Blogging is one of the most strategic ways a business can position itself as a trustworthy, reputable and knowable source of products and information.
However, if you aren’t regularly adding value to the conversation when you blog, or posting information people want to know about or solving their problems, you may not gain any traction with prospective customers.
How do you find information that’s current and where do you get inspiration?
You can always search the web with Google or Bing, however, if you want real-time or consumer-curated insights which are more genuine and more helpful and which provide absolute insight into your consumer’s needs, there are other options. The sources we’ll discuss here all provide genuine consumer-relevant information to inspire posts, which is your imperative as a blogging business owner.
Using interesting and relevant topics for your posts is a better way of getting blog inspiration than relying solely on what you think is important, though, that also has a place in your blog topic calendar. If you search, review and analyze live topics and trends relevant to your business and which are top-of-mind across the Web, you’ll meet consumer needs and business needs as well as get keen business insights.
Using the example of a cupcake shop wanting to get inspiration and learn what’s trending, let’s review a number of sources analyzed below. There is a hyperlinked cupcake example (search) for each of these sources, so click on each hyperlink to experience how these keyword focused searches work on each platform.
Some of the ways that you can find current topics of interest include:
- Google Trends—Google actively indexes in real-time what people are searching for now, so using Google Trends is like having a crystal ball giving you real time access to the global mind. Using this Google Trends, you can see a graphic representation of the topic’s growth and decline, as well as important and related keywords and countries where the topic is trending. Google Trends Cupcake Example.
- Twitter Search—Twitter, the micro-blogging platform, has a powerful search feature. Twitter Search allows you to dive headlong into the stream-of-consciousness-slice-of-life-Tweets of Twitter users. Using Twitter to search the global hive mind provides you with a great set of “here’s what we’re talking about” and access to the a real voice of your customer. You can search Twitter by keywords or hashtags, the active operators which immediately categorize information tagged. Hashtag examples are #CHS for Charleston, and #Foodies for food lovers. Twitter Keyword search example for Cupcake. Twitter #cupcake search.
- Facebook Search – Facebook is a powerful search engine. Using the search feature, you can input a hashtag and search posts, pages or people. Of course, individuals’ privacy settings control what is visible. That being said, many people do not limit what others see. Posts by pages are visible in search. There are an amazing number of filters which you may apply that select posts, pages, people, the public and you can set specific locations. You can search via your friends and so much more. Check out the image of a typical search.
- Answer the Public– This amazing resource allows you to input a keyword and learn what questions people are searching related to that topic. You can export the information and it’s also presented visually as a circular infographic so you can quickly take in how the information is related to the topic. Try out Answer the Public.
- Instagram – The photo sharing platform Instagram allows users to hashtag images. You can search tags, and topics for visual inspiration for blog posts. Remember, blog posts can be photos, graphics, videos, and text based. Input the hashtag #cupcake into the Instagram search tool and enter. Voila! You can see exactly what people are sharing and posting and you’ll be able to see which posts have the greatest likes and shares. View examples of posts tagged #cupcake.
- YouTube Search – YouTube is one of the highest used search engines. The ability to tag videos and set rich descriptions makes this a vast repository of current content. YouTube also has a trending filter so you can see what is rising in popularity. You can search based on a channel, a playlist (groups of related videos created by users), length and so much more. The ability to search and filter by rating helps you determine what is popular.
- Brand Mention AKA Social Mention – Provides a way to search across the social media universe to see how people are using specific terms and posts. You may search based on time period, such as last 24 hours, last week, or last month. You may also search by language. Brand mention Cupcake Research Example.
- Pinterest– Frequently thought of as the stomping ground of hobbyists and bored moms, this social media site is a treasure trove of what is trending. Pinterest rocks as far as getting incredible ideas based in imagry. Check out the results from this search for #cupcake.
There are many ways go gain inspiration for blog posts. These are examples of some of my favorite ones. What are your favorite ways to get blog post inspiration? Share yours and help compile a list for everyone’s benefit – because, that is why we’re all here – to help one another.
Thanks to Image by congerdesign from Pixabay for the featured image for this post.