Tutorial – How to Choose Blog Post Topics

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Transcript of How to Choose Blog Post Topics Video Tutorial

Hello, this is Pam Neely. I wanted to talk to all of you about how to choose blog post topics. This is really the first step in a series of videos that I’m going to do for you that are basically how I bring a piece of content from idea all the way through keyword research, writing the headline, writing the blog post, SEO optimizing the blog post, promoting the blog post on social media and then converting the blog post into an email message.

This has been something that a lot of you have asked for. I think it’s really an important piece of the puzzle for email marketing, because basically this is the germination of where your email marketing comes from, is how do you choose topics to write about. Because blogging is such a great tool for us to both generate content to convey our expertise and also to create email marketing content.

I’m using the form of a blog post for this example. If you’re really big into videos, though, you could totally use this for videos or any other content marketing format. Infographics, Facebook posts, what have you. What I’m going to do is I’m going to walk you through exactly how I would come up with a blog post topic. Lets get started.

This is my very messy and filled Gmail account. The first way I go about gathering ideas for blog posts and topics is through other email lists. Frankly, I’m signed up to pretty much every email list in my niche that I find interesting or valuable. I’m also signed up to several dozen other email lists that are kind of tendentiously related or that I just find inform my writing and how I put together content.

Every day, I will get at least 200 emails. Please don’t let that scare you. What I’ll do is I’ll delete 70 to even 90 percent of them and the remainder that I’m interested in, I will add to my Twitter feed so that I can go back and find them later when I want to maybe use them in a blog post. I’m almost always gathering research or gathering ideas for content. As a result, if I was going to sit down and write a blog post for my own site right now, I have over 50 different ideas for blog post titles. Not just ideas, but the headline I’ve written out for blog post titles for my site. I will either write them down on a notebook that I have or actually I have Idea Paint up on my wall, which is like a white board wall and I will write blog post ideas or other content format ideas up on my wall or in my notebook. I’m literally a wash in content ideas at any given time. That helps when I’m writing for a clients or definitely when I’m writing for a blog post.

Lets just go through this and find something and I’ll show you the whole process with this. Analytics to track, this is good. Six Facebook and Analytics to track. I’m thinking about doing something with Analytics, which I actually have. So I may not want to write about this right now, today, but I might want to be able to find it again later. I also think — I would read through this, of course, to be careful. This has the sort of thing that would be helpful to me later. So it looks like a good article and I trust it enough to send it out to my peeps, my Twitter peeps.

This is how I use the app I have called “Buffer,” which is how I schedule my Tweets. So there it is. I will put in a hash tag. Actually three hash tags, that’s a little heavy, but it will live. I might do @websitemagazine. Great. So I buffer. That will be added to the queue, which is very nice.

Now lets show you the queue. This is my Buffer account. I use this generally for Twitter because Twitter is my strongest social media channel, but as you can see, I’ve also got LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and other places. Buffer will feed those in so that I can queue up updates anytime I want. As you can see, I’ve got tweets queue up for quite a lot in advance.

This is just a way for me to kind of — frankly, it’s my new version of bookmarking so I can go back and I can find things in my Twitter account when I want to write about a particular topic. That’s one way, in addition to writing emails, that I’m constantly researching and gathering information and sorting information in my niche.

This is marketing profs. Really, my next step in this whole process would be to go to a couple really huge websites that I admire and know that they cover stuff that’s in my world and I would look at, say, if I was doing here, I’d be this. So what are people publishing about email marketing these days? Global campaigns, shopping for an email service provider. I happen to know that just in this time of year, people are also starting to talk about the holidays, so I could so an article about holidays. Email deliverability is an evergreen topic.

When you hear the word “Evergreen topic,” by the way, it means something that is of interest all year long. Also, in a larger sense, it means a topic that’s going to be interesting like, three years from now. That’s something that’s really evergreen, that’s kind of stretching the definition a little, but evergreen basically means year-round it’s going to be interesting.

Using video in your email marketing… If I had not written dozens of posts about that already, I would jump on that. This is kind of unclear what that’s really about. Anti spam law, I’ve written about that. Marketing automation, I am supposed to write about that next week. You get the idea. It’s just a ton of different topics — this is what’s significant in our industry right now. If you can do newsworthy stuff — if something huge happens in the SEO world and Google does a new algorithm, that’s a newsy thing for my niche. Any time Google changes something in Gmail, usually that’s worth discussion. Then I can also go over here to a different blog and just look at what these guys are doing and they have a different take on things.

It’s pretty rare, actually, that I will pull one of these specific story ideas, because I don’t like that. I find that a little bit too close to stealing peoples’ ideas. I won’t do that. Almost always while I’m looking through these big sites and I find something — storytelling right now, it’s really hot. It’s a perennial topic. I have actually not written a blog post about storytelling. That might be an interesting twist that I can go after. Again, I’ve got another blog, so I will come through that. Usually takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. By then something pops into my head pretty quickly.

The next thing I might want to do if I was still looking for ideas is I can go to Quora or any of the other question websites for business and just enter a couple things like this storytelling is interesting. Lets see what people have been wondering about with storytelling. So there, “what’s your go-to story?” That’s a great blog post title right there already. This will narrow what you’re looking for a bit more.

Lets go over to Google and see what comes up with storytelling. One other thing that is one of the filters for when I’ve got a topic that I’m interested in, is there enough research available for me to write a good blog post? I tend to write really statistics heavy, fact-heavy pieces. I have a journalism background. I got shaped enough by my editors in my early life that I feel obligated to back up anything I say or to point to a regarded source before I do anything.

TED. TED talks are awesome. That’s a great and easy way to write a blog post is x-number of TED talks about any given subject and you’re in. That’s a terrific topic, people always like it. Again, we’ve got some local stuff. Storytelling in the classroom. There you go,.. storytelling as the ultimate weapon. These are good headline ideas as well because they wouldn’t be up here unless they were getting attention and links and came from regarded sources. So this is a good way to start germinating ideas for headlines.

It seems like I’ve got the beginning of a topic. So lets go over to Google AdWords.

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