In Part 1 of this blog, we talked about six places you can find content online that will help to inspire your next blog or article.
For Part 2, I wanted to dive a little deeper and show some examples of different industries of finding specific content as sometimes it can be difficult to know what to write for blog posts.
In this blog, I’ll pretend to be a writer, looking for blog content, in three different industries, travel, plumbing, and fashion.
In case you need a quick reminder of what some of these services are, please feel free to look back at part 1.
The first service I’m looking at is called Pocket. Not only is there a Pocket app, but there is also a Chrome browser plugin (which is what I’m using today). I use this app for saving blogs to read later, but I like to use it for finding future content that will give me ideas for blogs.
So straight away, what I’ve done is visited Google and search ‘Best Travel Blogs’. I’ve then gone through, checked out a few websites, and clicked the ‘Pocket’ button on my Chrome browser to save them to my Pocket account.
Now, you could be wondering, “why would I set up a Pocket account when I could just copy and paste new travel blogs into a word document? What’s the difference?”. And that’s a fair point. But for me, I find this app simple to use, and it’s connected with my phone so I can add blogs on the go, and it’ll update with my Mac.
I’ve now got blogs I want to visit again all saved in one place. In this example, I’m pretending to be someone with a small business in the travel industry. Then next step is going through this content and finding something that will spark my imagination for blog writing.
One of the articles I’ve saved has given me an idea to write. The article is called ‘7 Things I Learnt While Driving Through the American South’. Immediately I start to think about blogs I could do for my travel site based around a) a list and b) the American South.
Some examples could be, ‘The 7 Best BBQ Places To Eat In All Of The American South’, or ‘7 Places You Must Visit While Driving Through The South’. I had no idea what to write about until I started saving articles to Pocket. But once I looked back through what I’d saved, ideas started popping into my head.
Similar to Topsy, BuzzSumo lets you search for a specific topic, and then displays the top articles that have had the most amount of shares on social media. For this example, I’m someone from the plumbing industry, looking to post a blog about plumbing. The first thing I do is go to the BuzzSumo homepage and type in ‘Plumbing’.
The first thing I see here is that the term ‘plumbing’ is already throughout the news due to something going on with Walmart. Depending on what you like to write, you could write an opinion piece on whatever has been happening to Walmart with plumbing. Alternatively, towards the bottom, there is an article titled, ‘How To Stop Criminals From Getting Through Your Electric Fence’. Now, this article isn’t to do with plumbing. However, it was posted in a forum that is partly based around plumbing. The one thing I do know is that ‘How To’ articles and videos do very well on the web because their content always stay current (e.g. people always need to know how to put up a shelf). And this ‘How To’ article seemed to get a reasonable amount of shares for this niche industry. So perhaps for this, a good piece of content for plumbing could be a ‘How To’ article, or even a ‘How To’ YouTube Video.
I think Topsy is a very fun app that can help if you’re struggling to find writing topics. If you want a quick refresher on what it is, click here. [add link to part 1]
In this example, I’m going to be in the fashion industry, looking for the next blog to post on my company blog.
I go to the homepage of Topsy, and type in ‘fashion’ and search ‘everything’.
The results show me everything from how many times people have tweeted about fashion in the last hour, to the amount of tweets over the last 30 days. It also displays the top articles based on fashion. Immediately on the third article down, I see an article called ‘5 Easy Ways to Reinvent Your Style For Spring’. That starts to get me thinking about articles I could do based around the time of year, an article based on lists, and, also for me, men’s fashion.
This shows who has been tweeting about fashion over the last hour, but your can also see the other customizations on the left (tweets from the past day, seven days, 30 days, etc.)
I’m a big fan of Feedly. As mentioned in part 1, I’ve used Feedly a lot over the last year. To start with, as soon as you open the website, click ‘Explore’, and you’ll come to this page.
As soon as I type ‘Travelling’ in, I’m greeted with some great information. Firstly, it shows me how often these blogs post, how many readers they have, and a short description of what their content. Next, on the blogs I want to follow, I’ll click the green tab, and they’re added to my list.
Now, that was a quick rundown of how to use Feedly. What happens now is I’m signed up the RSS feeds of all those blogs I added. So consequently, any new blog they post gets added to a nice list for me to view (See below),
Now I can come back and keep visiting for blog ideas. I know the content they write is good, and people enjoy it because Feedly shows they have a lot of readers. So for example, the blog called ‘Three Cities Worth Celebrating’, could be something that I could expand on. I could craft a piece of content around the ‘The Top 5 Metropolitan Cities That are worth visiting’.
Feedly is one of my favourite tools, and I encourage you to try it out!
For this example, I’m going to be someone from the plumbing industry again. Slideshare is a great tool, and I’ve found it to be a good traffic source for websites. In the scenario, I want to write about plumbing, so that’s what I’ll search.
Straight away, on the left-hand side, I see that a Slideshare user has created an ‘Easy Tips for Home Plumbing Repairs’. From this, not only do I think that I could write a blog about plumbing, but I could also create a Slideshare presentations. I could create a series of plumbing presentations such as, ‘How to manually install your own boiler’ or, ‘7 Common household plumbing errors that you can fix by yourself’.
For Flipboard, I’m going to become a fashion writer again, looking for my next piece of content. To start with, I’ll search ‘Fashion’ on the Flipboard website.
Immediately in the search results it shows everything Flipboard has on fashion. Interestingly, these individual subcategories of fashion could spark blog ideas themselves (e.g. a blog based on Canadian Fashion).
After selecting 7 of these categories, Flipboard then tailors content based towards me, which is what I want. It starts showing all sorts of articles and content related to fashion.
Now all I have to do is scroll through and see what headlines and articles intrigue me for my article ideas. If you want to write about Fashion and Business, just choose that in the topics in the beginning, and you’ll get articles related to that. Flipboard is an incredible tool, and they also have a useful app
These apps can be used to help create a variety of different posts such as, ‘How-to’ blogs, top 10 lists ,or blog pieces on current news.
There are many benefits to either of these types of blogs. For example, ‘How-to’ blogs almost always remain current and valuable for a long time because people will always want to know how to fix a table, or put up a shelf.
Articles based on lists (e.g. ‘Top 10 Places To Visit In America.’) also have merit in the blogging world. They are easy for the reader to skim through, but still provide very valuable content. Plus, they are less time consuming to create compared to the two other types of blogs.
News blogs have a different value. Opinionated pieces on current events can help inform your readers and establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche. For example, you could write about a particular aspect of the state of the travel industry.
Overall, these sources are extremely useful to me for when I’m looking for inspiration to write my next articles, and I hope you manage to take some value from it for your blog writing!