Hopefully by now, you’ve begun on the road of content creation, and you’ve been able to send some pieces of content out into the world (and hopefully see the clicks roll in). If not, then read our previous articles on the Basics of Content Creation and 4 Steps to Creating Effective Content as a refresher before proceeding here.
It can be tempting as a content creator to pull ideas out of your own head and write what you know. However, this is not a great long-term strategy, as: one: ideas run out, and two: what you already know may not be what people want to know.
Confused? Simply put, you should be writing content that is interesting and relevant to what your target audience is keen to find out. And without knowing that it is that your target audience wants to know, how can you put out content that performs?
Luckily, there are tools to help you know what you need to know. Here are 5 tools that are incredibly helpful in helping you to brainstorm topic ideas for your content!
Start by doing a few searches on Google Trends, a platform that shows trends (surprise, surprise) of your selected keywords or topics over time. If there is a topic within your industry that is trending (receiving a lot of attention and searches) see if you can capitalize on it for your next piece of content. If not, try to observe what topics are the most popular, especially at that particular time of the year and in the geographic region that your target audience is in.
Google Keyword Planner
Once you have some topic trends in mind, move on to Google Keyword Planner, a tool that helps you (yes) plan keywords. You need an account on Google Ads to use this tool, but you can create one for free if you don’t already have one. You can use this tool to get keyword suggestions (just type in a keyword and Google gives you suggestions on related keywords with accompanying search volumes), or you can use it to check the average monthly search volume of keywords you already have in mind.
Similar to Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest gives you keyword suggestions, but with more of a focus on SEO. Key in your selected keyword into the tool, and you get an entire page of results covering monthly search volume and SEO competitiveness – it even shows you the pages that are currently ranking top for that particular piece of content and what you may have to do to beat them in terms of SEO (so that your article shows up at the top of the Google Search Engine results page when your keyword is searched).
This handy tool gives you ideas on questions that the public may be asking about your keyword or topic at hand. Upon opening up the tool, you will be greeted with a rather grumpy man waiting for you to enter your keyword or topic into the search bar (don’t worry, he goes away once you hit “Enter”. You will then be presented with a visual map of questions that have been searched in relation to your keyword. The green dots beside each question represent the popularity of the question – a darker green means more popular (higher search volume, or recently trending). This tool is free to use but you only get a few searches per day, so use them wisely!
If you’re looking for content to go viral (or at least be shared enthusiastically through social media) then this is the tool for you! You can search a keyword to discover which pieces of existing content got the most traction on social media in the form of shares, likes, and engagement. Studying the content will help to give you an idea of what content excites people and makes them want to share the information with their friends. BuzzSumo has a free (and more limited) version, or if you have the money to spend, you could subscribe to the paid version to get more in-depth results.
Explore these tools and get excited about content creation – we’ll be back soon with more information on optimizing and monitoring each piece of content to see how they are performing!