How often do you find yourself working on a content plan with no thoughts in your head? When you’ve described how to analyze backlinks and perform site audit hundreds of times, told how to do keyword research twice as many, it’s normal if you run out of the ideas.
I’m going to describe my way to find new topics for the blog posts that are based on niche question research. This way can help you to find new ideas even if your inspiration isn’t there.
How it works
First and foremost, let’s try to answer this simple question: what requirements a good topic should meet? I think that:
- It should be relevant and interesting to your particular audience;
- It should be up-to-date;
- It should answer users’ query.
All these 3 points can be reached by niche question research!
So how to choose topics people want to read? I suggest trying to find what questions around your niche they are asking on the Internet. Let’s find out some ways to find these questions!
The most obvious thing that comes to mind is question-and-answer websites. The best example of such site is Quora that has 100 million monthly users and 400 000 topics. It’s a place where real people ask and answer each other’s questions every day, so you can grab some fresh ideas just from there.
For instance, I want to write something interesting about voice search. Let’s see:
Five minutes of work and all these questions could turn into headings for your articles. I suggest doing the following things:
- sort questions by time (choose last week or last month period — whatever you think is best) and start exploring;
- glance through it and choose only interesting ones;
- read them all!
- find questions that weren’t answered in full yet, but at the same time, they sparked debates!
- grab these questions to your content plan.
Also, let’s pretend like I haven’t said that, but you can use good expert’s answers as a background for your articles.
Speaking of Reddit, it’s another platform where people ask, answer, and discuss questions. As of 2017, Reddit had 542 million monthly visitors. They are discussing a wide range of issues from video games to politics so you can find ideas practically on any subject or theme.
For instance, go to AskReddit and type “SEO” into the search box. You’ll see a list of meaningful questions:
Another way is to check AskMeAnything subreddit. There are a lot of jokes and senseless threads, but sometimes you can find great insight into what people want to know about your niche.
The best thing about these platforms is that questions are asked by real people. Some can argue that there is such thing as Quora and Reddit promotion, but it’s just a small part. The sites are moderated well so mainly you’re finding a lot of useful information.
Make sure to pay attention to answers. If you see that all answers are wrong, you definitely should be the one who saves everybody giving the right answer in your article. What is more, the article title could be like “5 myths about optimizing for voice search” or “10 most common PPC mistakes to avoid”. Be creative and even wrong answers and senseless questions can give you an idea for a great post.
Quick tip: remember what I said about Quora promotion? You shouldn’t miss this opportunity as well. If your article was based on the question from Quora, then after publishing your post you can get back to this question and leave a brief answer with a link to the post. If the post is good and your answer is useful, the administration probably won’t consider it as a promotion.
Another quick way to conduct niche question research is to use SEO tool with “search questions” and “search suggestions” features such as Serpstat or AnswerThePublic.
Serpstat gathers questions from Google, Amazon, and YouTube with the ability to export all of them to Excel or Google spreadsheets.
It found 288 questions for Google US. Some of these questions are too simple and obvious to write about. That said, 20 minutes of exploring this list can give you something you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Here are five nice ideas for a blog post I found after a first look:
- when is the best time to send a marketing email;
- where do I get email addresses for marketing;
- what is affiliate email marketing;
- what is personalization in email marketing;
- what is split testing in email marketing?
AnswerThePublic is another tool that can inspire and give some fresh ideas. Also, it shows you such cool reports:
The more specific keyword you type, the fewer questions you get. At the same time, these questions won’t be so wide.
BuzzSumo question analyzer
BuzzSumo has a great feature that finds most shared content by topic, keyword or domain. Such analysis gives you a bunch of ideas, but that’s another story. As to niche question research, BuzzSumo offers “question analyzer” feature that gathers question from forums, Q&A sites, and e-commerce sites. Here is what it looks like:
As you see, it shows questions from Quora and Reddit as well so you can use this tool if you’re ready to pay to avoid doing this work manually.
Where else to use questions
- Create an infographic! It could be something like “Question people ask about Instagram” or “Most weird questions people were asking Google this year”;
- Ask question on your landing page to increase conversions;
- Create an FAQ page on your site.
As much as we want this to happen, we can’t read our readers’ minds. What we can do is find questions they ask on the Internet. This small research can boost your content marketing and give you an insight into what your readers want to see on your blog right now.
So when writer’s block hits you, you can hit it back using this method! Hope it’ll work for you too.
Anna Rud is a Content Marketing expert at Serpstat. Establishing an active presence on external resources, developing rich and quality content, and implementing brand strategy are her key responsibilities.