Starting a Company Blog from Scratch: 7 Ways to Generate Content Ideas Through Topic Research
STARTING A COMPANY BLOG FROM SCRATCH: 7 WAYS TO GENERATE CONTENT IDEAS THROUGH TOPIC RESEARCH
“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.” — Arjun Basu
In today’s business world, content is king. One way for organizations to succeed is by delivering consistent value—and there is nothing more valuable than relevant and useful content. As such, organizations of all kinds endeavor to consistently provide high quality content.
One of the most effective ways to reach an audience is through a blog.
While blogs may seem somewhat old-school, they continue to be an effective way to engage with prospective clients and customers.
However, starting a company blog from scratch can be a daunting task when there is little clarity about what topics to cover.
In this case, topic research can be a useful tool to help organizations generate content ideas. In essence, topic research boils down to analyzing trends in data relevant to an organization’s specific field of expertise.
In this article, we focus on 7 ways organizations can generate ideas to engage their audience and build more brand visibility.
7 Ways to Generate Content Ideas Through Topic Research
1. The Target Audience
A simple, yet effective way of determining what readers want is to ask them directly.
This approach is straightforward and allows a company blog to address topics specifically relevant to its target audience.
Organizations can talk to their audiences in various ways:
- Surveys. Surveys are still the most effective means to get accurate information about an audience. A carefully crafted survey can provide valuable insight into users’ interests. Moreover, customized surveys can identify specific topics users want to learn about or products they would like to see.
- Social media. Nowadays, social media is a highly useful means of talking with users. In particular, users’ comments on social media posts often reveal their thoughts and opinions on relevant blog topics. Since social media is prevalent in most users’ lives, monitoring social media can be a treasure trove of new content ideas.
- Interviews. Conducting one-on-one interviews can provide wonderful insight into what content users want to read. More often than not, users will be quite honest and upfront about what content they are interested in reading.
- Focus groups. Using focus groups gives organizations insight into what like-minded individuals want to get out of the content they consume.
- Newsletters. In general, newsletters are a one-way communication between an organization and its users. However, newsletters can also become a means of getting feedback. Some organizations leave the door open for users and subscribers to contact them to offer comments and ask questions. From this feedback, organizations can determine what type of content, frequency, and format their users prefer.
Analytics provide highly useful information about the visitors to websites, and the data can be quite robust. For instance, analytics provide information on age, gender, location, and even search history.
Thus, analytics from previous blog posts can also serve as a way of measuring trends. For example, tracking which posts got the most and least visits is a simple but effective way of gauging customer interest.
Additionally, analytics stemming from purchases, downloads, and time spent on a site and links can all offer valuable insight into the behaviors, preferences, and patterns of visitors.
Using these analytics as a base for topic research can yield interesting ideas. For example, company blog topics centered on best-selling products are great for generating new ideas.
Often, user comments on a company blog can shed light on topics followers want to learn about. New ideas can emerge from these comments.
3. Industry Topics
In general, there are topics that are relevant to every industry. These topics revolve around questions, problems, or information users most want to see, and reflect what users are searching online.
For instance, a health and wellness blog could focus on nutrition and exercise.
However, nutrition and exercise are significantly broad topics. As a result, the list of potential topics can become quite extensive.
Thus, content creators should narrow their focus to what is truly relevant to their website. In this regard, a health and wellness blog may choose to focus solely on vegan nutrition.
This decision must stem from a keen understanding of its core audience. Brands, organizations, and content creators can gain this understanding from the analytics they can gather through the various tools at their disposal.
Additionally, content creators must be careful to stay on topic. In other words, attempting to expand into other topics unrelated to their core message may cause followers to become confused.
Maintaining a focused view should be the main priority.
4. Keyword Research
When users search for information on a topic, some keywords or phrases are typically used more frequently.
Keywords play a crucial role in assessing user interaction with content. Thus, keyword research is a vital tool for anyone looking to start or expand a company blog.
Keyword research consists of uncovering the specific keywords most commonly used when users search a given topic.
There are research tools available that track keywords based on different metrics. These metrics measure analytics such as the most common keywords in the last hour, day, week, month, or year.
Additionally, content creators can search for certain keywords to gauge their popularity. Search engines such as Google offer free analytics on keyword usage.
Nevertheless, more robust and content-specific analytics typically come with premium subscription services.
5. Competitor Research
This technique involves some benchmarking. Generally speaking, benchmarking consists of studying what other successful content creators have done.
The result of this practice is to distill ideas that can then become part of one’s content.
Content creators can begin by searching for new ideas on their competitors’ websites. Also, content creators can look at other company blogs on similar topics.
The aim is not to copy someone else’s posts.
Instead, the objective is to identify what content is bringing in traffic to competitors’ websites.
From there, content creators can create their own original posts on the same or related topics.
Furthermore, competitor research enables content creators to see what type of language, formats, and layouts are “in” at the moment.
This research can be used to create new content that incorporates what appears to be getting the best results.
6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When conducting research using search engines, frequently asked questions (FAQs) usually appear in the search results.
FAQs often contain popular keywords used in search queries.
These FAQs can easily become a source of inspiration for fresh content ideas.
For example, a FAQ like “What is the best insurance company?” can yield many content ideas.
Additionally, competitor analysis can examine FAQs to ascertain what information users are seeking.
Company websites often have sections dedicated to answering FAQs. A review of these FAQs could lead to new content ideas for a company blog.
7. Hiring a Ghostwriter or Ghostwriting Agency
A company blog requires a regular stream of content to remain fresh. Sporadic content creation is a sure-fire way of losing user interest.
A good rule of thumb is to post new material in accordance with a regular schedule. For instance, daily content requires content creators to post content consistently, sometimes multiple times a day.
However, some organizations may not have the staff to post with such great frequently.
In such cases, employing the services of a professional ghostwriter or ghostwriting agency can be a good strategy.
Experienced ghostwriters can aid in producing brand-new content at specific intervals. They can be tasked with delivering the new content as often as a company needs.
Some professional ghostwriters are also adept at generating new content ideas. These professionals have experience in keyword research and competitor analysis or can draw from their professional experience to propose topics.
Consequently, employing a professional ghostwriter to generate new content ideas can be a useful approach.
In general, experienced ghostwriters propose a list of topics for the organization to consider. Then, the organization can choose which content ideas best fit their objectives. This decision can rely on analytics, practical experience, or even anecdotal information.
Once the organization chooses a batch of topics, the ghostwriters can work on producing the content.
Please note that ghostwriters with experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can greatly enhance the material’s searchability. SEO strategies focus on embedding relevant keywords into the content so that users can find it more easily.
Starting or expanding a new company blog does not have to be a monumental task. The strategies outlined in this article show that uncovering new content ideas is a matter of focused work utilizing the right tools. These tools can provide organizations with the insight needed to generate fresh content ideas.
Nevertheless, generating content ideas is only one part of the equation. The other part requires that posts have the appropriate content, specifically aimed at attracting the right users.
Hiring a professional ghostwriter or ghostwriting agency can make a meaningful difference.
Ultimately, an organization can take the research tools contained in this article and pair them with competent ghostwriters to create a wonderful company blog. The outcome will enhance the company’s ability to generate brand visibility and achieve its objectives.
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