content of course!
OK, enough. Those who are not convinced can go back to their all-day-long article and directory submission and link begging. Are you still here? Great. I’ll tell you how I find ideas for remarkable content. Getting ideas is half the battle but it’s an important half. I’ll leave the other half – actually creating the content – to you.
Discussion forums in the niche I am creating content for are among the first places I stop by. They are full of ideas:
- What are the hottest discussions? Write your own view on the subject, back it up with massive research, put some nice graphics and you have a top class blog post. Very often you can even get your first link from the same discussion that has inspired you.
- Which topics provoke the most passionate fights? Take a side, argument yourself well, be blunt and have a strong opinion. That’s a piece of great content.
- What questions are most often asked by newbies? Answer them in detail and make the piece of content easy enough to be understood by non-specialist. Produce a video if you wish.
Q and A sites
Question and answer sites like Yahoo Answers are another great source of content ideas. Use keywords to search or just browse the questions that people ask in your niche. Don’t only look for open questions – sometimes the answered questions are even better. You are not chasing link from Yahoo Answers here (they are nofollowed anyway). You are chasing ideas. Find the best questions, answer them on your site and make sure you answer them better than they are answered in the Q and A site.
Your internal search stats
Please, don’t tell me that you have no idea what people search for while being on your site. I’m not talking about Google Analytics or Awstats but about what people enter in your own on-site search box. These search terms show what people really want to find once they already liked your blog enough to stay for a while. If you are using WordPress, you’ll need a plugin to show you the searches. For other platforms you may need to build such a tool yourself. But do have one, because this information is priceless. Pay special attention to searches that happen more than once. Then create content that answers them and make sure it gets found.
Popular posts on other blogs
You already follow popular blogs in your niche, don’t you? OK, make a list of the top 5 or 10 ones, visit them and see which posts get the most comment, most likes or Facebook shares. Many blogs have “best” section or page, others have “most commented” or “most read” sections. If they don’t have any of these just browse the most recent archives and see where the most comments are getting posted. If you are using some advanced SEO tool you may also want to check which posts get the most inbound links.
Now, don’t steal the content, but steal the ideas. Create something similar but better on your blog. Or contradict with the best blog post, smash it, criticize it but do it well and back your criticism. You can even mail the author with your post URL and this will sometimes lead to a link right from their blog.
Or mix the ideas of several of their posts into one yours. Or get a sub-point of their post and expand it into a whole new post, enhance it with graphics. The opportunities are endless. You know their content is already remarkable and attracts links, so use the ideas inside (but don’t plagiarize) and create your own piece that’s even better.
Similar to the above strategy is to browse the social news sites in your niche and see what’s getting upvoted most. Again re-purpose, mix, contradict, criticize, enhance, improve…
Don’t tell me you have no idea what to write for. Ideas are abundant and free. You only have to sit down and make sure the content you create using these ideas is of really high quality.
P.S. Keyword research is a bitch. Don’t try to get content ideas based on what are most popular keywords in Google. You’ll have hard time to rank for these keywords and trying to rank for them will influence your writing in a bad way. The resulting content will most probably be of low quality and not original, because thousand of other bloggers are writing the same trying to please the search engines.