To produce a great blog, you need to come up with topics that count. After all, most people in your niche already know the basics. They want to know more. They want new ideas and perspectives. And on top of that, they want to see their biggest fears, concerns, and desires addressed.
And that takes regular education in your niche. Come up with a weekly plan that allots time every week, even if only a couple hours, honing on what your market wants. Here are some activities you might consider.
1. Listen to Discussions
By discussions, I mean forums, which allow you to actually market while you’re gathering information and building credibility in your niche. It’s really three birds with one stone.
Don’t enter in a marketing frenzy, of course; rather, sit back and read until you get a feel for the forum’s “personality,” and then make a post or two if, and only if, you have a valuable contribution. You might even considering leaving out the signature for now.
As times goes on, post more as it seems natural and become a member of the community.
Even when not posting, the forum is a wealth of information. Just browse through posts and pay attention to questions that come up – these make solid blog topics.
2. Ask Your Readers
Ask your readers what they want to know! For instance, if you have a “start here,” call for input at the beginning of the intro.
Another idea is an occasional blog post. This puts the call for input in front of your long-time readers’s faces – and their opinions count the most.
Finally, asking readers what they want is a fantastic technique for starting an email newsletter. Invite them to email you directly.
Look, you want to talk with your readers, not talk at them. And this is a perfect opportunity for drawing them into the conversation and learning what they really want.
3. Read the Top Books In Your Niche
If you’re not doing so already, start reading the top books in your niche. These authors have done the research for you. In any book worth its salt, each chapter will provide dozens of ideas for possible blog topics.
4. Follow the Movers and Shakers Online
Follow all the top blogs in your niche. And by top blogs, I don’t just mean authority sites that rehash the news – I mean the “movers and shakers,” the guys and gals that create the buzz. Are there any Tim Ferris-like characters in your niche? These are the ones to read.
5. Pick Through Blog Comments
Blog comments are a no-brainer for blog topics. Readers often respond, give their input, ask questions, and suggest topics right out. Sometimes they’ll complain too, and gripes are great for possible topics.
Not just your blog either, especially if you don’t have enough readers to get comments yet. Read the comments in those top industry blogs too. This is where the real gold nuggets are.
6. Plug Into the News
Spend a bit of time each week catching up on the news in your niche so you know how the field is changing and what the most current buzz topics are. One easy way to do this is to set up a secondary gmail account and use Google Alerts to fill your inbox with articles. Just login to the account and it’s all sitting right there.
With these six simple ideas, there’s really no reason to ever come up short for things to write about. Do you have any tricks for developing cool, relevant blog posts?