One of the biggest obstacles bloggers encounter—whether they’re on the WordPress platform or not—is how to create content that is based on currently trending topics. Indeed, being able to stay on top of what people want to read can mean the difference between a site that receives heavy and consistent traffic and one that wallows in obscurity.
However, utilizing all one’s efforts in discovering what topics are hot can gobble up a lot of time, and most bloggers can’t afford to do so while still trying to actually write the posts themselves. But it’s important nonetheless: when you generate content based on trending topics you can be assured that said topics are already on reader’s minds, and speaking to these topics can really help you build a loyal following and assist you in honing in on your target audience.
Fortunately there’s help in the form of tools and techniques that make the whole process considerably less painful for the blogger. Here are six ways to streamline your content ideas and make sure you’re hitting the right buttons of interest for your readers.
The good folks at Google keep their finger on the pulse of, well, just about everything. And with their Trends tool, you can search for interest by keywords and topics and find out what people are looking for in the virtual world. By pulling in search demand data you also can determine whether interest in a topic is rising or falling, find the location of that interest and discover new trending keywords that you might not have even been aware of: use that data for a good bit of inspiration.
While you’re leveraging Google Trends, consider setting up a Google Alert. The program will, well, alert you when articles containing keywords of your choosing get posted. You then receive a handy email from Google with a link to the articles. And if you’re a prolific blogger you can even set up the frequency of alerts: once a day, once a week or in real time as the articles and topics go live. But use caution: if you’re too broad with your keyword choices you may end up getting completely inundated with alerts.
A great question and answer site, Quora allows you to sign up and follow specific topics via email updates based on those most relevant to your interest. And by perusing what questions people are asking you can then determine what you should be writing about and give answers back from your blog. This is a great way to find out what people are talking and wondering about, and can really help you craft specific content based on trending.
If you’re not currently visiting Reddit to grab ideas for your blog, start doing so immediately. A go-to resource, the site is based on the idea of users sharing news and ideas and making them more or less popular via a voting feature. And dedicated Reddit users can sometimes get into some pretty lengthy discussions on topics in the comment sections, which is certainly a place bloggers should be checking out for current interests.
If you have the time, visit some other blog sites that are popular and read through the comments sections. This is ripe territory for discovering what people are talking about, and you can build your posts around topics that perhaps the original blogger didn’t go into enough detail on. Of course be sure to monitor the most recent posts, and don’t be afraid to sign up for other blogger’s email newsletters: this will save you time as you won’t have to go visit their sites everyday in search of content ideas.
Lastly, forums—like comments sections—are prime places for investigating topics of current interest. Often people visit forums to get answers to questions or gain some advice from a wide audience, and you can gauge which conversations are drawing the most engagement and build your blogs around those topics. Keep an especially watchful eye out for multiple threads on a specific theme: these are likely the hottest topics going around and the best ones to consider writing about.