No one wants to waste time writing on blog topics that will not generate a meaningful return for your business. So you have to do some validation to determine if your blog topics are appealing to your audience and keeping them engaged. In other words, determine what’s newsworthy to your audience in terms of timing, importance, prominence, and human interest.
Get to know your audience inside out
Before you start writing on a specific topic, here a few questions you should ask yourself, according to Hubspot:
- Who searches for information on this topic? What are their ages, job roles, and demographic traits?
- What emotions do you want to evoke? What are their goals?
- What do you want viewers to do with your blog posts once they read it?
When you have a pretty good idea who your audience is based on their demographic and psychographic (behavioral) traits, you can use this information to determine if your topic ideas fit this target audience. If the topics don’t fit the mold, dump them…and keep the ones that do.
Figure out what questions they need answered
Based on the persona of your targets, start to think of the solutions they’re looking for and the challenges they face. From that point, you can pinpoint the specific angle of the content.
Use a topic cluster to organize your thoughts
Ask yourself, “What content has already been published about the topic, and what angle can I pursue to differentiate mine?” Using a topic cluster helps you figure out blog content based on how a search evolves from a general topic to varying sub-topics. By clustering ideas around one core topic that is relevant to your audience, it becomes easier to generate content that you know will resonate with your audience.
Use tools to gut check your topics
When you have topics in mind for blog posts, do some research and testing. Just because you think the topic is interesting and good for SEO (search engine optimization) doesn’t always mean it will hit a cord with your audience. Here are some of the tools you can use to determine if an angle is worth pursuing as a post:
- TitleTester: Helps analyze which topic has the highest click-through rate. You can use this tool to test different angles on a topic to see which generates the most interest.
- Quora: This Q & A forum helps validate blog topics with the least amount of effort on your part, by turning to a community of experts and professionals for in-depth answers on questions about your topics.
- Twitter Polls: Ask your followers to vote for topics they’re most interested in reading more about using Twitter Polls. Use that data to guide your topic choosing before starting to write.
- BuzzSumo: Use this tool to analyze how many times a URL has been shared via social media or linked to by another domain. It helps you make sure you have a proven topic before you start investing your precious time, energy, and resources into turning that idea into a reality. (You can also do some quick competitor analysis by dropping in links to content on the topic you’re writing about to see how different angles have performed in the past.)
- Instagram: There are 2 ways to use Instagram to validate blog topics. The easiest way is to create a simple infographic or use someone else’s you credit on your topic (works especially well for how-to articles) … and see your Instagram followers’ reactions. Another method is to create flashy headline and a caption that’s a mini blog to see how your audience reacts. Be sure to tap into Instagram’s hashtags to get your post in front of your audience.
- Blog Comments: If your blog has commenting enabled, you can get feedback from your subscribers to answer the exact questions you’re asking—what content is my audience interested in? Take positive and constructive feedback from readers into account in forming your strategy.
When you’ve aggregated responses to different tests and questions you’ve asked your audience, you can choose topics and titles with the greatest level of engagement and response.
The best way to make sure your blog topics and content appeal to your audience is to talk to the experts at Solamar. Please give us a shout out!