How to Think Long-Term with Blog Post Topics

March 20, 2012By

Yesterday we discussed how to chase trends for blogging ideas.

Today, we’re taking the opposite approach.

It’s time to think long-term for blogging ideas as well. What I try to recommend is a strategy of various topics that include trends and news while also focusing on topis that have more long-term appeal.

What I like to cite are three types of blog posts:

  1. News Commentary
  2. Features Stories
  3. How to

News commentary posts fit into the trend chasing field of thought. The other two are more focused on the long-term strategy. A combination of all three can really make your blog appealing to various audiences. The news commentary will keep people coming back frequently while the other two types of posts will bring in search traffic and social traffic for years.

Today, I’d like to discuss how to think long-term for blog post topis.

Long-Term Blogging Strategy

So the focus of this post is on Featured Stories and How to posts.

It’s likely your audience is looking for one of these types of posts or perhaps both. Any blogging strategy always comes back to understanding your customer. When you have a good idea of the persona of your target customer then it becomes easier to understand the content they will find interesting.

The goal with the blogging strategy will be to lead to discovery of your brand as well as eventually increasing profit as a result of this discovery.

Discovery is led by search engines and sharing, which can happen on social sites, email and word of mouth. The cliche in the blogging world is that all you have to do is write about what interests your target audience and your posts will be shared and discovered in the search engines.

It’s true, but it’s not that easy.

It’s hard to write things that are interesting.

The best I can do is give you a few tips on where I find blog post ideas for stories and how-to posts. I’ll go on blogs that I know targeted readers are spending time. I’ll look at comments for questions they are asking. I’ll visit forums and do the same. Any time you can find questions posted you can likely find an idea for a blog post.

You can also ask your current customers what they are struggling with in their lives.

This strategy works especially well for how-to posts. You can find questions and answer them.

For featured stories it’s a little different. Sometimes people don’t even realize what will be interesting to them so they don’t know to look for it. They simply notice your headline and become intrigued.

This happened to me this morning when I was looking on Billboard.

I’m a big fan of country music. I noticed this headline: Live From His Living Room, It’s Billy Dean!.

As a country fan I found this headline interesting. I figured it had to be about Billy Dean, a country artist that had a pretty good run of hits in the ’90s. I run into these kinds of stories in the country music world from time to time. They are usually about artists that haven’t been heard from in a while or about new artists that are just emerging.

Anytime you can find a story about a topic your customer cares about there is a chance the story will be shared and discovered. The trick is to really find something interesting and that’s often the most difficult thing. The fact that Billy Dean is still playing music is not interesting. The fact that he’s having fans over to his ranch to play music in his living room is interesting. That’s a story.

I’m sure you can come up with better ideas for stories and how-to posts.

The point of the article is that it’s good to have a mix of long and short-term posts.

And in order to write the long-term posts you have to find interesting stories and answer questions your target audience is asking.