In my opinion, having a blog attached to your website is the single best way to keep current website visitors coming back to your site, attract new website visitors, and to educate your visitors about your website topic. That said, keeping a blog is a lot of work! Even though keeping a blog updated with new articles is a lot of work, there are ways to dramatically increase your return on investment for your blog. In this article I will be discussing ways in which you can find hot topics to blog about, which should attract many new visitors to your website. We will cover how to find trending topics to write about, the ways in which you can leverage what’s trending for creating new blog content relevant to your website topic, and some tools to use for finding trending topics.
Topics that Have People’s Attention
Everyday things happen around the world that capture people’s attention. These events are captured by media outlets and distributed to the masses through various mediums like TV, radio, print, and the Internet. Topics that resonate with people naturally lead those folks to start conversations with their community about the event. People spend time looking for more information on the topics that most interest them, as well as, spend time talking with their friends about those events. The media outlets that produce content around trending topics naturally attract the most visitors to their website. You can capitalize on this constant quest for news and information and convert these hungry consumers into website visitors.
Converting News-Hungry Consumers into Website Traffic
Converting news-hungry consumers into website traffic doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be broken down into a few critical steps.
- Create a list of websites that are usually ahead of trends. Sites like Google Trends or even checking Twitter’s Trending Topics can be great places to start with.
- Prior to writing a new blog article, take some time to visit each of the sites on your list to see what’s trending.
- As you go through your sites, start writing down a few trending topics that you think best align to your website topic. This is the most critical step. Even though it’s important to write about topics that people are searching for, if those topics don’t blend with your overall website topic, then you’re not going to attract the type of website traffic that you’re looking for.
- As you go through the trending topics that make the most sense for your website, simply pick the one that you think will work best.
- Start writing!
We all know just how much time it takes to maintain a website. Most of the time, when it comes to writing blog articles, an idea pops into our head and we just start writing. That’s OK for some articles. That said, you also want to couple that with some other articles that have a better chance of going viral. By taking some time up front to do a little research, you can dramatically increase the return-on-blog-investment for your website.
Tools for Keeping Up with Trending Topics
If you’re like me, the word ‘research’ evokes thoughts of scientific experiments and days and days of digging through content. What I’ve been learning is that research doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, with all of the tools available to us these days, it’s actually a lot easier than I thought. Not only is it easier, but I’ve seen firsthand that by taking a little time up front to research your blog topics, you have a much better chance of your article going viral. Here are a few websites that you can use to find hot topics to blog about.
Google Trends shows you a list of “Hot Searches” whereby you can see what people are searching for over a specific period of time. You can click on “More Hot Searches” to see a larger list of hot topics for that specific day. From there you can change the date to see what’s been trending over the past few days to a week. For example, in the given screenshot, the hot searches are:
- Amanda Bynes arrested
- Navy jet crash Virginia Beach
- Masters 2012
- Good Friday
The list above is just a few of the many Hot Searches from Google Trends. Obviously, some days will produce topics that you can use to blog about, and some days will not. The key is to keep an eye on tools like Google Trends so that you can capitalize on those days when people are searching for a topic related to your website!
Quora is a Question & Answer site similar to Wikipedia in that it empowers it’s users to post questions and respond with answers to others’ questions. It’s a great tool for finding topics that people have questions on. Once you have an account you can simply enter a few keywords into the Quora Search Bar to find questions that people have involving those keywords. If I wanted to find questions that were relevant to 1stWebDesigner, I might enter high level keywords like “Website Design” or “Website Development” to see what questions people have about those topics. If there are multiple questions centered around one topic, or if there’s a question that nobody’s answered yet, it might make for a good topic to blog about.
TweetMeme is a Twitter tool that allows you to see what’s trending on Twitter. TweetMeme basically keeps tracks of all of the links that are tweeted on Twitter and how many ReTweets each link has garnered within a given time period. The links that have the most ReTweets move to the top of the TweetMeme list. This allows you to see what topics people are talking about on Twitter. If people are already talking about the topic, and you write an article pertaining to that topic, there’s a good chance that your article will be talked about as well. This is especially true if you take the conversation in a new direction. Here’s how I recommend you use TweetMeme:
- Check out what’s trending on TweetMeme over the past 24-72 hours.
- Find a few topics that you think are relevant to your website and read those articles.
- Think about how you can add a new spin to each of the articles. How can you move the conversation forward?
- Pick the topic that you think you can add the most to.
- Start writing!
Last, but certainly not least, find some industry bloggers that you respect and that always seem to have their articles go viral. Subscribe to their RSS feeds to see what topics they are blogging about. When they publish a new article that you think you can expand on, or add to, start writing an article on that topic. You may even want to mention the original article. This way when you promote your article on Twitter you can let the original author know that you linked to their article in yours. Who knows, they may even ReTweet your article, which puts your content in front of all of their followers! I’ve had this happen to me and my traffic went through the roof on those days.