The Week in Search: Even More Ways to Brainstorm Blog Posts
I'm sort of surprised that I've never linked to Chris Brogan's blog in a Friday roundup before, since I'm a regular reader. Maybe because his posts tend to be short, to the point and difficult to disagree with, and finding something to disagree with is one of my top ways of brainstorming new blog posts.
It's also one of Chris Brogan's! His "How to Think of Blog Posts" post features the good-old-fashioned rant at #8 (see roundups of Fridays past in which I disagree with Seth Godin, David Powazek and Robert Scoble).
I guess I'm feeling agreeable this week because I have no beef with Chris's post; I simply want to add a few more ideas to the list:
1. Expand on a tweet: The next time you start to respond to something or someone on Twitter, hold that thought and see if you can't expand beyond 140 characters. If you're moved enough to share an opinion on Twitter, maybe you can get worked up enough for a full blog post? If you're too impulsive to resist the tweet in real time, you can read back over your Twitter stream and look for thoughts to expand on. For example, earlier this week I tweeted:
if you want to lose faith in human reason, read forum posts by ppl who think their gmail accounts are compromised by extra/lack of dots
I could definitely get a rant out of this topic—I saw a reference in a blog post about Gmail security to the fact that "A search for Gmail+'getting+someone+else's' returns more than 150,000 results." Too bad this says nothing about Gmail's security or lack thereof since the vast, vast majority of these results are people incapable of understanding Gmail's policy of ignoring dots in email addresses. We have a post where you can learn more about Gmail dots and other Gmail shortcuts if you're interested.
2. Do a variation on a popular post: Look back at what has worked on your blog in the past and do it again but from a different angle. For example, a while back Ken did some research and compiled a list of the college and university websites leading the pack in SEO. It was so popular, we turned it into a series. (In honor of Halloween he wrote a post on the top SEO candy websites.)
3. Use a keyword tool: You can thank Lee at Blogger's Workshop for this one—he wrote a nice review of our Free Keyword Tool demonstrating how to use it to generate blog post ideas. In doing the keyword research for this here blog post, I entered "blog posts" into our keyword tool and noticed that a ton of the results include Twitter:
- update twitter with blog posts
- tweet your blog posts
- show blog posts on twitter
- sending blog posts to twitter
Etc. There's a blog post idea right there! Just write up a how-to. And it's all yours, because this topic sounds boring to me. I much prefer "sexy blog posts" and "really cool stoner blog posts." Thanks, Free Keyword Tool!
4. Look for patterns. Humans are great at pattern recognition. Sort of. Well, we're pretty good at looking at spots on the ceiling and making them into a face. Anyway, we're definitely interested in patterns, so if you notice one, doing some research and teasing it out can make for a great blog post. Bonus points if you include hard data and infographics.
For example you might notice that longer posts get more links. Or that action verbs perform well in title tags. Or that using a question in a title increases click-through … you get the idea.
5. Add to someone else's list: See what I did there? People write list posts all the time and expanding on someone else's list means you don't have to waste time thinking up an idea for a list, you just need to figure out what the author missed. Instead of telling them what they forgot in a comment, write a post and link back and they'll probably find it. (Or go back and add a link to your post in a comment. But, you know, don't be spammy about it.)
The Obligatory Aaron Wall Worship
We have a bit of an SEO crush on Aaron Wall around here, if you couldn't tell. This week, he posted a great interview with Jeremy Shoemaker, widely known as "Shoemoney," covering his secrets for creating awesome linkbait and monetizing websites, his favorite web marketing books and blogs and much more.
Aaron and his wife Giovanna have also launched a new sister site to SEOBook, PPCBlog.com: "While SEOBook.com covers organic search where results are measured over a long period of time," according to the "About" page, the purpose of PPCBlog is to "discuss tips, trends and everything else that may help shape paid search marketing." We're definitely adding it to our feed readers. (Yep, still using them!)
WordStream at PPC Summit
And finally, we made an appearance at PPC Summit in Chicago this week and it was a fantastic conference. Our own Larry Kim spoke at a popular session on advanced keyword research and the long tail. Other highlights included Dennis Yu's session on using Facebook for local advertising; Craig Danuloff's AdWords strategies session; and David Szetela's session on content network advertising. Hello and thanks to everyone we had to chance to meet and chat with in Chicago!
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