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How Do You Know What to Blog About?

How Do You Find Topics to Blog About?

Good question! Let's discuss what to blog about and where to get ideas as well as why you should be blogging on your business website because it's pretty important.

Why Do Business Blogging?

As we've discussed before (see "How Do You Blog?"), it's important to do blogging if you want your website to rank higher. The analogy I like to give is that you get more fish with a bigger net. You get a bigger net by having a larger website. If someone is searching for a certain phrase and your website happens to have that phrase on it, then you have a much better chance of showing up for that search, right? So... you need to add content, it's that simple.

I know someone that works at a large, international SEO firm. They get some large clients. If I listed names, you'd recognize every one of them. He told me that when they get a new client (and after they do keyword research), they order content. And I'm talking like 1500 pages of content for that website. This is especially true with websites that are content poor. So when I hear from people that they can't even add one new blog post per year (just 52 pages in one year), I know they're definitely not serious about SEO. I mean, that should be the absolute minimum that anyone should be doing. If you can't handle that, then do not waste your time and stop reading this article. Really. It's not for you and you don't want your website to rank higher.

If you are not a writer, then find one. Maybe someone at your company would like to do this for you.

What is a Blog?

Let's take a step back for a moment. If you know what a blog is, then skip ahead.

A blog is short for "web log." A log is something that goes on and on and is chronological. Here is how Wikipedia defines blog:

A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).

Blogging software makes blogging really easy. You just login, click a button to add a new post and then start typing. You put in a title, select a category and then add tags along with your content. On your website, the most recent blog entry / post shows up first. The rest get pushed down and are archived.

Google loves blogs because they're easy to follow and understand. The latest entries are first, tags are used (think keywords but much more powerful) and they're grouped into categories, which gives them even more relevance.

What I Blog About

Well, you're reading my blog right now - what I am talking about? SEO! And SEO has to do with my business. When we demostrate our SEO knowledge, we show our expertise. That's what you want to do. You need to do the same thing.

Where to Get Topics to Blog About

There are lots of ways to get ideas for your blog posts. You can do news searches and get ideas for trending topics. What I do is subscribe to industry e-newsletters that show up daily in my inbox. They give me ideas and I even reference them often. For example, I'll do that now:

46 Ways to Kill It With Content (searchenginewatch.com)

What follows are a few killer tips to help with that transition and help everyone “cast off” that skin, starting with this quick-fire list of actions you should be considering taking as you grow your content investment.

Idea Creation

  • Create a list of regular ideas you can repeat as part of a series. Things like Quick Tips, Q&As, Know Your… Top 5/10s, etc.
  • As well as a list of ideas creates a list of the types of content that would work for your brand online – blog posts, videos, interactive infographics, etc.
  • Look at cutting edge content such as data visualization as a “big bang” idea.
  • Content can be "live" – so webinars and question-and-answer sessions can work brilliantly in real time.

What I did here was I posted the name of the article along with the domain name of the source as well as link the title to the content. This tells Google and everyone that I'm citing a source. I then list a part of the article that I'm referring to. This is kind of like commenting on an article but you're instead doing it on your website instead of on their website, so you get most of the credit for the content that you are creating.

Oh, and see that article for some really great ideas about where to get ideas for what to blog about / topics for your blog.

Is Copying Articles Legal?

I'm often asked if it's legal to copy their article. If you want the real answer, talk to a lawyer. What I do is just take part of it and then do what I said and clearly reference it. Doing it this way should only benefit the source that I'm referring to. Also, as you can see here, there is much more that I'm adding than what I'm quoting - so the majority of my post is new content and only a small portion of it is content from another source. I think this also helps Google and other search engines figure out what your content is about.

Add a Picture!

Blog posts do better when there's some sort of picture included. The posts are more interesting and more complete. Pictures tell a thousand words, right? Be sure to add a picture.

Conclusion

That's really about it. Make sure to link to something with each post - like another page on your website. That way, if the article does get lifted, the link stays in tact. The link also helps with SEO - yes, even an internal link. Having a link to Wikipedia has always seemed to help your website rank higher, too - I'm not sure why... it just does. I always do it - no, I don't mean each post, I just mean on some page on your website - make sure you have at least one link somewhere on your website to them.

And it's also good to solicit comments, so I'll do that now... did I miss anything? Let me know some of your ideas for getting topics to blog about and leave them in the comments below!

-Tony

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