How to Write Better Blog Posts Than Everyone Else
How to come up with better blog post ideas than everyone else? This is the question I am facing anytime I plan content for my company. Content marketing isn’t a trivial thing. It’s an art and you can become a master with experience, true passion and devotion, over time.
The online marketing niche is a saturated place with plenty of phenomenal articles produced by skilled content experts, and hosted on perfectly optimized, super strong domains.
All the same, the key content writing struggle doesn’t really lay in the tight competition which stands in the way of reaching #1 in the rankings. The even greater challenge is to stay inspired to keep writing appealing blog posts that whet a true reader’s appetite.
The primary goal of content marketing is to capture a user’s attention, engage them and then inspire them to take a desired action. This engagement doesn’t come easy, or by accident; it is well deserved and demands authentic writing talent.
If you struggle to have better blog post ideas than everyone else you should know a few tricks and basics. Let’s dig in.
First, you should define what objectives you want to achieve with your content from the get-go. Write these goals on your whiteboard and check them all the time.
What are your content marketing goals? Of course, you eventually want to boost conversions on your site. What else?
Do you want to generate high quality backlinks that improve your rankings? Attract targeted search traffic and win over a loyal audience? Or maybe you want to boost your authority as an influencer in your niche?
Possibly, you want them all.
Keeping your objectives in mind will help you remember what your mission is. It will generate the right focus and motivation. This way, with every publication and its subsequent in-depth analysis, you’ll be able to pour your heart and guts out toward achieving your goal.
Read, read more, and read once again. This may sound very basic, but it’s crucial (and a lot of people easily forget to do this). If you want to have great ideas for your articles you must be a bookworm and an article connoisseur.
Fitting in reading time might be tricky, as we are constantly busy, but being a writer demands that you make the time for reading. Moreover, you should learn how to read efficiently.
Identify when you waste time during your day. Is it at Starbucks, when you wait for coffee or is it before a doctor appointment when you’re waiting in line? Think, how do you usually use that time? Do you use it for scrolling Instagram? 🙂
It could be the times when you’re sitting on a tram and could be reading, instead of staring through the window.
So, we might all be busy, but it just turns out that you do have time for reading. 🙂
Apart from reading itself, you need to learn how to focus on the right content and not to waste your time on irrelevant reads. Find the right content.
Pro tip: You can optimize this activity to spend less time on content hunting with the use of this simple browser extension – Panda – which can display up to 3 or 4 streams on one page.
Another interesting trick to keep you permanently inspired is Medium. Medium is a monochromatic and beautifully simple blogging platform, meant for long-form content. And there are tons of awesome blog posts.
All you have to do is start following tags appropriate for you and the authors of your interest. Based on who and what you follow, Medium will provide you with a daily delivery of the most popular content.
You will have it on the homepage and can also get it straight in your inbox because Medium sends out a newsletter. You can also view the Editor’s picks and Top stories.
Thus, you can adjust your Medium board to your needs and turn it into a real diamond mine for ideas.
Become best friends with Pocket and bookmark and download articles to read later by adding them to your reading list on a daily basis. However, it isn’t the only Pocket feature that should convince you.
It turns out that Pocket might be the next inspirational treasure for each content writer. Use Pocket’s explore feature to discover interesting reads. This section reveals the most saved publications of all categories (and you can filter them out). Here you actually see how many times a specific post was saved. Treat this Pocket feature as a barometer of people’s reading preferences and see what they actually want to read.
Moreover, it’s a good indicator of headline quality. As Pocket’s main feature is to save articles for later, people usually save content based solely on their attraction to phenomenally written titles.
Over time you will be able spot some successful patterns and notice what types of headlines get saved more often than others. As a result your headline writing skills can grow to the next level.
Also Pocket’s recommended section contains trending reads from around the web.
While Pocket might be the leading read it later app, it isn’t the only one available. There are more of them. For instance, you can use Instapaper which has a nice and clean design. Social media geeks can enjoy the Facebook Save feature which lets them save items spotted on facebook. There is also Safari Reading List, available on any device with Safari.
Newsletters can be an effortless way to discover great new content. To start benefitting from your mailbox’s daily delivery, you just need to learn how to control your inbox and filter out trash.
Unroll.me can be great tool to declutter your inbox and provide you with all your newsletters in a form of one rollup for a specific day.
Know how to hunt for good newsletters.
Of course, you have your faves. I subscribe to Brian Dean, Rand Fishkin, Tim Suolo, Kevan Lee and Larry Kim – they are all my masters and I always try to catch up with their opinion-forming updates and articles.
These guys are the most recognizable personas and top influencers in the online marketing niche.
But that’s not enough. You cannot stick to the same sources all the time; your knowledge should constantly evolve, and you should be constantly finding new inspiration.
There are great newsletters to subscribe to. Dig into ProductHunt to find the best newsletters for you.
On the other hand, there is also Revue – a place where individuals can curate their own newsletters. Not only you can pick some to receive but you can also create your own newsletter for free!
Find the market leaders, best bloggers, and competitors in your industry, then analyze their blogs to detect:
- The best content by search traffic
- The best content by links (or referring domains)
- The most shared articles
This way you will have all the pieces that stay behind their success served on a silver tray.
Ahrefs helps with finding the best performing content of any blog. Just use the site’s explorer and type in a blog link to check.
On the left margin you will find sections: best by links, best by shares and top content that reveals all the pages that bring a website the most organic traffic. The only minus here is the fact that Ahrefs is a pretty pricey tool and not every team can afford it.
Another app that helps you conduct competitive analysis is Buzzsumo. It specializes in revealing the most shared articles for a given phrase or website.
Analyzing your competitors and bloggers in your field can teach you a lot about what strategies and tricks will work and what won’t. Read more about What Can You Learn from Your Competition?
Your coworkers, customer support team and sales team are in constant contact with customers and they help solve product related issues and talk with customers about the most nurturing problems they struggle with in their business.
These two teams can advise you on what to write about to help prospects out. So reach out to them. Are people repeatedly asking different formations of the same question? Has anyone given them a comprehensive answer?
Treat their feedback and suggestions like gold and consult them often and always.
What’s more, such cooperation would be a win-win case. You canrely on them to help fill up the content gap on the blog which in turn they could use to limit the never-ending questions and satisfy a user with informational content on the given topic.
Agree on the regular interaction with the a group of good, active clients and conduct brief surveys of what they would like to read about and what they need help with.
Media monitoring tool lets you track brand mentions, keep eyes open on in your industry news and topics of your interest. The thing is to set up your alerts right so they cover all the relevant phrases and of course your competition brand names too.
Browsing alerts can bring you great new blog post ideas to the table. And the best part is, now you can use Unamo’s Social Media Tool.
How to set up mentions on Unamo Social Media Monitoring Tool?
It’s easy. Once you set up an account, create a new topic and choose keywords that you want to track.
Then you just click the button below to create a topic.
Next you will be transferred to the main social media monitoring dashboard that looks like this:
Here you can play around with mentions from a particular channel or from all channels combined.
And there is also an option to filter mentions by a keyword, author, gender or satisfaction. Visible by default are only the basic filters, but there are also plenty of more advanced filters. Just click on the ‘more’ button to view them.
In addition, you can select different types of mentions such as statuses, photos, videos and links:
And voila, this is it! 🙂
Another thing that can bring you strategically justified topics is your keyword ranking. You should be monitoring your keyword positions on a daily basis. SEO gives you powerful knowledge on what would be beneficial to write about in order to optimize your website for a strong phrase and eventually increase your visibility for that query to bring massive amounts of search traffic to your site.
Unamo SEO is here to help you out.
Communities such as Reddit and Quora can be a great source of information when you research for fresh topic ideas. Mainly because these are user generated platforms.
Dig into threads relative to your business niche and study questions and answers to uncover some new ideas. Pay attention to the words; how do Quora / Reddit users phrase some questions? You should be using their wording in your articles because it is the natural voice and tone of your audience.
Apart from Quora, Reddit and some industry related forums, Slack groups can be a new and interesting place for you.
Writing articles demands that you know how to squeeze out a topic like juice out of a lemon. You must avoid distractions because they can break down even your best writing mood. So turn off the voice on your phone (vibrations too), don’t check your phone before you finish your work and stay away from your private social media profiles.
This can get a little tricky to do if you are a content writer that also has to manage your company’s social media campaigns. If that’s the case then just set a specific time during your day when you check your Facebook page’s activity, let’s say in the beginning of your day, then in the middle and before you leave the office to react to any comments and mentions that come in during the day.
The same applies to your business’ mailbox as each email can distract you from writing, so it’s better to set a specific time to check it and reply to messages, for instance, twice a day. Develop your own process here so you don’t neglect your work duties, but respect your writing mood.
Another thing that you better stay away from is multitasking. Don’t think that doing many things at once can help you manage your duties. According to this article Multitasking Is Killing Your Brain by Larry Kim, multitasking can only reduce efficiency and the quality of your work (plus, research shows it literally lowers your IQ).
So better to compile a list of things to do during your day and start with the biggest challenge, but only focus on one task at hand for the best results.
Discover peaks of productivity during your day and use these peaks for writing. If you need a little help with that, Moo-Q is an app that tracks your mood and your brain’s power to identify when you are most creative. Highly recommended to improve your workflow.
Also published on Medium.