At GBW, we have to come up with a lot of blog post titles.
A LOT of titles.
We love doing it and over the years we’ve gotten pretty good at it.
It’s important to come up with great titles. They’re the first thing someone sees whether they’re looking on Google, social media or email. It’s also usually the inspiration and direction for the writer.
We usually start with common customer questions. But we also look at industry trends, hot topics and insider information that the blog owner might have that would be interesting and valuable for the target reader.
For some of that insight, we look to blogs, blog comments, forums, major news websites and more.
Social media is another great resource for finding blog post idea inspiration.
Here is a method we use for finding inspiration on Twitter. Hopefully the process can help you with your business blog.
Step 1: Search For Industry Keywords
You probably know a few industry keywords even without using an SEO tool or anything like that.
Keywords are things your customers talk about. They’re things you and your colleagues discuss.
You can start general and get more specific to find something that will make for a good topic with your target reader.
Go to Twitter. At the top right you can enter in the keyword phrase. If the phrase is two or more words, use quotation marks on either side. This keeps the search results to tweets with the exact keyword.
Here is one I would do for the GBW Blog:
At the top you’ll see where the keyword is entered. The next thing you have to check is if it’s better to see All results or Top results.
If it’s a popular keyword you’ll probably want to use Top, but if it’s not too popular you’ll want to switch to all.
From there just look through the tweets.These are people in your industry sharing information they find useful. Most will be links, but you’ll always see occasional questions and regular tweets. They’re all little indicators that your customers are looking for information.
After a quick look I noticed that a lot of people were sharing this resource:
That’s an indication that people find this piece of content useful.
What I would do is read the post or watch the video or study whatever that content is. I would see if there was an opportunity to provide some additional insight into the topic or if there was a way to build on it. You can always improve on content that’s published and when you find something popular like this you can do just that. You already know people like it.
Step 2: See What Influencers Are Sharing
Now it’s time to look at the influencers. Find one influencer in your industry and go to their profile. Look through their profile and see what they’re sharing.
Influencers are usually in the know when it comes to your industry. People follow them because influencers share the best information. And because of their influencer status, influencers also get early access to new trends and topics.
See what they’re sharing. You’ll probably find at least one (usually more) topics that you can write.
Here’s one I found:
From that I could write a post on Cool Instagram Tools For Businesses or something like that.
Step 3: Look At The Replies To Popular Influencer Tweets
Influencers will usually have a lot of replies to their tweets.
These replies can hold some…let’s just say interesting insight, but there can also be some gold in those replies.
Specifically, you can find questions or concerns that your target customers have regarding your industry.
On that same post from the previous step I found this gem:
That is someone with a specific question. Turn that question into a blog post where you research and use your experience and knowledge to provide a great answer. If one person is asking it you can usually bet that other people have the same question. That leads to a successful blog post.
I would turn this one into something like How To Balance Business And Personal Instagram Accounts.
Step 4: Search For Popular Industry Hashtags
I really didn’t get into hashtags on Twitter for a long time. I was one of those that tried to put clever hashtags on tweets once in a while. That’s not really productive. You might get a laugh or two.
Now I realize that people follow hashtags all the time for specific information.
As a business blogger, you can follow hashtags in your industry to see what’s trending or what people care about.
Here is one I watch for GBW – #Marketing:
I like to look for things that people share from sites other than their own. I thought the one above was a good one. It could lead to inspiration for a similar post (better and different).
Step 5: Search Popular Industry Blog URLs
Finally, you can search URLs on Twitter. It’s a good way to see if any of your blog posts have been shared, but it’s also a good way to look at popular industry blogs so you can see what content of theirs is really popular.
Here’s one that kept popping up when I searched for Moz.com:
That’s a sign that people really like that post. It would be difficult to top Moz, but it’s an indicator of a topic people find interesting so maybe there is room to discuss something similar on the same topic.
This process works great for us. We try to develop great titles around great topics. Not every title we come up with is a good one. We have to scrap some. And not every post we publish is great, but we always try to keep improving and the more winning posts you stack up over time the more traffic and sales you’ll get for your business.